ILOILO CITY, the Philippines – In January, Texas Baptist churches were asked to respond to a great need in the Philippines following damage cause by Typhoon Haiyan. A request was sent out from Texas Baptists Disaster Recovery for churches to help raise $80,000 for the rebuilding of 16 pastors' homes. Pledges filed in quickly, with the remaining eight being made during the February 25 executive board meeting.
This summer, Civil Engineer Fred Golveo was sent by the First Philippine Baptist Church in Missouri City to oversee the construction projects for the homes. Golveo and his wife spent three months overseeing the 16 projects. Three typhoons hit the island nation during this time, causing tremendous rain and flooding to project sites. Despite delays, Golveo reports that eight projects have been completed with the remaining eight homes in the final stages of reconstruction.
“I am happy to inform you that our pastors and recipients were just so excited upon learning that they were picked to have their homes rebuilt," Golveo said. “The joy in their faces as I met with them week after week never faded and they were so thankful to receive the blessing from their Texas brothers and sisters."
“This has been a wonderful and exciting experience for me, as well, and I would like to thank First Philippine Baptist Church and the BGCT for giving me this opportunity to serve and help our brothers and sisters here that were devastated by the Typhoon Haiyan last November," he continued.
Filipino nationals provided labor on the construction sites and all supplies for the homes were purchased locally which reinvested money in the local economy. As the home dedication ceremonies are being held, pastors are overjoyed to resettle and continue their work sharing the Gospel in their communities and helping neighbors find hope in the midst of turmoil.
"After seeing in person the condition of the pastors homes I knew that Texas Baptists would want to help," said Chris Liebrum, director of Texas Baptists Disaster Recovery. “Through media and word of mouth, we were able to communicate in simple terms the need and how each church could be involved. As usual our Texas Baptists family responded. Thank you."