Thousands homeless in Philippines from overwhelming rains
Philippines (MNN) — The Philippines has been struck with double the normal amount of rainfall for January. Flash floods and landslides have displaced over 63,000 people from their homes. According to ReliefWeb, at least 43,000 of those displaced were being sheltered in 115 evacuation centers as of last weekend.
World Mission has national ministry partners in affected areas of the Philippines. Greg Kelley with World Mission says, “The rains and the floodwaters, the flash floods, it’s just been unrelenting now for several days and has virtually affected everybody, including the church of our national partner who is inside of Kaugnayan Detarou. There has not been a family that has not been impacted by the devastation.”The Department of Social Welfare and Development states around ten people have been killed and 579 homes destroyed in the devastating rains.
These storms this month come on the heels of Typhoon Nina (Typhoon Nock-Ten) which slammed into the island nation on Christmas Day. According to the Philippine Red Cross, over 110,000 homes were demolished by the typhoon, along with several schools, farms, and health facilities.
With the one-two punch of overwhelming floods weeks after a typhoon, the Philippines barely had time to get on its feet.
“So many people, their homes have literally been washed away, every one of their possessions, and so they are just struggling to survive right now as we’re trying to continue to survey the devastation.”
Kelley explains, “They’re saying this impact is worse than even some of the typhoons that recently have come through. The one in particular in 2012, they’re comparing it to that. So it’s pretty widespread devastation, and the flooding, the photos we’re seeing, everything is under water…. It might not be a large-scale, massive disaster that [news organizations] are going to pick up, but there are thousands of lives that are just as impacted as if it were a massive disaster.”
World Mission is currently working with their church partners in-country to distribute emergency relief. “The situation right now with those thousands of families that have been impacted is really just to find safe ground for them and the basics. Right now, we’re in the midst of a campaign where we’re providing basic hygiene, blankets, some medicine, tarps, rice, even water filtration, because when these things happen all of the water gets contaminated. So we are mobilizing some water treatment filters right now.”
They are also sending canned goods, soap, disinfectant, mats, and pillows to Filipino families.
But the aid being given through World Mission and ministry partners isn’t just for physical restoration and healing. They also want to make sure they are encouraging people’s hearts and souls through the deeply staying power of God’s Word.
“They’re distributing Treasuresin the Cebuano language, which is our solar-powered audio Bible. So we have 500 [Treasures] right now that are being sent to the Philippines that will be delivered in conjunction with the aid.”
If you’ve ever had to live for a period outside your home — maybe due to a house fire, water damage, a family crisis, or moving conflict — you know how disorienting it can feel. And it’s why Filipino families who have lost their homes or livelihoods are in real need of prayer and encouragement.
“We need to be praying for the people, that they survive this, but then they’re able to find the necessary relief and [able] to begin to get their lives back in order…. So let’s be praying for the people there and also the opportunity the Christians have. Any time a disaster comes, it creates an opportunity for the Body of Christ to, in a very tangible way, be the hands and feet of Jesus and that’s exactly what we’re doing in the Philippines right now.”
You can be a palpable support for the Filipino Church serving as a representative of Jesus Christ. World Mission needs at least $20,000 by February 15th for this outreach. Click here to give to World Mission humanitarian aid efforts.
“Time is really of the essence,” Kelley emphasizes. “Any time one of these disasters hits, every hour counts. So as people are praying about ways to get involved, we can make sure that turns into tangible instance.”