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Typhoon Haiyan benefit concert held in Nanaimo

The Vancouver Filipino Seventh-day Adventist Church’s Bamboo Choir will be performing on Saturday (Dec. 21) morning at the Nanaimo Seventh-day Adventist Church, located at 2400 Highland Blvd.

“We are inviting people from the community to come and listen to the music and hear some of the personal stories,” said Pastor Robert Rud of the Nanaimo Seventh-day Adventist Church. “Hopefully we will have some slides up of some of the damage that has been done over there, along with the rebuilding efforts.”

Typhoon Haiyan struck the Philippines on Nov. 8, and has affected approximately 11.2 million people in the region. Many of those involved in the Nanaimo concert have either been directly affected by the typhoon or know someone who has been affected.

“The motivating factor is to raise some funds for the typhoon victims,” Rud said. “We have a number of people in our Filipino branch of our church in Vancouver who are directly affected by this.”

The latest reports from the Philippines indicate that typhoon, which is one of the strongest ever recorded, has killed more than 6,000 people. There are still some 1,700 people reported missing in the country of nearly 97 million inhabitants.

Pastor Levi Estores of the Vancouver Filipino Seventh-day Adventist Church was unable to reach his family members in the Philippines until seven days after the typhoon struck.

“My parents are OK,” he said. “My brothers and sisters, they are all fine.”

Aside from financial aid and basic necessities, the biggest need for people in the Philippines is construction materials, such as lumber and tools.

“At the moment it is really difficult for them to rebuild,” Estores said. “The problem is they cannot buy construction supplies. Even lumber yards have been destroyed.”

The Adventist Development and Relief Agency, a charitable organization put on by the Seventh-day Adventist, are accepting financial donations. The agency is currently on the ground in the Philippines, distributing supplies and helping with the rebuilding effort.

“Money donated to that agency for rebuilding in the Philippines will be matched dollar for dollar by the Canadian government up till Dec. 23,” Rud said.

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