Arrival on Bantayan Island

Marissa and I arrived on Bantayan Island on Monday, December 2, 2013, to begin our relief efforts for the people of the island. We are meeting with the local residents today of Pantalan to determine the homes that we will begin repairs for. We sincerely thank our family of Christian brothers and sisters at Calvary, as well as other who gave funds in providing us with a generous offering to allow us to bless so many here on the Island.

100% of every dollar or peso that was given for the people of Bantayan Island, will be used for their benefit. We will not keep any administrative fee or expenses for ourselves. In this way we can maximize the amount of people that we can help.

As generator power and internet allow, we will post pictures and updates on our progress in meeting the needs of the dear people of this island who were profoundly effected by Typhoon Haiyan on November 8th, 2013.

It has been a long journey to get back to the island and people we love so dearly and we look forward to being able to share the gospel of Jesus Christ with those whom we are helping. Thank you again to all of you who are praying for us and gave to make this possible.

Pastor Rob and Marissa

Current photos of our ministry on Bantayan Island

Our first day back on Bantayan Island Marissa and I walked amongst the people of our local village and took pictures of those who have requested repairs to their humble native homes.

Most of us from the United States would not call one of these structures a home, yet these beautiful people live their entire lives in these tiny structures, raise their families and do so with smiles on their faces. 

They have asked only for the roof of many homes to be repaired so that the scorching sun and frequent rain will not cover come down upon them while they sleep and eat. 

Many homes were completely destroyed and require complete rebuilding.

Many are sleeping out in the open, exposed to the elements of a tropical island.

We hired 5 workers who are proficient in the building trade and also make use of the labor of those whose homes we are repairing or rebuilding. 

Our list today contained 31 families, there are another 120 families just in our village who need their homes repaired.

We estimate that we have enough money to rebuild between 40-50 homes.

I will post updates here so that you can follow our progress.

I had to walk away a few times to compose myself, the sight of their living conditions has broken my heart every time I walk into their village…

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You Make a Huge Difference in People’s Lives

For those of you who have given to help the people of Bantayan Island, you have now become co-laborers with us in this effort to relieve the suffering of people who have no voice to the outside world.

Every grain of rice, new roof, piece of clothing, and bottle of fresh water, has your fingerprints upon it. As the Lord looks down upon us all, He views those who make it possible for the poor to receive the things they need to live, a part of the total work that is done. 

We do not go to the Philippines alone. Each one of you who have given anything to help the dear people who are suffering are just as much a part of the work as those who hand the resources to the people who need them.

The Bible is very specific in that those who give, share in the success and reward from the Lord for the good work that is done to help people. 

I personally thank you with all my heart and a tear in my eye, that you took time to care about a group of people you have never met, and have chosen to love them from such a great distance.

1 Corinthians 3:7-9 It’s not important who does the planting, or who does the watering. What’s important is that God makes the seed grow. The one who plants and the one who waters work together with the same purpose. And both will be rewarded for their own hard work. For we are both God’s workers. And you are God’s field. You are God’s building (NLT)

Matthew 9:37-38 Then Jesus said to His disciples, “The harvest truly is plentiful, but the laborers are few. 38 Therefore pray the Lord of the harvest to send out laborers into His harvest.” (NKJV)

You are all laborers with us, no less than we who actually set foot on the island. You are just as much a part of the joy and thankfulness of the people who will receive your gifts, as those who place them in their hands.

Pastor Rob

CLICK HERE to Become a co-laborer with us and help the people of Bantayan Island

Teach The Word Ministries Bringing Supplies to Bantayan Island

Pastor Rob and Marissa Robinson Came to Bantayan Island in December of 2010. After selling their home in the United States, they came to Bantayan Island to establish a ministry to the poor fishermen who live along the shores of Santa Fe. Rob and Marissa live near the Pantalan, just up the beach from Beach Placid Resort, which was heavily damaged by Super Typhoon Yolanda.

The following is from our Bantayan Island Ministry Web Site:

Typhoon Haiyan (Yolanda) Devastates Bantayan Island

ON NOVEMBER 8, 2013, A MASSIVE CATEGORY 5 TYPHOON, THE LARGEST AND MOST DESTRUCTIVE TYPHOON IN THE HISTORY OF THE WORLD, MADE LANDFALL ON BANTAYAN ISLAND.

 Category 5 Super Typhoon Strikes Bantayan Island

 Bantayan Island Devastated by Typhoon Yolanda

We live on Bantayan Island and have been conducting a ministry to the people of the island since December of 2010. If you would like to help the people of Bantayan Island rebuild their lives and supply the basic needs of the people such as food, clothing, shelter, and medical supplies, please consider making a tax deductible donation to help these dear people.

