Typhoon Haiyan devastated parts of the Philippines in early November. We have about 20 United Brethren churches in the Philippines.
As always happens in the aftermath of major disasters, United Brethren people wanted to help. Our practice, through Global Ministries, is to partner with organizations which specialize in disaster relief. We partnered with Samaritan’s Purse following the 2011 earthquake in Haiti, and after the 2012 tsunami in Japan. UB churches and people were invited to channel money through Global Ministries, all of which was sent on to Samaritan’s Purse (Global Ministries doesn’t take a cut). That amounted to roughly $70,000 for Haiti and $11,000 for Japan.
The same process was used with the Philippines, as we once again partnered with Samaritan’s Purse. As of the end of December 2013, Global Ministries had received $7,473 for Typhoon Haiyan relief.
Franklin Graham, President and CEO of Samaritan’s Purse, described Haiyan as “one of the strongest storms in history. Over 6,000 people died and another 4 million people were displaced. He wrote, “The destruction was the worst from a storm I have ever seen. Entire towns have been reduced to piles of sticks. It’s hard to imagine how anyone survived.”
Even before the typhoon moved away from the Philippines, Samaritan’s Purse dispatched a team to the country. The next week, they airlifted 100 tons of emergency supplies, including a field hospital, aboard a 747. Another chartered 747 soon followed, this one carrying 8 million square feet of heavy-duty plastic–enough to build emergency housing for up to 10,000 families. And much more help followed. A special airlift of over 60,000 Operation Christmas Child shoeboxes, many of them packed by survivors of Hurricane Sandy, was sent to the Philippines.