12 November, 2013

A Philippines status update from OMF International

In the light of the disaster in the Philippines, I just want to share something that's being done by our mission (which works there). Mark Chapman, mentioned in the article, is a Queenslander.
OMF International is greatly concerned for the people in the areas devastated by Super typhoon “Yolanda” (international name “Haiyan”). According to the BBC, 4 million people have been affected by what looks like the most devastating natural disaster to hit the Philippines. The International Red Cross says up to 10,000 people may have lost their lives. For those wanting to stay up to date with information, http://www.inquirer.net/ is said to provide reliable local information, in addition to major news outlets.

There is immediate need for clean water, food, health care and sanitation. Delivery of aid and restoration of civil order are high priorities. Government authorities and international aid organizations along with other governments are working to deliver the basic necessities. 

Mark Chapman, OMF International’s Field Director in the Philippines, said that for large relief efforts like the current situation OMF Philippines likes to work with the Philippine Council of Evangelical Churches’ relief arm called Philrads (Philippine Relief and Development Services). While there has recently been two large relief efforts in Bohol and Zamboanga that have strained resources, OMF is sending significant aid through Philrads to planned relief efforts they are doing in the Samar/Leyte area. Philrads is also partnering with iHelp and Habitat for Humanity to help build new homes for the those who have lost their houses. Those interested in assisting financially can contribute through their nearest OMF International office: Philippines General Relief Project Fund Project Fund P65145.

In addition to groups like World Vision, Samaritan’s Purse and Mercy Corps, OMF Philippines also recommends Operation Blessing (www.ob.org) as an organization with a "good reputation and doing good work.” 

An OMF leader is heading to Samar to visit workers affected by the typhoon and assess areas that OMF can assist in. Other OMF workers and friends are traveling with medicine, water and hygiene supplies to visit smaller islands and coast land areas affected by the typhoon but cut off from the main aid centers. 

Please join us in praying for delivery of the essentials for life. Pray for safety and healing of survivors and aid givers, especially for the hundreds of thousands without shelter. Pray for wisdom, peace and justice as the leaders of the Philippines and other organizations work to bring aid. Pray for unity and wisdom among the different organizations providing aid. Pray also for people who can serve this area long-term, after aid agencies have pulled out. Pray for workers who can come, learn language and culture, and share the hope of Jesus through lives of service.

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