Our brothers and sisters in the Mindanao Episcopal Area of the United Methodist Church in the Philippines and the people in their mission field have recently been devasted by two typhoons. Typhoon
Goni (Rolly), which was the second of the two, was a Category 5 super typhoon which hit the already damaged and flooded regions of eastern Philippines. Goni is purported to be the strongest typhoon on record to make landfall. Goni’s 225 kph (140 mph) with sustained winds gusted up to 280 kph (175 mph) caused overwhelming devastation. It created 16-foot surges which destroyed some 13,000 homes and damaged an estimated 66,000 houses. Evacuation was hindered, not only by the effects of the previous typhoon but also by the possibility of Covid infections in crowded evacuation centers. Reports of casualties are still coming in as communications have been hampered by flooding and power outages.
We are in close contact with Bishop Rodolfo Juan of the Davao Episcopal Area of the United Methodist Church who reports many of our churches have been damaged, severely crippling our church’s efforts to help the communities around them. Many of those who have lost their homes belong to the churches that have partnered with our own Volunteers in Mission teams from the Illinois Great Rivers Conference for over three years. Many of those who lost their homes and property are active United Methodists; and we continue to pray for safety, courage and resilience for our churches in the Philippines as they minister to their communities, even as they themselves suffer through much loss.
It is indeed a God-given privilege for us to reach out and support our brothers and sisters who are suffering. Your kindness and generosity will give hope to the hundreds of thousands affected by this disaster. Together as the Illinois Great Rivers Conference we can make a great difference. Please send your financial donations to IGRC Advance #7020. You can also donate below by selecting the Donate Now button and indicating IGRC Advance #7020, Philippines Typhoon Relief in the Gift Designation box.
May your generosity and compassion be a source of hope and comfort to those who are suffering that they may declare as Lamentations 3:22-23 says, “Because of the Lord’s great love we are not consumed for his compassions never fail. They are new every morning; great is your faithfulness.”
Spoon River District Superintendent