 We are bringing Rice, Bottled Water, Canned Goods, Clothing, and Building Materials from Cebu by truck as contributions permit. The people of Bantayan Island are currently in a very desperate situation. In Santa Fe where we live, on November 10, Joan Pasasadaba Nepangue, the owner of Beach Placid Resort informed us that over 28,000 people are homesless and starving.

 PLEASE HELP US PURCHASE FOOD AND SUPPLIES FOR THESE DESPERATE PEOPLE!

Make your donation here

See our ministry page on this site

 As a result of the catastrophic damage to Bantayan Island, many fake donation sites have recently appeared on Twitter, Facebook, and other web pages. Please be careful and make certain that the money you give to help the people of Bantayan Island is given to a reputable charitable organization.

TEACH THE WORD MINISTRIES Is a United States CHRISTIAN Ministry totally dedicated to the poor of Bantayan Island. Pastor Rob Robinson, the president of Teach The Word Ministries lives on Bantayan Island with his wife, Marissa Robinson who was born in Cebu City and raised in Carcar. Marissa’s family lives in Talisay.

Rob and Marissa came to Bantayan Island three years before Super Typhoon Yolanda destroyed the island and have been trying to help the people of the island for three years before this terrible tragedy struck on November 8, 2013.

100% of every donation which is given for the people of Bantayan Island is given to the people for their needs. Pastor Rob and Marissa have been blessed by the Lord in their Publication Business in the United States and by the sale of properties in the U.S. which has permitted them to serve the people of Bantayan Island without a salary, compensation, or the payment of any expense. All of the money you give to help the people of Bantayan Island, goes to help the people.

Even the Red Cross uses about 20-30 percent of your donation for administrative fees, WE DO NOT. EVERYTHING YOU GIVE FOR THE PEOPLE OF BANTAYAN ISLAND, GOES TO THE PEOPLE OF BANTAYAN ISLAND.

May the Lord continue to Bless you as you serve Him by supporting those who minister to those who have such great need.

“The one who plants and the one who waters work as a team with the same purpose. Yet they will be rewarded individually, according to their own hard work. We work together as partners who belong to God.” 1 Corinthians 3:8-9

Click on “Donate to Teach The Word Ministries,” to help us bring the supplies desperately needed for Bantayan Island

 

The Lord Bless you for your faithful help of people who are in such great need.

pastor_rob_and_marissa_robinson

Pastor Rob and Marissa Robinson

Super Typhoon Yolanda to Make Landfall on Bantayan Island

As of Friday, November 8, 2013, 11:30 pm, weather authorities tell us that it is certain that Bantayan Island will suffer a direct strike by this massive Class 5, signal 4, Typhoon.

Winds are expected to be close to 180 miles per hour, or approximately 230 kilometers per hour. Storm surge from the sea is expected at 7 meters or 21 feet.

If this forecast holds true, no structures on the East facing side of the island will survive.

All those who live on the East side of the island where the storm will be most severe should evacuate to higher groud, in a concrete structure which can endure the winds and waves. Those who live in structures along Santa Fe are especially vulnerable. 

We have many friends who live in this area, and many of the poor who live in structures that cannot endure this type of storm, are in great danger. Please tell everyone who lives on the coast to evacuate to higher ground before the Typhoon arrives in the next 12 hours as signal 4.

We are praying for the safety and preservation of all the people of Bantayan island and know that the Lord will be with all of you in this great time of distress.

Please pray for the poor of the island who cannot evacuate the island and must endure the full force of this massive storm.

We are planning to arrive on the island later this month to bring fresh water, rice and medical supplies as we are able to obtain them. There will be great need of outside help from those around the world who can help. Please give whatever you can afford to help us supply the needs of the people of Bantayan Island. Make a donation to help HERE

We will update this article as information becomes available.

UPDATE: 8:45 AM

U.S. Naval Weather reports that the eye of Super Typhoon is now over Bantayan Island. There will be a period of calm for up to an hour, followed by a repeat and increase of winds and rains that will last for several more hours. If you have safety now, please do not leave your shelter as the eye of the Typoon will pass and the storm will continue once again.

Winds from this Signal #4 Typhoon are reported at close to 200 Miles per hour, or 300 kph. The devastation to life and structures is certain. We pray the Lord’s protection for all of the residents and visitors to Bantayan Island.

