Sorrow at Christmas 2012

We like to focus on the JOY of Christmas. But we know that this is not always the case. In the Campostela Valley of Mindanao, a typhoon came through recently and led to flash flooding and a great deal of loss of life and property.

Last year, our disaster response team joined the Philippine National Red Cross, Kagayan Disaster Response Network, and other groups to train and provide crisis care. This time we did not. Others are taking on that role. With this disaster, our role is much smaller. Essentially, our role is to help others help those in need.

Our partner in the US, Carmelita, with her church Gautier United Methodist, sent over boxes of hospital blankets, towels, gowns and so forth. We have been sharing these with one of the hospitals that we work with in our chaplaincy training. However, we were able to send dozens of these blankets to the Masbate Clinic here in Baguio who are collecting blankets for the evacuation centers in Mandinao. Additionally, Good News Camp in Waynesboro, PA, gave us collections from a week of camp for children in Mindanao. We focus on training and providing pastoral care… not on seeking and distributing donations. However, in these cases, we are blessed to have these to be able to forward to those in need.

It is awesome that major players do major things in times of sorrow. But so often what matters is people who in their own way, big or small, help those who need it… sharing God’s joy.