At the urging of our partner church, The Lutheran Church in the Philippines – who cited grave concerns about personal safety – our disaster response team is postponing its departure to the Typhoon Haiyan-ravaged regions of the Philippines. At this time, the earliest possible date for departure is Friday, Nov. 15, instead of Tuesday, Nov. 12, as originally indicated, but this has not yet been confirmed. Please know that our plans for providing immediate relief and long-term recovery assistance are moving forward undeterred. I will continue to provide updates as plans are finalized.
For Immediate Release
Contact: Vicki Biggs, 314-996-1236, 314-556-3829 (cell), @theLCMS
Church to send disaster response team to Philippines Tuesday
ST. LOUIS, November 10, 2013–The Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod (LCMS) has pledged up to $100,000 for immediate Typhoon Haiyan relief, plus a $50,000 challenge matching grant to International Lutheran Council member churches.
LCMS disaster response ministry leaders will depart Tuesday, Nov 12, for the Philippines to provide immediate relief and begin planning for the long-term recovery in the wake of Typhoon Haiyan.
The LCMS team traveling overseas consists of the Rev. Glenn Merritt, director, LCMS Disaster Response; the Rev. Ross Johnson, co-director, LCMS Disaster Response; the Rev. Steve Schave; assistant executive director, LCMS Office of International Mission; and Deaconess Pamela Nielsen, associate executive director, LCMS Communications.
“After hearing of the ‘largest typhoon’ in recorded history and a report from the president of our partner, the Lutheran Church in the Philippines (LCP), that at least three congregations as well as the homes of pastors and church members would need to be rebuilt, the LCMS is engaging its mercy response to find the best way to assist,” said the Rev. Dr. Matthew C. Harrison, president of the LCMS. “These funds will provide some immediate relief, and I am deeply grateful to our generous donors for making this grant possible.”
Typhoon Haiyan, one of the strongest storms on record, slammed into the Philippines Friday. More than 1,200 people are feared dead. Thousands more are homeless as property damage and destruction of infrastructure are widespread. The storm is sweeping westward now with Vietnam in its path.
Three Lutheran Church of the Philippines congregations are in the hardest hit area. At least one church and parsonage were destroyed as were individual homes, crops and livestock.
“Please pray for all those affected by the storm,” Harrison said. “I also pray that Christ in His mercy will provide what is needed.”
LCMS Disaster Response serves to deliver the mercy of Jesus Christ to people suffering as a result of natural and man-made disasters. The ministry’s hallmark is its model of providing both immediate relief and long-term recovery assistance.
To make a gift in support of LCMS Disaster Response, visit http://www.lcms.org/disaster.
About The Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod
The Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod is a biblical, confessional, witness-oriented Christian denomination with 2.3 million members – 600,000 households – in 6,200 congregations. Through acts of witness and mercy, the church carries out its mission worldwide to make known the love of Jesus Christ. Learn more at www.lcms.org.