John 3:8

The wind blows where it wishes, and you hear its sound, but you do not know where it comes from or where it goes. So it is with everyone who is born of the Spirit.

Sunday, November 10, 2013

Typhoon Yolanda

"It was like a tsunami"
"Philippines Typhoon leaves up to 10,000 dead in Tacloban City"
"Typhoon Haiyan's death toll rises"

These are just some of the headlines on news reports today about Typhoon Haiyan(called Yolanda in the Philippines). Yesterday the death toll was estimated at 1,200 by the Philippines Red Cross, but shot up by almost 900% in just one day. CNN said Haiyan "was 3.5 times more forceful than Hurricane Katrina, which hit the United States [in] 2005." {{where I lived, and where many friends of mine still reside, was not in the direct path of the storm, and received only rains. So, while I am very grateful for this, my heart breaks for the thousands upon thousands who were physically affected.}}

Being on the other side of the world, it's hard to imagine what life is like in the aftermath of such a horrific disaster. Footage and photographs can only display so much. The Chicago Tribune described the scene: "Some sat and stared, covering their faces with rags to keep out the smell of the dead." Smells stay with you, and the smell of death is not one that is easily covered. pray for the survivors. Pray for strength, the will to live, to rescue, to rebuild--not just physically, but to rebuild lives. Sandra Bulling, the International Communications officer for CARE, commented on the loss of boats and crops on the affected islands. "This is really the basic income of many people," she said, and she is so right.

Lest I forget, the Tribune also talked about Vietnam, as they were next to be hit by this monstrous storm. "Vietnam authorities have moved 883,000 people in 11 central provinces to safe zones, according to the government's website." Let's not forget the people of Vietnam, either.

Though I do want to ask you to continue to pray for the Philippines and Vietnam, I do not want to leave you with just another reminder of the outrageous numbers and searing loss. I want to exhort you; find some way to be involved in helping with the relief efforts. There are plenty of places that are doing something hands-on with the survivors and with rescuing.

Here are just a few to get you started looking:

World Vision has started an emergency relief fund for the Philippines- donate here.
You can give to UNICEF's emergency fund here.

SEND International has a fund they are collecting to help 5 partner churches in the affected area.

Previously mentioned, CARE is also helping on the ground in the Philippines.

For even more places to give, Fox News has listed a number of reccommended organizations to partner with,

and so did CNN.

Grace and peace,