Earlier today, I was overcome with emotion over the devastation that struck the Philippines. A delayed reaction, but a much-needed catharsis. The tears came while I sat on our porch, praying. I had barely wiped away the tears and blew my nose when our next door-neighbour here in Auckland came over to ask after my family. For 30 minutes, she sat with me in my puffy-eyed, red-nosed state, empathising with the plight of the Filipinos.
When you live far away from your motherland, you feel helpless about how you can help. That is why I am thankful for the show of support from fellow Pinoys, friends and loved ones whose initiative makes me feel I can make a difference. To name a few (for there are a lot): I am moved by my girlfriends Diane and Suzette, who baked cupcakes and cookies to raise funds in Singapore; by Apol of La Pomme, who is giving away a Sleep Angel to those who give the PHP650 cost of the soft toy to a cause, and to my high school friend Chatty who, together with our other batchmates from St. Paul College Pasig, is helping raise funds and shopping for groceries to help fill ships with supplies for our brothers and sisters in Leyte. My husband started the ball rolling for our family in New Zealand with a donation through Oxfam.
I am storming heaven for the Philippines, for miracles of healing and recovery, and for ravaged hearts to find shelter, warmth, comfort and hope in Jesus Christ. But I also pray for all of us who were seemingly untouched by the typhoon, to be touched. Events of this scale are meant to change our hearts and move us out of our cushy comfort zones. My friend Candy posted the following list of causes on Facebook, and I am sharing it here in case you are moved to extend some financial help, prayers or both.
It’s a calling that reminds me of Isaiah 61:1-2:
“The Spirit of the Sovereign Lord is on me, because the Lord has anointed me to proclaim good news to the poor. He has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim freedom for the captives and release from darkness for the prisoners, to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor and the day of vengeance of our God, to comfort all who mourn, and provide for those who grieve in Zion — to bestow on them a crown of beauty instead of ashes, the oil of joy instead of mourning, and a garment of praise instead of a spirit of despair.”
We are all called to be hands of hope and help.