Wednesday, October 28, 2009

The Recovery Begins -Equipping The Caregivers

As I left Manila 3 weeks ago, as is my normal practice, I started an outline of a ministry response plan. My heart was very heavy for the Pastors and leaders of the EFC of Philippines (EFCP), and I felt that Priority #1 was providing support and care for these men and their families, and equipping them to be caregivers to others.

The Lord started to answer prayers along those lines almost immediately, in the form of a ReachGlobal staff couple (Paul and Judy) who specializes in crisis counseling and caring for Pastors. Pictured above is part of a group of several dozen EFCP leaders and spouses who participated in a debriefing and triaining session this past weekend.
Paul wrote of the session, "We will not go into all the gory details, but to hear the stories of those who experienced the trauma would break your heart. There was very little mention of the great loss of material possessions. (Some lost everything.) In most cases the flood came without much warning and without the realization that it would become a major disaster. Some were separated from family members for several days and not able to communicate because all the phones, cell phones, and electricity were out".

"As we met with the local EFC pastors and their wives in a debriefing session on Friday evening, we again were reminded of the importance of allowing them to verbalize their stories. These are resilient and committed servants of God."
Saturday morning was given to training these EFCP Pastors to serve as crisis caregivers with their own families, church members, and neighbors.
It was a blessing to then see a packed out church of over 200 neighbors Sunday night and the pastors we had trained on Saturday debriefing those who went through the stress of the flood.

All agreed that expectations were exceeded. The victims were ready to unload and tell their individual stories.

On Monday, Paul and Judy spent the day with the team of German missionaries who work here in Manila. This team is with the Alliance Mission, the overseas ministry of the Evangelical Free Church of Germany. This team experienced the same stresses as the local Filipino people. Some of them had to swim though 10 feet deep waters to safety and lost all their possessions. Some have had to permanently leave the houses they were renting and are still living in temporary housing. Please pray that they will be able to find new accommodations.

One of the German missionaries who was hospitalized Monday afternoon. She picked up an ameba from having ingested some of the water in which she had to swim during the flood. Please pray for healing for Wiebke.
Priority #2 is communicating the needs of the people of Manila and the EFCP and raising up prayer and financial support for their recovery. You can give to EFCA Acct#3973 Philippines Relief on the link to the right.
Priority #3 is multiplying the EFCP and helping to restore the Church by deploying short terms to help in the recovery and outreach. Consider sending a team to serve in Manila next month or later next year. Contact for more information.

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Flooded Manila - Unbelievable!

This is life for almost 2 million people according to a CNN report today. PLEASE CLICK THE LINK AND READ THE ARTICLE!
We spent the day Tuesday visiting a number of the EF churches in neighborhood that look like this. Unbelievable! I observed many homes that have 2-4 feet of water inside, with still families living in them!

Pastor Ferti of the ACTS Christian Center (EFC) and his family pictured below have 2 feet of water in their home, but are fortunate to have the church building as an alternative refuge. His and 8 other families are living there now for at least another month, and possibly will be there until December, until the flood waters recede.

His wife Maria-Theresa told me that as the water came up, Pastor had gathered one armload of their belongings and hurried off to the higher ground of the church. by the time he came back a few minutes later, most of their posessions were under water, so the grabbed what else they could and the rest of the family and headed to the church.

They slept on chairs pushed together the first night, but then made more premanent sleeping quarters in the upstairs class rooms.

Their neighborhood is pictured below.

Monday, October 5, 2009

Indonesia 'Quake Report

Here is a report from our ministry partner in Indonesia (Please note abbreviations used for security purposes):
We just returned from a quick survey trip to Padang with some reps from other orgs. We spent Thurs night (01 Oct) through Sat morning (03 Oct) with a CP organization (DI) that has been in Padang for a couple of years doing repairs of homes from that last set of earthquakes more than 2 years ago. Some of the DI staff have received CP training from us in the past.

Today, they will host a coordination meeting with multiple CP orgs in Padang. DI has put a down-payment on a very large house that they hope to use as a multi-org coordination/command center. Please pray for this meeting - specifically for the “mind of” and a spirit of unity, humility, and respect amongst the different CP orgs.

The DI staff left their office after 5:00 pm on the day of the earthquake. At 5:15 the earthquake struck and their building partially collapsed. The office was on the 2nd floor and is no longer safe. As we left we were informed that there probably was a body somewhere on the first floor (rented by another business) because a woman that worked downstairs could not be accounted for. Nobody knows when the body will be removed, because of the high demand for both equipment and people that can safely excavate these condemned buildings.

Thursday, October 1, 2009

The Ketsana Aftermath Upclose

Below - The clean up begins.
Lower - Interior Remians of Missionary's Home

Initial Damage Report of EFC's and Missionary Homes
At Wiebke’s house everything is gone, including computer, teaching materials, books etc. All was submerged and as you can imagine, almost nothing of her things, and of the ones staying with her, is left or in anyway usable. She found her external hard drives and hopes they can recover the data in Germany.
At ProFil the flood was up to the third stair going to

the 2. Floor. We think, at the moment, that
the house will not be usable anymore. The flooring in the living room is very wavy and the wood at the ceiling got wet – all soaked in this really smelly mudwater. Everything stinks from the mud. We cleaned up the house as much as possible. Gladly the shorties and Ate Lea’s family saved a lot of the stuff into the 2.floor.

Taytay, Sta. Ana (Ptr. Vic. And Roselie Fernandez) the whole area is still over hips under water. It is not expected to go very much down for the next 2-3 months since there are no drainages.

Church house - garage is about 1 meter and parsonage are about 15 cm flooded.
People from more affected areas moved o the church.

San Miguel Church also became a evacuation centre. Up to now the hole area is still flooded (It is very close to Taytay) Organizing something for them is a little difficult because they do not have a Pastor at the moment. But Wolfgang is trying to bring some food and clothes into the area.


(Ptr. Jun-Jun and Christiane Jornales)
Parsonage of Ptr. was until tights in water, YP Room until under knees. About 25 families are affected and some of them (almost all leaders of the church) have lost everything they owned.

Member living on the floodway side were badly affected, as the river rose so high that it went over the borders. Thousands of people needed to evacuate to basketball courts or public schools. On the other side, close by a creek, the people also needed to evacuate as the water of the creek was also rising fast. The sister church FCF did with financial help of AM directly supply meals for the stranded ones in Kabisig church.

(Ptr. Ferdie)
They have 25 families who are affected.

(Ptr. David and Shirley Ahumada)
Parsonage was flooded up to t

he ceiling of the 1. Floor (closed to ProFil) Their niece was able to rescue most of the stuff inside the house. The car and motorbike though were totally inside the 3-4 meter high water.

Crossroad has also people who were affected (25 families?)

The house in Marietta Romea Village is most probably not usable anymore. We were trying to sell it for 300000,- thousand, but now, we can be glad to get the price of the land, which will not be very high at the moment.
Beamer, tools, Bankbooks, Motorbike of Wiebke, Car of Herrmann’s flooded almost up to roof, The 2. Revo had an accident because someone’s car’s brakes were did not function and crashed into the back of the car.

All the churches:
One of the main concern at the moment is drinking water and food. That’s what we are trying to bring to the people now. The next biggest need is clothes, basics like medicine, disinfectants, soap. Of course blankets, beddings ... if you lost everything you need everything.