We just finished the last distribution in Leyte and we are thankful to be a channel for God’s blessings to others in need.
The first week after the Korean Church Relief Team left, we spent time visiting northern Cebu and Leyte to determine the next distribution points. Northern Cebu had many isolated places that were in need of assistance and food distribution. In Leyte from Ormoc to Baybay we saw many communities that were destroyed by the storm. Further south from Baybay the damage to houses were not as much. In Bato where the Badjao live and where we ministered before, the church and a few houses were damaged.
We had a difficult time at first purchasing the different supplies for the relief work. Since Cebu City has become the supply center for relief work the city itself also run out of supplies and many stores had to put limits on the amounts you could purchase. The result was that you had to go to many stores to buy all the supplies. The City even ran out of rice supplies and one could only buy expensive rice. The shortage has also caused a rise in food prices. But we were able to finish buy all the supplies on Saturday Nov 23.
Sunday November 24 after our church service in Barili, we brought several of the members to help us with the repacking of 2000kg of rice, 3000 cans of sardines and 4500 noodles. We thank god that we were able to prepare packs of food for 500 families that will last them 2-3 days. We thank God that we were able to finish this job rather fast with the help of many people from church.
Then on November 26 we distributed 390 buckets with the relief food. The food was distributed in four different communities. In every community we were able to share a short message before the distribution. Some communities were more responsive than other communities. But we pray that our ministry there has opened more doors for the local pastor, Pst Richard Paul who minister in that area.
On December 3 we took the overnight boat to Hilongos going to Leyte. Because of the ongoing relief work as well as so many people that are rebuilding their houses, the cargo part of the ship were full of big trucks, we almost did not get on. The next morning, we visited the Badjao community in Bato, Leyte, were we distributed 105 buckets with relief goods to the Badjao.
After the distribution we decided to take to road trip to Tacloban, a 4 hr trip. As we traveled we notice the increase of storm related destruction from Baybay toward Ormoc City where the destruction was great. The road from Ormoc City to Tacloban was almost the rout that the eye of the cylone followed and we saw village after village completely destroyed by the storm. We were especially surprised and saddened when we saw the damage of houses around Paulo, maybe even greater than the damage in Tacloban. Even many concrete structures couldn’t stand the ferocity of the storm. A month after the storm and in most of the villages they haven’t been able to restart building house because there is still too much debris.
Now the hardest task lays ahead, that of rebuilding. The need for rebuilding is great, maybe short term mission teams or church teams can commit to help rebuild a village.
- Pray for pastor Richard Paul as they do the follow-up after the relief distribution.
- Pray for the thousands of people who lost loved ones (they still find bodies under the debris), and many more thousands who still don’t have a home to go back to.
- Pray for us as we seek guidance as to what role God want us to play in this situation. ex rebuild & church planting, orphanage for orphaned children are some of the things we are praying about.
- Pray how you can be involved, like short term building teams, short term mission teams, individual short term commitment or individual medium or long term commitment – longer than 3 months. Financial support for the relief work is much needed.
- Pray for our church in Barili. Pray for strength and new vision. Pray also for the different Christmas programs that we will have. Children Christmas party December 22 , Church Christmas sevice and fellowship Dec 25, Bless the Elderly Dec 29 and our New Year Eve celebration Dec31.
Rev. Petrus and Chunghee Vercueil