UMCOR relief truck ready to roll

By Linda Unger*

DASMARINAS, Philippines —Volunteers and staff of the United Methodist Committee on Relief  loaded a cargo truck with bright yellow bags filled with relief goods this evening, and are now ready to begin a 26-hour trek to typhoon-stricken communities in the central Philippines.

The volunteers, mainly Filipino university and seminary students, spent two days making food packages filled with rice, oil, salt, brown sugar, mongo beans (a versatile lentil), sardines, cooking oil, and coffee for survivors of Typhoon Haiyan, which struck the Philippines on Nov. 8.

Enough bags were filled to provide 1,500 families (or a total of 7,500 persons) with food staples to last about a week. Survivors of the category 5 super storm will also receive water purification tablets.

The 42-foot, 10-wheel wing van will be part of a caravan of three UMCOR vehicles carrying the vital supplies, UMCOR staff, and a handful of the dozens of volunteers who showed up at the UMCOR Philippines office here to load the truck.

The caravan will leave this evening on its long trek from the UMCOR Philippines office here in the northern part of the country and will travel along the archipelago, through about 10 provinces, to reach survivors in the hard-hit city of Tacloban in Leyte Province. The ride will include a four-hour ferry trip between provinces.

“Thanks to the generous outpouring of United Methodists, this is just the first of several shipments UMCOR anticipates making to assist the survivors,” said the Rev. Jack Amick, UMCOR assistant general secretary for International Disaster Relief, who traveled from New York headquarters last week and will ride with the caravan.

UMCOR has already granted a total of more than $180,000 US to its field operations in the Philippines to provide both fast relief assistance and long-term recovery and rehabilitation aid. Recovery is expected to take years, as the devastation provoked by the storm was great and widespread.

Typhoon Haiyan destroyed more than 250,000 homes and impacted more than 11 million people across 44 provinces. At least 3,500 people were killed in the super storm known locally as Yolanda.

“Rebuilding will take years,” Amick said. “We will move forward with the Filipino people, counting on God’s grace and the support of United Methodists and people of goodwill everywhere.”

Please continue to pray for Typhoon Haiyan survivors and for the UMCOR caravan making its way to them. Your generous gifts to International Disaster Response, UMCOR Advance #982450, will help UMCOR respond now and over the coming years.

*Linda Unger is senior writer for the General Board of Global Ministries.


Like what you're reading? Support the ministry of UM News! Your support ensures the latest denominational news, dynamic stories and informative articles will continue to connect our global community. Make a tax-deductible donation at ResourceUMC.org/GiveUMCom.

Sign up for our newsletter!

UMNEWS-SUBSCRIPTION
Local Church
Rick Reinhard. Photo by Valerie Smallwood.

A call to examine United Methodist real estate

As more houses of worship close or seek to redevelop their property, individual congregations must collect and assess data to determine their future.
Mission and Ministry
United Methodist Church of Bound Brook, in Bound Brook, N.J., is dealing with Hurricane Ida flood damage, including to its thrift shop. Photo courtesy of the Rev. Chuck Coblentz.

United Methodist connection kicks in after Ida

Church damage reports mount in Louisiana and Northeast, but spared areas are helping, including a $100,000 donation from the Alabama-West Florida Conference to the Louisiana Conference.
Disaster Relief
The Tribute in Light is an art installation created in remembrance of those who perished in the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center in New York City. It consists of 88 vertical searchlights arranged in two columns to represent the twin towers that came down in the attack. On clear nights, the lights can be seen over 60 miles away. Photo courtesy of the National 9/11 Memorial & Museum.

Finding light in the darkness of 9/11

United Methodists rose to the challenge of caring for survivors of the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks, but many of these helpers needed support afterward for their own trauma.