The pictures, the videos, it seems all too real, all too painful. But while I sit at home, watching the news, reading stories on my computer, I am reminded that for many, this is real. They are in pain. For many, they have lost everything.
As I was reading stories and scrolling through my Facebook feed, I stumbled across a friend’s status. At that moment, Yolanda came a little closer into my world. I read Kathy’s status and I could feel the panic and pain that was in her voice.
Kathy was born in the province of Lawaan in the Philippines and a large part of her family still lives there. 3 uncles, cousins, aunts, and recently her mother, all moved back to their hometown. So for her, Yolanda threatened her family’s wellbeing and safety.
In the days following the storm, with stories streaming across the world, but no news from her family, Kathy, like many other Filipinos in the US and other nations around the world, felt helpless.
Kathy tried to contact anyone and everyone she could think of, in hopes of finding more information about her mother and family. With no concrete way of getting in touch, she held on to her faith to get her through. She told me, “My Christian faith has allowed me to pray and leave it in God’s hands, that everything will be alright.”
For Kathy, her prayers were answered. She got news that her mother is safe and alive. However, while her mother and most of her family have been accounted for, they are still praying and searching for several members of their family.
Her mother’s village has been completely destroyed, they have lost everything. However, no matter how devastating the news of having lost everything was, Kathy was grateful that her mother still had her life.
Her faith in God, her trust and belief in the power of prayer, have been providing Kathy with the strength to endure this ordeal.
While the destruction and loss is unquantifiable, while the pain is immeasurable, the resilience of the Filipino nation is indestructible. Like Kathy, the Philippines is a nation of faith in God. While the reason may not be clear, the belief that He will provide, that He will rebuild this nation, is sure and steadfast.
However, while their faith is unshakable, as their international family, it is our responsibility to be the hands and feet of God. While Kathy may not be able to directly send supplies of water and food to her family, we can help to provide hope for our Filipino brothers and sisters.
Join us in our continued prayers for the Philippines. May we be brought together as one family under God and work to bring comfort to this nation and their families in this time of heartbreak.
We can also support rescue and aid efforts by supporting the All-Lights Village Project. Through our donations, we can help to bring relief supplies to our Filipino family. Join us and donate now!
A special thanks to Kathy L’Heureux for sharing her story.
Written by: Milei Ikeno
DONATE to GPF recovery efforts:
READ statement by GPF Chairman, Dr. Hyun Jin Moon.