SAMAR, Philippines (BNC) by Michael Hildreth — In the recent devastation of the island of Samar, in the aftermath of Typhoon Ruby (Hagupit), 21 people are confirmed to have been killed on the eastern side, and 16 of them were in Borongan City. I was recently in Eastern Samar working with bro. Edwin Inso.

I have still not heard anything from Edwin or any of our brethren in the Borongan area. Power lines and cell phone towers have been down so I do not know of their condition now. Please pray for them!

Before the storm, Edwin was rushing to prepare relief goods and supplies for the needy. I sent him $300 to assist him in his preparations a few days before the typhoon hit. He got the funds and went to the store to buy, literally, the last bags of rice on the shelves.

We are first-responders to the devastation in Eastern Samar. The eye of the storm made landfall in Dolores, E. Samar, on Dec. 6th.

A team of preachers is helping with repacking and handing out food and clean water and working tirelessly in home Bible studies and making new contacts for evangelism. Catastrophes have a way of waking people up to the brevity of life and the need for a relationship with the Creator. We will do what we can to make the best of that awakening in the hearts of so many.

I have sent travel and relief funds to Allan Gesulga of Cagayan de Oro (Mindanao), Jonah Nierves of Colombio (Mindanao) and Roger Nonog of Vigan City (Luzon) to go to Samar for the work. These three men are extremely capable and experienced gospel preachers who will do much good in this ministry.

Allan has already purchased about 20 Waray-waray dialect Bibles. Roger will carry medical supplies and canned foods. Two trucks are delivering about a half-ton of rice and some rebuilding supplies for those severely affected by the storm.

Our team will meet in Borongan City and assist Edwin for a brief time and then go north to Dolores, where the storm was most intense.

We have a few brothers in Christ who live in the Dolores area. Allan and Jonah are expected to arrive Dec. 10. Roger and his wife, Janine, will arrive Dec. 16, Lord willing. I am coordinating and communicating with them from my home in Earth, Tex.

Before the storm, we had already made plans to assist some small congregations with preaching, plant more churches, and establish a Bible college on the island of Samar. Typhoon Ruby has only expedited these plans because of the great opportunity to do good for the lost souls in Samar who need help both physically and spiritually.

My coworkers are moving quickly to reach the needy but we need your partnership in this effort. If you are able to provide any assistance for the relief work, please send it to Sherman Drive Church of Christ at 2321 E. Sherman Drive, Denton, TX 76209.

The next few weeks are critical and an immense opportunity to do good for the cause of the Kingdom of Christ. Thank you for your love and concern and may God bless us all during this Christmas season!