Past and Present Realities of Natural Disasters
A Visit From Blair Clark
Earlier this month we had the pleasure of hosting Blair Clark for a week long visit in the Philippines. Blair is a former director at Canadian Baptist Ministries (CBM) and during his tenure he made several visits to the Philippines, especially after the devastating super typhoon Yolanda (Haiyan) struck the region in 2013. Blair was heavily involved in the planning and implementation of the relief and reconstruction efforts that CBM was involved with through our partnership with Kabuganaan Philippines Ministries (KPM) and the Convention of Philippine Baptist Churches Inc. (CPBC). Through these partnerships CBM was able to provide assistance to communities and families throughout Capiz province (one of the hardest hit areas). Through the support of Canadian Baptist, individuals/families were able to receive construction materials (such as roofing materials) and small hand tools (such as hammers) and other necessary supplies, which allowed them to repair and/or rebuild their homes and community structures.
Although Blair made several visits during that time he did not have an opportunity to return to see the completion of the reconstruction efforts in many of these communities. Thankfully, during his visit here in early February we were able to visit a number of these communities to see the finished work, to meet with community/church members, to hear reports and updates, and to listen to how grateful they are for the support of Canadian Baptists for journeying with them through such a great time of need.
Blair (right) greeting the community members of Hopevale with Pastor Job Santiago (left) translating into the Illonggo language.
Gathering of community/church members of Aglongon, which is a mountainous community in Capiz. It takes about 45 minutes to hike up into the community (not accessible to any form of transportation).
Inside the Aglongon Baptist Church – a traditional Bamboo structure with a dirt floor. Blair is sharing with everyone gathered just how impressed he is with the quality of the repairs and reconstruction that they did to their church and homes.
This is a traditional bamboo house and sari-sari store (canteen) on the way up the mountain which belonged to Pastors Nestor and Gilene who lost their lives to flash flooding while crossing a small river at the bottom of the mountain late last year. Gilene’s sister now occupies the home and continues to operate the sari-sari store.
This is a healthy looking rice field that is ready for harvest. Typically January and February are harvest months for rice here in the Philippines.
Natural Disaster Strikes Again
Between December 26th, 2017 and January 2nd, 2018 three (3) significant tropic storms hit the provinces of Capiz, Aklan, and Iloilo. Thankfully the storms did not bring heavy winds so structural damage to homes and other buildings was minimal. However, these storms did bring significant rainfall over the entire region, which caused major flooding. It has been estimated that over 250 rice farmers have been impacted by these floods. With no rice to harvest these farmers (who have families to feed) will not have rice to sell in the markets, and more importantly, will have no rice to feed their families.
Canadian Baptist Ministries is supporting these farmers through a coordinated ‘Livelihood Recovery’ project in partnership with Asia Pacific Baptist Aid (APBAid – a relief and development organization of the Asia Pacific Baptist Federation, and member of BWA), the CPBC, and a number of other relief organizations. Farmers will receive financial support to assist them with preparing the soils in their fields, purchasing the necessary farm inputs (such as seeds and fertilizers), and replanting their rice crop. APBAid will also be offering Disaster Preparedness Seminars in each local community (in the local churches) throughout the region, so that farmers can learn how to better prepare for natural disasters such as this one.
This is an arial photo of a community in Capiz province. As you can see much of the community is under water, including farmers rice fields. When rice fields experience this amount of flooding it is very damaging to the crop and in many cases can ruin the entire harvest.
This is a photo of a rice field that was ready for harvest. However, the heavy rains caused significant flooding, which covered the entire field (water lilies floated in due to the flooding).
This picture show a rice field completely covered in water. The flags/banners that you see in the photo are there to mark the type of seed or fertilizers that were used on that field. Unfortunately, rice fields that experience this kind of flooding are significantly damaged.
We are so thankful that APBAid and CPBC are giving leadership to this livelihood recovery and CBM is pleased to be able to support their efforts. CBM is able to respond to disasters like these (around the world) because of the generous and faithful support of individuals and churches across Canada. Thank you!
If you would like to make a donation to CBM in support of the above livelihood recovery response or to other CBM disaster responses you can do so online or by mailing your donation to:
Canadian Baptist Ministries – 7185 Millcreek Drive, Mississauga, ON, L5N 5R4
If you are interested in becoming a Partner-in-Mission please contact Barb Keys (email@example.com or call 1-905-821-3533) at Canadian Baptist Ministries. You can also visit their website at www.cbmin.org to give online or for more information. We are only able to follow God’s leading in our lives thanks to the monthly support of generous individuals and churches.
All donations of $10.00 or more will receive a charitable tax receipt at year end.
Michael & Melanie
Kyla, Sean, Carter & Allie