Impact Blog

Philippines Relief Report

Now that the second team has returned from the Philippines disaster zone, here is an update on all that has so far been accomplished. We thank the Lord and you for making this happen.

When super typhoon Haiyan devastated the central Philippines leaving a path of destruction and loss on an almost unimaginable scale, lack of clean water was one of the foremost struggles the survivors had to deal with. Impact Nations partnered with I Thirst International and the Ugandan Water Project to send two teams to bring water filters to the affected region. So many generously responded, that both teams were able to bring in together 850 water filters, easily providing clean water to over 50,000 people, with hundreds more filters on the way.

Here is an eyewitness report from David Pearson. David is a director on the Impact Nations board, and is the founder of I Thirst, through which we conduct all our water projects worldwide:

“My name is David and I had the privilege of being on the first team with my good friend and the founder of the Ugandan Water Project, James Harrington. Last year James and I traveled together to Haiti to get clean water to people suffering in the midst of a major cholera outbreak. We experienced great favor and mercy from God to accomplish more than was normally possible in such a setting. This trip was no different. We left only having one connection, yet the Lord went ahead of us; again and again we found ourselves in the midst of Divine appointments and key contacts in the church and with civil government.

After landing in Cebu, we went to the YWAM base where we had opportunity to train teams how to install the water filters. On the first day that they went out, not only did over 1,000 people receive a permanent clean water source, over 70 gave their lives to Christ.

From there, we traveled to Tanauan, a city of about 50,000 people that had been devastated by the typhoon. Everywhere we looked we saw flattened houses; of those still standing, 99% has no roofs. Most of the trees had been uprooted.

In the first few minutes in Tanuan, we connected with the mayor. After we showed him the Sawyer water filter, he instructed all 54 community leaders to come to the town hall and be instructed in how to install and use the filters. Using the town hall as our base,

in a matter of a few days the filters were distributed to many places throughout the disaster zone. Through the mayor’s connection, we were able to distribute the filters through the city faster than we had dared to hope for.

We realized early on that one of our ministries was to simply listen to the harrowing and heartbreaking stories of those who had survived. We sat and listened as a school administrator told us of her narrow escape from death as the 15-20 foot wave and nearly 200 mph winds almost ripped their 13 year old daughter from the hand of her husband who was hanging barely to a barrel with his other arm. She thought it would be the last time they would ever see each other again. Her son Mark, our translator, clung desperately to the top of a palm tree for four hours, his house completely destroyed. We asked if we could pray with them before we left and stood in a circle holding hands. As we prayed tears flowed from their eyes. It was a privilege to be a small part of their healing.

One day as James and I rode back from delivering water filters in a community, we saw a big sign across the front of someone’s house, "Roofless but not Hopeless". This was what we encountered as we interacted with the resilient Filipino people. Hope and thankfulness for being alive was helping them to begin the long rebuilding process. A huge thank you from the Filipino people for your help with bringing them clean water.” 

We join with David in thanking all of you who responded so quickly and generously to this crisis. We were amazed at your response. Now that many Filipino teams have been trained on the ground, we will be sending more filters into the area for distribution and installation.

As well, we are planning a Journey of Compassion into the disaster area, May 18-30. There is both a great need and a great opportunity to demonstrate God’s Kingdom.

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