· 335 dead and missing persons
· 10,203 houses destroyed
· 629,466 families displaced
· 3.1 million people affected
· 5.1 billion pesos worth of damage to infrastructure and agriculture
Dear friends and ministry partners:
Last September 26, 2009, Typhoon Ondoy (Ketsana) brought rains and floods that devastated the central part of Luzon island, including Metro Manila. Raging waters carried houses, people, and their belongings and inundated thousands of communities in river basins and low-lying areas. Those who survived were stuck on roofs or in crowded evacuation centers, tired and hungry, with nothing but their wet clothes on.
I felt helpless as I could not be personally be with our distressed countrymen as “Ondoy” struck. I was crying to God with my roommate who, together with me, represented the Philippines in the meetings in the United Nations for Inter-Faith Dialogue for Peace and Development. I was calling my family to direct them to safety and the PCEC/PHILRADS and iHELP staff who were in great danger then. I really prayed to God that He would protect and bring comfort to our people, claiming His promise in Psalm 46.
I also sought the involvement of our ministry partners to assist the flood victims in their struggle to survive and recover. Though 90% of the PCEC/ PHILRADS and iHELP staff were flood victims themselves, they immediately went out and started providing help for their neighbors, and set the process of disaster response to more communities. As of October 2, we have served 5,500 families in Metro Manila with food and clothing assistance. Our local churches have also mobilized volunteers to work with us.
I am very thankful to God that our partners have responded to our appeal. My son Ezra was the first to give to me by giving $200 from his allowance. Rev. Franklin Graham of Samaritan’s Purse is sending his team to the Philippines to share God’s blessings with the needy people. They are bringing in a planeload of various relief goods for distribution. Pureworks, another ministry partner, headed by Mr. Rich Young, is also sending a container full of medicines for use in community consultations and treatment. I likewise got the commitment of President Gloria Arroyo that all the relief goods that we will bring in to the country will be processed expeditiously customs and duties free.
Many more are responding, but the need is still immense and urgent. Food, clothing, mats and blankets, kitchen utensils and medical care are priority items. We plan to expand our operations to more Metro Manila areas as well Calabarzon and Central Luzon regions.
We are glad to accept your donations for Typhoon Ondoy victims, in cash or in kind. Please send them to the Evangelical Center at 62 Molave St., Project 3, Quezon City (tel: 9136615, 9131655 or 9131675); or make deposit to PHILRADS (BDO Anonas-Kamias Branch, Peso SA No. 3980000251; or USD SA No. 3980032226; or to iHELP (PNB Katipunan, Peso SA 304544300015; or USD SA No. 304544300023).
In this time of calamity, let Psalm 46:1-3 be our encouragement: “God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble. Therefore we will not fear though the earth gives way, though the mountains be moved into the heart of the sea, though its waters roar and foam, through the mountains tremble at its swelling.”
Thank you very much. God bless and keep us all.
Your co-laborer in Christ,
Bishop Efraim M. Tendero
PCEC - Philippine Council of Evangelical Churches