"Typhoon Ondoy was the worst typhoon to hit Manila," is the constant cry of Filipinos affected by the heavy rains and subsequent flooding. TWR-Philippines National Director, Jim Reyes, has one question on his heart: "How can TWR help? Is there a tangible way to reach out with the hope our Saviour gives?"
As soon as the extent of the damage became clear, churches and relief organisations scrambled to help those who needed assistance. E3 Ministries and Word Community Church mobilised ground-level efforts through Christian volunteers to conduct rescue, recovery and relief programmes. TWR-Philippines also provided help wherever it was needed.
Initial relief efforts were centred in Manila after Typhoon Ondoy. After a second typhoon, Typhoon Pepeng, the need for relief programmes in Baguio and La Union became urgent.
Until recently, TWR staff in Baguio focused their efforts on rescue. Many became discouraged as they came across more dead than living. "We mourn with those who lost their loved ones," says Reyes. "Their cries of agony have marked our hearts."
TWR-Philippines is now focused solely on relief operations, serving hundreds of evacuees who have flocked to Baguio and La Union relief centres for necessities such as food, clothing and shelter.
TWR-Philippines is planning to run a soup kitchen that will feed about 200 people in La Trinidad, Baguio City and another 200 people in Naguilian City, La Union. The soup kitchen will run for two weeks and is relying on help from volunteer nutritionists, cooks, food handlers and distributors.
Local churches and civic organisations such as the Red Cross and the National Disaster Coordinating Council are also involved in the soup kitchen.
Reyes says, "This is a battle the enemy has waged against the Philippines. The enemy knows where to hit us where it hurts the most, but join me in saying that this is God's glorious victory to show His ever-present love and provision. What the enemy has taken, God will bring back, rebuild and restore."
- For a stable electrical supply for the TWR-Philippines office.
- For staff safety.
- Roads in Baguio City have been closed for clean-up operations; access is almost impossible.
- For partners and volunteers for the soup kitchen. - For the swift coordination of help and God's wisdom for the TWR-Philippines staff.
Published: 19 November 2009