Filipinos Battle Grief, Fear after Deadly Quake

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More than two weeks have passed after the province of Bohol in the Central Philippines was jolted by a 7.2 magnitude earthquake. But most of the resident's are still living in fear and are finding it hard to overcome their tragic experience.

CBN is there to provide trauma counseling to help victims like Joan Luga regain their lives. Joan's 3- and 4-year-old sons were killed during the earthquake.

"It's so hard to believe that my sons are dead...It happened so fast," Joan grieved. "They were happy that morning. They were good boys. They always wanted to help me with everything I do. But now they're gone."

On that fateful day, on Oct. 5 at around 8 a.m. in the morning, Joan's sons were very happy because their father brought home bananas.

A few seconds later, the 7.2 magnitude earthquake struck and in an instant their house collapsed, killing one was instantly. The other died on the way to the hospital.

Her 2-month-old was pulled away before the wall fell on the hammock where he was sleeping.

A family member convinced Joan to come to the CBN medical mission in their village. This was the first time residents in the area received medical attention.

Joan was able to unburden the deep pain in her heart to a CBN counselor. After hearing the message of salvation, she surrendered her life and her sorrows to Jesus

"I feel so light," Joan said, her face lit up. "I feel relieved from the heaviness in my heart."

After a doctor checked Joan and her baby, they were given vitamins, rice, noodles and sardines.

The CBN counselor walked her home to visit her husband, Edward. According to Joan he, too, was depressed and confused over the sudden death of their sons.

For the first time, Edward was able to vent his feeling of deep sadness. He then prayed to receive Jesus in his life.

"I am very thankful that you have come to us," Edward told the CBN team. "I realized that there is still hope. And all I need to do is trust God. What you have shared with me is wonderful and it has enlightened my mind."

"Because of your help, I can smile. I am happy because there are people like you who care for us," Joan added.

Dr. Kim Pascual, head of CBN's Operation Blessing-Philippines, shared how people affected by trauma need more than just food and water.

"They need to be debriefed. They need someone to listen to them," Dr. Pascual said. "They need the touch of God and that is what CBN is doing going to areas that are hard to reach."

The CBN prayer center is also conducting trauma counseling seminars among pastors and church leaders so that they will know how to minister to their communities.

There are still a lot of people who need help and everyday, CBN Disaster Relief teams are going to areas that have not been reached, providing the victims food and medical care. Most importantly, they're also bringing the healing touch from the love of God.

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CBN News
Lucille Talusan

Lucille Talusan

CBN News is a national/international, nonprofit news organization that provides programming by cable, satellite, and the Internet, 24-hours a day. Follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and Google+.