FREDERICKSBURG, Va. – Virginia Baptists have allocated $20,000 to assist victims in the Philippines of one of the most powerful typhoons ever recorded. The storm displaced more than 800,000 people and left more than 2 million in need of food aid.
The funds, announced Nov. 12 during the annual meeting of the Baptist General Association of Virginia, were drawn from a world mission emergency relief fund, said BGAV executive director John Upton. They will be distributed by the Luzon Convention of Southern Baptist Churches, a network of more than 400 congregations on the northern island of the Philippine archipelago.
Typhoon Haiyan made landfall in the Philippines Nov. 8 as one of the most powerful storms ever recorded on Earth, according to CNN. By Nov. 12, officials had counted 1,774 deaths from the storm, but say that number may exceed 10,000, CNN reported.
Gerlie Baltero of the Luzon Convention told the Baptist World Alliance “bodies were lying in the streets” and “people have lost homes, their work, and some their loved ones.” He reported that “many are in need of food, water and medicine” throughout the nation.
Ross Clifford, president of the Asian Pacific Baptist Federation who was delivering keynote messages at the BGAV annual meeting, told Virginia Baptists their relief contributions would have an impact.
“Thank you for your support of these victims,” said Clifford, an Australian theologian.
The Cooperative Baptist Fellowship, the Southern Baptist Convention and the American Baptist Churches USA also are collecting relief funds for Filipinos displaced by the typhoon.
Robert Dilday ([email protected]) is managing editor of the Religious Herald.