Community Radio Rebuilds Hope After a Typhoon Ravaged This Country

Typhoon Haiyan survivors weave mats at Caub cave in Basey, Samar in central Philippines. The typhoon killed more than 6,000 people in central Philippines.
Typhoon Haiyan survivors weave mats at Caub cave in Basey, Samar in central Philippines. The typhoon killed more than 6,000 people in central Philippines. (REUTERS/Lorgina Minguito)

In 2013, the worst storm in history hit the Philippines. But today, the community is recovering from the tragedy.

Guidelines International Ministries (guidelines.org) has planted a community radio station in Tacloban City, Leyte, Philippines, in partnership with the Far East Broadcasting Company Philippines (FEBC) and local partners.

Tacloban City was the site of Super Typhoon Haiyan, the deadliest tropical cyclone on record, claiming over 6,300 lives and leaving nearly 4 million homeless in 2013.

Only days after the storm struck, an FEBC First Response Radio Team quickly constructed a low-power FM station under a tent of tarps atop the town's nearly destroyed city hall. The station provided critical emergency information when no other media was on air.

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After four years of prayer and partnership development, 97.5 DYFE-FM "The First Response of the Community,' was launched in May 2018. The station offers a variety of programming including Guidelines devotionals. Bible teaching by local pastors, business and agriculture programs and features for women and seniors are produced by the community. Guidelines distributed solar-powered radios to resettled families, in partnership with Galcom International.

"This is a wonderful story of the body of Christ coming together in a time of great need and God providing an opportunity to move forward in healing and future growth," explained Bonnie Sala, Guidelines president.

FEBC Philippines president, Dan Andrew Cura noted: "Just as we provided critical information in the city's time of disaster, we need to continue rehabilitation. The community knows that DYFE will always be here as 'The First Response of the Community.'"

The Tacloban station is the second community radio partnership of Guidelines and FEBC Philippines, a relationship that spans five decades. The first station partnership is on the island of Palawan.

Guidelines Community Radio Initiative was established to bring Christian radio to "deaf spots" of the Philippines and around the world, by establishing community-based radio stations and equipping partners on the ground to provide Bible-based, people oriented programming.

Guidelines' ministry focuses on transforming lives with the message of Jesus.

As a Christian nonprofit, Guidelines transforms lives and builds thriving communities by communicating the hope of Jesus. For over 50 years, they have been creating practical devotionals that are shared around the world—guiding people to follow God, live with integrity, and change the culture around them.

Guidelines' mission is to transform entire communities by renewing individual hearts with the message of Jesus Christ. They do this through developing Bible-based digital content and distributing it around the world.

Reaching People With Hope

People living in abusive relationships, struggling communities, oppressive governments and other difficult situations need hope—the hope that can only be found in Jesus.

Guidelines creates devotionals that connect people with God, refreshing their hearts, renewing their minds and strengthening their spirits. They distribute this digital content through print, radio and internet—reaching people wherever they are.

Teaching People to Live in Faith

People living in areas with little to no Christian influence don't know how to follow God and feel helpless in changing the social problems in their community.

Guidelines provides practical biblical teaching so people know how to live with integrity and lift up their communities. They empower pastors, missionaries and community leaders through seminars, conferences and training resources.

Touching People With Healing Love

Many people who suffer from disease, poverty or violence. Sharing the love of God means meeting both spiritual and physical needs.

Guidelines helps to heal people physically, emotionally and spiritually. They do this through medical clinics, health workshops, counseling and children's homes all around the world.

The ministry creates digital content with the message of Jesus. Its devotionals are short, simple and practical, allowing them to be translated and shared all over the world.

Written devotionals and books are easily translatable and shareable. Recorded devotionals allow people to easily listen on the go.

Community Radio Projects establish radio stations in remote regions that have little Christian influence. The ministry partners with pastors and local community groups to broadcast health and educational programming along with sharing the message of Jesus.

The ministry looks to establish Community Radio Stations in places that have few or no radio stations and no Christian voice at all. These are largely rural, impoverished areas with low literacy and little access to health care or services.

It also identifies a Christian partner currently working in the community providing or health or educational services. A group of local pastors is brought together to collaborate on Bible-teaching programs.

When a station is setup, solar powered radios are distributed to the community for free, instantly connecting everyone.

Having a radio presence in a community provides safety by being able to communicate information in emergencies or local issues. It promotes education by teaching health, hygiene and agricultural lessons. And it transforms people by introducing them to the love of God.

Completed Projects

  • 2014 - Quezon, Palawan, Philippines
  • 2014 - Slavyansk/Kramatorsk, Ukraine
  • 2015 - Muslim-Majority Country of the Balkans
  • 2018 - Tacloban, Philippines

Current Projects: Tacloban, Leyte, Philippines

This was the epicenter of Typhoon Yolanda. Guidelines' partner, Far East Broadcasting Company Philippines (FEBC), operated First Response Radio here, the only broadcast outlet available immediately after the typhoon. 97.5 DZFE began broadcasting in May 2018.

This article originally appeared on Assist News Service.

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