A Drop in the Bucket

It was not a headline-hogging relief operation. In fact, we felt like it’s a teardrop in a huge bucket. But, nonetheless, it’s a much needed drop. In two days, members and friends of Makati Gospel Church lovingly and sacrificially gave P170,000 worth of assorted groceries (put in 1,215 regular-sized plastic bags.), more or less P30,000 (cash and check), 300 plus gallons of water (in one gallon containers), about 200 pieces of bread, 631 bags of soap and toothpastes and boxes upon boxes of brand-new and used clothes, blankets, bags and shoes (about 380 plus bags). Volunteers in the Kaibigan Center of the Center for Community Transformation (CCT) packed it for us. Somebody also donated through CCT 500 plus foam mattresses.

Yesterday, Wednesday, September 30, 15 volunteers (10 of them young people) from our church along with CCT brought the relief goods to their Marikina branch. Along the way we saw the massive devastation that Typhoon Ondoy wrought. We saw muddied residents trying to clear their houses of slimy mud and to salvage whatever is left (if ever there was anything left at all) of their precious belongings. Flood-wrecked cars lined up the streets. Tons and tons of garbage were piled up everywhere. The atmosphere was thick with an eerie sense of despair.

To avoid a chaotic distribution, we intentionally positioned ourselves blocks away from the disaster area. (We heard news of the calamity victims mobbing the relief work. It was a survival of the fittest! Due to the commotion, many evacuees ended up with nothing.) We focused our operation on CCT partners, who have been identified by name and have availed of their micro-financing opportunities. Many of their livelihood projects got affected or even wiped out by the flood. Their team leaders brought to us their partners batch by batch. We also distributed Gospel of John booklets. You should see the dazed look on their faces, their tired eyes moist with tears. Many of them went with clothes still mired with mud, mostly barefooted. Our hearts went for them, knowing that the food we gave them would only last a family of five for only two days max. Yet, we could see the smile on their faces and hear their sigh of relief.

By God’s grace, we blessed 300 families through this relief effort! It’s a long way to recovery. But we need to do something. We are still receiving donations for the relief work. We cannot just comment. Much more than that, we must commit.

Brethren, there’s still much work to be done!

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