I’m at the Every Nation Building in Fort Bonifacio as I type this. In a few minutes, the pastors and team, headed by Paolo Punzalan, will begin organizing Victory Fort‘s part in serving our country during this period of heavy heavy rain and severe flooding. Early this morning, I woke to find my phone full of texts to updates from church, Habitat for Humanity, the Center for Community Transformation, and even my own office (some of my staff are stuck in their 2nd floor). One of our communities alone had about 625 members affected as of yesterday, including reports of deaths due to drowning and landslides.
I’m very thankful to God for capable leadership and team members in Victory, Habitat for Humanity and CCT. (Of course there are many other groups I have failed to mention. But they must be included here even if in aggregate.) My dad has been calling from the US, where he is now after visiting churches and attending an event, to stay updated while he is away. Charlie Ayco, head of Habitat for Humanity Philippines has been updating me as well, and I’ve seen how effective Habitat is in responding to these things. Ruth Callanta of CCT was texting very early this morning. She’s one of the most hardworking women I know.
Disasters are incredibly stressful times for everyone involved – most especially for those most affected by them. I cannot imagine what it is like to have my first floor rising with water, or my whole home for that matter, or to have to be evacuated to a relief center. Those are experiences I would not wish on myself or anyone.
But they do happen. Why? We can talk about the theological, philosophical, political, or imaginary reasons, but my real answer is, “I don’t know.”
I can’t tell you why or how these things happen. I’m not that smart. I’m sure you can talk to someone who can explain the weather, the rain, global warming, or even those who’ll connect this to the vote on the reproductive health bill – which I think is ridiculous.
I can tell you that the most important question when things like this happen isn’t who