Dear Friends and Family,
It has been too long since we last updated you, but we think of you often and your prayers and support have meant more than ever lately!
As you remember, last November 8, the world’s biggest typhoon hit the central Philippines and as we jumped into action with air support, medical missions, and tarp/relief distribution, we were counting on you, our faithful friends and supporters to come through– and you did not fail us! With your generous gifts at a time of year when most families are stretched as it is and donations are usually at the lowest, we were able to increase our efforts instead, and give full support to the storm relief! We hope these reports will remind you that your sacrifices for God’s work are well worth it!
As the media focused on the Tacloban area, we have focused on the vast areas of damage in the Panay islands region where 80% of the families lost their roofs (if not their entire houses). Storm surges and category 5 winds devastated the northern islands. At least 121 SDA churches were destroyed or greatly damaged. Thousands of families are in need of shelter and food even until now. (The latest detailed report from on-the-ground pastors in some of the worst areas totaled 5,000 families still needing help!)
Thanks to your help, 1000 families have received tarps for temporary shelter. Much of these were transported to the hard to reach areas by airdrops using our PAMAS mission planes. This is an ongoing project that HCBN (He’s Coming Broadcast Network) is heading and we continue to support. On each tarp is written (in the local dialect): “From your friends, the Seventh-day Adventists”. Rope and sharing pamphlets are also added to the packs.
All distributions are done systematically–with local church member volunteers on the ground making lists of families ahead of time and helping with fair and timely distribution.
We continue to get reports that many thousands more are crying for help as the monsoon rains make it difficult to survive without shelter.
The thin, but large tarps are only $6 per family (one roll is $120 and will cut into 20 tarps). The next project in the works is for tin roofing, to provide more long-term shelter. It will be around 7 times the cost of the tarps.
Here is a short video clip about the tarp project, including other recent updates on the storm relief:
We kept both mission planes busy and on-call for the last couple months transporting various local and foreign medical teams to the affected areas and doing air drops of tarps and nails. Several med-evac flights were also provided during this time. We praise God for the blessings and more opportunities for outreach this year with an added airplane and another pilot, which allowed us to provide around 250 hours of air support.
Short Clip of Airdrop of supplies at Passi Iloilo City
While Dwayne and Sean (the pilots) were flying, the rest of us volunteers were busy holding free medical clinics. We provided 2 to 3 day medical clinics in different areas, prioritizing the health education and counseling stations where we talked and prayed with patients and gave hope-filled pamphlets.
Here are a couple videos of the medical clinics we held:
Medical mission at Culasi Roxas City Capiz
Medical mission at Sigma
It’s hard to know what to focus on when the needs are so great. The question is often “shelter or food”? Both seem equally important! The need for food remains great in several large areas as people do not have a livelihood back yet and crops take many months to grow.
Thanks to donors like you, volunteers in conjunction with a local SDA church in Iloilo have been providing food packs to many of the areas from day one until now. Each food pack with cooking utensils is around $7 per family. This continues to be a big need.
This is one of our favorite projects as it seems to be more long lasting. It is organized by the Riverview SDA church in Iloilo. You’ll be interested to know that through your help along with other donors, 130 boats have been built by the fishermen/boatbuilders (with the supplied plywood and nails etc) and will be officially distributed this Sunday. This will allow the coastal families and islands to have livelihood, food, and transportation once again. Attached are pictures of the two types of boats offered (Motorized–$500, Non-motorized–$75).
Video clip of Boat Turn Over at bayas Island
Besides each of you who pray and support this project, we want to also say a special thanks to the HCBN (He’s Coming Broadcasting Network) and the Riverview SDA church who continue to strategically and tirelessly work to meet the needs of the storm victims in a way that will also reach them with the gospel. A bit thanks also to HCBN for the very helpful video updates and for always graciously hosting the volunteers at a moment’s notice!
Last but not least, we thank the doctors, nurses and volunteers who dropped everything to give their time and resources to help with the medical missions!
We’ll save the rest of the project updates for another email 🙂
Enjoy the pictures and remember the prayer requests below. Thank you!
Dwayne and Wendy Harris
Philippine Adventist Medical Aviation Services (PAMAS)
If you’d like to help,
Make checks payable to: Gospel Ministries International
Send checks to:GMI (Gospel Ministries International) P O Box 506, Collegedale, TN 37315
(Be sure to specify donation is for “PAMAS”)
Or call the GMI office: 423-473-1841
Or donate online at our website: pamasmission.org
(be sure to specify donation is for “PAMAS”)
- Storm relief (food and shelter)
- Bibles and sharing materials
- Children’s supplies
- Medical Missionaries
- Medical Missionary leaders to start training schools
- Bible workers
- Storm victims and guidance for relief operations–making the spiritual connection
- God’s provisions for helicopters for Palawan, Luzon, and Mindanao
- Need for local missionary volunteers (Medical and Bible workers) and sponsors
- Need for volunteers with leadership abilities to start medical missionary training schools
- Continued guidance and open doors for expansion work into Mindanao
- Healing of Dwayne’s resistant Malaria case
PAMAS is a faith-based, volunteer organization which aids the Seventh-day Adventist church in it’s mission to carry the Gospel to the world through the use of aviation and medical ministry.