Haiyan: Pray for Recovering Children
A child sits amid the ruins of a home in Batan, in western Philippines, after Typhoon Haiyan.
Typhoon Haiyan, one of the most powerful storms on record to make landfall, killed more than 5,000 people in the central Philippines, displacing more than 4 million. Many hungry and homeless families are receiving aid now. But in the aftermath, child well-being is a main concern.
“Some children have literally nothing left but the clothes on their back and are living in a devastated landscape, which was once their home,” says Yvonne Duque, a health expert for World Vision in the Philippines. “Everything around them, including their safety network, disappeared when the typhoon hit.”
Please pray with us for recovering children and families.
Pray for children’s safety.
In the wake of disasters like this, children are the most vulnerable—to sickness, fear, accidents, interruption of education, and exploitation. About 5.5 million children were affected by the storm’s rage.
Heavenly Father, You love each child. Make Yourself known to them through this tragic and confusing time. Heal their wounds, use compassionate relatives or aid workers to comfort them, and give them a safe place to recover. May their needs take priority so they can continue their education and enjoy the full life You intend for them.
Pray for sponsored children and their communities.
Twenty World Vision development program areas were affected, including about 40,000 sponsored children. The storm leveled communities and wiped out much good progress. Families will have hard work ahead of them to regain what was lost and to build for the future of their children.
Lord, we count it a blessing that most sponsored children are now safe. But we grieve with communities the lost progress and ask You to give families the strength and perseverance for the recovery and rebuilding work ahead. Speed the restoration of community life so that children feel secure.
Pray for ongoing relief efforts.
Responding to the vast devastation in a nation made up of thousands of islands is a logistical challenge beyond description, especially because Haiyan knocked out much of the local infrastructure. World Vision has distributed food, cooking supplies, and shelter and hygiene kits to 50,000 people in hardest-hit areas.
Dear Father, clear a path for teams to provide relief to affected families. Infuse a sense of patience in the hearts of those waiting for aid and those working around the clock to deliver supplies to hard-to-reach areas. Sustain families as they seek to regain stability.
Pray for children at risk of malnutrition.
Pre-disaster poverty and malnutrition rates were higher than the national average in many of the hardest hit areas. Now, as many as 4.9 million children—1.5 million younger than 5—are at risk of malnutrition if they don’t have an adequate food supply, the U.N. Office of the Coordination of Humanitarian Aid estimates. Emergency food supplies are pouring into the area, but government and aid agencies must transport it by air, land, and sea, often around traditional routes that have been blocked or destroyed.
Lord, we acknowledge that our efforts are insufficient without Your help. Use emergency food aid coming into these communities to address the serious situation of malnutrition in children. Help their little bodies quickly recover from the effects of undernutrition once they have the food they need.
Pray for aid workers.
Many aid workers responding to the storm have also sustained damage to their own homes, yet continue working to serve others who have been affected by the typhoon. Unceasing efforts can sap workers’ energy and lead to ill health, stress, and emotional drain.
Jesus, thank You for keeping safe all World Vision’s staff, even those living directly in the storm’s deadly path. Open up communication lines so that aid workers can plan relief and response strategies. Give them health, strength, stamina, and clear minds to work effectively and efficiently, so that they can assist more people.
Pray for rebuilding efforts.
Typhoon Haiyan damaged about 1 million houses and destroyed about half that number. Four million of the 13 million people affected by the storm have been displaced from their homes. And 5.1 million livelihoods have been lost or destroyed. People are salvaging materials from their damaged homes and cobbling together shelter. World Vision has begun distributing shelter kits, tarps, and blankets to help families meet the need for immediate, temporary shelter. But people will still need jobs and businesses restored so they can provide for their families.
God, our Refuge in this time of grief and trial, help families regain hope and dignity with a dry, safe place to sleep. May national, international, and local leaders humbly unite to hasten long-term rebuilding efforts and restore lost jobs and livelihoods.
Written by Chris Huber and Denise Koenig, with reporting from Kathryn Reid and Elizabeth Hendley.
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