Marawi Crisis Response

June 5, 2017


Jonathan Wilson, Executive Director

An ongoing armed conflict in Marawi, Lanao del Sur started on 23 May 2017 between Philippine government security forces and militants of the Maute and Abu Sayyaf Salafi jihadist groups. The ISIS- supported militants burned churches, Christian schools and the jail and executed those who could not recite verses from the Koran. Most of the 200,000 residents of the city have fled the violence and are in evacuation centers or staying with friends or relatives in the neighboring areas.

Existing Needs:

  • 3 evacuation centers in Sta. Elena, Maria Cristina and Boron School of Fisheries are all overcrowded, lack supplies, toilets and medical care.
  • None of the evacuation centers have set up child-friendly spaces.
  • Psycho-social-spiritual needs – all are traumatized especially children and women and especially the last to get out of Marawi City.
  • Educational needs: all school-aged children need school supplies, uniforms and bags when they are able to return back to school.
  • Emotional care for pastors and Christian workers responding to the crisis.


  • Funding support for OperationSAFE child trauma camps for children in the evacuation camps. (currently 1500 children but expected to expand to 3000) @ $30,000
  • Pastoral Care / Chaplaincy team to be sent to the Philippines.
  • Cooperation with supplying school supplies, uniforms and bags for children.

We are appealing to Christians all over the globe to help us meet the needs of survivor-evacuees.

You may use your credit card or access PayPal to help families who’ve fled the fighting in Malawi City. Please click the donate button on the OperationSAFE webpage on the GLINTS website for donation instructions. Thanks in advance.

Update (June 5, 2017)

The first OpSAFE camp was held in an evacuation center in Iligan with 52 children in attendance. Pray for OpSAFE leaders that they may be of comfort to children and that many more children will be able to attend OpSAFE camps.

Evacuation centers are filled to over capacity. Pray that evacuees experience peace in the midst of this extreme trial.

Conflict in Mindanao

May 25, 2017

Jonathan Wilson (Exec. Director, OperationSAFE), Author

I am currently in Manila, waiting for a flight for Mindanao. The president of the Philippines declared martial law on Mindanao where I was supposed to do training starting May 24th. Below is updated information regarding pushing through with the training.

1. After consulting with the leaders in Mindanao they want me to conduct training in Davao and bring the trainees there instead of risking taking me closer to the fighting. (About 5 hours away) Pray for my journey and the training from Saturday until Tuesday.

2. The fighting between rebel groups that align themselves with ISIS and the army has continued the last three days in Marawi, one of the larger cities in Mindanao. Civilians are fleeing the violence toward Iligan. Pray for peace, for a catholic priest and parishioners who were captured and are being used as human shields, and for around 20,000 fleeing to find safety.

3. We have expanded our response to include 7 trainees from Iligan where Nazarene pastors are conducting assessments of the needs of the refugees now. Pray for wisdom and courage for Christian churches to reach out in compassion to largely Muslim refugees.

4. We have immediate need of $4,000 to cover the expansion of the work to meet the current crisis. Pray for our partners the Philippine Children’s Ministry Network who coordinate everything behind the scenes (Ate Fe, Ate Sally, Garicel) and the local network in Mindanao who are already tackling an earthquake response in Surigao. Pray that God would cover ever need of His servants.

Please help us raise $4,000.00 to help meet the needs in Mindanao. Click here to donate.

OperationSAFE Training Video

February 24, 2017

These pictures were taken during OpSAFE training of trainers where we teach local churches how to care for the psychological needs of children who have been through disasters. Melai Cuarentas is an amazing storyteller from Lawaan, East Samar who really knows how to bring the stories of Pete the Penguin and his friends to life and served in many camps following Typhoon Haiyan.

We are taking Melai to Mindanao to help train the churches in Surigao Del Norte as they care for children after a 6.7M earthquake. You can help bring experienced trainers like Melai to Surigao Del Norte by donating to OpSAFE International. bit.ly/giveOpSAFE


Surigao City Earthquake Appeal – Mindanao, Philippines

February 22, 2017

At 10:03 p.m. on 10 February 2017, a 6.7-magnitude earthquake with a depth of ten kilometres and an epicenter located near Surigao City, Philippines caused loss of lives and damage to properties in the Caraga region, located in Surigao del Norte province.

In 2016 OpSAFE International in partnership with the Philippine Children’s Ministry Network held a training of trainers in Davao City in Mindanao. These trained psychological first-aid workers are now ready to bring help and hope to their neighbors in the Caraga region.

They are currently assessing needs and coordinating with local churches to train and conduct OperationSAFE camps for 3,000 children in 12 schools that were damaged by the quake.

Please join us as we raise $9,000 to support this effort.


OpSAFE International has conducted training in the Philippines since 2013 responding to the siege of Zamboanga, Typhoon Haiyan, Typhoon Ruby and catastrophic fires in Cebu, Manila and Mindanao.

Each OperationSAFE psychological first-aid camp is led by Christian volunteers who are fluent in the local dialect and have roots in the community. Children who attend the camp are cared for by local volunteers who are not leaving after the response is finished.

In the aftermath of disasters there is a perfect opportunity to not only strengthen the resilience of children to trauma and adversity but also to help communities ensure the safety of their children from trafficking, exploitation and abuse. Our partners, the Philippine Children’s Ministry Network are experts in this area and have successfully implemented child protection programs after building connections with the children and community through initial disaster response.

Since 2013 over 10,000 children in the Philippines have experienced an OperationSAFE camp. However, many more children in the Philippines are affected by natural disasters each year. Each time we respond to a disaster we increase the number of trained volunteers and the capacity of local churches and organizations to meet the great need of the children.

OpSAFE International is a global partner of Global Intercultural Services (GLINTS)

Address: PO BOX 962, Wheaton, IL 60187-0962
Phone: (630) 923-3761
Email: info@glints.org