Philippine Council of Evangelical Churches (PCEC): Appeal for aid for flood victims in the Philippines

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·         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