ICM’s staff in the bases weren’t spared from Typhoon Odette’s wrath. Still, even as their homes were damaged or in ruins, they knew that families in our communities were suffering and so they got up and went to work.
Xander is the Area Head of our Bohol base and is doing relief work in one of the worst-hit areas in the Philippines. His own family was badly affected when their house was damaged and their water was cut off. He was forced to get water from a spring, lugging it uphill to get back to his house every day. Because no carpenters were available, he had to repair his house himself.
While dealing with his own struggles, Xander has to care for the other members of his team and the local communities. His heart goes out to others who were affected, especially our partner pastors. The gravity of the damage sustained by many pastors motivates him to seek out each and every one of them. Until communication and basic services are fully restored, his task is challenging, but he considers it a privilege. “I’m blessed because I can help.” On his visits, he is energized when pastors welcome him and express their appreciation.”They see ICM as an organization that really cares for them.”
Pastor David is a church planter and one of our faithful partners, having hosted Transform, Family Academy, and Renew programs for us. Last spring, we talked with him inside the shell of his church where he lived. He hoped to complete the building at some point but lacked the resources.
Now there is not much left of his church. He was in his hometown for the holidays when he got the call about Typhoon Odette’s destruction. He hurried back to Bohol on his motorcycle, which was its own challenge. The price of gasoline had doubled, and he had to wait in line for eight hours to get a ferry ticket.
When he finally got back to his community, he found that the church was decimated and all of his belongings were gone. He is currently staying at a friend’s house and praying for God’s provision to rebuild his church.
We also want to remember Pastor Rolando, one of our Bohol Thrive pastors who was killed when his church collapsed during the storm. He left behind a widow and seven children. Please keep the family in prayer. And let’s continue to pray for our Bohol base staff, pastors, and communities!