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Typhoon Haiyan survivors walk in ruins in the village of Marabut, Philippines on Nov. 14. The Philippines has received an outpouring of international aid running into hundreds of millions of dollars but much of it has been stuck in a bottleneck outside the affected areas. (Associated Press)

Typhoon Haiyan survivors walk in ruins in the village of Marabut, Philippines on Nov. 14. The Philippines has received an outpouring of international aid running into hundreds of millions of dollars but much of it has been stuck in a bottleneck outside the affected areas. (Associated Press)

Vineyard Church appeals for help for orphanage in Philippines

Last Modified: Friday, November 15, 2013 6:54 PM

By Kara Carrier / American Press

Lake Charles Vineyard Church is appealing to the community to assist an orphanage in the Philippines that was badly damaged last week by Typhoon Haiyan.

The church partners with Arms of Love, which operates an orphanage on the island of Bohol in Lourdes, Philippines. Bohol island is adjacent to Leyte, where the worst loss of life occurred. The orphanage is home to more than 40 children.

“We know there are a lot of people that love, and they love to give,” said Kelly Vigo, church pastor. “Naturally, whenever we hear of any disaster it breaks our heart. We do what we can do. We are asking people to give and help the orphanage.” Vigo said the orphanage was repairing damage from a recent earthquake when the typhoon hit.

In a letter from Arms of Love, CEO Kim Fisher said, “We are very thankful because the children in our immediate care at Arms of Love Philippines survived Haiyan. For the children and our staff, however, Typhoon Haiyan and the destructive 7.2 earthquake that preceded it have been traumatic events. The kids have been without electricity and running water for almost four weeks. Our children and staff are back to living in tents until our facilities can receive the required repairs.”

Fisher said repairing the facilities and restoring the well-being of the children and staff are Arms of Love’s immediate priorities. She expects the orphanage in the coming months to receive displaced children who may have lost their families in the typhoon.

Arms of Love has orphanages in Nicaragua and the Philippines. Vigo said Vineyard churches help support both locations, but that his church is one of nine in the Nicaraguan partnership. “We are not in the Philippine partnership, but we help support the orphanage through Arms of Love and anytime something like this happens and they have a need,” he said. “The location in the Philippines is a sister orphanage.”

According to Vigo, he and his wife Judy have always tried to help people — which is how the church started. “We had a few people get together for Bible studies, and it went from there,” Vigo said. “We founded the church in late 2000 and now have about 300 members. It had to be God. We didn’t even advertise, we just kept growing.”

Vigo said people can donate to the orphanage directly through the Arms of Love website — www.armsoflove.org — or through Lake Charles Vineyard Church. “The thing about Arms of Love is that, while they do have some paid staff, about 85 to 90 percent of the money given to them goes directly to affect the children,” he said. “This is a way people in the local community can give and help.”

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