I live in the Philippines half of the year and have a brother and sister on
missions in the effected areas. I have been there through the last two
typhoons to hit Mindanao. The Church does an amazing job in their relief
effort and to protect the missionaries and help the members and all effected.
Relief from the government and aid organizations takes 5-7 days but the Church
has supplies on hand in a few hours. What happened to us is that the leaders
called for all the 72 hour kits to be taken to the nearest chapel. This
provided aid until outside supplies are brought in or purchased on site. After
the members needs were met, we started to feed the victims around us that same
day. We were days ahead of the Red Cross, UN, and any government aide. The
UN spent millions of pesos buying new trucks and renting expensive houses before
even the tents arrived for the victims. The Church did an fantastic job. I am
sure they are doing the same here.
Evacuating in front of a storm in the Philippines is a tough thing. I have
weathered a couple of typhoons while I was there in the early 90s. Even if you
know it is coming, which 1 time I did not, you are on a small island with the
only ways off being plane or boat. Would you want your missionary to jump on a
boat in the face of a hurricane? Having ridden on those boats I wouldn't
want to. Even if you were to try to jump a plane (assuming you could get a
seat) where would you go that is safe? It is a small island with not much room
to escape. Like anywhere else the church builds things to last in
the Philippines and those churches would be a safe place to ride out even a
storm of this magnitude rather than trying to escape to Manila or elsewhere.
Remember that the storm decimated the infrastructure there so it isn't a
simple matter of making a phone call to Tacloban, or even driving to the spot
where the missionaries are holed up.
I served a mission in the Philippines. Evacuating in the face of a large storm
is no simple task. The transportation infrastructure is not what we are used to
here in the States and safely trying to move the missionaries out of the path of
the storm would be next to impossible. The safest thing to do for the
missionaries would be to move them inland to a church which are built out of
rebar reinforced concrete and are very sturdy. I weathered a couple of typhoons
while I was there, nothing this fierce but there is limited space to run and
hide. While I was there no cell phones existed and land lines were far and few
in between as well.It has been a melancholy day for me here wishing
I could do something to help the suffering for the wonderful people of the
@ patriot.While this is a terrible event. It's much too early
to know what the church did or didn't do to ensure safety. For all you
know they did exactly what you have suggested as they did in your son's
case. But perhaps the entire region was hit so hard that communications are
down. Time will tell. Prayers, love, and hugs in the meantime and
some $ to help out with the recovery.
to PATRIOT from Cedar Hills: The way I read the article, they WERE moved:
"all the missionaries in the Tacloban mission had been moved outside of the
city into safer areas."and ALSO provided with 72 hour kits.
It's a ticky-tacky detail...but the Philipines is its own Area....Elder
Brent Nielsen is Pres of the Philipines Area.....Elder Gerrit Gong is Pres. of
the Asia Area..... And those of us in Asia are deeply saddened and concerned for
the welfare of the Missionaries, Members and Citizens of this lovely country. I
am confident that the Church will be the next wave of temporal relief that will
@patriotConsidering the size and strength of this storm (it was still
category 4 when it came out the other side) those safe locations are in some
cases a couple hundred miles away and possibly on a different island. Plus
it's not just missionaries, you have to deal with pretty much the entire
Tacloban mission (others would know better than I how many wards that makes up).
@patriot:Your criticism is not justified where you do not have all
of the facts. I read before the typhoon hit that the Church had moved all
missionaries to safe places, & some were moved to Red Cross facilities.
Mission presidents put the safety of their missionaries before themselves and on
par with their own families. Please wait until you have all of the facts before
you find fault on the Church or the mission organizations.
The article stated : "Church leaders previously reported that all the
missionaries in the Tacloban mission had been moved outside of the city into
safer areas. Each missionary also had been provided a 72-hour kit ahead of the
storm." Sounds to me like they took every expected necessary precaution.
Let's hope those missionaries are not only safe but helping others this
My hope is, that like the Stripling Warriors, all will be safe, maybe some aches
and pains, but that they are all OK. Will keep them and all those in the
Philippines members and non members alike in my prayers.
this hurricane was known about for days prior to it's hitting land. Why in
the world didn't the Church just gather ALL missionaries in a few safe
locations prior to landfall? Giving missionaries a 72 hour kit and saying good
luck isn't what I would expect to happen. My son served in Miami and had
several hurricane scares and each time missionaries scattered from the Bahamas
to the Keys and up the coast were all located in Red Cross shelters prior to the
hurricane hitting land. Having to sit and wonder ...as a parent ...where your
son is and if he is alive is NOT acceptable.