Monday, June 30, 2008

Sunday, June 29, 2008

Iloilo Typhoon Update Number Five

The United States Navy has arrived in Iloilo to help the entire island of Panay in recovering from the typhoon. Here are some news excerpts from The News Today:

"Typhoon victims isolated from ongoing relief operations finally got some much-awaited relief goods with yesterday's distribution made by Americans soldiers. Two government hospitals in Iloilo heavily damaged by the flood also got assistance with the generator sets brought here."

"Yesterday, US Navy helicopters which came from the USS Ronald Reagan arrived at the Iloilo Airport bringing with them gallons of purified water for the typhoon victims in Aklan. The city is also expected to receive relief goods from the US government. Further, the US Office of Foreign Disaster Assistance of the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) will be providing P4 Million ($100,000.00) worth of essential relief goods through the Philippine National Red Cross, for immediate distribution in the most severely affected areas."

Here are soldiers of the Armed Forces of the Philippines working with sailors of the US Navy unloading purified water for Iloilo typhoon victims. Aquafina anyone?

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Iloilo Typhoon Update Number Four

I also spoke with Calvary missionary, Nate Shuck, on the phone today. He said that the city is a disaster area. He did share this good news, the communities of La Puz Sur and Delgado are doing OK. These are the communities where most of the Sonshine Center kids live. Their homes were flooded but the waters have started to recede. While these kids live in squatter villages and their homes are just cardboard and tin shacks, most of their homes were are still standing, praise the Lord.

URGENT PRAYER NEEDED: Many of you know Pastor Chris Patricio and his family, Nate told me the sad news that they have lost nearly everything because of this disaster. Their home was severely flooded and most of their possessions were destroyed. Please keep them in your prayers. Pastor Chris and his wife, Des, have two children, their youngest is just weeks old. They urgently need our prayers as they try to rebuild their lives after this tragedy.

The video previously embedded here has been removed, you can still view that footage here.

Iloilo Typhoon Update Number Three

Received another email from Nate, Calvary missionary in Iloilo. He said the waters in the city are starting to recede but now areas affected by the flood are covered in mud. Also food is scarce. The families we work with say they do not have any food at all. Supplies at the stores and markets are very low and price gouging has begun. There is some government food relief available so right now the staff is looking at how our street children and their families might qualify for some of that relief.

Keep praying.

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Iloilo Typhoon Update Number Two

I got an email and a text message from Calvary missionary Nate Shuck. He said that power is returning to parts of the city. His house now has power and Internet service. A large majority of the city is now under a foot of mud. The Sonshine Center was not damaged by the typhoon. Also the building itself was not flooded. As far as the Sonshine Center staff, several of their homes were flooded, one house even up to the second floor, however all staff are safe and well. They are now in the process of accounting for the street kids of the Center. Most of the kid's homes were damaged by flooding but so far there have been no reports of any of our kids being injured by the typhoon.

On a personal note, Nate told me that our house was not damaged by the typhoon or flooding. As information continues to trickle in, I will keep updating this blog with that news. Keep praying!

Photos of the typhoon/flood damage can be found here.

Monday, June 23, 2008

Iloilo Typhoon Update Number One (Hopefully More to Come)

This morning at 4:53AM I got the following text message from fellow Calvary missionary Nate Shuck:

"Abegail n i r gud wer standed n boracay wen strm hit signal #3. Aklan no pwr, watr or cel signal. Road impassbl 2 iloilo 2day(day 3 aftr storm) wil try 2 get 2 iloilo 2mrw. Frm wat we heard staf n centr n ok shape bt iloilo direct hit n worst n region. Jst got signal wil b abl 2 updat mor once n iloilo. Al ok na. Thnx 4 prayrs!"

Just in case you don't read text, here is the translation:
"Abegail and I are good, we were stranded in Boracay when the storm hit, it was a signal 3. Aklan (Abegail's family home) had no power, water, or cell phone signal. Road was impassable to Iloilo today (3 days after the storm). We will try to get to Iloilo tomorrow. From what we heard the staff and the Sonshine Center are in OK shape but Iloilo had a direct hit, the worst in the region. We just got a (cell phone) signal, will be able to update more once in Iloilo. All OK for now. Thanks for (your) prayers."

Please continue to keep all our missionaries, Sonshine Center staff, and especially our street kids in your prayers during this disaster. We continually pray that the Lord would dry up the flood waters. If He can turn water into wine and even walk on water, then He is more than able to turn the flooded city back into dry land.

Pray

Our home, Iloilo City, has been hit by a devastating typhoon. Most of the area is under water and the entire province of Iloilo is dark due to a massive power outage. The Filipino national power company predicts that it may take weeks for them to restore electricity to the province. Please pray for the people of our adopted home, Iloilo. Especially pray for the street children of the Sonshine Center. Most of our kids live in squatter villages and their homes are nothing more than shacks made of cardboard and sheets of metal. I fear that many of their homes have been swept away by the floods. Iloilo newspapers like The News Today provide more details.

On a personal note, we have not yet had any contact with our friends and missionaries in the area. We have no idea of the condition of our home, if it is completely flooded. We return in about three weeks. All we can do is pray and hope for the best. Please join us in praying for the people of Iloilo, especially praying for the poorest of the poor that we minister to.

Sunday, June 22, 2008

Almost Home AND Google Earth Updated Pics

We have spent the last three weeks on the road, traveling from Maryland to Florida and back, with a rest stop in Myrtle Beach. I am always amazed at how big the United States of America is. It is a big, beautiful country, blessed with so much. We do not have a car in Iloilo, we make do with walking and public transportation, so driving here in the States has been fun, even the eight hour road trips on interstate 95.

We have about three weeks left (see the countdown widget to the right). Honestly I am anxious for my home. Google Earth has recently updated its maps with high resolution pictures of the Philippines. Here is our house in Iloilo:

Those of you who have visited us will remember that we live on a college campus. My great-grandfather founded the Iloilo Maritime Academy. From those humble beginnings it has now grown into the John B. Lacson Maritime University. Living on campus also gives us the luxury of access to the university swimming pool, a great way to beat the heat in the tropics. Here is our house in relation to the Sonshine Center:


just about a ten minute walk away. Of course, on really hot days (like nearly everyday) that ten minute walk can seem pretty rough so we take public transportation (jeepneys).

So as our American sojourn comes to a close, my thoughts turn toward our Filipino home. I am looking forward to returning, in just about three weeks.

Friday, June 20, 2008

Sunday, June 15, 2008

Wednesday, June 04, 2008