Two pastors from the Philippine Children’s Ministry Network travelled last week to the city of Zamboanga in Mindanao where two months previously rebel forces burned portions of the city and up to ten thousand residents had lost their homes. They were sent to do assessment of needs and find appropriate partners and venues for OperationSAFE child trauma camps, visiting Barangays Santa Barbara, Lustre and Santa Catalina and the evacuation centre called the “Grandstand”. In the town proper, they interviewed children who were begging and discovered that they were evacuees from Rio Hondo where their homes were destroyed by the recent armed conflict.
Pastor Cesar Lubrico of Tondo Blessed Hope Bible Baptist Church asks for prayers, “Let’s pray that the childrens’ plight for home, food, education, and health are not set aside.” The crisis in Zamboanga has been dwarfed by this month’s typhoon that has affected millions in the Philippines, but the children’s needs still remain.
Interviews with both children and adults leads to the conclusion that their trauma is not over yet. The appearance of helicopters in the sky, the crash of a heavy falling object, thunder and ambulance sirens all trigger fright and apprehension.
Zamboanga, Mindanao will receive OperationSAFE child trauma camps in December. Please pray for the children and for those who are ministering to them.