Todd Aebischer, Guest Writer
A great Christmas break in Singapore turned into a tremendous ministry opportunity for SNU freshman Jonathan Hane. The son of missionary parents, Dave (SNU class of ’81) and Kim Hane, Jonathan grew up in the Philippines and Singapore with a love for the people of Asia and the Pacific. When he learned his parents were organizing a work team to the typhoon ravaged area of the Philippines two days after he was to return to SNU, he postponed his return and joined them.
Typhoon Haiyan, known locally as Yolanda, made landfall in the early morning hours of November 8, accompanied by relentless 195 mph winds and 5 – 10 foot storm surges along a 200 mile wide path. The Super Typhoon leveled coastal villages, destroyed crops and wrecked the local fishing industry. The UN estimates Haiyan left more than 6,000 people dead and 11 million people displaced, making it one of the worst storms in recorded history.
The Nazarene team that Jonathan joined was truly a multi-national, multi-cultural team. Members of the team were from Singapore, Malaysia, China, Japan and the Philippines. They worked alongside of their Filipino Nazarene brothers and sisters from January 9 – 12. In addition to helping construct two temporary church structures, the team participated in activities designed to help children and teens deal with the psychological impacts of the destruction and loss.
A newly built parsonage and church building in Dulag, the home church of Rev. Edgar Longcop, Eastern Visayas District Superintendent, was destroyed with only the front and back walls of the church still standing. Jonathan joined the team and a group of skilled local carpenters to raise rafters and support pillars made from coco lumber.
In the coastal village of Salcedo where the Nazarene parsonage and church buildings were also leveled, the team assembled The Ark, a temporary but durable pipe and tarp structure given by JESUS Film Harvest Partner donors.
Jonathan’s Facebook post captured the week: “What an amazing week this has been, blessed with the incredible opportunity to travel to the Philippines with an awesome team to help with the massive job of disaster clean up and aid from Typhoon Yolanda. Doing everything from helping build several churches that were completely washed away in the typhoon to spending hours upon hours simply playing and bonding with the many children there who have lost so much. Please don’t ever, ever, ever take for granted what you have been given.”
For more information on how you can donate or get involved in the relief and rebuilding effort, please visit: www.asiapacificnazarene.org/volunteer-now/ or http://ncm.org.