On 31 October, Super Typhoon Goni struck the Philippines. At least 24 people were killed, and over 300,000 have fled their homes. A few days later, Hurricane Eta slammed into Central America, causing widespread destruction. Two deadly storms on opposite sides of the world – both signs that something is wrong with our climate.
We are in the midst of a record-breaking year for destructive weather. More storms than ever have formed during the Atlantic hurricane season, and it isn’t over yet. In the Pacific and Indian Oceans, typhoons and cyclones have cut short hundreds of lives and caused tens of billions of dollars worth of damage.
This is a trend that we are seeing year on year: more storms, more floods, more droughts. This is the reality of the climate crisis.
Tearfund has been helping vulnerable communities to prepare for these threats. In the Philippines, our local church partners have been teaching people how to build stronger houses that can withstand powerful storms. They have also helped communities to diversify their sources of income, so that they’re not solely reliant on crops that may be destroyed.
These and other measures have proved to be effective. While Super Typhoon Goni was similar in strength to 2013’s Super Typhoon Haiyan, the number of fatalities caused was significantly lower.
The role of the church
The storm season is not over yet. Countries from the Caribbean to Bangladesh to the Philippines are braced for more.
We have a responsibility to safeguard God’s creation – to be good stewards of all he has given us. The climate crisis is real, and it’s affecting the lives of people living in poverty now. But together, united as the church, we can make a difference.
It’s not only our church partners overseas that can impact lives. Your prayers are effective. The voice of the church in the UK can be a catalyst for change.
Pray for people who have lost loved ones, homes and businesses because of Super Typhoon Goni and Hurricane Eta. Pray for God’s comfort and provision.
Pray that global leaders will make the climate crisis the priority it ought to be – that strong action will be taken quickly.
On Sunday 22 November, Tearfund is joining with Christian Aid and CAFOD for an online service of prayer and reflection on the climate crisis. Pray that the event will raise awareness about this important issue.
If you would like to pray with us at the service, you can register here for free.