Archive for the ‘Relief Efforts’ Category

Rainbow After the Flood

by Miss Elem Gale Letana

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Large scale flooding in Metro Manila

The latest report from the National Disaster Coordinating Council (NDCC) at 6 a.m. Thursday (Oct.1)upped the number of fatalities to 277 from 246. The number of affected families has increased to 512,092 or about 2.5 million persons.

“And God said, Let there be light: and there was light.” –Genesis 1:3

The typhoon “ONDOY” really hit hard on many parts of Rizal, Marikina, Quezon City, NCR and many other places rendering many people homeless, helpless, hopeless. Here in Taytay, and Cainta and in nearby towns and barangays, the typhoon did much ruin. But through the dark night, the light of God’s Word shone brightly: “And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.” –Romans 8:28. The crisis became an avenue for His children to let the affected people feel God’s love by providing them their basic necessities, donated by caring families and individuals. Most of all, Jesus Christ was shared to them.

Large volume of rain poured non-stop for six hours last Saturday (Sept. 26). This has been the worst storm yet since 1957 for the Rizaleños to experience. Families in the lowest-lying areas had to climb to the roofs to escape the onslaught of water.  Electricity was eventually cut, and clean potable drinking water became scarce. The resulting large scale dilemma made it so difficult for the rescue operations to reach all the families in need. Gyms and schools became relocation centers. Many people were either hurt, or missing, or have perished. Houses near creeks got badly damaged; some were even swallowed by the raging rivers. Most people recount that all they managed to save were the clothes on their backs.  The flood may have subsided, but left behind much mud, broken belongings, appliances and muddied clothes. And having to prepare food unconventionally for the lack of many things, children began to get sick. Many were panic buying and were afraid.  And a needful extensive rehabilitation of whole towns is at hand.

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Muddy Aftermath

antsLast Sunday (Sept. 27) Emmanuel Baptist Church started organizing and distributing donated clothes, goods and food. Many opened their hearts and gave, not just their spare, but sacrificially gave for the needful ones. Many volunteers packed the clothing items and with it they included tracts so that in every plastic bag, they could not only receive good things, but also the great news – that Jesus came here to save us from our sins, to free us from the empty life and materialism of this world. Some prepared warm food that was distributed to many people. They also cooked for the manpower volunteers who, although tired in going to various places to distribute relief goods, still are full of strength each day. Some volunteered their vehicles to help transport volunteers and goods to reach various affected areas, disregarding the muddy and the rocky roads. Many prayed for their affected countrymen. All of God’s children were on their feet and although exhausted, find their strength from God who gives them immeasurable joy in serving others.

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EBC Helping Hands

The typhoon spared no one; not the rich, not the poor, not the homeless nor the iron walled mansions. Even our brethren were affected by typhoon Ondoy.

Last Monday, as roads became accessible again by land vehicles, EBC set out to visit Delos Santos family, among others. The scene was heartbreaking. Kuya Raul was cleaning his muddied car alone. He had evacuated his family to a relative in Sta. Mesa, Manila. Saturday night, the water rose quickly, leaving them no choice but to climb the roof of their house to escape the flood. Sunday morning Kuya Raul managed to make a “balsa” (makeshift boat) for his wife and children to ride so they could wade to safer grounds.

In spite of everything, he still managed to help their old neighbors. But there was nothing that could have been done to save their house and their belongings from the destructive flood. The walls and floors were badly damaged. Mud covered the hallway. Their appliances, belongings and car have mud inside and out. Amidst all those things Kuya Raul still managed a smile knowing that God is there.

Cainta was greatly inundated. Although many of them were used to flooding, they were perplexed that the water rapidly rose up almost to the roofs of one-storey houses. Jesham and Saida Abellera live in this area (Gruar Subdivision near Junction); it is a blessing that they have a second floor where they managed to save their appliances but all their clothes soaked at the ground floor. By the time they had to return for them clothes, the water was already deep. They stayed on the second floor until Monday morning, and in order to get food from their store, one of them swam through their first floor. “ Nagpi-pray talaga ako nun.. Lord, sana po wag abutin ung second floor namin…kasi konti na lang talaga abot na kami…”(“I was praying then, ‘Lord, please don’t let the flood rise up to second floor level…’ as water was inching its way up to us”)-referring to the flood that was only about two inches from them. God answered their’s  and their brethren’s prayers. Not having any form of communication, EBC family entrusted everything into God’s hands. And God never fails those who trust Him, and the flood receded rapidly. As EBC checked on Jesham and her  family, they had enough supplies and were safe and sound. Although soaking wet and with massive cleaning chores at hand, they themselves are alright. Praise God!

