Typhoon Haiyan hit one year ago

Photo Courtesy Advancing Native Missions

(Photo Courtesy Advancing Native Missions)

Philippines (MNN/ANM) — One year ago this week, the Philippines were struck with disaster and heartbreak.

Typhoon Haiyan hit, killing about 8,000 people and destroying the livelihood of millions.

Though devastation and grief overtook the country, hundreds of volunteers arrived and brought hope with them.

Advancing Native Missions reports that with generous donations of funds, food, and medicine, they were able to immediately organize 12 relief mission teams and a distribution center.

The teams, led by native missionary leaders, served in the two hardest-hit islands of Leyte and Samar and also served eight other islands.

In as little as two months, the teams helped 10,447 families by providing relief packages. Around 6,500 patients were treated to medical care. 53 homes and churches were repaired. And, hundreds of Bibles were distributed; over 1,500 people became Christians.

ANM staff editor Marlou Barredo is a native of the Philippines. Because she lost family members and watched areas of her homeland being destroyed, she felt compelled to speak up and do something.

Last year, on the ANM Web site, Barredo asked for help for her people. Calmly she said, “I am appealing to the people of the United States of America to please help my people. They are suffering. They are hungry. They are desperate. And they are crying out for help.”

In response, hundreds gave to the ANM relief program.

After Barredo’s video aired and hundreds gave, her husband felt he needed to go to the Philippines, encouraging ministry partners and family members.

A few months later, she joined him and helped in ministering, giving money, food, love, and encouragement to her people.

Now, a year later, ANM previewed another video of Barredo, thanking people for their generous giving. Excitement and joy filled her voice as she said, “I want to express my sincerest and deepest thanks to each and everyone of you for responding to my plea and my cries for help, on behalf of my suffering people and my own loved ones.”

Much recovery has taken place over the last year, yet more progress is needed. Fishing boats destroyed in the typhoon need to be replaced so that families can once again have a means of income. If you can donate, click here.

Pray for people in the Philippines as they continue to deal with loss. Pray that adversity will cause many to hunger for the hope found in God alone.