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Yolanda Relief Update: Hope Amidst the Storm

Yolanda Relief Update: Hope Amidst the Storm

A week after typhoon Yolanda struck the Visayas region, we are beginning to see glimmers of hope amidst the ruins. In spite of property loss, displacement, and destruction, faith rises up in a much greater capacity.

Rising from the ashes
In Tacloban, Leyte, sixty-six members of our Victory Tacloban church have been accounted for. Pastor Eugene Ramirez, our senior pastor there, is also spearheading relief operations in the area. His home has become a temporary shelter for some of our church members in the city. While some have relocated to Cebu, Manila, and Samar, others have taken an active part in volunteering for relief operations.

From the giving that our Tacloban church has received, they are now more ready and equipped to serve the city in their own capacity. They have purchased two generators to provide for electricity since Tacloban’s main power lines are still not functioning. One of these is in Pastor Eugene’s home; the other is in a facility belonging to one of our church members which has been transformed into a temporary command center for relief operations. A vehicle was also purchased to aid in faster distribution of relief goods. The remainder of funds was used to buy relief goods and medicines for more typhoon victims in need of aid and medical attention.

Nessa Gardiola, an incoming Every Nation Campus missionary, also shared her testimony of God’s faithfulness to her and her family—providing and protecting them amidst the storm. “When He spared my family and provided for us during those times, I was quite sure that God willed it so I can be a blessing to others.”

 Nessa Gardiola (left) is one of the Victory Tacloban discipleship group leaders who were accounted for after typhoon Yolanda. Photo by Kix Javier.
Nessa Gardiola (left) is one of the Victory Tacloban discipleship group leaders who were accounted for after typhoon Yolanda. Photo by Kix Javier.

Building homes, building lives
Another one of the more heavily affected areas in Visayas is Capiz. In this region, we have one Victory church in the municipality of Roxas. According to Richard Escosar, senior pastor of Victory Roxas, around 14,000 families were affected by typhoon Yolanda. Thankfully, their home was spared, and he and his family are now extending help to his fellow Capiznons.

Other than Tacloban, Roxas also received ample financial support from our Victory churches. “We want to make a lasting impact to the people,” Pastor Richard shares when asked about relief and rehabilitation efforts for Roxas. “Food can only last so long, but rebuilding homes and lives makes more of an impact.”

A number of Victory group leaders from our Capiz church have lost their homes, including four of our Real LIFE Foundation scholars. However, Pastor Richard is currently in the process of helping them by purchasing construction materials to rebuild their homes. The remainder of the funds is now going to assorted items for relief goods for the community.

Our Real LIFE scholars, joined by Pastor Richard Escosar (center), are still in faith and hope for their city. Photo by Pastor Paolo Punzalan.
Our Real LIFE scholars, joined by Pastor Richard Escosar (center), are still in faith and hope for their city. Photo by Pastor Paolo Punzalan.

Looking up
At the end of it all lies hope amidst the strongest storm. In spite of terrible circumstances, we are grateful for your prayers and generous giving as we partner together in alleviating the needs of our countrymen in the Visayas. Please continue praying with us as relief and rehabilitation efforts are ongoing in the Visayas region. Ask God for peace, restoration, and safety in these affected areas.

If you’re looking to participate in relief efforts, you may email partners@victory.org.ph.

Thank you for being God’s hands and feet in this time of need!