Danny Ballard – Typhoon Odette, reportedly the strongest typhoon to hit the Philippines this year, battered vast portions of Visayas, Mindanao and Luzon last week, affecting nearly two million people. The death toll from the strongest typhoon to hit the Philippines this year surged to 375 on Monday, with 56 missing and 500 more injured, the national police said. Desperate survivors pleaded for urgent supplies of drinking water and food.
Many have been asking how we are and, thankfully, the storm went south of our location. But many of our churches, missions and homes of the pastor were not as fortunate. We rejoice that none of them are among those who died or were injured.
The churches in Leyte, Cebu, Negros, Panay and Palawan all have suffered damage due to Typhoon Odette. Palawan took a direct hit from Typhoon Odette. Honda Bay Baptist Church suffered a tremendous amount of damage. The church, Sunday School area and Pastor Rex’s home lost entire roofs, some walls and suffered extreme flood damages.
One of our remote area churches, Ati Tribe, had their roof to collapse and suffered water damage. True Life Baptist Pontaverdra and Pastor Ricky Calopez also had their roof ripped off and other structural and water damage. The churches in Tigbagwan, Letye and Bayawan, with Rowin Bayot, also suffered structural damage. These are the churches that have the worst damages, but there are so many others that have suffered less severe damage. We have not been able to establish communications with some areas and churches at this time.
All the BMMA missionaries here are working together to help the best we can, and are very grateful to the BMMA office for their help thus far with the relief efforts. Please pray for all those that were affected by the storm. There are so many that have not been able to receive any help in the form of basic needs such as food and clean drinking water.
If you would like to help with the relief efforts and rebuilding of the churches and missions, it would be appreciated by all. You can send your donations to the BMMA office (P.O. Box 878, Conway, Ark. 72033) designated “Odette Relief,” and if it is for a specific area please make a note of that as well. Thank you for your continuous prayers and support for all in the Philippines. God bless.