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NEWS: TYPHOON BOPHA HITS PHILIPPINES
More than 600 people died and at least 800 more remain missing after Typhoon Bopha (known locally as Pablo), struck the Philippines last week. The category 5 storm cut a swath of devastation mainly across the southern island of Mindanao. It forced some 300,000 people to flee to evacuation centers and other temporary shelters.
In a pattern all too familiar to Filipinos, high winds—including gusts of about 130 miles per hour—and torrential rains washed away homes, ripped off rooftops, provoked landslides, mudslides, and extensive flooding in many communities. The provinces of Compostela and Davao Oriental were the hardest hit.
Typhoon Bopha struck Mindanao barely one year after another deadly storm—Typhoon Sendong (Washi)—pummeled the same area, leaving 1,500 people dead.
UMCOR Philippines—the national field office of the United Methodist Committee on Relief (UMCOR)—has long dedicated itself to anticipating communities’ needs in this typhoon-prone archipelago, and is already at work responding to Bopha.
Please give to Philippines Emergency, UMCOR Advance #240235 and bring relief to the typhoon-battered communities of Mindanao and elsewhere.
PRAYER: ADVENT IS ACTION
Just ahead of Typhoon Bopha, Ciony Ayo-Eduarte, director of UMCOR’s office in the Philippines, offered a reflection on Advent focusing on the work of this season of preparation. She said:
Because we get so many storms in the Philippines, very often our work here can be likened to Advent—the waiting for a “coming,” for an “arrival.” But are we waiting for the arrival of catastrophe? No. We await the opportunity to respond to needs, to extend a helping hand, to offer hope.
We pray that disaster will not strike, but we know that sometimes it will. So we work to reduce its impact. We organize communities and leaders, and train them in disaster risk reduction and management, a proactive approach in humanitarian work, which builds capacity and resilience.
As we contemplate the Advent season, we remember that the heart of this celebration is the coming of the Savior, Jesus Christ. Jesus came when people were hopeless and violence abounded. Pray this week for those in the Philippines who are recovering from Typhoon Bopha and all those around the world who are in need of the hope that only Christ can give.
MEDIA: A LOOK AT HIV AND AIDS WITH THOMAS KEMPER
In this week’s installment of “A Look at HIV and AIDS,” Thomas Kemper, general secretary of the General Board of Global Ministries, shares his reflection about the church and AIDS in light of 1 Corinthians 1:26.
RESOURCE: CHRISTMAS SHOPPING WITH UMCOR
UMCOR can help you give gifts that give back. UMCOR’s gift catalog provides alternative gifts that allow you to support health workers in Zimbabwe, help farmers improve their crops, and support families working to recover after a natural disaster.
You can also purchase fair-trade gift sets through UMCOR, which include the following: Holiday Cheer, A Peaceful Moment, and Start the Day Right.
UMCOR provides emergency relief in many areas of the world. To find out more about UMCOR's ministries, please visit umcor.org. You can donate to any project by placing a contribution in the offering plate at a local United Methodist church; by sending a check to UMCOR, PO Box 9068, New York, NY 10087-9068; or by calling 1-800-554-8583, where credit card donations are accepted. You can also give online by clicking any of the "DONATE" links or make a $10 donation anytime by texting “UMCOR” to 80888. UMCOR is exempt from tax under section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code of the United States and qualifies for the maximum charitable contribution deduction by donors.
And, please pray for those who are hungry, displaced, sick or in poverty because of natural and human-made disasters, and for the workers who minister to them.
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United Methodist Committee on Relief
General Board of Global Ministries, The United Methodist Church
Room 1520, 475 Riverside Drive, New York, NY 10115
Voice Phone: 1-212-870-3816; FAX: 1-212-870-3624
The day after Typhoon Bopha raged through the southern Philippines island of Mindanao, two Filipinos view where a bridge once spanned the Cagayan River at Uguiaban. The floodwaters washed away the bridge, a vital part of a main highway through the region. A small footbridge remains.
Paul Jeffrey/ACT Alliance
After the passage of Typhoon Bopha, Ciony Ayo-Eduarte (in yellow shirt), the director of operations in the Philippines for the United Methodist Committee on Relief, distributes emergency food supplies to people displaced by the storm in Iligan, on the southern Philippines island of Mindanao. Assisting her is Minnie Anne Calub (right), the emergency coordinator for the National Council of Churches of the Philippines. Both UMCOR and the NCCP are members of the ACT Alliance.
Paul Jeffrey/ACT Alliance
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