On Dec. 11, the third team from North Carolina Baptist Men and Women on Mission (NCBM) departed to relieve team two who has been in Tacloban City since Dec. 4.
Super Typhoon Haiyan, known as Yolanda in the Philippines, was the tropical cyclone that devastated portions of Southeast Asia, particularly the Philippines on Nov. 8.
Haiyan brought heavy rains and winds that caused landslides and other problems that forced thousands of residents to evacuate to safer grounds.
Other provinces hit were Iloilo, Cebu, Oriental and Occidental Mindoro, Davao Oriental, Surigao del Norte and Palawan.
One month after the typhoon made its path through six Philippine islands, the death toll stands (as of Dec. 11) at 5,924 and 1,779 people are still missing.
Susan Stokeld and Dottie Smith, International Mission Board (IMB) missionaries and Pam Wolf, a Baptist Global Response partner, pray over a load of relief supplies destined for 450 needy families in northern Cebu. For a story on how one missionary survived the typhoon, visit here.
The National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council said Haiyan has affected 12.2 million people and displaced 3.98 million, with 103,604 still in evacuation centers.
“Each missions trip contributes and prepares you for the next one you’ll go on,” said John Adams of Salemburg Baptist Church in Salemburg. Adams was leader of team one. “If someone is presented with an opportunity to do relief or missions work, I always tell them to pray and seek God’s direction, but we’re all called to support in some way.”
The medical team (of team one) was serving approximately 80 people per day at an evacuation center at a local school in Tacloban City. At one point in their ministry to the Philippine people, more than 150 families were living in the evacuation center.
Support and relief work has not been limited to Baptists from the United States. Baptists in Japan, Korea, Singapore, Malaysia and Italy have responded to the crisis or are pledging their support as have numerous Filipino Baptist churches in the U.S.
Some are coordinating efforts through relief organizations such as Baptist Global Response, a key International Mission Board partner in disaster relief ministries, while others are channeling aid through Philippine churches. Team two – consisting of nine members – has been providing supplies, mosquito nets and various medications. They also have been assisting the sick and providing clean water for Bethany Hospital and the general public.
The eight members of team three will continue the work established by the first two NCBM teams. Currently more than 8,800 gallons of water have been purified and more than 980 patients have been helped since the NCBM arrived in the Philippines.
Ways to help:
Staying informed via baptistsonmission.org.
The Burnt Swamp Baptist Association is receiving funds that will be deposited to the Philippine convention’s Typhoon Relief Funds. Write checks payable to: Burnt Swamp Baptist Association and send checks to: Burnt Swamp Baptist Association, Philippine Relief, P.O. Box 1207, Pembroke, NC 28372.
Churches and individuals interested in going or donating: (800) 395-5102, ext. 5599, or visit baptistsonmission.org/home.