November 26th, 2013 at 10:58 am
Our disaster assessment team of six leaves for the Philippines in four days to respond to the disaster that has affected so many following Typhoon Haiyan. Comprised of BGCT staff, disaster assessment “yellow caps” from Texas Baptist Men, and a Filipino pastor and his wife, we are all going with the hope of helping those in need.
Pastor Ernest Dagohoy has done a wonderful job working with friends and family in the Iloilo province and the Convention of the Philippine Baptist Churches to plan our itinerary. While we are in the province, we will be visiting three cities that were drastically impacted by Typhoon Haiyan: Concepcion, Estancia, and Ajuy. Each day, we will tour a city and assess the damage and then meet with pastors and church leaders to determine the best ways Texas Baptists can help partner with them to rebuild.
We are not sure of all the details of our day-to-day activity. Jack and Duane, the Texas Baptist Men on the trip, are bringing water filtration systems with them that they will train people how to use to provide clean water to their cities. Pastor Ernest is taking an offering from his church (First Philippine Baptist Church in Missouri City) to help buy roofing materials to reroof church buildings so congregations can continue to meet and worship. There may also be opportunities to provide hot meals to residents while we are in their towns.
While we have a tentative plan on how we would like to help reconstruction efforts at this point, we are trusting the Lord to guide our steps when we arrive in the Philippines. As we meet with leaders and see the needs with our own eyes, our prayer is that God will help us develop plans on reconstruction efforts. Hundreds of thousands of lives were forever changed by this disaster, and we know that do not have the resources or manpower to help everyone. We are praying for the Lord to lead us to specific churches and communities that we can help.
Here are ways you can be praying for this trip:
- Pray for safety and health of our team members
- Pray for networking and communication between Texas Baptists and the Convention of the Philippine Baptist Churches to meet the needs of the people in the Iloilo province
- Pray for the Filipino pastors as they reach out to their congregations and encourage them in the midst of such great loss. Pray that we might be an encouragement to them as we represent Baptists around the world that care about them.
To read daily updates from the field be sure to check out our blog by clicking here.
ESTANCIA, the Philippines – Pastor Michael Rama huddled with his wife and their 11-month-old son in the Estancia Baptist Church parsonage as the winds and waters from Typhoon Haiyan pounded their home in the coastal town of Estancia. Full Story »
AJUY, the Philippines – During Typhoon Haiyan, many people were forced to evacuate their homes to seek higher ground or safer refuge. Villagers from Bobog needed to escape the remote area they were living in because of the great danger from the many trees around them and falling structures. Full Story »
ESTANCIA, the Philippines – Touring the coastal city of Estancia today was heartbreaking and overwhelming at times. The reality and the gravity of the situation hit each of us at different points and it was a very emotional day. The damage seemed to be even more severe than what we saw in Concepcion yesterday. Full Story »