UPDATE: 12:45 PM

We have received word that nearly all of the roofs from buildings in the Daan Bantayan have been destroyed and cars are being blown around from the winds when Typhoon Yolanda made landfall in this location at 9:40 am.

As of this time, it is unknown what the extent of damage is  to Bantayan Island, as no reports have come from anyone on the island.

If you have a report or pictures of the damage on Bantayan Island, please email them to: pastorobrobinson@gmail.com and we will post them here on this wen site so that others may receive updates and information.

Pastor Rob and Marissa Robinson

Super Typhoon “Pablo” Threatens Bantayan Island

Many of you know that Super Typhoon “Pablo” is due to make landfall in the Philippines in the next 24 hours.

As we anxiously watch the approach of this massive storm, we all pray that it will spare our families and friends who make the Philippines their home.

As an act of precaution, we have boarded up the front windows on our beach front home on Bantayan Island, in preparation of this approaching storm.

We would advise our friends on the island to take every precaution to protect your homes and families. Please make sure that you have 4 or 5 days of fresh water and food as power on the island and supplies will be limited during this storm.

We pray for our friends and their families that the Lord will protect you all and that no harm will come to you.

Update: 9:00 am December 4, 2012, Bantayan Island.

Cebu and Bantayan Island are just now getting hit with the first band of Gale Force winds and torrential rain…. The Eye of the Typhoon has just struck the Island of Mindanao….

Update: 7:27 a.m., December 5, 2012

Initial reports coming back from our friends in the Philippines is that there has been substantial damage in the southern portion of the country called Mindanao, with thousands of deaths and homeless likely. The area where our family lives, and where we have our home on Bantayan Island, report that there was minimal damage. I would rather our house had been completely destroyed and all those precious people in Mindanao been spared… The Lord has His plan, and I submit to it…. I just grieve for the loss of life and the many thousands of poor who have lost everything they had, though it is not much.

Thankfully, the Filipino people are very unique in that they are happy with nothing because their joy does not come from the things they posses, but from the love that they have for the Lord and for each other. I wish that the United States had their priorities in such order… Our deep love to our family and friends in the Philippines, we pray with you for those families that are suffering so much right now, and ask the Lord to please help them to be able to rebuild their lives and go on with the same joy they have always had. The world should know that the Filipino are a beautiful and wonderful people and they need our help so much…

Weather update: Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Today’s weather on Bantayan Island will be cloudy with some rain, as a band of clouds near Cebu will make their way onto Bantayan by lunchtime.

It should be cooler today and a very nice day. Good day to work in the yard outside.

D.E.N.R. and Philippine Congress Debate Fate of Bantayan Island

A new proposal by Attorney Oposa in his continuing effort to restrict building on Bantayan Island, may actually have the effect of robbing residents of this tiny island of their personal property and homes.

Beginning over two years ago, all building on the shoreline of Bantayan Island has been restricted from obtaining a building permit, even for private citizens who own the land and wish to build a home on their own property.

The effects of the proposal before Philippine Congress would be to pass a law that would make the boundary for the shoreline on Bantayan Island, 40 Meters. For more than 40 years the boundary has been recognized as being 20 meters, with all homes and businesses being permitted to build within the 20 meter boundary. Now Oposa wants to take an additional 20 meters from those who own property on the island.

For many property owners on Bantayan Island who own small parcels along the shore of Bantayan Island of 100-400 square meters, this new law will rob them of more than 200 square meters of their personal property. All land of less than 200 square meters will be completely lost. Land of 400 square meters will be cut in half. In many cases, this land was previously deeded to the land owners by the Philippine government and has been held in ownership for more than 40 years.

If this law is passed it will certainly cause great harm to Philippine citizens on Bantayan Island who will be the real losers in this debate.

The purpose of human government, in any country, is to protect the property and homes of the people, not to take their homes and land. In this case on Bantayan Island, the government would be the perpetrator of the loss of property of private citizens and their homes.

What is not being openly stated, is the fact that if this law of a 40 meter water boundary is allowed to pass by those in leadership in the Philippines, the government and DENR will have the authority to bulldoze and destroy all homes closer that 40 meters to the shoreline of Bantayan Island.

The basis for this new law is the fact that Bantayan Island was originally set up as a “wilderness area” and therefore should have had the enforcement of 40 meters applied to all property along the shores of the island. The problem is that the Philippine Government and the DENR has already allowed that boundary to be 20 meters for more than 40 years. By the mere fact that the island is now inhabited by more than 129,000 people who have been permitted to build as close as 20 meters to the shore, the government has established what the boundary is recognized as.

