Reports say the typhoon ripped trees out of the ground, took roofs off houses, and drowned farmers’ unharvested fields as it headed towards China. The storm also triggered a landslide in the Filipino town of Itogon. Over 60 people are confirmed dead in the country.
Typhoon Season in the Philippines
Typhoons aren’t unusual in Southeast Asia. AMG International’s Bill Passons says the Filipino people are resilient, but this storm left its mark.
“It’s definitely a devastating storm in that there has been a loss of life and lots of damage,” Passon shares. “It’s an ongoing situation.”
Since the Philippines are accustomed to the typhoon season, Passons says their response is usually well-coordinated. However, the storm hit in an area where AMG is not currently present. In a few days, the ministry will finish assessing whether or not it can help offer long-term aid or not. With that said, AMG projects, which are in the southern Philippines, were not affected by the storm.
“The devastating parts of these storms, yes, are the loss of property and of course anytime lives are lost, that’s obviously hugely devastating to the families in the communities. But, the lasting impact is the fact that livelihoods have been destroyed,” Passons explains.
Farmers’ unharvested crops have been flooded, forfeiting a year’s worth of profit. It’ll be another year before these farmers can get back on a productive cycle of planting and reaping. Passons says some of the farmers affected may have borrowed money to be able to plant this year’s crops. Now, without the expected harvest, these farmers are left in debt without their livelihood. This same situation applies to more than just farmers though. People, like fishermen, have also suffered debilitating damages to their trades.
Still, even in the face of the aftermath of Typhoon Mangkhut, there is still hope. Passons explains that if AMG does offer aid, the ministry will encounter people who are curious as to why strangers would want to help. AMG’s answer to this question is the compassion and love of Christ.
Pray for those whose lives have been devastated. Pray for physical needs to be met, but also the spiritual ones following this natural disaster. Ask God to give wisdom and discernment to AMG as it assesses how to help. Finally, pray for the broken-hearted that they would be comforted and in time healed.
(Header photo satellite imagery courtesy of NASA)
*Header photo is representational only.