Help CDO: A plea for prayer, relief goods and financial donations
Cagayan de Oro (CDO), a highly urbanized city in Southern Philippines was hit by Tropical Storm Sendong (International Code Name: Washi) in the dead of the night last Saturday, December 17. Houses along low-lying areas have been washed away by the swelling Cagayan de Oro river and hundreds were killed in an instant. Up to this writing, there are many families who are still searching for their loved ones amidst the rubble and the thick mud, a sight that greeted them after the raging floodwaters have subsided in the morning.
Although our small house is located at an elevated portion in the city, I always answer those who are asking how my family is doing at this point, that they are fine but we also share the sorrows of our friends, colleagues, churchmates and classmates who have lost houses and loved ones over the weekend.
I would like to end my 2011 entries with this post to reflect the collective mourning we have felt since last Saturday. May I also invite everyone to say a prayer for my beloved city. The accounts broadcasted by the national media and the stories scattered all over Facebook are indeed harrowing. But I find wisdom in what Nehemiah did when he learned about the tragedy of his people. He prayed to a God who is always in control and sovereign in all His ways. I’d like us to do the same too, so that we may find the sensitivity and compassion to minister to those who are affected by the flood and the boldness to help in whatever means possible.
May I dedicate this small space to thank those who opened their homes to their affected neighbors, those who valiantly participated in the rescue operations, those who anonymously donated to their chosen charities and NGOs, those who have organized separate relief distributions, medical missions in parallel with the Philippine National Red Cross and similar organizations, and the hundreds of Kagay-anons overseas who encouraged their non-Filipino colleagues to share their old clothes.
While Sendong, now officially the world’s deadliest storm for 2011, has left Cagayan de Oro on its knees, I am encouraged by these small acts of heroism that I also have not seen in recent times. Heroes, after all are just ordinary people that made extraordinary choices, for such a time as this.
If you’d like to know more on the latest updates on the relief operations, sources of free water in CDO and how you could help, please visit this site: http://bit.ly/helpcdo.