It is unfair, and immoral for the government to now state that they will enforce the boundary of 40 meters, when they have already acknowledged that it is 20 meters for more than 40 years. Everyone on Bantayan Island knows that the water boundary is 20 meters, survey markers are set up all along the shoreline at 20 meters, not 40 meters, being placed there by DENR.

This insistence that the law has always been 40 meters is due to the efforts of one environmentalist attorney (Oposa) who objects to building and development on Bantayan Island shores.

All environmental issues for any island should be balanced with what the effects would be for an environmental law being passed that will hurt human beings. Laws are for the benefit of people first, the environment second. In the case of Bantayan Island, catastrophic harm will be committed against people on this tiny island who own property and homes closer than 20 meters to the shore, should the Congress pass a law changing the water boundary to 40 meters.

As far as Bantayan Island being classified as a “wilderness area”, it is clear by the development of the island as a residential area, tourist destination, and hundreds of businesses being built along the shore of the island, that it has not been a wilderness area for a very long time. With 129,00o people living in homes on an island of just 7 by 10 miles, it is clearly not a wilderness area.

It would be wise to lift this classification from the island, protect personal property and homes that are beyond the existing 20 meters of the shoreline, and allow all future development on Bantayan Island to have restrictions and guidelines  that will protect the shores. How septic systems are constructed, fresh water is acquired, and how homes are built, are the kinds of guidelines that should be implemented. The 20 meter water boundary should be enforced, and allowance made for any homes or businesses currently closer than 40 meters, to be untouched by the government.

Surprisingly, this issue has not been on any Philippine television or radio station, or seen in any newspaper publication. Can you imagine the Philippine government being given the authority to take property and homes from Philippine citizens, and no one knows anything about it?

I would hope that someone with influence and authority will make this issue known to the public in the Philippines. It is for certain than should this 40 meter water boundary be enforced on Bantayan Island, all homes and property in the Philippines will then be in jeopardy. If the government and DENR are allowed to destroy homes on Bantayan Island and take property from private citizens on this small island, then all property and homes on all 7,200 island in the Philippines will be at risk.

Typhoon “Sendong” Kills More Than 600 in the Philippines

Fox News

As a storm that killed more than 650 in the southern Philippines raged outside the store where she works, Amor Limbago worriedly called home to check on her parents, but their cellphones just kept ringing and later went dead.

Limbago, 21, rushed home as soon as the flash floods receded and confirmed her worst fear: Her parents and seven other relatives were gone, swept away from their hut by the river. They had eagerly planned a small Christmas dinner in that hut just days earlier.

“I returned and saw that our house was completely gone,” a weeping Limbago told The Associated Press from Cagayan de Oro city. “There was nothing but mud all over and knee-deep floodwaters.”

Tropical Storm Washi blew away Sunday after devastating a wide swath of the mountainous region on Mindanao island, which is unaccustomed to major storms.

Most of the victims were asleep Friday night when flash floods cascaded down mountain slopes with logs and uprooted trees, swelling rivers and killing at least 652 people. The late-season tropical storm turned the worst-hit coastal cities of Cagayan de Oro and nearby Iligan into muddy wastelands filled with overturned cars and broken trees.

Most of the dead were children and women, Philippine Red Cross Secretary General Gwendolyn Pang said. At least 808 others were still missing, mostly in the two cities, she said.

Defense Secretary Voltaire Gazmin and top military officials flew to Cagayan de Oro and Iligan to help oversee search-and-rescue efforts and deal with thousands of displaced villagers. Among the items urgently needed are coffins and body bags, said Benito Ramos, who heads the government’s disaster-response agency.

“It’s overwhelming. We didn’t expect these many dead,” said Ramos, adding that authorities were continuing to find bodies floating at sea.

Although the disaster-prone Philippines is lashed by about 20 typhoons and storms annually, the devastation shocked many, coming close to Christmas — the predominantly Roman Catholic nation’s most-awaited time for family reunions. Army officials in the south said they canceled Christmas parties and would donate the food to homeless survivors.

Limbago said she and her mother, Jean, 50, and father Amancio, 63, planned to have a simple Christmas dinner of spaghetti. Those plans had evaporated Sunday as she and surviving relatives checked crowded morgues, hospitals and evacuation centers for any sign of her missing parents.

Others lost homes and belongings but were happy to have survived.

