Stories of Recovery: A mother steadily heals from one tragedy after another

It was like a scene from a movie. Only four days earlier, Jocel’s husband died of a heart attack. His body lay in a coffin at her mother-in-law’s house surrounded by five young children mourning the death of their father. It was going to be Christmas in a few days.

Jocel and her family during her husband’s wake, right before Typhoon Odette hit.

That evening, Typhoon Odette made landfall in the city of Bacolod. Strong winds tore through Jocel’s village and flash floods started to engulf houses. Hurriedly, she covered her husband’s coffin with a plastic sheet and scrambled to lift it to a higher place. Thankfully, her mother-in-law’s house was made of concrete—here, Jocel and her kids sought shelter.

There was barely anything left of Jocel’s home and belongings after the typhoon. The entire village was cut off with no electricity. She and her children had to bury her husband amid the pain and chaos of the aftermath. All these left them with a deep emotional trauma.

Jocel’s house after the typhoon

ICM immediately brought much needed food packs for affected families. Jocel and her children also received a cash grant. But it was ICM’s trauma healing program that truly helped Jocel find the strength to rebuild their life.

ICM ran weekly sessions led by a pastor to help typhoon survivors process their traumatic experiences. The regular meetings became a safe space for participants to pour out their hearts and begin their journey to emotional healing.

“I know in my heart that this program is the Lord’s answer to my prayer. After everything that happened to me, I really asked God to give me something to help me recover. Slowly, I started to understand why this happened to my family. I know God works all things together for good,” she shares.

Jocel and her children

Beyond physical aid, ICM helps families process the painful ordeal of surviving a tragedy through activities such as group sharing sessions. Through the trauma healing program, many families were able to deal with other long-standing emotional issues, allowing them to have happier and healthier relationships with their family and peers.

Today, Jocel still has financial difficulties raising five children on her own. But the emotional and trauma healing she received has given her the peace she needs to take one day at a time knowing that she is not alone in her path to recovery.



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