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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!

Finding New Strength

Finding New Strength

nessaNessa Gardiola, an upcoming campus missionary from Leyte, recounts her experience as typhoon Yolanda (international name Haiyan) hit the Visayas region last November 8. Here’s her story of God’s protection and provision.

I was at home with my family when typhoon Yolanda struck Leyte. There were six of us in our house in Palo, one of the Leyte towns battered by this record-breaking typhoon.

We watched in horror as the strong winds blew away our neighbors’ roofs. Seeing what was happening around us, we decided to pray together as a family, pleading for God’s protection as the monster winds howled around us.

Soon, the winds shattered the windows of our house. We sought refuge in my brother’s room, setting up a foam bed to protect us from the shards of broken glass flying in from the damaged window sills.

The aftermath of the storm left us shaken. My father, who was diabetic, had a wound on his foot. My brother also almost had an asthma attack because he couldn’t breathe well. Since there was water inside our house, there were rats and mosquitoes all around us.

Real community Despite these challenges, we were quite grateful for what we had about us. God was faithful to provide for everything that we needed—not just the physical needs, but even emotional and spiritual strength. Thankfully, we lived in a neighborhood where everyone could smile and laugh because of the unity of the people. We all shared our food and water with each other; my siblings had more than enough of what we needed. Our neighbors and other relatives extended help to us, too.

Eventually, for our safety and for my father to receive adequate medical attention, we had to relocate.

My family and I left Palo five days after Yolanda hit the area, pooling what little financial resources we had from people who blessed us. We boarded a plane to Cebu, where my family and I are now staying.

We plan to stay here maybe until next year. We’ll wait until everything goes stable in Palo, and wait until we can buy materials to rebuild our old house.

 

Moving forward Kix, one of the leaders in Victory Tacloban, went accounting for members of our church who were affected by typhoon Yolanda. He was able to visit my family and myself a few days after the storm. When he visited us, we talked about our plans in rebuilding the church, as well as rebuilding Every Nation Campus in Tacloban after classes resume.

kix_nessa
This photo was taken after Nessa was accounted for. Photo by Kix Javier.

It gives me joy to know that there were a lot of people who were concerned and praying for me. It gave me hope and a fresh perspective, knowing that my spiritual family was holding the ropes for me in prayer. I got more energized to work again and rebuild what was lost in Tacloban. I’m excited to go back to the campuses and continue encouraging and inspiring students to live lives of faith, holiness, and hope through discipleship.

It was encouraging to hear that none of the members of my discipleship group were in harm’s way during the storm. Some of them, who were students of University of the Philippines-Tacloban, have cross-enrolled to UP Diliman. I’ve connected them to Lourdes, one of the campus missionaries from EN Campus Quezon City.

 

God’s faithfulness endures God’s purposes for my life have never been this clear to me. 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. I was holding on to Him and His plans for my life as the typhoon raged.

When my family and I survived the worst, I was so excited to share my story because I know that there is a lot to be done and that God will use our city even more to impact lives not only in the region but all over the world.

I’m grateful for His faithfulness. I’m also thankful for each one of you who have prayed and given in every way.

Please continue praying for the Visayas—for everyone’s safety and good health, and for the relief efforts that are ongoing in the area.

I have hope that God has great plans for our nation. I’m looking forward to all that He will do, and will continue to do, through and for each of us.

Relief Efforts for Yolanda Ongoing

Relief Efforts for Yolanda Ongoing

Haiyan Relief web iconOn Friday, November 8, typhoon Yolanda (international name Haiyan) made landfall in the city of Tacloban, Leyte. Thousands of families have been displaced, infrastructure was damaged, and many are in need of basic goods and medical attention.

Join us as we begin relief efforts for those affected by typhoon Yolanda (Haiyan). Our Victory centers are now accepting donations for flood victims.

If you’re on Twitter and would like to like to participate in our relief efforts, please tweet using the hashtag #yolandarelief.

WHAT TO DONATE

The following items are a priority for those affected:

  • Instant noodles

  • Canned goods

  • Bottled water

  • Biscuits

  • Coffee

  • Mats and blankets

CASH AND CHECK DONATIONS

We also accept cash and check donations through BPI direct deposit. Please check out the info below:

Disaster Relief Operations – Peso Donations
BANK NAME: Bank of the Philippine Islands
ACCOUNT NAME: Victory Christian Fellowship
ACCOUNT NO: 0063-3205-52
TYPE OF ACCOUNT: PESO Savings Account
BANK ADDRESS: Fort Serendra Branch, Ground Floor, Serendra, BGC, Taguig City, Philippines
SWIFT CODE: BOPIPHMM

Disaster Relief Operations – Dollar Donations
BANK NAME: Bank of the Philippine Islands
ACCOUNT NAME: Victory Christian Fellowship
ACCOUNT NO: 0824-0569-27
TYPE OF ACCOUNT: DOLLAR Savings Account
BANK ADDRESS: Fort Serendra Branch, Ground Floor, Serendra, BGC, Taguig City, Philippines
SWIFT CODE: BOPIPHMM

ONLINE DONATIONS

Victory is now accepting online donations for our relief efforts via credit card or BPI Express Online.

To give via credit card, please visit http://victory.org.ph//give/creditcard.

  1. Just fill out the online form.
    1. Enter your local church. Please select Others if you don’t attend a Victory location in Metro Manila.
    2. Type of giving. Please select Disaster Relief.
    3. Amount.
    4. Frequency.
    5. Your name and email address.
  2. Clicking on Next will take you to PesoPay, where you will complete your transaction.

To give via BPI Express Online, please visit http://victory.org.ph//give/bpi.

  1. Get your Reference Number. Enter your email address in the box provided to receive your Reference Number in your email.
  2. Enroll Victory in your BPI Express Online Account.
  3. Give. You may enter the following Additional Reference Number, depending on your Victory Center:

Victory Philippines (99000)
Victory Alabang (99026)
Victory Caloocan (99035)
Victory Fort (99002)
Victory Greenhills (99043)
Victory Makati (99057)
Victory Malate (99022)
Victory Metro East (99049)
Victory Muntinlupa (99060)
Victory Nova (99034)
Victory Ortigas (99028)
Victory Pasig (99030)
Victory Pioneer (99042)
Victory Quezon City (99018)
Victory Santa Rosa (99044)
Victory U-Belt (99001)

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

Together, let us share God’s love and be His hands and feet in these times of need. God bless you as we work together towards helping our countrymen!