Operation Blessing Helps After Philippine Flooding

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MANILLA, Philippines -- For the people of the Philippines, Typhoon Parma was just the latest in Mother Nature's attacks.

In the days before that storm, Typhoon Ketsana dumped a month's worth of rain on the capital city of Manila in just a few hours.

The resulting flood destroyed thousands of homes and forced the residents to leave. Despite their losses, some Filipinos are giving their time and energy to help others.

Residents of metropolitan Manila were caught by surprise when torrential rains submerged the city in less than six hours.

One man told CBN News he's been living in Manilla for nine years, but this is the first time that he experienced such devastation. That is the sentiment of the two million people that have been displaced by Ketsana. However in the midst of their desperation, many people especially Christians, are coming to help these people to rise over their tragedy.

Teams of Operation Blessing volunteers are dispatched everyday to attend to the different needs of the flood victims.

Residents are grateful to receive rice and canned goods and other food items from Operation Blessing. Nearby stores have been swept away and flooded streets prevent residents access to grocery stores. Some of them also lost their livelihood. They do not have money to buy food.

"We have not eaten since yesterday," one person said. "I am happy you gave us medicine and food. This is a big help to all of us."

Mobile water purifying systems are also being set up in places where local water services have not resumed.

Aside from food and water, first aid treatment is badly needed in areas that are covered with thick mud.

Aldrin stepped on broken glass and injured his foot while walking in the muddied streets. He was just in time to have his wound dressed by an Operation Blessing doctor before infection sets in.

"Our house was swept away and that's a bigger problem," he said. "I cannot think anymore of going to the hospital. It's good that you came to us.

To help lighten the load of the victims, instead of holding the medical mission at just one place, doctors go from house to house to check on the medical condition of the people. It's also an opportunity for the team to hear their stories and give them encouragement.

Jennifer Biolado is one of many, whose home was destroyed in the storm. But what worries her now is her family. She complains that her sons always fight. At the time Operation Blessing visited her home, her younger son had a cut in his eyebrow, because his brother hurled a plate at him. After the cut was treated, the rest of the team gathered the family, shared about Christ's love and prayed for them. This led the brothers to reconcile.

"We may lose our house, but I thank God that we are alive," she said. "I really value my family and that is why I appreciate the prayers and the advice that you gave to be a good model to my children."

"This is also the first time in nine years that we had a medical mission," another person said. "Thank you to Operation Blessing."

Dr. Kim Pascual, Chief Operating Officer of Operation Blessing, Philippines, says that the disaster relief efforts is a tangible way of showing God's love to the people.

"It's not just giving relief," Dr. Pascual explained. "We listen to them. Hug them. We touch them. We go to them. We need to be there to help them start their life.

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Lucille Talusan

Lucille Talusan

CBN News Asia Correspondent

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