By Kim Plummer Krull
As the death toll from Typhoon Bopha continues to climb, a Lutheran Filipino pastor is asking for prayers for his young son who suffered a serious injury after the powerful storm blew the roof off the parsonage where the family lives.
“Unfortunately due to the wet floor, my 3-year-old son slipped, hit his head on the floor and suffered a linear fracture on his skull. We just got out from the hospital today,” the Rev. Arwyn Edward Ladlad said in an email on Dec. 8, adding that the youngster, Karsten Edward, will be taking medication for his brain for a month.
“Please include him in your prayers,” Ladlad said in the email to the Rev. Glenn F. Merritt, LCMS director of Disaster Response, as part of an update from the Active Lutheran Emergency Response Team (ALERT), of which Ladlad is a member.
Based on the ALERT assessment, the Rev. James D. Cerdeñola, president of the Lutheran Church in the Philippines (LCP), has requested an emergency grant from the LCMS to provide emergency relief kits to survivors on Mindanao, the island hit hard by the Dec. 4 storm.
Bopha hit 13 days before the one-year anniversary of Typhoon Washi, which also ravaged that southern Philippines island, according to the grant request.
The number of Typhoon Bopha-related deaths has climbed to more than 700 with more than 800 still missing, according to news reports, which described 130-mile winds and flash floods that washed away villages.
Although Lutheran pastors reported no typhoon-related deaths among their members, “we believe that we have a Christian duty to help even those who are not members of our church,” the Rev. Daniel Pondevida, pastor of St. Paul Lutheran Church, Mawab Compostela Valley, said in an email to an ALERT member.
Both Ladlad and Genmar Pizarro, Human Care coordinator for the LCP, were among the 10 ALERT members who recently took part in the “Mercy in Action” LCMS disaster-response conference in Hong Kong.
“What a blessing that the ALERT just received their training and are now better equipped to complete the [damage and needs] assessment,” said the Rev. John A. Fale, associate executive director of LCMS Mercy Operations, referring to the Nov. 27-29 conference for the LCMS Asia Pacific region.
“Who knew they would be putting their training to use so quickly?” the Rev. Carlos Hernandez, director of LCMS Church and Community Engagement, said of the Filipino Lutherans whom he and Merritt instructed at the conference on Christian care in a disaster’s wake.
“They were highly energetic and enthused about the training,” Hernandez said in an email. “So we have disaster-response trained folks on the ground ready to work with us.”
Nearly a week after the typhoon, reports show grizzly images of families searching among bodies looking for missing relatives.
To support those in need from this typhoon:
- Make an online gift at https://www.lcms.org/givenow/disaster.
- Mail checks payable to “The Lutheran Church–Missouri Synod” (with a memo line or note designating “LCMS Disaster Relief”) to The Lutheran Church–Missouri Synod, P.O. Box 66861, St. Louis, MO 63166-6861.
- Call toll-free 888-930-4438 (8:10 a.m. to 4:10 p.m. CST, Monday through Friday).
Kim Plummer Krull is a freelance writer and a member of St. Paul’s Lutheran Church, Des Peres, Mo.
Posted Dec. 14, 2012