The MTW Advance Needs Assessment Team (ANAT) has completed their initial assessment of the communities in and around Cebu, Philippines.

At the recommendation of the local Filipino pastors and the ANAT team, MTW’s first course of action will be to send a Global Disaster Response construction team to the Philippines along with a small medical team. This is the first phase of the disaster response process in which MTW comes alongside the indigenous Church—at their request—in their efforts to effectively reach the hurting, not only with relief, but also with the gospel.

The initial response team will deploy to Bogo, located in the northeastern coast of Cebu province. They will repair the damage at the Bogo Presbyterian Church and the pastor’s attached living quarters, as well as damaged homes in the surrounding community. The team will leave the U.S. on Wednesday Dec. 4 and plan to be on the ground for 10 days.

“As we tell our responders, our whole effort is not about reaching everyone—it is about showing the love of Christ by ordinary Christian people traveling thousands of miles to help other ordinary people,” said MTW’s Global Disaster Response operations coordinator Christina Davies. “This whole ministry at the front end is a ministry of presence. And presence can mean many things. Right now, at this time, in this disaster, that is helping to get a church back to worshiping together by helping to rebuild the church and reaching out to the community surrounding that church.”

Further response coordination is ongoing. MTW Global Disaster Response seeks to serve in areas that are 1) in need, 2) underserved, and 3) somewhat accessible. “Spirit-driven discernment is what makes our responses special and of eternal significance,” said Tom Felmley, response operations coordinator. MTW believes that it is the Holy Spirit who makes it clear exactly where response efforts should be focused.

Please pray for the Philippine people, for the initial response team, and for MTW Global Disaster Response as they assess how best to respond to the tremendous need. We serve a mighty God who can bring about good through destruction. For more information about how you can become involved, click here.