Texas Baptist Men will deploy 10 men to the Philippines early in the morning on Wed., Oct. 7 to spend 10 days helping with relief work and teaching local people how to clean up the area in the aftermath of the flooding and landslides that took place in the last week.
Within the last week, the Philippine islands were hit by Typhoons Ketsana and Parma, causing water to rise more than 20 feet in some areas. At one point, 80 percent of Manila sat underwater. The National Disaster Coordinating Council reports that Ketsana caused 246 deaths in the Philippines and as well as 72 in Vietnam and nine in Cambodia. More than two million people have been affected by the storm.
“Our mission is to equip and train local people in how to do the cleanup work,” said Dick Talley, Texas Baptist Men director of disaster relief.
The group includes team leader Ernie Rice of Stockdale, Bill Gresso of Garland, Stan Knight of Dallas, Harold Patterson of Scoggins, Russell Schieck of Lubbock, Mike Tello of Elsa, Larry Vawter of Altair, Leo Vega of Odessa, Rey Villanueva of Kenedy and Rand Jenkins of Mansfield.
The band of men will join with Baptist Global Response, Kentucky Baptist Men, Oklahoma Baptist Men and the Southern Baptist Convention of Texas to carry out various clean-up activities within the next two weeks.
“Imagine standing in two or three inches of muck and having to dig it out, remove furniture, remove personal belongings, decide what to save and what to throw out and then rinse off and sanitize what is left,” Talley said. “It is quite emotional for those who are going through it.”
The men hope to bring physical, emotional and spiritual help and restoration to the flood victims who are sitting in such a vulnerable state, Talley said.
Texas Baptist Men disaster relief efforts are made possible through donations given to Texas Baptist Men and the Texas Baptist Missions Foundation at the Baptist General Convention of Texas. To support the Philippine relief efforts through Texas Baptist Men, visit www.texasbaptistmen.org and click on the Donations tab or mail a check marked for disaster response to Texas Baptist Men at 5351 Catron, Dallas, TX 75227. To give to the efforts through the Texas Baptist Missions Foundation, visit www.bgct.org/give and click on Disaster Response or send a check marked for disaster relief to the Texas Baptist Mission Foundation at 333 N. Washington, Dallas, TX 75246-1798.