Rebuilding after Typhoon Haiyan A new church for a parish in the Philippines
Project Code: 329-08-19
Haiyan – or in the Philippines, Yolanda. Beautiful sounding names for a typhoon that was one of the major natural disasters of recent times. Just over a year ago, this typhoon unleashed its full fury on the coast of the Philippines, sweeping over 6,000 people to their deaths and destroying everything in its path. Even the Filipinos, who are generally accustomed to such natural disasters, had never experienced a typhoon of this destructive force before. Almost nothing could withstand ‘Yolanda,’ which swept across the islands, generating wind speeds in excess of 200 miles an hour. According to UN figures, more than 11 million people were affected by the storm; many of them were rendered homeless.
Thousands have lost all they possessed – including the tools they need to work their fields, the boats they depended on for fishing, the livestock by which they earned their living, the factories where they worked, their tractors, motor vehicles, bicycles, etc. Thousands more lost family members and friends – yet not their faith and their hope. Since then the people have been struggling to get back on their feet and rebuild their ruined homes and churches.
One of the many devastated buildings was the Church of Our Lady of the Immaculate Conception in the Diocese of Borongang, on Guiuan, a small island in the Eastern Philippines which was the first to be struck by Typhoon Haiyan. Waves of 16 to 20 feet were recorded here. Of the once beautiful church that had stood since the 1760s, nothing but ruins remained. With one gust, the typhoon tore off the roof and smashed in the walls of the church. At the same time, the interior furnishings were destroyed. There is no possibility of rebuilding the original church now, and so Bishop Lope C. Robredillo has decided to build a new church in an architectural style similar to the earlier one.
ACN is offering to contribute $9,900 towards the cost of building this new church in Guiuan. Not only will this be a sign of solidarity with the deeply religious people there who have lost everything, but at the same time this sign of hope will encourage them to remain in their home region and not move away to Manila, as so many others have done – where for most of them only a life of misery and destitution awaits. Will you give to build this new church in the Philippines and help the local people recover from this devastating typhoon?
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