Missionaries Seek to Help After “Apocalyptic” Devastation from Typhoon Haiyan

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Evangelical missions organization, SEND International, will send aid and workers to churches in the disaster area.

SEND International is mobilizing to collect and provide aid to this devastated area.

On Friday, November 8, Typhoon Haiyan slammed Central Philippines. Hundreds of thousands of Filipinos were evacuated before the storm struck yet the death toll is expected to top 10,000. SEND International is mobilizing to collect and provide aid to this devastated area.

The Category 5 storm, known as Typhoon Yolanda in the Philippines, was potentially the strongest tropical cyclone to ever make landfall. It had sustained winds of 315 kph (195 mph) and gusts up to 380 kph (235 mph). The storm leveled towns and caused billions of dollars of damage. In some places, 70-80% of the infrastructure and buildings were destroyed.

In the path of the storm was the central island of Bohol which was hit by a 7.1 magnitude earthquake just one month earlier. Many victims were still living in tents when this typhoon struck.

A main concern now is getting relief supplies to the victims and preventing the spread of disease.

SEND International has several partner churches in the affected areas. James Aberin, SEND Philippines Director, said, “Due to the extreme devastation in the Visayas islands, news, information and updates are not available from our partner groups. Communication networks are down. Flights are limited and only infrastructure relief workers are flown in. Whole islands are in chaos and desperately in need of help. [Some SEND Philippines members] will go on a medical relief trip to our partners a week after this week.”

Other SEND colleagues in the Philippines report that, “The news calls this typhoon not only historical but 'apocalyptic.' We will never ever question the wisdom and purpose of God in the midst of such calamity. What we do know is that we are spared, alive and able to help.”

SEND International was started by occupation force GIs after World War II. Many of SEND’s founders had been involved in gospel meetings in the Philippines and Japan called the GI Gospel Hour. Those meetings led to the conversion of many soldiers and Filipinos. After the war, some veterans decided to return to the Philippines to continue outreach. For the next 60 plus years SEND was involved in church planting there.

SEND’s work in the Philippines now involves mobilizing Filipinos onto the mission field through SEND Philippines.

People in the disaster area are desperate for food and water. SEND is collecting funds to distribute to partner churches to aid in relief efforts. To help the victims of Typhoon Haiyan, go to http://www.send.org/typhoon.

SEND International is an interdenominational faith mission agency with around 600 missionaries in more than 20 areas of Asia, Eurasia, Europe and North America. SEND’s mission is to mobilize God’s people and engage the unreached in order to establish reproducing churches. SEND members are multinational and are recruited and sent from sending offices and partner agencies around the world. For more information on SEND’s mission and ministries, visit http://www.send.org.

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Amy Walters
SEND International
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