Providing Relief Across the Pacific

( [email protected] ) Nov 07, 2003 08:42 AM EST

MANILA, Philippines – While wildfires blazed through the suburbs of Southern California, a late night fire raged through an urban neighborhood in Manila, Philippines, leaving thousands homeless and several dead. And in the same way Southern Baptist ministers assisted the victims in California, the SBC missionaries provided relief and shelter to those displaced across the Pacific.

An estimated 2,000 families lost their homes to the conflagration, which submerged the towns of Pasay and Makiti in a rage of heat and ash for eight hours, on Oct. 20. Many of the homeless sought refuge at the Baptist Pasay Community Praise Church, where Southern Baptist missionaries provided shelter and food throughout the week. The Baptist response was part of a broader effort involving government offices, humanitarian organizations and other missions agencies.

"We are thankful we had the opportunity to minister to the people of Pasay," said Mark Harvey, strategy leader for the missionary team focused on the Filipino people groups of Luzon Island.

"We also are grateful for the ability to partner with the Pasay Baptist church to ease the suffering of those who were victimized by the fire,” he continued.

According to Harvey, the financial ability to help the victims came through the contributions made by congregations and individuals in the United States to the International Missions Board through the Cooperative Program and the Lottie Moon Christmans Offering.

On October 30, the Pasay church held a thanksgiving and praise service to for all the families housed in building.