Ondoy

It was an epic flood due to a record rainfall. Tropical storm Ondoy, “bearing winds of 85 kilometers per hour with gusts of 100 kilometers” (Source: http://inquirer.net/) hit us mid-morning. “About 100 families in different areas in Metro Manila have been evacuated as incessant rains caused heavy flooding in the national capital region… In San Mateo, Rizal, at least 269 families were reported to be severely affected by rising floodwater”. As I was writing this, the statistics are steadily rising. In the news, the government just declared Metro Manila and 25 provinces under state of calamity.

Dela Rosa Street became the Dela Rosa River. (Watch the video here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Fv7KKVtRbRQ) The floodwater rapidly reached waist deep. It engulfed the cars parked along the street while the owners watched hapless and helpless. Our basement parking overflowed to the brim. Slowly, the waters seeped into our church office. We hurriedly cleared up the lower shelves of our filing cabinets, stacked up boxes on chairs and got our office equipments out of harm’s way. (Kudos to our staff, janitors, drivers and guards who did everything they could do for the church even if some of them were wondering about the plight of their own families.) I got text messages from friends all over Metro Manila requesting for prayers that they would be rescued. They were shivering on their roofs, hungry and wet. My wife Ellen and my son Jessey got stranded in the Mall of Asia. (Jessey competed in a Science Olympiad.) Deacon Manuel Go, Jr. and his wife, Sister Yvette, got stranded in the International Graduate School of Leadership. (They were supposed to be attending a marriage enrichment seminar there in IGSL. They decided to spend the night there.) The Brighthouse dormitory of IGSL got flooded. So they evacuated the students and their families to the gym. Facebook got inundated with pictures and videos of the deluge. It was such a depressing sight! My best friend, Pastor Jesse Dedel, posted on Twitter that he saw a man on a wheelchair trying in vain to cross the flooded street. Sadly, no one’s helping him. He also Twitted, “Pinoys haven’t seen flooding like this in 42 years!” No wonder our government was caught flatfooted! (Heads must roll, though.)

While watching the flood rise, I thought what a certain Daniel Wolpe wrote about a man who stood before the Lord, his heart breaking from all the pain, sin, and injustice he saw in the world. He cried out, “Dear God. Look at all these sufferings in your world. Why don’t you send help?” God responded, “I did send help. I sent you.”

Brethren, we are God’s help. Let us do something!

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