Friends, thank you for your patience and prayers.
We have received preliminary reports from our staff and friends in the Philippines in the aftermath of Typhoon Haiyan (also called Typhoon Yolanda), one of the strongest storms ever recorded.
As we feared, the damage is severe. Our staff is in the process of reaching two of the areas that One Child Matters serves, but the roads and bridges are completely destroyed, and communications are still down.
As you can tell from the image above at right (courtesy of the Cebu Daily News), many families lost everything.
Here are some ways you can help right now:
Give to the Children's Crisis Fund, which is helping us respond quickly. Our staff in the Philippines were proactive, securing supplies and organizing transportation to the areas in the direct path of the storm. Your donations will help them continue their outreach and relief efforts in the two communities we serve that were hardest hit, Daan Batanyan and Malapascua.
Pray for the way to be made clear, for our staff who are traveling long distances in difficult conditions to try and locate children and their families. The damage is surreal, and many of our staff have family in the areas as well. While the northern part of the island of Cebu was hardest hit, other areas suffered damage, too, and several projects are continuing to minister to families in need where they are.
Pray for supplies such as the protein-enriched rice packs that can feed entire families, a container of which is currently in a shipping yard. Pray for any red tape to be cut so these supplies, which the staff had been securing for other outreach efforts, could quickly make their way to the families in greatest need. Pray against corruption and that the officials in charge release the supplies quickly.
As always, we appreciate your patience as our staff work diligently to reach the children in our care. We will contact you directly if your sponsored child was affected.
Thank you again for your prayers. You are strengthening the staff who care for these children daily, and they need it now more than ever. Bless you!