9 Jan 2014 - 7.30pm
116 Lavender Street
Pek Chuan Building
9 Jan 2014 - 7.30pm
116 Lavender Street
Pek Chuan Building
Second stage of Haiyan relief about rebuilding
A team of eight SIMers has returned to Western Samar, Philippines to deliver building materials, school supplies, a generator, medical relief and much needed psychological support to survivors of “Super Typhoon” Haiyan in phase 2 of a 3 phase relief project.
Ten days before Christmas, the team - comprising mostly Filipinos - arranged for the delivery of tin roofing, wood trusses, marine plywood, umbrella nails and 200 bags of cement: enough supplies to repair or rebuild 31 houses. The supplies were distributed by the Marabut Christian Community Church to both church members and non-members and the work was carried out exclusively by the families and their neighbours.
“We want them to rebuild their [own] lives” said Andy Tillman, an American member of the team with a long history in the Philippines.
Everyone who received supplies - with the exception of one aged “healer” in Marabut, who tragically died a few hours after the relief arrived - was able to use their repaired or rebuilt house by the end of the week. The church itself, which has been completely destroyed, received a new temporary meeting place to be used by the congregation until the larger building can be rebuilt.
School bags, notebooks, paper and pencils were also given to about 300 school children the day before classes were officially scheduled to resume and a diesel generator was delivered to the Marabut church along with a small starter supply of fuel. The generator will provide members of the community a “charge point” for mobile phones and rechargeable flashlights at a much lower cost than existing for-profit options in the town.
Basic medical care and medicine, such as antibiotics, was provided to the community by the team’s nurse, Roxanne, and a half day training course in trauma counseling was given to about a dozen local women. Several men had also been scheduled to attend the training but were held up by the ongoing reconstruction work in town. It is hoped the women will be able to provide some relief for others in the community suffering from the effects of traumatic memories and grief.
Ghie Sibayan, the relief project’s coordinator, says there are still many immediate needs in the Marabut region, particularly relating to restoration of livelihood for the area’s many fishermen and coconut farmers. There is also a need to reassure survivors that support is still available.
“People [in the disaster zone] are getting a reality check now,” she says. "The honeymoon stage is over. They are thinking, ‘now we are on our own and nobody will help us anymore.’”
Decisions about whether to return to the same region for phase 3 are still ongoing as are discussions with government personnel about official initiatives in the area.
Team of 8 begins SIM Haiyan relief
In areas of the Eastern Visayas, SIM is beginning relief work to specific communities through partnerships with local churches and organizations.
How SIM is helping: The beneficiaries of the relief aid are survivors of the 8 November Typhoon Haiyan (Yolanda) disaster who lost their loved ones, were displaced, injured or sick, have become homeless or are without possessions.
The typhoon killed at least 3,974 people and a further 1,186 are missing, with about 500,000 people homeless, as of figures released on 19 November.
SIM workers plan to help 1000 families or about 3000 individuals (adults and children).
Timeline of support: SIM’s support will continue for six months to one year.
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SIM launches Haiyan disaster relief
As you have heard from media reports, some areas of the Philippines have experienced utter devastation from Typhoon Haiyan. SIM personnel are launching a response to this disaster by providing care for victims.
Right now, SIM is working with other agencies in the location to provide a coordinated response which will likely include provision of food, clean water, shelter, clothing, counselling, medical services, rescue and transport. More information on SIM’s specific role in the relief effort will be posted in the coming days.
Please pray for the people of the Philippines and for the SIM workers there demonstrating the love of Christ at this difficult time.
Prayer for survivors of Kenya mall attack
Kenya's President has announced the four-day siege of Westgate Mall is over, calling for three days of national mourning for the victims. Please pray for those affected by this incident.
None of our SIM mission partners were at Westgate at the time.
SIM International Director Joshua Bogunjoko writes,
"As an organisation, our heart goes out to those who have lost loved ones in the attack at Westgate Mall and to those who have been injured. We mourn with those who mourn in Kenya and around the world. We are saddened that this kind of attack continues in the name of religion. Please join us in thanking the Lord for all who escaped the attack in one way or another, and please join us in prayer for all those who have suffered the death of loved ones or personal injury, that the Lord may bring healing to their body and mind.
SIM Kenya Director Bev Howell writes:
"We praise God that the terrorist siege of the Westgate Mall is over and while we thank God that no SIMer was in the mall we are very conscious of the devastating effects of this attack. Many who were not in the mall or even in the surrounding area are affected. Out of this horrible incident we are however hearing stories of miraculous escape and protection and we thank God for the ways that he guided and comforted people who were hostages, and who were waiting for news of their loved ones.