Help for typhoon-ravaged communities
Samaritan’s Purse is bringing emergency medical care, food, water, and shelter to communities devastated by Super Typhoon Haiyan.
Ken Isaacs has seen the worst that nature can dish out after more than two decades of doing emergency relief work. The Vice President of International Projects and Government Relations for Samaritan’s Purse has responded to tsunamis, earthquakes, hurricanes, and tornadoes.
But he has never seen anything like the devastation wrought by Typhoon Haiyan on cities like Tacloban.
“The breadth and the width of the destruction is breathtaking,” he said. “I’ve never seen a storm that did this much damage.”
Tacloban is a city of 220,000, the capital of Leyte province, which bore the brunt of the typhoon when it made landfall in the Philippines. Virtually every building in the city was damaged or destroyed. It looks like a war zone, with coconut trees flattened, leaves stripped from trees, and vehicles turned upside down.
Approximately 6,000 people were killed by the storm, most of them here. Tens of thousands of people who call the city home are now homeless in the aftermath of the storm and are faced with utter despair.
Here and two other devastated islands is where Samaritan’s Purse has come to bring clean water, shelter, and health care. And to bring hope.
“We want to do all that we can to help people,” Isaacs said. “We do it in the Name of Jesus Christ.”
More than 70 disaster response specialists are in place, working with local officials, volunteers, and churches to provide emergency medical care, clean water, food, and shelters.
From distributing more than 100 metric tons of food, to setting up emergency water filters in communities, to providing thousands of families with shelter—these experts are serving as the hands and feet of Christ in the Philippines.
At the invitation of the Philippines government, Samaritan’s Purse has a medical team on the ground assisting the staff of the storm-damaged Schistosomiasis Control & Research Hospital in Palo, just south of Tacloban City.
The grounds and badly damaged second floor of the hospital have been cleaned up, and patients are being treated by Samaritan's Purse and Filipino personnel on the first floor. Our team has also set up a field hospital there, and is sending mobile medical teams out into remote communities to provide vaccinations, treatments, and referrals.
More help is arriving regularly. Samaritan’s Purse sent a second chartered cargo jet to the Philippines to assist Super Typhoon Haiyan victims. The Boeing 747 contains enough plastic sheeting to provide emergency shelters for 19,000 families, plus a helicopter to efficiently transport relief supplies and disaster response personnel throughout the Philippines’ heavily damaged islands.
Samaritan’s Purse sent a similar cargo plane carrying 110 tonnes of emergency equipment and medical supplies to the Philippines in November, and a third mercy flight is landing in the coming days.
We are working with local ministry partners and officials to get the supplies to those most in need, while continuing to partner with Filipino churches to distribute food and hygiene kits to storm survivors on Leyte, Cebu, and Bantayan Islands. A combined 21,000 kits have been distributed so far, along with over 16,000 emergency shelter tarps for homes, schools, and churches.
“We’ve got a lot of work to do,” Isaacs said. “Hundreds of thousands of people are in need of assistance. We want to do all we can in this time of crisis.”
Show the slide before and after church services. Challenge your congregations to join us in being the hands and feet of Christ in the midst of grief and loss.
Ways you can help
Please pray for the people of the Philippines, that they will find their strength in “the God of all comfort” during this difficult time (2 Corinthians 1:3, NIV). Also pray that Samaritan’s Purse staff and volunteers would remain strong as they respond to the needs before them.
Your gift of any amount will help families whose lives have been interrupted by disaster situations beyond their control. Please give generously toward Samaritan's Purse disaster relief efforts around the world and provide emergency aid such as food, water, medicine, and shelter to those in desperate need. Donate Here