MANILA, Philippines -- Powerful monsoon rains battered the Philippine capital of Manila and 17 nearby provinces this week.
The heavy downpour caused widespread flooding and triggered landslides that left at least 15 people dead and forced more than 800,000 to evacuate.
Using a rubber boat, CBN Disaster Relief helped rescue those stranded from very high floodwater.
"We're still doing the rescue phase," Disaster Relief's Dr. Kim Pasual said. "When the monsoon rains stop, we set up teams and go to the different places that we have identified with our partners and do the relief phase. We give them food, medical assistance; we ask them what they need."
CBN partner, Pastor Balter Diega, himself a flood victim, sought CBN's help for his community. The houses there, including his home and church, are underwater.
Despite their difficult circumstances, most people have decided to stay in their flooded houses rather than the crowded evacuation centers. They also fear leaving their homes unprotected.
"We cannot leave our house because if we do, robbers will wipe out all our belongings," flood victim Analia Elvinea told CBN News. "They don't care at all. These things happen because life is so hard nowadays."
Pastor Diega worked with CBN Disaster Relief to bring much-needed assistance for his community. The ministry handed out rice, noodles, and canned goods to hungry flood victims.
"This is really a big, big help!" Elvinea thanked the relief team. "As you can see it's very difficult to go out and get supplies, but now we have food for the next days. I really hope you can help more people."
Diega is happy he can help. But what gives him more joy is the opportunity he had to share Christ's salvation to the people. And he's grateful for CBN's help.
"They do not only cater to the material needs but most especially to the spiritual needs of the people," he said of CBN's relief team. "I see to it that the people will know about Jesus."
"One time, a flood victim approached me crying. She said, 'Now I realize that it's not the material things that is important but our relationship with God," he said.
Meanwhile, thousands of people are still in evacuation centers. Many communities are still deep in floodwater. In the midst of all these, CBN is there to extend all the physical and spiritual help they can give.