Our hearts are heavy as we view news coverage from the Philippines. Many organizations are launching relief efforts to provide immediate humanitarian assistance. Our GARBC International family is feeling the impact of the devastation in a very real and personal way. Churches, schools, and parsonages of those in the International Partnership of Fundamental Baptist Ministries have been damaged, and in some cases completely destroyed.
GARBC International Ministries maintains an emergency relief fund that is used when disasters impact our IPFBM partners. We can help churches by providing relief assistance for destroyed or damaged buildings and resources, helping them rebuild these vibrant and essential ministries. We can also impact the Philippines on a spiritual level by providing evangelistic literature, written in the context of this specific tragedy, that will reach people with the gospel.
Money donated to the emergency relief fund will assist those in the Philippines region. When those needs are met, we will use the fund to assist other ministry partners who face similar needs due to natural disasters.
Would you as a family or a church consider contributing to the International Emergency Relief Fund? You can give online (select “Int’l Emergency Relief”) or send a check by mail (GARBC International Ministries, Emergency Relief Fund, 1300 N. Meacham Road, Schaumburg, IL 60173).
Currently we are gathering information about specific needs of the Filipino churches. Communication is limited in many parts of the country where the partners are serving, but Eddie Rayos, president of the Philippine Association of Baptists for World Evangelism and pastor emeritus of New Life Baptist Church in Tacloban City, has sent the following report. We will continue to update you on needs as we receive word. The needs are great!
Update from our IPFBM partner Eddie Rayos
“The Lord is good, a stronghold in the day of trouble; and He knows those who trust in Him” (Nahum 1:7).
This verse is true for all of us here in Tacloban City and on behalf of those churches in Leyte and Samar who were greatly affected by the super typhoon and tidal wave.
These are our updates for your information and encouragement:
- Preservation of our lives despite the tremendous damages that Super Typhoon Yolanda brought in our midst. (Buildings wrecked, houses wiped out, and many lives lost.)
- Provision of our daily basic needs despite the scarcity of commodities caused by looters who ransacked almost all commercial enterprises and bodegas.
- People and churches whom God is using to encourage us, care for us, and pray for us during these trying times. The following people came to visit us and brought rice, food, water, etc.: Pastor Ely Haligado of Calbayog, Samar; Pastor Rolando Rabe of Hilongos, Leyte; Dr. Espina and Wilma Libatan of a hospital in Hilongos; Pastor Dave Epilepcia of Maasin, southern Leyte; and Pastor Gilmore Guanzon of Macrohon, southern Leyte.
- Gelyn Aralar, a member of New Life Baptist Church in San Jose, lost her 4-year-old son, who drowned during the flood. Most members of New Life Baptist Church have lost their houses. The church and ministry library were partly damaged.
- Some members of New Life Baptist Church and our family of churches in Leyte and eastern Samar are still unaccounted for because of lack of communication. There is no electricity or signal (cannot recharge our cell phones), and transportation is lacking (gasoline stations are closed). We are hoping there are no casualties among the members of our family of churches in Leyte and Samar.
- The following buildings among our New Life family of churches were totally or partly damaged and will need to be reconstructed.
Tacloban: parsonage damaged; office computers, LCD projector, and microphones destroyed
Palo: roof damaged
San Jose: building and parsonage collapsed
Utap: building collapsed
Lawaan Samar: building wiped out (this is an incomplete building and was newly built)
Dolongan Samar: parsonage collapsed
Osmena Samar: building and parsonage damaged
- Pray for the peace and order of Tacloban City, because it is temporarily declared “Martial Law” due to the unruly reactions of the people caused by hunger, loss of loved ones and houses, and discouragement. Pray also for our city mayor (Hon. Alfred Romualdez) to have wisdom in leading the city to recovery.
- Pray that through this tragedy, God’s glory will be revealed and the gospel of Jesus Christ will be relayed to the lost people in Leyte and Samar through His people.
We deeply appreciate your prayers, encouragement, and concern.