Our team of 5 individuals from Bukal Life Care & Counseling Center began the trip to Cagayan de Oro (CDO) on Monday approximately 6AM. The previous week flooding resulted in over 1000 deaths and 50,000 in temporary housing. The team arrived in Manila and got on their 4PM flight to Cagayan de Oro. Unfortunately due to bad weather in CDO, the plane was diverted Davao, a city that is 10 hours from CDO by bus. Arriving in Davao, they were able to find a van going to CDO and began the overnight trek. Local government was not recommending taking the overland route because of risk of landslides, but since air travel was cancelled, there was no choice.
The team arrived around 7AM on the 27th. After breakfast, they began training local church and layleaders in crisis intervention. During the previous week, local government, government agencies, NGOs and religious groups joined together in CDO to plan response. Because of our plan to come down, the evangelical churches were given the responsibility for crisis counseling/intervention. They formed Ka-gayan Evangelical Disaster Response Network. This was the group we started training. 97 trainees were with us on the first day of training. The same trainees plan to join us on day two of training. The following day, our team will work with the trainees in crisis counseling/intervention with primary and secondary victims of the flooding.
After the first day of training, the team visited some of the major flood areas. Now they are catching up on their sleep (having been awake for two full days). We will update you all in a couple of days.