Finally, the first tears fell tonight. I’m ashamed to say, I’ve been too busy to cry. I’ve been quoting statistics all week, since the fury of Typhoon Haiyan left a bleeding gash on the Philippine islands. And repeating the message of why we need to help—now.
10 million affected
10,000 possibly dead
For some reason, those numbers just felt like numbers.
But tonight, sitting in my darkened car, reading the email on my phone about the first assessments in an area that took 7 hours to reach by car, it finally hit me.
Marubot. That’s the community the assessment team reached today. It has a name. It’s important for us to know its name, don’t you think?
And then the numbers:
24 barangays (villages)
15,946 individuals affected
That’s when the tears came. 2,058. Each one, a precious life. Unprotected from this God-awful, mammoth storm that made history. Gone.
“The municipality is totally destroyed,” the report reads. “Not one house is left standing. The barangays are 100% damaged.”
“People are eating coconut meat mixed with salt for survival.”
And they’re sick. With no drinking water, diarrhea is spreading fast.
No water. No electricity. No cellphone signal.
And until today, no one had been there yet to help. This team was the first.
This area is just one of hundreds waiting for help to arrive.
Suddenly, the numbers came to life. 10 million affected.
Lord, help them. Please help them.
I am encouraged by the flood of support pouring in. I listen to the phones ring at World Concern all day, and I hear my coworkers blessing and thanking generous donors whose hearts are also broken.
It makes me feel like we’re in this together. All of us. People whose homes are still standing, and who have something more to eat than coconut and salt.
Thank you for giving, and for caring. And for praying.
We’re coming, people of Marubot. Keep hanging on. We’re in this together.
I lift up my eyes to the mountains—
where does my help come from?
My help comes from the Lord,
the Maker of heaven and earth. (Psalm 121:1-2)