CONTINENT OF ASIA – THE PHILIPPINES
Blessing Hands USA, Inc. is supporting the families impacted by the devastation caused by Super Typhoon Haiyan (Yolanda) in late November, 2013. Learn about our 4-day journey from Beaufort, South Carolina to Iloilo, Philippines and its surrounding communities and villages in the letters below. Words cannot adequately express the depth of gratitude that was experienced with the families and spiritual communities of Iloilo. With your love, prayers, support, and financial donations, we were able to help bring families together and provide sustenance as we shared our message of hope, gifts and blessings.
Our goals and intentions for 2014 is to build up to 25Nipa homes for families in Iloilo, Ungka, Pavioa and its surrounding villages. We hope you will join us by making a financial donation to the Philippine Emergency Relief Fund. To do so, please click the donate button below.
Donate to the Philippine Emergency Relief Fund
DAY 1 – ARRIVAL DAY – December 14, 2013
“Divine Right Decision, Divine Action”
I trust that all is well and that this coming week may be your best week yet. All is well here in Iloilo. I arrived earlier today. God placed two Angels (fellow passengers) on my path to assist me through the airport red tape transfers, immigrations process, with cellular usage, etc…
Tomorrow the team and I will go to the areas that were greatly impacted by Typhoon Haiyan. Thanks to the donations Blessing Hands USA, Inc. received, we will be able to purchase $1,500 USD in food supply tomorrow, which is equivalent to P61,870 (pesos). This will enable us to provide a week’s supply of food for 100 plus families (between 500-800 people). This is major considering the government only gave the storm victims one distribution of food that lasted only one day.
We will also visit a lot of land on which we will build the Nipa homes for families who presently are homeless and without land. I would love for us to construct 10-25 homes. Please join me in prayer knowing that Divine Right Decision and Right Action is taking place right now pertaining to this matter.
I will keep you posted on further updates.
Peace and Blessings,
DAY 2 – December 15, 2013
“Village of Blessings in the Philippines”
I trust you are well and having a great Sunday. I just returned to the hotel after a FULL day of worship service, purchasing food, organizing, and bagging the food for distribution. We started the day with worship at Jesus Christ to God Be the Glory Church. It was a beautiful service with an anointed music ministry. The church is a very modest structure tucked away behind banana trees on the property of a parishioner. The facility, which cost $2,000 to construct several years ago, was beyond capacity with the 60 plus people in attendance.
The church is undergoing a building fund initiative in hopes of a newer structure on land that was recently donated to them. They presently have P17, 000 pesos ($500 USD) in their building fund for a project that will cost between $20,000 -$25,000. While in sitting in service, I heard the voice of God saying “help them.” Bottom line, I shared with Pastor Butch that Blessing Hands USA will match the total amount collected between now and Christmas to include the present account balance. The announcement evoked a Spirit of HOPE instantly, and was met with exuberance, applause, Praise to God, and much gratitude as an answer to the prayers of the congregation.
After service, we visited a local discount supermarket to purchase food and supplies for more than 100 families. With a team of four people we were able to complete the shopping, boxing and loading process within 3 hours.
We drove 2 hours to a small village on the outskirts of Iloilo where we met a volunteer team of 16 people who helped to organize, sort and bag the products into Food Supply and Blessing Packs. The volunteers, which are all from the Village, worked diligently for several hours to complete the process. They will return in the morning to help us distribute the food to families in great need.
The damage from the typhoon is still very prevalent. Many homes are still totally demolished and destroyed. We met with the leader of the Village to discuss the concerns and areas of greatest assistance. We will tour other villages tomorrow and look at land that could possibly be “The Place/Village of Blessings in the Philippines.”
Keep up the prayers and God bless,
DAY 3 – December 16, 2013
“I Know not by what method rare, but this I know, God Answers Prayer”
I pray that all is well with you and that you are enjoying your week. WOW…what a day!!! I just returned to the hotel after a FULL day of activities here in Iloilo and its surrounding areas. I awoke early this morning to the tunes of “Here I am in Your Presence Lifting Holy Hands to You” and “Only You are Holy” by Donnie McClurkin. During my morning prayer I asked God to send me to the person(s) who have been praying for aide/assistance in a miraculous kind of way. Well friends I want you to know that is exactly what happened today.
