Thursday, January 11, 2007

Peacemaking as Typhoon relief

My old college friend, Salvador Cariaga, sends this report after one month of helping people whose lives were devastated by two typhoons in 10 days in the Mayon district of the Philippines.

A typhoon or hurricane is the strongest storm on earth. The last two typhoons that hit the Bicol Region in less than a week showed how powerful and damaging this force can be. Over 700 villages, five provinces, half a dozen cities, and a million people were affected by this recent double destruction. This was multiplied by the lahar and mudslides coming down from the Mayon volcano just fresh from its recent eruptions.

Though the loss of lives was 'minimal' at over 1,000, the damage is extensive and widespread. What was once lush agricultural fields of cocunut trees have turned into a war zone-like scenario. From the airplane, the abundant coconut trees looked like tooth picks sticking up from the ground, if not bent or fallen in all directions. Miles and miles of houses were damaged or completely destroyed, many roads and bridges were almost impassable or closed, electric posts dangerously leaning everywhere.

Our one month of disaster relief involving over 100 volunteers from around the country did a lot for two small communities, but we barely scratched the surface. However, after one month of sleeping in tents, I am glad to be home and take a short break. We did just about everything, including medical mission, provide roofing for over 500 families, our volunteers cleaned up and helped fix a dozen houses, rebuilt a community basketball court, fed thousands, gave away hundreds of bags and school supplies to kids, conducted two VBS, gave away 131,000 shampoo packs donated by Proctor and Gamble, etc.

My partners and I have personally met mayors, a governor, congresman, and local community leaders and tried to work with them and through them. In the process, a new congregation is forming and another house church is expected to start. Last Sunday, 62 visitors attended our worship service. Yesterday in his brief visit around Mayon Volcano, Dr. John Bailey saw some of the places and people we have served.

We will be back there again with a new team and a new round of relief effort. We plan to do medical mission with half a dozen doctors and help provide roofing for 1000 more homes. We need to raise the following:

1. Medicine to treat 1000 or more people

2. 100 rolls of tarp to provide temporary roofing for 1000 more homes

3. 1000 Bibles. Most people's Bibles were water-damaged, if not swept away. 1000 Bibles is nothing compared to the need, but we plan to hand deliver them to the homes with personal prayer and encouragement.

4. Feed 10,000 people

5. Supply the food and needs of 60-80 volunteers for two weeks.

6. Generator

7. Chain saw

8. 20 more tents and beddings for the volunteer workers.

Note: Salvador had a ruptured apendix and was operated. He is currently recovering in the hospital.


If you wish to help with material things like seeds, food and clothes, please send them to:

(Manila Area)
Makati Church of Christ
1598 Archimedes St
Brg Lapaz Makati, (near brgh hall)
Metro Manila,

(Visayas Area)
Mactan Church of Christ
Tumulak Street,
Lapu-Lapu City Cebu 6015

(Mindanao Area)
Sunrise Christian College
Bon-Bon, Butuan City 8100

For cash donations, please send it to the bank account of

Mactan Church of Christ

Metro Bank, Pusok, Lapu-Lapu City
Swift number MBTCTHMM

Foreign donors can send their checks through their churches or mail it to:

BandS Ministries (Body and Soul)
P.O. Box 1926
Colleyville, Texas 76034

You may contact Dr. Bailey at

If you have questions concerning Salvador's work, or the BandS organization of Dr. John Bailey, please feel free to email me.

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