Week 52: Thursday

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“We are here to add what we can to life, not to get what we can from it.” –  Sir William Osler (1849–1919)

For the Son of Man did not come to be served; he came to serve and to give his life to redeem many people.” Mark 10:45

Even in the midst of darkness & devastation brought about by supertyphoon Yolanda, there are many stories that will inspire your heart. These stories might appear so simple and ordinary, unless we look at it in the context of loss, death, sickness, danger, chaos, and despair.

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This photo with a man carrying a steel roof is starting to rebuild his house with scrap materials. The seashore full of debris where the man was walking on was covered with houses before so it cannot be seen. But now it’s all clear.  This was taken from a barangay near the airport of Tacloban City.  A barangay with 82 deaths.  A squatter’s area just beside an executive village.

But here are the inspiring stories:

In this executive village, there’s one couple who had a heart for these lowly people.  They “adopted” these approximately 200 families and helped them in anyway they can.  Who’s willing to adopt that number of families in times of shortage, chaos, and devastation?  We’re so happy that we’re able to reach this barangay since medical assistance almost never reached this barangay. 

After reaching this barangay, we met the “barangay leader.” His name is Arthur. He’s not the barangay captain or any elected public official.  He’s just a “rising to the situation” leader.  He just felt he needed to do something for his people. He just saw that he needed to serve his barangay for such a time as this. He was bombarded by critics, pressure, and everything that a calamity may bring, but still, he did his part.  Up to today. He watches over his barangay, tries to see what they need, and coordinate with groups visiting them to make sure the distribution is “fair” for everyone.

As if I’m hearing the words of Gandalf to Frodo, “If you don’t find a way, no one else will.”

A father of two children named “Nonoy” also rose to their situation.  He, his wife, and 2 children survived the 6-hour storm surge in their place. He told me calmly that they literally lost everything. They don’t even have enough clothes to wear.  He showed to me a house-flooring, the only part of his house left after the surge.  Then I noticed something in the air rotating. I asked him what that was. 

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He said, “It’s a cellphone charger.  I made that from the blades of an electric fan, connected it to the cellphone charger.  So when there’s a strong wind enough to spin the blades, I and other people here in our barangay can charge their cellphones and flashlights.”  I smiled and was so happy with the little thing he contributed to his village, for such a time as this.

There are unknown doctors, volunteers, and locals who have risen to the situation, just because of the burden to help our fellow Filipinos.  They are heroes indeed. Unknown to the public media. Not concerned about recognition and honor. 

 

This Christmas, may we be reminded of the Ultimate Saviour of Man’s Situation…Jesus Christ.

He came to raise us up from our situation – our sinfulness – when He gave His life for us, as a ransom for our sins.

 

This Christmas week, maybe there are people who need your help…and you know that God is speaking to you, “If you don’t find a way, no one else will.”

Will you rise to their ocassion?

Will you help them while being unconcerned about honor and recognition?

The highest service may be prepared for and done in the humblest surroundings. In silence, in waiting, in obscure, unnoticed offices, in years of uneventful, unrecorded duties, the Son of God grew and waxed strong.

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