National State of Calamity: 2011′s Last Scream
Sorry if this post is wrong timing. It’s busy in every corner and I know you’ve prepared enough for the season. If you’re wondering why I’m slow or haven’t replied your e-mails and comments, it’s because this week is a time for last hurrah-turned-to-scream. And it’s a maelstrom of emotions pinching in.
Most of you know I live inside a small dot in the world map called Philippines. Over the weekend, the world’s deadliest storm hit our country – leaving a death toll of nearly a thousand (and still counting), hundreds missing, and over 26,000 families affected in Mindanao area. Tropical storm ”Sendong” (Washi, for international name) was reported the last storm to hit us but left us the greatest havoc.
Hitting fiercely in Cagayan De Oro and Iligan City, we were surprised by a message from a pastor that fellow believers in those areas are in deep sorrow. One pastor, also a Bible translator for our native language was reported missing including his family. Other members of the churches there mourned for the lost of loved ones, and lost of resources. Two church buildings of our supported missionaries broke down like crumpled papers as the winds blew and water drowned around two o’clock in the morning of December 19. With the testimonies we received, it started with a slight rain, where everybody slept like so relaxed for the cool weather until the wind harshly drove everything out of their shelters. Houses (especially within the vicinity of Cagayan River) were filled by mudslides in seconds. I can’t imagine the rest as it breaks my heart to recall the situation. I cannot dare to post the pictures here (but if you want to view them, you can click these links and see what I mean, This, this, this, and that) why I can’t.
With the increase in the count of missing and dead bodies, it’s hurting to think that most of our fellow believers in those areas will spend and face the new year with incomplete family members. In spite and despite that, we see all the efforts of assistance from various sectors from the government, organizations and individuals.
We were informed of recent updates that aside from food, shelter and water, each needs an encouragement. The affected churches are in constant prayer that this calamity will strengthen believers more to draw near to God. The younger brother of our pastor is ministering one of the two destroyed church buildings. Yesterday, the reported missing pastor was found safe and alive with his wife but their kids were recovered dead.Just tonight, we rendered a prayer of thanks for their safety and a prayer of comfort for the remaining victims. Surely, this is not an easy time. And our hearts mourn in their losses.
I’ve come to think that our financial help to them may be limited. But prayer is not and surely, God’s comfort is not.
If you have some time and can remember this post, may you include us in your prayers that God will continue to send His grace, comfort and provision in this hard time.
”…The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much.” – James 5:16
- Philippines flood death toll tops 1,000 (cbc.ca)
- Southern Philippines after Typhoon Washi’s Devastation (PHOTOS) (ibtimes.com)
- Death Toll From Philippine Flash Floods Tops 1,000 (abcnews.go.com)
- Emergency Alert: Typhoon Sendong | Donate Now and Save Lives (silentpal.wordpress.com)
- Typhoon Sendong Set To Be Among The Deadliest Calamities The Philippines Has Experienced In 12 Years [Lawrence Perry] (ecademy.com)
- Philippine president declares national calamity after storm (cnn.com)