“God is our help and refuge” say Filipino Christians
It’s not a big Typhoon but a super long monsoon that has brought floods to the Philippines. The northern island of Luzon including the capital Manila has been flooded, with over 80 deaths and 3million people affected according to the ABC.
“The rain was expected but its length was not, and neither was the amount of water it brought pelting down unceasingly for over 10 days,” the Philippine Bible Society reports. “What the Philippines experienced during the first two weeks of August 2012 was the siyam-siyam (nine-nine). It is a belief of old folks that once in a while, the habagat [a southwest monsoon] pours continuously for nine days and nine nights, hence the term nine-nine. A popular expression in the vernacular is “Baka abutin ng siyam-siyam,” used when something is taking much too long to finish and drags on.”
Nineteen members of the Philippine Bible Society staff have had their homes flooded, with two totally destroyed. The number of people affected by torrential rains and floods rose to 3.45 million according to the Philippine Bible Society. Of this number, 89, 114 families or 410,729 people were still inside evacuation centers.
One of the most vulnerable possessions lost in urban shanty houses and in villages is the Bible.
“In the spirit of Bayanihan (volunteering to help the community) the Philippine Bible Society has already distributed some 56,000 copies of New Testament and 30,000 copies of the Calamity Portions through partner agencies doing relief distribution. These include the Philippine Council of Evangelical Churches, Greenhills Christian Fellowship, Victory Christian Fellowship, National Council of Churches in the Philippines, Sampaloc Bible Church, Jesus our Hope International Assemblies, Asian Theological Seminary, Christ Commission Fellowship, Operation Blessings, Jesus Reigns, United Methodist Church, Caritas-Manila, Kamuning Bible Christian Fellowship, International Charismatic Service, River of God Church, Makati Gospel Church, and the Race Marked For Us Team-Philippines, among others.
“The Calamity Portion, a 34-page booklet entitled Pag-asa sa Gitna ng Trahedya (Hope in the Midst of Tragedy) is based on the selection (tract) produced by the American Bible Society after 9/11. It is an easy-to-read collection of verses and brief reflections that deals with questions asked by calamity victims about their situation while giving assurance that in the midst of such calamities God IS our hope, refuge, strength and source of help.”
Bible Society Australia has a long term partnership with the “May They Be One” project which aims to produce 5,000,000 Bibles for the Philippines.
Featured image: Roads were made impassable to all kinds of vehicles by the floods.More