By: Jordan F. Kintanar
On the night of December 22, 2017, thousands of families were displaced after the onslaught of cyclone “Vinta” (Tembin) which resulted to terrible flooding in Davao City, particulary in Juliville Subdivision, Jade Valley, Tigatto Relocation Area and a tribal community at Sitio Dumalogdog, a part of Marilog District, where some of EFC-Davao members reside. These families have evacuated to the barangay’s schools and gymnasiums for temporary shelter, and 16 families of Sitio Dumalogdog lost their houses to flood waters.
On the following day, EFC-Davao headed by Pastor Wee, Pastor Christine and the church’s staff surveyed the whereabouts of its members who live in the affected area to provide immediate relief. They also provided packed food meals to the neighboring residents. Most of them lost almost all their belongings as their houses were submerged in water up to the roof.
Upon hearing the substantial devastation, Rev. Dr. Robert Lim immediately released additional funds for EFC-Davao to organized a Relief Operation. During the Sunday service, the church collected a special offering for the flood victims which the members generously donated used clothing, blankets, towels and rice. The collected cash were used to buy noodles, sugar, assorted canned goods and other basic commodities. These items were put into buckets for easy distribution. A total of 200 relief buckets in all. Each bucket contained a gospel tract to remind them that Jesus loves them despite of the calamity.
Thereafter, on December 30, 2017, two teams were dispatched to deliver the relief goods. The first team was headed by Pastor Wee for Tigatto Relocation Area, and the second team was headed by Pastor Judith Kintanar for Juliville Subdivision and Jade Valley, both areas were in Brgy. Buhangin, Davao City.
When the team entered the affected site, it was very muddy and the residents looked very tired from cleaning their worn-out houses and were sorting out things that can still be used. Grief was all over their faces. However, light came when the team reached out their hands to comfort them and handed them the relief goods. This simple gesture of love were received by sincere smiles of gratitude and words of appreciation saying “ salamat kaayo sa tabang” (thank you very much for the help).
It was both a privilege and opportunity to show the flood victims that Jesus cares for them. May God richly bless all those who gave monetary assistance, lent their vehicles to the volunteers, giving their services and most especially their prayers.