Typhoon Haiyan: Responding to Crises

When we find ourselves faced with crises like typhoon Haiyan which recently devastated the Philippines, we can easily feel overwhelmed by both the magnitude of the destruction and our own inability to contribute meaningfully to the problem.  The news on our screens, in our Twitter and Facebook feeds, brings us face to face with the realities of disaster.  And yet for most of us our hands & feet are left unable to touch the lands or faces we see before us, to bring the healing and hope we wish we could dispense in an instant.

It can leave us feeling lost, debilitated.

Here are some ways you can mobilize your ‘body’ to reach out in a very real way to those in need.


Take some time to pray for those affected by, and those responding to this crisis.  If you are unsure where to start and need some help we’ve put together a prayer resource here:  10 for 10,000: A Prayer for the Philippines


There is an old Whakatauki which says,

Nā tō rourou, nā taku rourou ka ora ai te iwi‘         ‘With your food basket and my food basket the people will thrive.’

With a disaster of this size, it may seem like you don’t have anything significant to give.  But if each of us shares the little we have, it becomes a whole lot.  Please consider giving to one of the many organisations who are working to provide emergency services and aid to the region over the coming months.  Even a very little can go a long way.

Here are some links to local organisations who are responding to this crisis:

TEAR Fund Christian Action

OXFAM New Zealand

 New Zealand Red Cross

unicef New Zealand




10 for 10,000: a prayer for the Philippines


Praying through the aftermath of a disaster like Typhoon Haiyan can leave us feeling unsure how to pray or what to pray for.  Below we have suggested ten different areas to help you focus.  You can use them in a variety of ways:

∞  Use the headings as a starting point for your own words of prayer

∞  Pray using the more detailed description below the heading.

∞  Using the single words as a point of focus spend 1 minute in silent prayer offering that area wholly to God

If it helps you to focus, set up 10 candles and light one candle as you move through each of the different prayer points.

Before you begin, find yourself a comfortable place to pray.


(The rapid and continued distribution of food supplies to those who need it)


(Access to clean safe drinking water)


(Safe, secure shelter for those who have lost their homes or are unable to get back to their homes)


(For all those who lost their lives, and their family, friends and loved ones)

First Response Teams

(Wisdom and insight for those doing needs assessment; strength and courage to deal with the immensity of the task)

Hospitals and Emergency Clinics

(That emergency centres and hospitals would be adequately resourced with staff and supplies to provide the care needed by those injured.  Rest for staff as they deal with the continued strain of providing care in difficult conditions)

The Displaced

(For those who have lost their homes and livelihoods; the thousands now housed in emergency shelters.  For their physical and emotional recovery)

Police and Armed Forces

(As they deal with looting/looters and as they continue to support and enable rescue efforts & emergency services)


(For soft hearts across the globe, that people would give generously to organisations working to provide needed services and care to the area)


(For the long decades of rebuilding that will lie ahead for the people of the Philippines.)