Uniting Church SA Moderator, Dr Deidre Palmer is calling for prayer and support for those affected by Cyclone Koppu. Below is a copy of the pastoral note from the Moderator:
This past week has been a difficult one for our church partner, the United Church of Christ in the Philippines (UCCP). On Wednesday 21 October, Cyclone Koppu devastated the northern Philippines, killing 18 people and displacing more than 500,000 with flooding and landslides. Two of the casualties are members of our UCCP partner church.
There are 80kmh winds forecast to linger throughout the weekend with seven provinces declared a state of emergency. The continuing storms mean access has been restricted to some areas of the Philippines leaving people without much needed relief and supplies.
I invite you this Sunday and in the coming weeks to pray for our Filipino sisters and brothers who continue to experience the devastation, particularly in the North Luzon jurisdiction. There are reports of massive landslides in Benguet, Bontoc, Apayao and Ifugao provinces. The Apayao people continue to be isolated due to landslides rendering roads impassable. Loss of livelihoods due to floodings of crops is also prevalent in Nueva Vizcaya, Isabela, Quirino and Cagayan provinces. We are still awaiting updates on the Ilocos region.
Bishop Sambat of the UCCP has asked for prayer and support at this time, “In this hour of difficulty where our people need comforting words and provision, we implore our brothers and sisters all over the globe to help us pray and respond to the needs of the victims.”
While a full account of the damage is unavailable and storms linger, we continue to pray for our partners during this traumatic time. We also pray for those who are assisting with relief and aid. We pray that God will sustain them with strength as they undertake the necessary support and pastoral care of those affected.