This is a short report on CRBC/CCM Relief Work in some of the areas affected by Typhoon Haiyan.
Levi (our member and GMA student) has gone with member Henry to the island of Leyte. Both of them are from that island. They are working together with the Sovereign Grace Bible Church of Cebu (SGBC). Pastor Paul Cuevas has already been visiting Leyte and particularly areas where there are churches. Our men have also gone there taking a truck of relief goods from Cebu City for distribution. However we have had no word from them due to the lack of communications in the area. Many of the places they were going were very badly affected. This area is south of Tacloban City one of the worst hit areas.
Our other workers have gone to Naga City in Bicol where we have been able to set up a small warehouse to sort relief goods. (Photo). Glen one of our men is overseeing the packing of relief goods. Members of the Naga Sovereign Grace Bible Church are doing the packing. In the photo are sacks of rice. They purchased 200 sacks as well as canned goods mainly sardines, biscuits and other foodstuff including bottled water. This is being sent by truck (see photos of truck) to the island of Samar.
Erwin who is our full-time church worker was able to get to Samar and has been delivering relief goods to some areas but mainly surveying what the needs are in areas not reached by government supplies. These are outlying villages many of which have been totally destroyed. He described to me this morning by phone how some away from the coast but up in the hills were devastated by the 200 mph winds. Nothing has been left. Many have died. He himself seems somewhat traumatized by his experience. He is weary and tired. He has been helped by a number of pastors of evangelical churches in that area.
Pastor Ismael was going to join him by bus but has been stuck at the port in Sorsogon just north of Samar. One has to take a ferry for several hours to get to Samar. There are long lines of relief vehicles waiting to get across to Samar. It is a logistical nightmare. Relief is being flown in now to Tacloban by various planes, Filipino, USA and Korean etc. There is much need in Tacloban but how to get it from there to those in desperate need far from the main centres.
Erwin was describing how helicopter drops of relief supplies in outlying villages means the triumph of the strong. They get to the drop first and take the supplies. The weak and the marginalized, the ones in most desperate need are not being reached. He has been in tears. He also reports that kerosene (paraffin) needed for cooking stoves and lights has more than tripled in price due to the shortage. Some of the people of the world are often quick to make a profit out of others adversity.
Matt Gamston has gone down to help Pastor Warlito Monsalud and the brethren in Iloilo City. They are going up to the north of Iloilo province to seek to bring relief particularly to churches in those areas badly affected. In the goodness of the Lord we are expecting six brethren from churches in the USA to arrive tonight with portable water filtration units and other supplies. They hope to be able to help in Samar and possibly Leyte. We shall be sending someone to help them with translation.
Also next week we should be seeing a small medical team consisting of doctors and nurses also being able to go to Samar or Leyte. Dr Delia Lim, sister of our deacon Louie is planning to go with another doctor and backed by several of our CRBC lady nurses. We are expecting some of our CCM staff to also join the relief work by next week once we have more information of what we need to do and which areas are not really being reached by government.
One of the difficulties though is people have jobs and they cannot just up and leave without the permission of their employers.
Please continue to pray for us. Those of us who seek to hold the ropes in Manila as well as our members on the ground. Pray for the tracts and the opportunity to speak to people about Christ as well as the greatly needed practical assistance of food, water, medicine and loving concern.
There are many needy children. We could possibly take up to 12 more children
in our CCM Children’s Homes. Reah Medenilla one of our CCM Board Members is helping with the relief work through another agency and will make known the possible help of CCM.
Many have lost their livelihood and have no immediate means of earning money. Fishermen have lost their boats and their nets, farmers have lost their crops, many have lost their homes, and others their loved ones. May the Lord help us to bring relief and hope. Above all may the Lord be pleased even to use this massive calamity to awaken many to their need of the Lord Jesus Christ.
Thank you for all your loving support and prayers.
Please see www.ccmmanila.org for information how to help practically the ongoing relief work which will continue for a very long time due to the need for shelter as well as food.
Pastor Brian Ellis