by: Pastor Mivelyn Margate

Sitio Dumalogdog, Marilog District, Davao City, a home to 71 families of Matigsalog Tribe was distraught when Typhoon Vinta, hit their community last December 23, 2017. The entire sitio was submerged in water leaving only 3 houses standing after a flood caused by the typhoon which engulfed the entire area.

People lost their shelter. Most of them were not able to save their livestock such as chickens and pigs due to the fast rise of the flood water. To make matters worse, the hanging bridge that connect the sitio to the town proper collapsed, making it impossible for the people to cross and find relief. Moreover, rescuers cannot reach the distressed residents.

Pastor Roel Sarahan, Pastor of Evangel Family Church-Sitio Dumalogdog secured his family and EFC members to the nearest relocation area at once and consequently braved the flood and walked kilometers away to report the calamity to Pastor Mivelyn Margate, of EFC-Marahan /Tribal Ministry Core Leader. Immediately, the latter relayed the message to Rev. Peter Wee, Senior Pastor of EFC-Davao and the JECPP Southern Mindanao Regional Director.

When Rev. Dr. Robert Lim, founding chairman of JECPP and Pastor Dale Lim, Senior Pastor of EFC-Singapore came to know about the predicament, they immediately sent financial help straight away.

This fund enabled the Pastor to rebuild the damaged EFC-Church and to purchase GI sheets for the damaged houses of 16 church members. The rest of the amount was used to buy slippers, rice, grocery items and other basic commodities. In addition, EFC-Davao members gave clothes as well.

Accordingly, EFC-Marahan, under the supervision of Pastor Mivelyn, Pastor Patricio Margate and 5 volunteer members, organized the relief giving operation last January 6 and 11, 2018.

The lumads (natives), with the help of the Sitio Leader of Dumalogdog Ben Tambog, Pastor Sarahan and members of EFC-Dumalogdog, constructed a make shift floater out of 2 tire interiors tied together and a rope, so they can pull the person who carried the goods back and forth the river while crossing the very strong current of water. A very dangerous undertaking but with courage and prayers, they were able to gather and meet at Sitio Patag where the relief goods were delivered safely into the hands of the 71 affected families.

Upon receiving their relief buckets, the lumads exclaimed “dakel ne salamat kaniyu lang ennog tabang kanami”(Thank you very much for helping us) in their native language. They were more than thankful that there were people used by God to touch their grieving hearts and reach out to them amidst difficult situations.

They experienced the love of God for them as shown on their big smiles and teary eyes. They learned that day, that God’s children though different cultures, races and backgrounds are bound together in the bond of love. Truly, Evangel Family Church proved once again that each of us is our brother’s keeper.