I have posted twice (Nov. 8 and Nov. 25) since Typhoon Haiyan about my concerns about one of the children I sponsor through Compassion International. Today I received this e-mail from Compassion.
“We now have more specific information to share with you about the impact of Typhoon Haiyan in the Philippines. Our staff in the Philippines. Our staff in the Philippines has confirmed that Aibie Manggat does live in an area where the typhoon caused destruction. However, we are thankful to report that your sponsored child was not directly affected by the storm. In all, 130 Compassion-assisted child development centers are located in areas severely affected by the typhoon. Please pray for these children and families and for our dedicated staff in the Philippines as they seek to rebuild lives and communities.”
I am so relieved that she and her family are safe! And yet there is still destruction and devastation everywhere in her country. Another Compassion e-mail reports on the relief efforts:
“As of now, 0ver 1,200 people [in the Philippines] are feared dead and missing” says Noel Pabiona, Country Director, Philippines. When a disaster strikes, the first assistance that sponsored children get is from the church partner where they are registered. Most churches have also established strong links with local government agencies and non-government organizations. Immediately after a disaster, church partner staffers visit communities to see how sponsored children are doing and assess damages. Each child will be accounted for. In most cases, staff members themselves suffer from the effects of the disaster, but finding all registered children remains a priority.
Meanwhile, the country office organizes a disaster response team composed of staff and volunteers to deliver relief goods, tap local agencies that provided clean water, organize a medical team and lead cleanup efforts. The administrator gathers data, largely gathered through text messages, as most lines of communication have been wiped out. This data is used to inform Compassion of funds needed to begin recovery, as well as eventual rebuilding needs. Pabiona says, ‘Our hands will be full as we embark on a massive relief and rehabilitation effort…but we are confident that our God ‘will never leave us nor forsake us.’”
As you and your families celebrate the holidays, please remember the children around the world who live in daily uncertainty, fear, hunger, poverty, and sickness. Perhaps your family can find a way to assist these relief efforts or even to sponsor a child. For more information on sponsorship through Compassion, click on the link at the bottom of this blog.