Their area was one of the most affected places so the EBC family left food and donated clothes to them so they could redistribute them to the needy people in their neighborhood. EBC could only give so much relief goods and it seemed that no matter how many the items were, the number of people needing  them outnumbered the relief items.

“ Pls. pray for us hanggang dibdib na po ang tubig dito sa loob namin, sa labas lampas tao na po.” (“Please pray for us, the water inside our house is chest-high; and outside it’s way above people’s heights”). A text pass from BJ Pareno. They live in Vista Verde, one of the closely-watched areas over the radio and television; People there were surprised at the deluge. “ Nakatira kami dito for 24 years, this is the first time na nagbaha dito ng ganito” (“this <flood depth> is a first in our stay here for twenty-four years”), Mrs. Pareno said. Having a bungalow type house, they were not able to save their belongings, not even clothes. As flooding arose to alarming levels, they had no other choice but to move up to the roof, but the problem was that GrandMa and GrandPa may not be able to do the same.

…then God provides. As the need arises, God’s provision becomes more and more evident…

One of the neighbors who have second floors willingly accepted GrandMa while GrandPa ended up in another. Although apart during the storm, the Pareno family knew each of them were safe, and that the storm will eventually end. It was good that with the Pareno family were three visiting relatives. “Blessing din na nandito ung tatlo, tinulungan nila kami, pati sa paglilinis” (“It was a blessing to have these three, we had extra hands for clearing up the messes”) Mrs. Pareno referred to three relatives who came recently to look for jobs, but maybe it was God’s way of providing in advance the help that they would eventually be needing. Like everybody else, they tried to save some of their belongings. “Noong una ang iisipin mo ‘yung gamit, pero pag hanggang dibdib na ‘yung tubig, ang iisipin mo na lang iligtas ‘yung buhay mo,“ (“Instinctively, you would think of saving things, but seeing we are in a chest deep flood, you realize that life matters most”) Mr. Pareno said as he related his attempt to save some of the fruits of his labor, their belongings. “Lahat ng tao dito back to zero,” (“Well, everyone here may be restarting from scratch,”) added Mr. Pareno. But despite all losses, they are happy to see each of them safe, and they know for sure that God will help them through all this.

Aside from the brethren mentioned above, these families were also greatly affected: the Baiya family at Cabrera Road, Yepez family at Finestra, Ate Trudes and her mother at Marikina and their relatives in Greenland, Lat family at Brgy. San Isidro, Dingal Family at Sto. Nino, Mondragon Family in Rosario and some others.

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Kids having their fill

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Cheerful A.N.T.S. Clean Up

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Ate Charing with the EBC A.N.T.S.

Families at Floodway were also in the same predicament. The house church of Emmanuel Christian Fellowship was not spared by the flood. Glenna’s house was destroyed and so was Regine’s (they are both young people of ECF).  After the incident their homes and belongings need to undergo massive repairs.

Let us do whatever we can to help out our dear brethren. If we can, let us encourage them, help them out in their needs, and pray for them. Being one family, we can carry each other’s burdens and make things a lot easier and bearable.

Some of the other visited places were: Rowenas, Cabrera, Finestra, Floodway and Gruar. They were given clothes with tracts and warm food pre-packed in plastic bags. But majority of these restless people are still in need of Christ.  Their present condition here on earth may truly be depressing but without knowing Christ, theirs is a far more wretched and pitiful end.

As EBC carried and gave away those relief goods, in their hearts they prayed that they would also know our Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ.

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People Gather Around Kuya Bong’s Vehicle for Relief Goods

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"Boodle fight" after an exhausting relief operation

"Boodle fight" after an exhausting relief operation

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Donations of clothes, goods, foods and finances are on-going. Manpower volunteers are also needed, since much repairing and cleaning should be done. If you would like to help or participate, you could approach Pastor Roi or any of the Young Adults (PSALMS). Many belongings were lost, and our countrymen are yet to recover from the lashes of typhoon Ondoy. Yet, Jesus Christ, the Lord of all calms our hearts amidst the storms; and reminds us that He is always in control of everything,

“ Fear thou not; for I am with thee; be not dismayed; for I am thy God: I will strengthen thee; yea, I will help thee; yea, I will uphold thee with the right hand of my righteousness.” – Isaiah 41: 10

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For inquiries:

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Emmanuel Baptist Church

Geronimo cor, L. Wood St.

Bgy. Dolores, Taytay, Rizal

Email: ebctaytay@yahoo.com

Tel: 02-284-0096

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Pastor Roi Cruz

EBC Senior Pastor

Email: roijuvy@yahoo.com

Mobile: +63918-467-8211

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To donate:

Account Name: Emmanuel Baptist Church of Taytay

Account Number: 5783295093

BPI Family Bank Taytay Branch

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God bless you.

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