January 21, 2014
As many of you probably know by now, tropical depression Agaton struck the Philippines and did major damage in Butuan City on the Mindanao Island where our little school is located. There are 84 out of 86 barangay (districts) with heavy damage and loss of property. In many places, the floods have reached nearly to the roofs; houses are tied together with ropes and many people evacuated to the public and private schools, as most schools in Butuan have been used as evacuation centers. KMM School has been flooded on the first floor almost knee deep. A number of the school families have had to be evacuated out of their nearly destroyed homes to shelters, including our 3rd grade teacher Rio and her family. Our principal’s house has also suffered major damage. It seems that most of our school’s families have been affected by this flood, but we will know more details of the damage in the days to come. The greatest need at the moment is food and water supply, of which we are currently assisting. According to the media, it will take at least another week before the evacuees can leave the shelters. However, despite this heartbreaking news, the very best news of all is that there have been no casualties among our children and their families. We are very grateful to God for His intervention.
In about 30 days a team of six of us plan to make our semi-annual visit to Butuan where we plan to assist to the needs of the KMM School and other individuals that we have been working with. We will keep you updated on the situation.
If you would like to send a donation in order to help with the relief efforts, you can do so by mailing a check to Reaching Beyond Words, PO Box 955, Mahomet, IL 61853 or donate online following this link. If you happen to reside outside of the United States, please feel free to contact your local sponsorship group.