After breakfast, the crew picked me up for a day in Barangay San Jose which is a 2 hour ride from Iloilo. The goals today were to: (1) Tour the Village of Barangay to see the living conditions of those who lost their homes due to the typhoon; (2) Explore land options on which we could build a community of 10-25 Nipa Homes for those who are now displaced due to the damage/loss of property; (3) Distribute the Food Supply Packs to the families who are in great need of food and shelter.
The tour of the Village was most enlightening and inspiring to see a community of people supporting each other through tough times, yet heartbreaking to see the homes that were totally destroyed by the recent typhoon. A few of the families have been able to rebuild parts of their home, while most are now living with family, neighbors or with whoever will give them shelter. Structures no larger than 60 square meters are now accommodating up to 2 to 3 families which equates to 7-14 people living in a closet. From witnessing families, pregnant women, senior citizens, and amputees living and sleeping on the bare ground, under pieces of tin or banana tree leaves, to an unemployed grandmother and her grandchildren who will soon have to vacate her temporary home with no housing prospects in view, my heart filled with love and compassion for these my brothers and sisters, aunts and uncles, mothers and fathers, sons and daughters.
After the tour of the community, I was shown a few land options on which we could build up to 20 Nipa Homes with each family on a 500 square meter lot. I was informed that most homes in the Philippines occupy 60 square meters on a 100 square meter lot, which explain why the homes often look so congested, crowded and saturated. We identified a minimum of 25 families who are in dire need of assistance. Now remember this is just in one area of the greater Village. I will continue to explore more land options tomorrow.
We later returned to the Gervero’s home at which we distributed Food packs to more than 70 families. We took the remaining 30 plus Food Packs to another Village that is very close in proximity. The families were very appreciative and expressed their gratitude for the support and blessings provided by Blessing Hands USA, Inc. Many thanks to the wonderful team of volunteers here on the ground who helped to keep DIVINE ORDER during the process.
After dinner, I was introduced to a grandmother who shared details about her experience after the typhoon. Not only was her home totally destroyed, she was laid off from her job where she made about P2.50 pesos per day, her husband left her, and she is now caring for children and grandchildren while being displaced and staying with any neighbor who will allow her and the family to stay with them. She mentioned that she was praying early this morning around 4:00am asking God to send her some help to rebuild her home. Well friends, thanks to your prayers, support and financial gifts this Grandmother’s prayer has been answered! She and her children will be able to move into their new home by January 1st if not sooner! Hallelujah!!!
“I know not by what method rare, But this I know, God answers prayer. I know not when God sends the word that fervent prayer has been heard, I know it will come soon or late
Therefore, I must pray and wait.”
Thank you once again for your prayers and support. Because of you, we are “Building Bridges Around the Globe and Transforming the World One Community at a Time.”
DAY 4 – December 17, 2013
I pray that you are well and prepared for a phenomenal day. What another enlightening and inspiring day! I started the day early as usual with a pickup at 8:30am. We went to visit Pastor Butch’s home in Ungka 2 Pavioa, which is 2-3 hours from the Iloilo proper.
Pastor Butch informed me on Sunday that his homes as well as the home of his mother and siblings were destroyed by the typhoon. All along the way, we could see the footprint of the typhoon to include: power lines down, snapped trees, demolished homes, destroyed churches, businesses and more.
Pastor Butch’s mother and four other family members are now living in the same house. We walked about a mile through the rice field to reach Pastor Butch’s home and that of his other siblings. Friends, we must help them rebuild!
By the time I returned to the hotel it was early evening and time to get dressed for dinner. To my surprise, the family and church hosted a celebration in my honor with singing, dancing and a wonderful dinner.
This has been a VERY blessed and fruitful trip. Many thanks to EllierGervero and his family, United Church of Jesus Christ For All People, the supporters/partners and the Board of Blessing Hands USA Inc., and all those around the globe who are praying with and for us. “The prayers of the righteous accomplish much.”
May God continue to Bless and Keep you.
Peace and Blessings,