Philippines Still Struggling to Recover from Typhoon

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DAVAO ORIENTAL, Philippines -- Victims of December's Typhoon Bopha in the southern Philippines are still struggling to recover.

The typhoon claimed more than 1,000 lives, destroyed some 200,000 homes, and displaced nearly a million people.

Now, rains and flash floods continue making it difficult for survivors to put their lives back together.

Logs that flowed down the mountains at the height of Typhoon Bopha are proof that illegal logging is rampant in the area.

The residents say that is one of the reasons they received the full brunt of the typhoon. With no large trees to hold the soil, the continual rains bring erosion, flash floods, and devastation.

After months in makeshift tents and evacuation center, people are getting desperate.

The CBN Disaster Relief Team is still here, finding ways to alleviate their hardships.

Village chief Crisologo Oronan thanked CBN for coming to their remote village to provide medical care and fix broken water pipes.

"You are the first organization to ever hold a medical mission in our place," Oronan said, with no attempt to hide his emotions. "Thank you for coming. You have made all the people here very happy."

CBN also helped residents get back to work after the storm washed away their ability to make a living.

"The storm destroyed everything we had -- our house, our fishing boat -- that was my only source of income," Jose Alfonso said.

"Everything is gone," he said. "We have to beg for food from our neighbors because we have no money to buy food," Nelda, Jose's wife, said. "I told my husband God is our only hope; let's pray to Him and ask for help."

Their prayers were answered when CBN gave them a new fishing boat. It not only helped them begin rebuilding their lives, it restored their hope and strengthened their faith.

"Thank You Lord for answering our prayers," Jose said. "Thank you CBN because you are God's answer to our prayers."

CBN has also provided materials for rebuilding schools and lamps to bring light to areas where electricity is expected to be cut off for months to come.

Meanwhile, CBN's church partners are providing trauma counseling to the storm's survivors.

Conditions may one day return to normal in these towns, but the people will never forget CBN's ministry, which has given them the faith to move forward with their lives.

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Lucille Talusan

Lucille Talusan

CBN News

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