UPDATE – FRIDAY, DECEMBER 6 – 3PM CST
On November 7th, 2013 the strongest typhoon ever recorded struck the islands of the Philippines. Super Typhoon Haiyan (called Yolanda in the Philippines) destroyed millions of homes and killed more than 5,200 people with sustained winds comparable to an F3 tornado.
Yolanda hit very close to home for CRF.
When Bread for a Hungry World merged with CRF earlier this year, we inherited a child sponsorship program on the island of Cebu called Arapal Children’s Home. This program supports about 100 children in the local area.
Yolanda’s eye passed just a few miles north of the children’s home and destroyed much of our facility. And in the wake of the storm, our team realized that 48 people, including two pregnant mothers, were missing.
We prayed for hours that the 48 people would be found safe.
And by God’s grace we found them all huddled in the basement of a collapsed building! We praise God that none of the children in our program were lost in the storm! Many of the homes in the Arapal area were also destroyed. There are more than half a million people in the Philippines who are still displaced by the storm.
Since the typhoon, CRF has been partnering with other Christian organizations to bring the best help possible to the people of the Philippines. We have helped distribute emergency food, water filters and tarps for temporary shelter. Our work in Arapal has become a hub for providing displaced families with water filters, food, medical care and shelter.
There will be a lot of rebuilding to come, but right now we are still focused on caring for the basic necessities of the displaced. Although the mass media have slowed down on covering this disaster, the need continues to be very great.
We are so grateful for all of our amazing donors and partner churches who have given to help the people of the Philippines!
UPDATE – TUESDAY, NOVEMBER 19 – 11AM CST
We are continuing the relief work in the Philippines. Our child sponsorship program near Arapal has become a shelter for those displaced by the storm. Much of the farm land and cattle were lost in the typhoon, so we are distributing a lot of food for children and families.
Many of our sponsored children lost their homes in the storm. And our school and orphanage was almost completely leveled.
There is a lot of rebuilding to come, but right now we are working to make sure that everyone has the basic necessities.
UPDATE – FRIDAY, NOVEMBER 15 – 3PM CST
Due to the high typhoon winds, many of the homes that are still standing have lost their roofs. We are distributing tarps to help protect families and their possessions from the elements. Our goal is to provide 10,000 tarps to the Philippines in the coming days and weeks.
There is also still a huge need for food and water. We are continuing to deliver food and water to some of the hardest hit areas and are partnering with Global Samaritan to bring even more food to the people of the Philippines!
If you would like to donate to our continued relief effort, visit www.christianrelieffund.org/disaster
UPDATE – WEDNESDAY, NOVEMBER 13 – 3PM CST
The area around our program in Arapal, Philippines was hit very hard by the typhoon. We are currently distributing tarps to create temporary shelters and providing emergency food for the region. We are also gathering generators and other supplies to set up a temporary refugee camp at Arapal.
Now that the scope of devastation has become more clear, we are meeting with partnering with organizations today to develop a strategic plan for continued relief and rebuilding.
UPDATE – MONDAY, NOVEMBER 11 – 4PM CST
It has been three days since Super Typhoon Yolanda (Haiyan), one of the strongest storms in recorded history, tore it’s way across the Philippines. Due to limited communication caused by the storm, we are just now coming to grasp the huge impact this storm has had on the entire country and on CRF’s program in Arapal specifically.
CRF’s work in the Philippines, The Arapal Children’s Home, cares for 100 orphans and vulnerable children who are sponsored through CRF. This program was greatly affected by the storm. When the typhoon’s 200 mph winds struck, the staff and children at Arapal were inside the sturdiest structure on campus. Unfortunately the winds and flying debris were too strong and destroyed almost every building in the area. The entire countryside was devastated and it took more than a day for the first wave of our relief team to reach the camp.
When our team finally reached Arapal, many of our 100 sponsored children were still unaccounted for. The team scoured the property praying for the best, but things did not look good. Almost all of the buildings had been completely blown away — But by God’s grace all of the lost children along with many community members were found safe in the basement of a building that had collapsed on top of them!
We praise God that not one of the children in our care was seriously injured by this devastating storm. God had His hand of protection over our staff and these precious children.
The needs are very great in the Philippines.
Much of the country was literally flattened by this storm and our programs are no exception.
It is likely that more than 10,000 people have been killed by the storm. And survivors are in desperate need of shelter, clean water, food, and medical care.
We already have a team on the ground in the Philippines providing for these most pressing needs, but we need your help to bring hope to this situation!
Here’s what you can do:
1. Pray - We believe that prayer changes things because our God hears the prayers of His children. Pray for protection, comfort and peace for the people of the Philippines. Pray that God would use His people to bring hope to those whose lives have been devastated by this storm!
2. Give - The needs of Yolanda victims are immense and will not be going away soon. We are committed to bringing disaster relief to the Philippines in the most effective ways possible. As the days progress, we will have more details on the most pressing needs. We want to encourage you to give to our Disaster Relief Fund to help us bring immediate care to those affected by this horrible disaster!
UPDATE – FRIDAY, NOVEMBER 8 – 11AM CST
By now you have probably heard about the massive Super Typhoon Yolanda (Haiyan) that struck the Philippines this morning. This storm is among the strongest tropical cyclones in history and is by far the largest storm of 2013. Catastrophic damage has been reported and several people have already been pronounced dead.
The storm hits close to home for CRF
CRF sponsors about 100 children in the Philippines. Yolanda’s eye passed just a few miles north of our facility there. The storm ripped the roof off of two of the buildings on our property leaving 48 people huddled in the main house hoping to ride out the storm. Two of the people in the main house are pregnant mothers trying to not only protect themselves but also the lives of their unborn babies.
At the time of this writing, there has been no word from the 48 in the main building and a team that is trying to reach them from Cebu City has been stalled as the roads are impassable due to damage and debris.
CRF VPs of Global Operations, Bobby Moore and Larry Wu, were already scheduled to visit the Philippines to help after the earthquake that hit there last month. Now their trip will be focused on clean up and rebuilding in the region.
We hope to be able to update you soon on the status of those 48 huddled in the building and also give you an update on the 100 sponsored children.
How You Can Help
1. Pray - Prayer is one of the best things you can do for disaster victims right now. You might not be able to be on the ground helping victims of Yolanda, but we believe that prayer changes things! Pray for protection, comfort and peace for the people of the Philippines. Pray that God would use his people to bring hope to those whose lives have been devastated by this storm!
2. Give - It is already apparent that there will be a huge need for relief aid in the coming hours, days and weeks. We want to encourage you to give to our Disaster Relief Fund to help us bring immediate care to those affected by this horrible disaster.