LDS Church works urgently to contact missing missionaries, provide aid in Philippines

Return To Article
Add a comment
  • GlennLewman Merlin, OR
    Nov. 11, 2013 6:09 p.m.

    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.

  • Pacific_Creek Puyallup, WA
    Nov. 11, 2013 5:29 p.m.

    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.

  • Pacific_Creek Puyallup, WA
    Nov. 11, 2013 5:16 p.m.

    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 Pilipinas.

  • Hamath Omaha, NE
    Nov. 11, 2013 4:38 p.m.

    @ 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.

  • just thinkin Phoenix, Arizona
    Nov. 11, 2013 4:35 p.m.

    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.

  • chinamom Cottonwood Heights, UT
    Nov. 11, 2013 4:26 p.m.

    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 be provided.

  • atl134 Salt Lake City, UT
    Nov. 11, 2013 4:15 p.m.

    Considering 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).

  • panamadesnews Lindon, UT
    Nov. 11, 2013 4:14 p.m.


    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.

  • Californian Santa Ana, CA
    Nov. 11, 2013 4:09 p.m.

    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 very moment.

  • MoJules Florissant, MO
    Nov. 11, 2013 2:32 p.m.

    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.

  • patriot Cedar Hills, UT
    Nov. 11, 2013 2:27 p.m.

    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 a parent ...where your son is and if he is alive is NOT acceptable.