Scotland Church of God Congregations donate £1750

Scotland Church of God Congregations donate £1750

In their annual convention this week, the ministers of the Church of God in Scotland—only 15 pastors representing 13 churches—gave a generous $1,600 for typhoon relief for the Church of God in the Philippines.

“I was tremendously touched by the concern demonstrated by the faithful men and women of Scotland,” said Dr. Tim Hill, director of World Missions. “Although they face their own needs and challenges, they showed the genuine love of Christ by this gesture.”

New reports from the Philippines—still incomplete because many of the island communities are cut off from the rest of the country by damaged roads and airports—indicate that damage is worse than initially recognized. World Missions now knows five church buildings were completely destroyed, 12 others suffered major damage, 20 pastors’ residences were demolished, and at least 110 church families’ homes were destroyed.

“Our first priority has been getting water and water filters to the people,” Hill explained. “Through a partnership with Water for the World, we distributed filters the week after the storm. Operation Compassion has shipped 60 tons of foodstuff and supplies that will reach victims this week.”

The gift of love from Scotland is symbolic of a new chapter among many Church of God nations, the missions leader stated. Once the recipient of donations from the United States and other missions-loving countries, these mission outposts are now reciprocating by sending offerings to those in need.

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Church of God World Missions Philippines

Church of God World Missions Philippine

Church of God leaders on the ground in the Philippines continue to administer assistance to survivors after what has been called the strongest storm of the year, a typhoon that swept through hundreds of island communities with winds up to 195 mph, according to a report from World Missions Director Tim Hill.

Anthony Velasco, Philippines overseer and pastor of a congregation of nearly 10,000, confirmed today that he has received the initial aid money sent by World Missions. His church also collected more than $12,000, including substantial gifts from other denominations, which one of the church’s pastors, Rhony Pepito, will take to Leyte in the affected area to furnish food, water, and other immediate necessities.

“We are blessed to have strong, capable leaders in the Philippines, who are doing an excellent job in channeling the resources,” Hill said. The director indicated that when the Christ’s Birthday offerings are received, additional help will be directed to places most in need.

“There is so much damage and it is so far-reaching that the Church of God plan is to send ‘waves’ of help in coming weeks and months,” Velasco explained. He dispatched a pastor, Joseph Toring, today to be their “eyes on the ground” to determine needs and follow-up relief efforts. The national office is also working closely with Lito Anabo, the Visayas overseer, where most of the damage took place.

The damage to thousands of houses not built to withstand strong winds has been horrendous. Seven Churches of God were targets of the storm, including four totally destroyed. Food, hygiene kits, and medical supplies for stranded communities are among the greatest needs. Badly damaged roads and airports have slowed the flow of relief.

Initial estimates indicated the death toll could reach 10,000, and the count has already exceeded 5,000; it is expected to continue rising. Many communities remain isolated from outside help, and reports are far from complete.

World Missions is corresponding with United States pastors this week, requesting that they give their congregants the opportunity to contribute $20.13 from each family, the annual “Christ’s Birthday Offering,” in order to offer  additional help in the Philippines.
The project number for Philippines relief is 765-0041.

Bill George

Church of God World Missions

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