Typhoon Haiyan (locally known as Yolanda), considered the world’s strongest typhoon ever to make landfall, pummelled Central Philippines in 2013. Government figures estimate the super typhoon affected about 14 million people and left 4.1 million displaced. More than 6,000 people were killed, and about 44 provinces in 9 regions sustained extensive damage to houses, livelihoods, and infrastructure. About 1 million houses were damaged, half of them completely destroyed. The UN Food Security and Agriculture Cluster reported that the livelihoods of over a quarter of a million small-scale farmers were affected. As is often the case, the most vulnerable were the most affected by the typhoon; many faced devastating loss. Mission & Service partner the National Council of Churches in the Philippines (NCCP) was quick to respond and continues to play a key role in supporting communities as they rebuild their lives and livelihoods. Subsistence farmers who relied on their farms to feed their families were devastated and desperately need help. A key part of the NCCP community-building response involved distributing seed for food crops in five of the most affected area villages. The response prioritized the most vulnerable: subsistence farmers, women-headed families, and families caring for elderly people. We are thankful that, with support from Mission & Service, 763 vulnerable families in the Philippines received the seed that ultimately put food on their tables. Please join me in making Mission & Service giving a regular part of your life of faith.
Loving God, we are called to be your colours in the world, to walk with each other, to share in love through our gifts for Mission & Service. Guide us to shine brightly in the world. Amen