Michael Rama, his wife, and their 11-month-old son are homeless. Michael is the pastor of the Estancia Evangelical Church in the coastal town of Estancia, the Philippines. Michael and his family watched helplessly as the roof of the church parsonage and most of their belongings were shattered by Typhoon Haiyan. He is one of the 15 pastors that we have identified whose homes were lost in the 200 mile-an-hour winds and water that raked the island of Panay on November 8, 2013. They need our help. When something this big hits it is sometimes hard for disaster responders to know where to start. There is so much damage and so much need.
Fortunately, Texas Baptists have one of our own, Ernest Dagohoy, who is from the Philippines and has numerous contacts with many of the Baptist leaders in the affected area. Soon after the storm Ernest and I traveled to the area. In addition to providing some immediate relief, we were able to assess the area and determine what would be the most effective use of Texas Baptist resources.
If we can help these families get back on their feet then they can be in a better position to help their communities. This seems to be the best way Texas Baptists can be strategically involved in the recovery.
Our Baptist brothers and sisters in the Philippines live in very modest homes. Because of this the cost to repair or rebuild is manageable and makes it possible for us to help more pastors. Our local contacts tell us that all of these (15) homes could be repaired/rebuilt for $75,000.00-$100,000.00. Approximately $5,000.00 could restore a pastor to his home. That cost includes using material from the local area and using local Filipino labor. Obviously using their material and labor helps in the recovery process. When all the work is complete we will also send Texas Baptists over to celebrate with them what God has done.
Would you and your church consider helping Michael and his fellow pastors by sponsoring one of the $5,000.00 projects? Maybe you can't give the full amount but your gift combined with others could help our fellow Baptist during a difficult time.
You can send donations to the address listed below or give online here.
PO Box 159007
Dallas, Texas 75315
Any funds received above the needed amount will be used for other disaster recovery efforts.
In 2011, we asked you to respond to a similar need in Japan. Because Texas Baptists responded we were able to help build two community centers that function today as Christian lighthouses in predominantly non-Christian temporary housing villages. As I met with pastors a few weeks ago, I did not promise them anything, but told them that I was confident that Texas Baptists would want to help.
Yours in Christ, Chris Liebrum Director Texas Baptists Disaster Recovery Give to Disaster Recovery - Philippines