Terrorist Attacks in the Philippines

Mar 06, 2003 01:33 PM EST

A bomb exploded at the airport in Davao City, killing 21 people, including a missionary. International Mission Board’s Van Payne says, "Bill Hyde, 59, died in surgery from severe head and leg injuries. Barbara Wallis Stevens, 33, was slightly injured and her 10-month-old son, Nathan, also was wounded. Our hearts go out to these families and their coworkers. We are moving quickly to assist the missionaries affected by this tragedy." Payne says this violence isn't new. "That's been going on for decades. These folks were simply going about their lives and were in the wrong place at the wrong time. We're grieved at the loss of Bill and certainly we're praying for the Stevens family, but the brunt of this was felt by the Filipino people."

Despite the tragic bombing, the missionaries in the Philipines continue to devote their lives. Susan Van Lopik with the World Relief Committee says, "We've been there in the Philippines for many, many years. And so, we have a lot of programs on the ground. Working with local communities to improve the conditions of the poor people there. We are also involved, especially in Mindanao, in our peace and reconciliation work there - bringing together Muslim and Christian leaders and community members to try to develop communities of peace." Van Lopik says prayer is essential. "Pray for the leaders of the communities so that they see the value of being peacemakers and peace builders in their community. Also, pray for the work that we are doing in terms of spreading the Gospel."

By Pauline J.