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.
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!
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