ANDERSON, Ind. —
Local churches are mobilizing to help those effected by the storm that devastated parts of the Philippines.
Anderson's Church of God has several churches in the heavily effected areas. The church's chief of communications, Mary Baker-Boudissa, said more than 10,000 Church of God members live in the island nation.
The Church of God's Children of Promise started its outreach in the Philippines in 1993. Linda Mason, of Children of Promise, said the organization has 684 sponsored Philippine children, mostly in the Manila area.
"They live in very poor conditions," Mason said. "We try to provide them with education, nutrition and spiritual growth."
Poor conditions and inadequate housing are among the reasons the destruction of the super cyclone was so immense.
Church leaders have been in contact with Eddie Viray, the national leader in the Philippines for the Church of God. Based on what they have learned from Viray, the destruction is on a monumental scale and the extent is still unknown.
"The devastation is unbelievable," Baker-Boudissa said. "There is so much that needs to be done."
Viray told church leaders that contact has been limited in the hardest-hit areas and power outages have made locating people next to impossible. The country was hit by a typhoon on Oct. 11, causing a loss of power that had still not been restored in some areas when Haiyan slammed in Nov. 8.
Viray said local churches are trying to reach those effected but progress must be made before relief efforts can begin.
The Church of God is teaming with other ministries in the area, such as the Wesleyan Church, to help as many people as possible.
"Partnerships are important, because they reach places we can't," Baker-Boudissa said. "Sometimes the best bet is to get with other groups."