Picking up the Pieces in Negros Oriental

Over a month after Typhoon Odette, the communities from affected provinces are still reeling from the devastation. So many people have sent help and given their time and energy in the relief operations following the event, but recovery from the aftermath of an immense disaster such as this typhoon will take much longer and take up more resources than most of us would think. The survivors need our help beyond just getting by day to day and to get back on their feet. They need support to stay on their feet and get strong enough to rebuild.

“I just don’t know how or where to start”

Pastora Bernadeth in Negros Oriental was one among many who witnessed Typhoon Odette’s fury. She recalled how traumatic it was for her, her two sons, and four grandchildren to evacuate their collapsing house in the middle of the storm.

Pastor Bernadeth’s house was torn down by the typhoon.

“A coconut tree hit our roof at around 1 AM. We ran into our kitchen and hid under a small wooden table and started praying because the kids were getting scared,” she shared.

“The wind didn’t die down until the early hours of the next morning. We crawled out of our hiding place after the storm stopped and saw that our house had been destroyed.”

After a long and stormy night of sheltering under a small table, she and her family crawled their way out from here.

A pastor herself, Bernadeth knows that God can help her in times of trouble. However, she would find herself getting overwhelmed by everything. “I just don’t know how and where to start rebuilding my house and my life, especially now that we don’t have a source of income anymore.”

Three weeks after the typhoon hit, Pastora Bernadeth and her family tried to reconstruct their home using salvaged and recyclable materials. These, however, are not enough to build a sturdy house.

Before the typhoon, she had hoped to sell bananas from her backyard garden. But now that her banana plants have been destroyed, she is unsure where or how she can make money to buy food and construction supplies for her home.

There will be no more banana plants to harvest fruits from.

Our staff from ICM Dumaguete Branch 2 went to Pastor Bernadeth’s temporary home to bring her food.

Pastora Bernadeth is currently staying in her daughter’s house, which was also partially damaged by the storm. She is still grateful that no one in her family was hurt, even though she lost her home and source of living.

When asked how we can all pray for her and her family, she said, “We greatly need God’s provision, protection, and healing as of the moment. There’s a lot more left to rebuild and restore, but I’m grateful for a new beginning.”

To help people like Pastor Bernadeth recover and rebuild from this tragedy, you can donate to ICM’s relief efforts here. 

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