Cyclone Survivors Helped by Christians

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ILOILO, PHILIPPINES - In the Philippines, Christians are responding to a devastating typhoon that killed more than 500 people.

Another 500 are still unaccounted for after their ferry capsized in the storm.

The island of Visayan took the hardest blow and it's people are struggling to recover.  But Operation Blessing is giving comfort and support.

A "mini tsunami" is how the people of Iloilo, one of the hardest hit provinces, described super typhoon Feng Shen as it wreaked havoc in their province.

At the height of the typhoon the residents here ran up to their roofs to save themselves. It's been almost a week now since the floodwaters in this area subsided and this is all the belongings that's left to them.

It's going to take real patience and hard work to clean up all this mess, but everybody here is thankful that their families are intact and that they are all alive.

Crisanto and Rosie share that sentiment.  Crisanto describes how from the rooftop of their neighbor's house, they saw their own home swept away by the raging waters. Rosie showed the only possession she was able to save, her Bible.

"We were stranded on the roof with our children for almost two days with no food. I just kept reading and reciting verses from the bible and this made me strong.

I thank God that all of us are alive," she said.

The Tayo family was not as fortunate. Nine members of their family drowned in the flood.  John is the lone survivor of his family. He lost both his parents and five siblings.

When asked how he was able to survive, the y-year-old said, "I swam! I was not afraid because I know how to swim. But my brothers and sisters, they were all afraid."

John now lives with his grandfather. They found comfort when visiting Christians prayed for them.

Pastor Stanley Flores says the tragedy has given the Christians the opportunity to demonstrate God's love by meeting the spiritual and material needs of the people . He's happy that the Christian organization, Operation Blessing, has arrived to give relief goods to the victims.  The group helped to replace some of the rice lost in flooded government store houses.

Pastor Stanley and other Christians here believe, in the midst of catastrophe, God is calling Filipinos to repent for the sins of the land.

"Righteousness exalts a nation. I believe God has a message for our province and the nation and especially the leaders in government," he said. That we must turn away from wickedness and really pursue righteousness. There should be unity in the body of Christ particularly in prayer.

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Lucille Talusan

Lucille Talusan

CBN News

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