An Urgent Appeal from Filipino Brethren

I just received this email from an elder of a church in San Carlos City in Pangasinan province, five hours north of Manila. Like Myanmar, the northern region of the Philippines was ravaged by a typhoon (cyclone) codenamed “Halong” (“Cosme” in the Philippines). This is the same church where I go to preach once a month. See also this BBC News video.

For more information on how to help, please contact Pastor Gil Baloy in the United States or Jose Cabugao in the Philippines.

(message condensed and edited)
From: Jose Jr. Cabugao
Subject: Re: Fw: Please Help if you can!
To: g_baloyatyahoodotcom
Date: Monday, June 2, 2008, 3:41 AM

Christian Greetings!

The recent cyclone codenamed “Cosme” which happened last May 17, 2008 left numerous families homeless and caused much damage to the livelihood of our people – agriculture and aquaculture. Post cyclone reports revealed that the estimated damage in our province totalled 200 Billion Pesos while in San Carlos City alone amounts to 32 Billion Pesos and even more.

Onset and Aftermath of the Cyclone

At the onset of Typhoon “Cosme”, the UCRCP leaders were having a meeting…. It was during the meeting that the gustiness of the winds started. After the meeting [some of the brethren] hurriedly left the church. Along the way, they encountered falling trees, debris and toppled electrical poles. Their travel going home was a dangerous trip but by God’s grace, they arrived safely.

By Sunday morning the 18th of May, the province was virtually devastated. Roads were not passable due to fallen trees, toppled electrical poles and debris on the roads, and the city was without electrical power.

Despite the cyclone’s evening onslaught, the church here in San Carlos City held its regular Sunday service. Although painted in the faces of the members were the agony and horrible experience (the elderly said it was the strongest ever) of the super typhoon in the whole evening of Saturday, still, God’s people were faithful honoring and thanking God during the Lord’s Day.

The Church

The church here, thru its leaders extended some help to the affected families. Relief goods consisting of rice, canned sardines and noodles were distributed to the community. Counselling was also done by the leaders to remind them of God’s sovereignty and ease the fear amongst our people and to instill assurance that our God in His infinite mercy and grace is very much in control.

Cyclone Damage to Members

Cyclone Cosme left damages to houses and properties of the UCRCP brethren. The church facilitated the visits of the members’ houses and found at least ten (10) were found to be from totally to partially damaged.

Today, the weather bureau sighted another low pressure area in the Pacific Ocean. It is expected within a few days to enter the Philippines. As of now, most of the Province of Pangasinan including San Carlos City are still in the dark. It will take more than a month to fully restore the electrical power.

Our Prayers

Brethren, we thank you for your sincere prayers and your deepest concern for us. In this time of distress, any help from you will be greatly appreciated: Our present needs include: foods, blankets, tarpauline sheets/tents for temporary shelter, flashlights, candles, construction tools and financial assistance for the purchase of construction materials for damaged houses.

Thank you and SOLI DEO GLORIA.

Very truly Yours,
UCRCP Brethren

About Nollie

Associate Pastor of Trinity United Reformed Church in Walnut Creek, CA. Assigned as missionary to the Philippines. Lives just outside Metro Manila with wife and daughter. Three older boys live and work in CA.
Leah Sernas says:

Can you let us know where we can send money from the USA to the needy church? Or can we send some to you and you distribute it? Oops, I just noticed Pastor Baloy’s contact link. I’ll go to him.