A woman and her two children are huddled on the floor of the comfort room while the wind and rain raged around them. The sky was dark and she dares not to lift her head for fear of being hit by flying objects. She was praying hard for her son who in another part of the town.
When the typhoon calmed down, she saw her house in ruins. All around was a flat land littered with debris. The woman is a pastor of one of the local churches in Cateel, Davao Oriental. Her story is echoed and re-echoed with the other pastors. They all speak of the same problems — members without houses, washed-out churches, traumatized kids, totally destroyed livelihoods. They, themselves are reeling from the effects of the typhoon and yet, more than ever, the people need their spiritual leadership.
The woman pastor shared, “I felt so weak. I do not know what to say that Sunday. But the families still came so there we sat on piles of stones with our walls on the ground, and took refuge in the Bible. It is now that people are looking for God more.”
Peacebuilders Community listened to these pastors and leaders on 31 January 2013.
Since then, we were placed in a position to serve in the rehabilitation phase so before deployment of the field staff, we built and strengthened relationships with the people who matter most — the community.