John Mel Sumatra, Bennette Grace Tenecio (standing), Sherel Quider, Regina Modez (wearing red shirt), Taki Andaya (wearing hat), and Fread DeMesa were the members of the rapid response team sent by PeaceBuilders Community and PeaceChurch Philippines to the Haiyan affected areas. They made Ormoc City as their base of operations.

The Philippine Council of Evangelical Churches (PCEC) sent us as their rapid response team to help the survivors of SuperTyphoon Haiyan in the Philippines.

Because of the overwhelming numbers of those who were affected, we had to focus on a strategic response. Our mission was:

1. To search and rescue the pastors and their families.

2. To provide —

  • emergency food items;
  • temporary shelter; and,
  • critical incident stress debriefing services — to the pastors and their respective families.

3. To assist the pastors and their respective congregations in doing relief operations in their communities.

The emergency relief goods and services were provided by the Philippine Evangelical Disaster Response Network, the disaster response arm of PCEC.

Such strategy determined our specific actions and the composition of the team. I was given the privilege of leading the following team members:




BENNETTE GRACE TENECIOCritical Incidence Stress Debriefing Specialist
Organizing Consultant – Support Operations

With her master’s degree in Clinical Psychology from UP Diliman, Benette has various experiences working with children. She was once a SPED teacher, a freelance psychometrician in a Family Court in Quezon City, and a member of an organization working with children at risk. Bennette has been living and working in Manila for more than 15 years. Now, she has decided to serve in Mindanao where she was born, the place she considers home. She leads a group of student volunteers called the University Peace and Reconciliation Team.


JOHN MEL SUMATRACommunity Organizing Specialist
Organizing Consultant – Field Operations

John Mel is a graduate of Bachelor of Arts in Sociology from Ateneo de Davao University. He is a Mansaka, a First Nation who are the original inhabitants of a beautiful area now referred to as the Compostela Valley Province. He became involved in PBCI during the Typhoon Sendong that lashed Mindanao on December 2011. He volunteered for the relief and psycho-social operations until he became a full-time worker. John Mel’s first assignment was in the “Land of the Finest Cowboys” – Impasug-ong, Bukidnon.


REGINA LYN MONDEZDevelopment Communications Specialist
Documentation and Research – Field Operations

Reg grew up in a Filipino Mennonite community and has been dreaming of becoming a Christian worker using her training in Development Communications from the University of the Philippines in Los Banos (2010). Her application and training process with PBCI include the blessing of her parents and of her home church through a commissioning service. She’s our Luzon Church Resourcing Consultant and Development Communications Specialist.


SHEREL S. QUIDERDevelopment Communication Specialist
Documentation and Photography – Support Operations

Sherel started as our Bukidnon Field Assistant. She’s a graduate of Development Communications from Bukidnon State University. We noticed her technical skills in keeping financial accounts and setting-up the electronic equipment before small meetings and big events. We also noticed her creativity as expressed in digital arts. At the end of her one-year contract in Bukidnon, her team leader recommended that she be transferred to our Davao City office.


FREAD DE MESA, Community Organizer
Support Operations Assistant

He was a child activist who came to know Jesus Christ and chose to follow His nonviolent, radical teachings. He received Peace and Reconciliation training with Peacebuilders Community, Inc. and is a Community Organizer with the Evangelical Youth for Social Action. He is currently an active, energetic, and talented member of Peace Church community


TAKI ANDAYA, Community Organizer
Field Operations Assistant

He attended a PAR training with Peacebuilders Community, Inc. and was committed to a radical way of peacebuilding as a follower of Jesus. He is also a trained Community Organizer and is a member of the Evangelical Youth for Social Action. Taki gives life to Peace Church community as he shares his artistic and musical talents.




Permanent link to this article: https://waves.ca/2013/11/15/i-had-the-privilege-of-leading-an-excellent-rapid-disaster-response-team/


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