Edmund Rubio, a 44-year-old engineer, said he, his wife and two children scrambled to the second floor of their house in Iligan city as floodwaters engulfed the first floor, destroying his TV set and other appliances and washing away his car and motorcycle.

Amid the panic, he heard a loud pounding on his door as neighbors living in nearby one-story houses pleaded with him to allow them up to his second floor. He said he brought 30 neighbors to the safety of his house, which later shook when a huge floating log slammed into it.

“It’s the most important thing, that all of us will still be together this Christmas,” Rubio told the AP.

About a block away from Rubio’s house, rescuers used a backhoe and shovels to search for 19 people in the muddy ruins of a two-story house that collapsed when it was hit by a massive log. They dug out 11 bodies from the site Saturday, witnesses said.

Army officers reported unidentified bodies piled up in morgues in Cagayan de Oro, where electricity was restored in some areas, although the city of more than 500,000 people remained without tap water.

At least 346 died in Cagayan de Oro and 206 in Iligan, the Red Cross said. The death toll was expected to rise because many isolated villages still had not been reached by overwhelmed disaster-response personnel.

“Our fear is there may have been whole families that perished so there’s nobody to report what happened,” Pang said.

Both Iligan, a bustling industrial center about 485 miles southeast of Manila, and Cagayan de Oro were filled with scenes of destruction and desperation.

A lone worker gingerly embalmed scores of bodies laid side by side in an Iligan city funeral parlor. Outside the embalming room, seven white coffins were placed in a corridor, surrounded by weeping relatives.

“Many mothers, fathers were walking from one funeral parlor to another, looking for their children,” said army Maj. Eugenio Osias, who led a rescue effort in Cagayan de Oro.

Ramos attributed the high casualties “partly to the complacency of people because they are not in the usual path of storms” despite warnings by officials that one was approaching.

In just 12 hours, Washi dumped more than a month of average rain on Mindanao.

Thousands of soldiers and hundreds of local police, reservists, coast guard officers and civilian volunteers were mobilized for rescue efforts, but were hampered by flooded-out roads and lack of electricity. Rescuers in boats rushed offshore to save people swept out to sea.

Typhoon “Sendong”, Signal 1 For Cebu and Bantayan Island

The National Weather Service has advised that Tropical Storm “Sendong” has developed into a Typhoon. Over Mindanao, Leyte and Bohol, Typhoon Sendong will increase in strength to a Signal Number 2 Typhoon. Cebu and Bantayan Island will experience Signal Number 1 conditions for the next 36 hours.

Wind and waves around Bantayan Island today will increase as Typhoon Sendong passes lower Cebu. The outlying band of clouds carrying moisture will effect Bantayan Island with heavy rainfall at times over the next 36 hours.

It is advisable that you check the ferry schedule in Hagnaya and Santa Fe before attempting a crossing to or from Bantayan Island. Ferry service was concealed all day for Bantayan Island today, Friday, December 16, 2011. It appears highly likely that there will also be no ferry service to or from Bantayan Island tomorrow, Saturday December 17, 2011.

At 4:30 pm, a large band of rain clouds entered the Santa Fe Municipality area of Bantayan Island with strong rain, wind and minor flooding. It appears that this heavy rain will continue throughout the night and into Saturday morning.

Update: 4:00am, Saturday, December 17, 2011.

Winds have recently increased along the shorefront with rain beginning again. The National Weather Service is reporting winds of 55 mph, with gusts up to 80 mph. Seas are extremely rough with no ferry service predicted for today, to or from Bantayan Island by Island Shipping Company.

By Tomorrow, Sunday, December 18, 2011, it is likely that the wind and rains will be gone over Bantayan Island and the seas should begin to calm. By Monday conditions should be calm with normal ferry service to and from Bantayan Island resuming.

Update: 2:40 pm, Saturday December 17, 2011

Wind and waves are beginning to subside here on Bantayan Island as “Sendong” passes the Philippine Area of Responsibility. Ferry service has resumed to and from the island.

Tropical Storm “Sendong” Changes Course

Tropical Storm “Sendong”, which was forecast to track across Cebu City and Bantayan Island by Friday, has changed course and is not predicted to miss Cebu City and Bantayan Island.

The following is the updated PAGASA storm track that is predicted as of today, for “Sendong”

Effected areas of Eastern Samar, Western Samar, Leyte Provinces, Camotes Island, and Bohol will experience “Signal Number 1” winds of 45-60 kph, and storm surge waves.

Bantayan Island will experience wind, rain and rough seas for Friday, Saturday and part of Sunday.

In the event that Sendong changes course again, we will update this web site with additional information.