Weeks after enduring a series of typhoons, a lot of our countrymen are still facing great difficulties. But God is using His people to give them the strength to rebuild. Here is the story of a group of mountaineers who served as God’s hands and feet to bring hope to the people of Daraitan.
The destruction brought about by Typhoon Ulyses was beyond what the people in Daraitan expected. The normally calm river flowed with rage, completely washing out houses along the riverbanks and bringing despair to communities that are already suffering from the temporary pause of tourism in the area.
Joharee is one of the mountain hikers who has marveled at the pristine beauty of Daraitan and its famous river during its peaceful days. He is part of a mountaineering group composed of Victory group leaders from Victory Metro East. After the typhoon, they immediately organized relief operations to serve the people they had come to love. “Napamahal na sa ‘min ‘yung Daraitan community ever since nagsimula kami umakyat. Madalas kami dun pumunta dati. Nung nalaman namin ‘yung condition nila after the typhoon, nag-initiate talaga kami ng fund-raising drive para makatulong.”
When they called for donations, they were believing to come up with 100 bags of relief goods. “It’s amazing how God moved para magawa namin ‘to. Because of His provision, we were able to distribute 250 bags of relief goods. ‘Yung iba dun galing sa donations ng mga friends namin, ‘yung iba galing sa church. The day before our scheduled trip, hindi pa namin alam kung pa’no namin madadala ‘yung mga bags sa Daraitan. Tapos biglaan lang, nakatanggap kami ng tawag from a friend who has a trucking business. Ayun, sinagot na n’ya yung transpo namin.”
When the group arrived at the evacuation center, they prioritized giving to some senior citizens. “Yung ibang senior citizens sa community, sila pa rin ‘yung breadwinner ng pamilya nila. They work as guides for the mountaineers. Since the lockdown, marami sa kanila ‘yung walang source of income. Tapos nangyari pa ‘yung bagyo at nawalan pa ‘yung iba ng bahay.” They went beyond the evacuation center and gave relief goods to those who have started to put up makeshift houses to have temporary shelter.
In spite of their seemingly insurmountable difficulties, the people of Daraitan are hopeful and very grateful for the help they’ve been receiving. The relief goods will certainly make several days ahead better than other days, but more than that, they give the people hope and strength to start rebuilding.
Joharee acknowledges that it is God who wants to bring hope and comfort to the people in Daraitan. He said that all they did was present themselves for His service, and God made it happen. In the midst of everything that is happening this year, God is reminding all of us that He is in control and that He will never leave us nor forsake us.
“When the poor and needy seek water, and there is none, and their tongue is parched with thirst, I the Lord will answer them; I the God of Israel will not forsake them.”
Joharee has been part of Victory Metro East since 2011. He is also a Victory group leader and Kids Church volunteer.
We can all be vessels for God’s use. Let’s keep on praying for our countrymen who are still recovering from the destruction brought about by recent typhoons. If you want to help, you may visit victory.org.ph/TyphoonPHRelief for more information.