The death toll has surpassed 1,000 and nearly 900 people are unaccounted for—including one Foursquare pastor and 14 members of his family—following Typhoon Bopha (locally called Pablo), which hit Mindanao, Philippines, last week and was the most powerful typhoon to strike the area in decades.
Foursquare Philippines President Val Chavez initially reported that seven Foursquare churches were destroyed and at least 100 Foursquare families had lost their homes in the aftermath of the storm. In a subsequent report, District Supervisor Romeo Madrona stated that in his district alone, an additional 25 Foursquare churches were leveled, and dozens of Foursquare people lost their homes.
President Chavez has traveled to the affected areas and says that some Foursquare families are still isolated from aid and services due to collapsed bridges and impassible roads covered with debris, downed trees and boulders.
Amidst the destruction, President Chavez was moved by the response of Foursquare people there. “Praise God, our churches have responded,” he affirms.
Foursquare members in Davao City have established a distribution center where they can gather donations of clothing, water and food to be distributed to people in need. A local Convoy of Hope warehouse will be a source of additional relief supplies provided by Foursquare Relief and Compassion and the Foursquare Philippines National Church.
Flooding has compromised the local water supply, and food in the region is becoming scarce, with crop damage estimated at 10.3 billion pesos ($250 million U.S. dollars), according to The Daily Herald. When the typhoon hit the area, 24 of the 26 Mindanao provinces were under severe storm warnings.
In response to Typhoon Bopha, Foursquare Relief and Compassion Coordinator Chad Isenhart believes this is a great ministry opportunity for The Foursquare Church. People are receptive to the gospel and the love of Christ during times such as this. Says Chad: “Once again our global Foursquare family has an opportunity to do kingdom work as we respond to this need.”
Foursquare Relief and Compassion is already actively ministering to people in Davao City and the greater Mindanao region. Donations are needed to provide relief supplies to people cut off from food and other emergency services.
Make a donation now online for Foursquare Relief in the Philippines.