When Typhoon Haiyan, one of the most powerful storms on record, hit the Philippines on November 8th, Pastor Sutton Turner put out a call to the people of Mars Hill Church to aid the recovery effort by donating to Compassion International.
Compassion has been working in the island nation since the 1970s. Out of its 339 child development centers scattered across the Philippines, 45 were affected by the typhoon. With its connection to local churches, Compassion was in a uniquely strategic position to serve those displaced by the storm.
On its website, Compassion states, “In times like these, mobilizing the church is the best answer.” The church responded. Donations made by the Mars Hill family and others were put to work distributing badly needed cooking supplies, clothing, medical supplies, blankets, and medical treatment. Compassion medical teams have seen roughly 4,000 patients in addition to assessing children’s nutritional needs and providing preventative measures against disease. Compassion has been working with the local churches it partners with, battling the difficulties of transportation and communications in the aftermath of the storm.
In an update, Compassion wrote, “For thousands of families who were already struggling to survive, your quick response brought immediate relief and hope of a future—a living testimony of God’s love and mercy in the midst of devastation and fear. On their behalf, thank you.”
As Compassion moves forward meeting immediate needs, it looks toward the future. In the coming months, once immediate needs are met and some stability is restored, Compassion will turn its attention to assessing the damage and beginning the long, slow process of rebuilding. Resources are scarce and demand is high.
For more information or to donate to the ongoing effort to help children and their families in light of their devastating losses, go to Compassion’s Disaster Relief Fund.