This page originally appeared on our previous site and has been edited. Relief efforts were a key component of our ministry outreach for the year following Typhoon Yolanda which hit in November 2013.
Surviving Typhoon Haiyan (Yolanda)
As you may have heard in the news, a devastating super typhoon caused utter destruction across the central Philippines in November (2013). Even now, a month later, hundreds of thousands of survivors are still clinging to hope despite their desperate situation with no power, no clean water, and limited fuel and food supplies. Emergency relief was initially slow getting to the people in need because of the scope of the disaster and disruption in transportation because of the debris. Now that the emergency relief items have been distributed, people are now beginning the slow, difficult process of rebuilding their lives. Houses, livelihood and sustainable relief are now the key areas of continuing disaster management and relief across the entire Visayan region.
Thank you to the many of you who contacted us inquiring about Francis’s family and our home and friends in Maasin City. We were in the States during the storm and waited (im)patiently for news from friends and family since the cell towers were down. By God’s grace, our house and the rest of Maasin is still standing. However, the majority of our island to the north was severely damaged. Francis has already been part of several trips, surveys, and programs to the affected areas in Tacloban City, Palo, and Mayorga offering post-trauma counseling and seeing what the needs of the people are now.
In terms of sustainable relief, many areas are still without electricity and daily clean water. So solutions like the Sawyer PointOne water filter system and lightweight, portable solar lights are key. At about 8 ounces, the Sawyer filter it is an extremely lightweight and portable filter system that can produce a whopping 1 million gallons over 5-10 years, providing life-sustaining water for thousands in the months it will take for power to be restored, and for years for people who never had access to purified water even before the storm. The Luci light is an ultra lightweight, portable task light/diffuse lantern that only requires a few hours of sun to fill the darkest places with life-enhancing light.
Before returning to the Philippines after the typhoon, we fund-raised, with the support of many of our friends, family, readers and some first time donations, enough cash to purchase 123 filters! We’ve already picked up the first 113 in Cebu City, a few hours away by boat and began distributing this week through our local church denomination’s network of pastors. We’re just scratching the surface of need for clean water with 123 filters… if you’re interested in donating towards the filters, we can continue placing orders through Sawyer’s distributor in Cebu City. At $48 each (after a humanitarian discount) including the freight/shipping charges, this is the fastest way to get the filters to those in need. Please consider donating by clicking on the Paypal link at the bottom of the page.
Since the filters have a high flow rate, of 1 liter per minute, a single filter has the capacity to produce up to 500 gallons per day. This means we don’t need one per household… one can serve dozens. Even two per barangay (neighborhood), or a several set up in a single water barrel at each church has the ability to provide hundreds with clean drinking water per day and per week. Though our hearts are aching for those who have lost everything, relief is coming. We trust that these water filters will benefit those with and without houses, to be stronger and healthier and prepared to continue working tirelessly to rebuild our island and provide opportunities to share Christ with our community.
The Luci lights are equally important but slightly harder for us to access locally. If you are interested in donating funds specifically for the purchase and distribution of the Luci light to typhoon survivors, please contact us at [email protected] We will be collecting donations and make a large purchase which will be shipped to our island for distribution.
Please keep the people of the Philippines in your prayers. God is moving and shaking the Philippines… literally… let’s pray that He is glorified in every day, every struggle, and one day in every heart in this hurting but brave nation!