The deadby Ron Halbrook

PHILIPPINES (BNc) — Much news about the devastation caused by typhoon Haiyan (named Yolanda in the Philippines) is appearing in the media, but concrete information from our brethren is only dribbling out because lines of communication were damaged and destroyed.

The storm surge 15-20 feet high sent tsunami-like waves 45 feet high crashing to shore in some places. Ships were left sitting in city streets!

Especially hard hit areas include the island of Samar, Tacloban City on Leyte, and northern Cebu island. Surrounding islands in the central Visayas such as Panay and Bohol were heavily damaged, and also Oriental Mindoro and northern Palawan to the west as the storm headed back out to sea toward Vietnam.

The number of dead bodies located keeps climbing as it passes 2,200 with many areas still inaccessible. In places like Tacloban City mass burials have been necessary because of the health risk with bodies decaying in the rubble and standing water. The airport there served as a makeshift morgue.

Homes, crops, and trees were leveled by winds of 150-200 mph and the land was inundated with torrential rainfall. Nearly ten million people were affected and 600,000 displaced.

Pictures of the devastation can be seen at the DailyMail website.

The Philippine government, U.S. military, other governmental bodies around the world, and international relief agencies are trying to get supplies to the devastated areas, but much of the infrastructure is destroyed. Supply trucks have been waylaid.

In some cases, people foraging for food, water, and medicine are looting markets, grocery stores, and pharmacies in desperation. Mobs in Tacloban City attacked a rice warehouse and the walls collapsed killing and injuring more people. The Philippine military is trying to restore order.

Saints are scattered all through the regions hit by the storm. We are getting some news from saints on the island of Cebu. Jonathan Carino and other Filipino brethren in company with Harry Osborne were able to survey the damage at Bogo City in northern Cebu. Gil Suico who preaches there sent me a message that homes, fruit trees, and crops were severely damaged, which means the suffering will extend for weeks and months to come. A large percentage of the buildings in Bogo City were flattened and nearly all structures were damaged.

I received a report from brethren in Dumaguete City, Negros Oriental, that they suffered no major damage. There is word from Jack Jaco in the western part of the island, Negros Occidental, that brethren suffered damage there.

Jonathan and Harry have been trying to get to Tacloban City but cancelled their plans because of the breakdown of security. The New Peoples Army (Filipino communists) are flexing their muscle with raids because the government can hardly function.

Brother Nilo Zabala fled the city after NPA’s invaded his home and threatened him with death if he did not provide them with supplies. His family is camped in a damaged bus terminal.

Jonathan and Harry will take a ferry boat from Cebu City on Cebu Island to Ormoc City on Leyte. They hope to establish contact with brethren and assess their needs.

In view of the destruction of the infrastructure and communication, it is very hard to get a concrete assessment of our brethren’s needs, and also very hard to deliver funds and supplies when assessments can be made. We know immediate needs are the most basic items such as food, water, and medicines. Homes are destroyed. Church buildings collapsed and blew away. Bibles and song books were ruined and swept away.

Let us fervently pray for these dear saints, send whatever financial help we can, and commit ourselves not to forget their needs in the weeks and months ahead.

Individuals who might like to donate can send donations to Ron Halbrook, 3505 Horse Run Ct., Shepherdsville, KY 40165-6954.


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  1. -Disaster Assistance Mission-Super Typhoon Haiyan- Here is the official press release:

    Disaster Assistance CoC FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
    Contact: Mike Baumgartner
    Cell: 281-881-1876

    Eight Christian Relief Charities Join Forces to Make a Huge Impact in the Philippines

    In the aftermath of Typhoon Haiyan (Yolanda), representatives from eight Christian relief charities met on Tuesday afternoon to establish how their organizations could work together to bring relief to the people of the Philippines in the most effective manner. The partnering organizations include: Christian Relief Fund (CRF), Disaster Assistance COC, Healing Hands International (HHI), Global Samaritan, Body and Soul Ministries (BANDS), Shepherd’s Hill, MARCH, and Mission Resource Network (MRN).

    The meeting was filled with compassion and an understanding that a strategic relief plan was necessary to effectively help those devastated by Yolanda.

    Salvador Cariaga, a missionary from the Philippines and Executive Director of Shepherd’s Hill, explained, “The need is overwhelming. You cannot imagine the total devastation of very heavily populated areas of the islands. If we do not plan this relief work purposefully, we could use up all of our resources in a 10 foot radius!”

    Representatives decided that, in the wake of such terrible destruction, it would be best for the partnering works to focus their joint effort on providing immediate relief aid: “the temporary provision of food, water, medical care, shelter, and spiritual triage.”

    “CRF has programs in the Philippines that need both immediate relief and future rebuilding efforts,” said Bobby Moore, VP of Global Operations for Christian Relief Fund. “Our future efforts will be to help rebuild the lives of the orphans that this storm has created. That is what we do best. But there are still victims of the storm that need our immediate prayers, food, water, medical care and shelter. This relief cooperative ensures that our donors’ funds are effectively utilized.”

    Relief donations made to all cooperating charities will be sent to the Philippines for distribution to areas where local and international teams are delivering aid.

    “If all of us can work together, we will show an even bigger example of the love and compassion of God to the people of the Philippines. And isn’t that what it is all about?”, says Chris Gingles, VP of Healing Hands International.

    Disaster Assistance CoC is a nonprofit 501 C 3 mission. Everyone that works with us is a volunteer we pay no one a salary. We are also associated with the Lake Jackson Church of Christ in Lake Jackson TX. The Elders there receive a monthly recap of all funds received and expenses incurred. We do this so there is another reliable verification of where your funds are going.

    We can continue to do this work of feeding hungry people and helping those whose lives have been devastated by disasters only with the financial support of our brothers and sisters across the USA.

    You can donate online at or make check payable to and mail to:

    Disaster Assistance CoC Mission
    402 Center Way St
    Lake Jackson TX, 77566

    Please pray for the thousands of people whose lives have been forever changed and for us as we show the love of the Lord to them by just providing a simple meal and a helping hand.