Typhoon Maring Relief

Typhoon Maring Relief

As a church, we want to be God’s hands and feet, extending His provision and comfort to those in need. We believe that this is an effective way to advance the kingdom of God in our communities and nation.

 

Typhoon Maring Relief

Many families in North Luzon were affected by Typhoon Maring, which made landfall in early October. The winds blew off roofs from houses, floods reached many homes, and landslides blocked roads leading to many victims.

Photo credit: Philippine Daily Inquirer

Our church in La Union and our Victory group leaders in Victory Greenhills led initiatives to help different barangays in La Union that were severely affected by the rains. 

                               

They were able to distribute bags of goods, rice, and bottled water, and cleaning supplies to help with the restoration of the homes of some families. They also prayed for the cities, declaring God’s blessing and continued protection upon them.

                               

We continue to pray and believe God for the recovery and restoration of those affected by the typhoon. 

You can also be God’s hands and feet to your community! Follow your local church’s Facebook page to get involved in what God is doing in your local community.

The Road to Rebuilding

The Road to Rebuilding

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.” 

Isaiah 41:17

 

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.

There Will Be Light

There Will Be Light

Darkness hovered over Luzon at the onslaught of Typhoon Ulysses, as electricity was cut off in most parts of the island. But the light that broke through the darkness continues to illuminate the homes and hearts of people weeks after the devastation.

 

The Bicol region is one of the areas severely affected by the series of typhoons that blew through the country in the past month. Since Typhoon Rolly hit almost a month ago and until now, there’s still no electricity in some areas. Officials say it might take at least two to three more weeks for everything to be restored. Hundreds of families lost their homes and will be celebrating Christmas this year in evacuation centers.

Clay and John are two of the hundreds of volunteers that immediately got involved with repacking relief goods and distributing them to different municipalities in Bicol. Clay is an elementary school teacher and John is a third-year college student. They actively participate in the relief operations of Victory Legazpi, the church they are part of, and other volunteer groups.

Clay was part of a group that went to Pioduran. One of the things in the package they gave that made the people overflow with joy was the solar lamp. “Malaking tulong po sa ‘min ‘to sa araw-araw. Medyo matatagalan pa daw po ‘yung pagbalik ng kuryente.” This was what people often said. Clay will never forget the images of teary-eyed faces, eyes beaming with hope, as they distributed relief goods. “Nakapag-bigay din kami ng mga Bibles. Hindi ko ma-explain ‘yung joy. It’s really a privilege to be used by God to help our fellow Filipinos. Kaya nagpapasalamat din kami sa mga nagbigay kasi malaking tulong talaga ‘to sa kanila.”

 

John was part of the team that went to Ginubatan. Boulders and lahar washed from the slopes of Mayon Volcano buried hundreds of houses in this area, forcing families to stay in evacuation centers. Since there are a lot of NGOs giving food, the church gave not only relief goods but also practical items like solar lamps, butane gas, pots and pans, and blankets. “Nagulat nga po ako, pagdating namin sa evacuation center, kasi very orderly po. At ‘yung mga tao, makikita mo na hopeful kahit na nawalan sila ng bahay. Nararamdaman daw po nila yung pagmamahal ng mga tao at lalo na po ‘yung pagmamahal ng Diyos.”

  

Both Clay and John saw the importance of putting our faith in God in this time. In God, there’s always hope, no matter what happens. We can see God’s light even in the midst of a dark and challenging season. We have the assurance that God is always at our side, taking good care of us.

You, LORD, keep my lamp burning; my God turns my darkness into light.

Psalm 18:28

Claydes is an English teacher and an active member and volunteer in Victory Legazpi.  She has been part of our church since her first year in college. 

John is a third-year civil engineering student and has been part of Victory Legazpi all his life. He got to know Jesus in Kids Church. 

God is calling His people to be carriers of His light to the world. Let’s all stand in prayer with our fellow Filipinos who are still experiencing the aftermath of the recent typhoons. If you want to help, you may visit victory.org.ph/TyphoonPHRelief for more information. Thank you for your generosity and prayers, and God bless you and your families!

Hope Rises

Hope Rises

The series of storms that hit Luzon has left the whole island under a state of calamity. Floodwater rose in different regions, completely submerging houses and causing damages worth billions. But as people faced the devastation, an overflow of help and support came from volunteers and organizations, causing hope to triumph above all.

 

Carmela is a third-year college student studying Public Health in Tuguegarao. The night Typhoon Ulysses battered the island with its strong winds, she and her family did not sleep. They spent hours packing important belongings and keeping a watchful eye on the rising water from the river. Some time during the night, she urged her parents to ask their neighbor if they could transfer some of their belongings to the second floor of their neighbor’s house. Before the typhoon had passed completely, waist-deep flood water had entered their compound. Carmela spent hours on their neighbor’s roof looking for cell signal to join the call for help to save Cagayan and give prepaid load credits to other students who needed to be rescued.

“Nakakadurog ng puso talaga. Kaya kahit pa-low batt na ‘yung phone ko at walang kuryente, nag-repost ako to call for help. Nagpapasalamat ako sa Diyos na may kapitbahay kaming may second floor. Marami ‘yung lumubog talaga ‘yung buong bahay nila at kailangang ma-rescue.” 

The very next day, Victory Tuguegarao, the church she is part of, called for volunteers to help distribute hot meals to people affected by the flood. In spite of her own ordeal, Carmela joined and served. She had to walk on rooftops to get to the venue. She knew that God was calling her to serve His people. It was God’s compassion that gave her the strength and enabled her to rise above her own needs to minister to others. “Ako rin naman po, hindi ako pinabayaan ng Diyos. This is my way to share God’s love,” she said.

Carmela is actively volunteering not just in the relief operations organized by her church but also those organized by a youth group in her town. Because her father’s crops were completely destroyed during the typhoon, the future of her family looks bleak. But Carmela knows that God is trustworthy and He is always in control. “Itong buong taon, kahit na may pandemic, makikita natin na kasama natin ang Diyos. Hindi naman po tayo iiwan ng Diyos nang ganito lang. Hindi naman po sa pandemic o sa baha matatapos ang lahat. God is strengthening our faith in Him.”

In the midst of the calamity, God’s goodness and love are becoming more evident as His people rise up to serve as beacons of hope.

 

“. . . let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works 

and give glory to your Father who is in heaven.”

Matthew 5:16

Carmela is an active member and volunteer in Victory Tuguegarao and a Real LIFE scholar. She became part of our Kids church at 5 years old. 

God can use all of us to help our fellowmen. No matter how small, our help is significant. Let’s all pray together to stand with our fellow Filipinos who are currently facing the flooding and destruction brought about by the recent typhoons. If you want to help, you may visit victory.org.ph/TyphoonPHRelief for more information.