Southern Baptists working to help areas in the Philippines slammed by Typhoon Haiyan are asking for prayer as they help.
Most disaster-response organizations have left the Philippines, but organizations from Southern Baptist state conventions have volunteered to stay in the area. They include the Missouri Baptist Convention, the Southern Baptists of Texas Convention, California Southern Baptist Convention, Tennessee Baptists and Kansas-Nebraska Southern Baptists.
“This is a long-tern response, and the need is massive,” said Jeff Palmer, executive director of Baptist Global Response. “We are initiating large-scale work with communities, local believers and volunteers and will be constantly assessing and gauging the effectiveness of our choices.”
Typhoon Haiyan, also known as Typhoon Yolanda, struck the Philippines on Nov. 8, 2013. More than 6,000 people died and about one million homes were damaged or destroyed, according to government agency USAID.
“(Baptist Global Response) is gearing up for long-term development work as the short-term relief organizations pull out,” an unnamed worker told Mission News. “There is much work to do as we survey areas farther from town that have been neglected but desperately need help as they try to rebuild their lives.”
Southern Baptists have donated about $1.3 million for the relief effort, which mainly includes repair, home construction and water systems.
Along with the relief efforts, Food for the Hungry, a Christian organization that serves the poor, is asking for child sponsorships in the Philippines. A sponsorship will help the rebuild efforts and give to the child’s health and education.
“Right now, families are living in lean-to shacks and struggling to find clean water or substantial food,” Julie Oosterhouse wrote in an article for Mission Network News. “Children are going hungry and playing in dirty and dangerous surroundings. There is no chance for education because schools have been completely wiped out. You can help change the future from a desolate one to one filled with hope for these children.”