Central Visayas, Philippines: Two months have passed since typhoon Odette devastated the Central Visayas region. Throughout this time, the local churches in the affected areas continue to serve and engage in different initiatives and programs to address the various urgent needs of the people, particularly the children. The challenges and the work are huge. But in the midst of these, the hand of God is at work as churches unite and be the hands and feet of Jesus.
In St.Bernard, Southern Leyte where Nazarene Compassionate Ministries (NCM) have a child development center, the local church’s disaster response team has distributed drinking water, solar lamps, shelter kits that include tarps, food, hygiene kits, and masks. Also, in partnership with NCM, they have installed water filters in 5 neighborhoods, ran feeding programs, did trauma counseling, and created child-friendly spaces.
On the island in Olango, the Solid Rock Church of the Nazarene pastored by Rev. Josefin Ano-os, found that aside from the provision of material resources, the people are also longing to be heard and prayed for. The church ministered to the community by listening to people’s stories, praying for them, and giving them comfort and encouragement.
In Loboc, Bohol, the church is thankful for the privilege to serve holistically. Some of the volunteers are typhoon victims also, but they chose to serve their co-victims. They praise the Lord for these selfless volunteers in this place and across the country.
In Palawan, Pastor Jerson Lumahan appreciated the churches all over the Philippines and beyond for their generosity and for the opportunity for their local church to participate in this ministry and truly live “compassion as a lifestyle.”
Across the Visayas area, Child-Friendly Spaces (CFS) were created to help the children in the communities. Local volunteers were trained to have the capacity to run the CFS program. In these safe spaces, children can share their stories and process trauma. Their spirits can be lifted through songs and games. They also receive needed items like food, hygiene kits, and goodies.
In these disaster response areas, the relief work continues. NCM Philippines and local disaster response teams are planning on the next steps, plans, and strategies for long-term rehabilitation needs. The team sees this as a tangible expression of the love of God. This kind of love is perfect and overflowing and cannot be contained.
“We are thankful to our churches for being an active participant of what God is already doing in this broken world. And through God’s grace, we can be agents of transformation as we live out Christlikeness.” – Leody Tan Echavez, NCM Philippines Coordinator.
- The relief and rehabilitation work on the affected areas.
- Spiritual and physical strengths for the pastors and local disaster response teams.
- Provision of resources for the ongoing needs in the affected.communities.
To partner with the Typhoon Odette Response, you can give to NCM-Global Emergency Relief Fund.