On Friday, our family prayed together, then the kids and I laid hands on Sora and asked the Lord to watch over her and bless her work. Krys M., the director of the birth clinic here in Davao then drove Sora to the airport. She went first to Manila, where she stayed overnight because weather had delayed her flight. Then on Saturday, she boarded a plane to Tacloban, the capital of the province of Leyte. From there, she got a ride to Dulag, a smaller town where she will be working with a team of Filipina and international midwives in a field birth clinic. It is situated in a school building that was de-roofed by the super typhoon last year; though the building now has some roofing, the clinic is still in tents. There are 6 Filipina midwives and international volunteers, including a midwife from Poland and one from New Zealand.
Sora texted me that traces of the typhoon’s devastation are still everywhere. She also said that she has no internet (expected), and that her cell phone only has reception in a certain 3-foot square. We texted for a while in that spot, but I’m not expecting further regular communications.
Instead, Sora will be writing in a paper notebook with a pen and taking photos with her phone, and she will blog about the four weeks when she returns. If she texts me anything further before then, I’ll of course post it.
We foolishly sent out our monthly newsletter the night before Typhoon Haiyan (Yolanda here) made landfall in the Philippines. At 5:00 AM on Friday, the weather radar showed this:
We are the red pin.
Yet outside, the leaves on the trees were still. The rest of the day, all that happened was a 6 mph breeze, a light drizzle, and some pleasantly cool temperatures. We felt rather guilty enjoying them while the rest of the country north of us was being hammered by the typhoon. So, for all those who have asked — and we have been flooded with anxious requests from loving friends and supporters — we are all safe and sound. We thank God, and we thank you for your prayers.
We have spoken with many of our friends, and do not know of anyone who has lost loved ones to the storm. Our pastor here, Pr. Vic, reported that his brother’s house was destroyed, and his mother in Manila lost the roof off her kitchen, but that none of his relatives were injured. I would be surprised, however, if that is true of all our Filipino friends with family in other cities.
The loss and devastation facing the affected areas is very great. We would encourage our readers who would like to contribute to relief and recovery efforts to donate to MEANS, an evangelical relief and development charity run by Filipinos and Filipino-Americans.
We are once again humbled and awed by the spirit of the Filipino people, who bear adversity with cheerfulness and diligence. Please pray for the victims, their families, and the recovery efforts.