Typhoon Frank is ravaging the country right now…

June 22, 2008

Yesterday the Men’s Conference ended in Tagaytay. It was a very wonderful conference! My mind had initially listed the insights I wanted to share in the blogworld. The Chief Justice Reynato Puno was a sterling example of humility that I will not forget. There are other things I would like to write about but all of these would need to be written at some other time.

Today, typhoon Frank is ravaging the country. Massive floodings have taken place in the Visayas. Signal Number 3 has been raised in Southern Luzon all the way up to Pangasinan. At 4am today, I called up our National Director and suggested the cancellation of our combined Metro Manila Worship. Our guest speaker from the United States was supposed to address our congregations. At 5AM I got word that the rented PA equipment were all set up… but all had to be cancelled.

Maybe we are at the eye of the storm right now – it is quiet, but the skies still looks foreboding. We lost power this morning and it was resumed by noon. Once the TV was turned on, news of the disaster and the recovery efforts were being broadcasted. I was appalled at the insensitivity of the networks who still went on with their trashy noon-time shows instead of having an alternate programming. For me, having those shows in the midst of tragedies everywhere does not do anything but desensitize the people and instead of allowing compassion to well inside inside their hearts, they attend to their prurient interests by watching these so called entertaining noontime shows.

While I write this, there have been confirmed 4 deaths and unconfirmed 74 bodies from the ship that sank off the coast of Romblon. Sulpicio Lines – The Princess was reportedly carrying 700 passengers when it sank somewhere off the coast of Romblon. Body bags are being given now to Sulpicio Lines as bodies are being recovered floating at sea.

The NDCC Live coverage of meetings and consultations showed Dick Gordon saying ” in our experience at Red Cross, there have been times, when we would recover survivors floating at sea even after 4 days… so we will not report them as dead until we see bodies. Right now they are presumed missing…” You know what really got me? General Eduardo Ermita turned to him behind the back of the Vice – President Noli de Castro and whispered something. He covered his cheek with a piece of paper and said something and they both smiled and tried to laugh quietly….

I did not know what it was all about. But I did not understand what would be so funny right after his comments about floating bodies at sea…. I wanted to get mad. But deep inside I just wanted to be alone and beg God for His help.

Lord God, Creator of the Universe… Our Father who loves us more than we could ever ask or imagine…. have mercy and rescue us from this typhoon. Municipalities in the Visayas are under water and now the threat of flooding in the plains of Central Luzon is really imminent in the next couple of hours. God, we are inundated with challenges. Flooding in Central Luzon would mean destruction of rice fields and crops and would make impassable highways for the products from Northern Luzon to be brought to the lowlands.

Lord, somewhere out there – there are people who are perishing at sea right now. Maybe they are clutching on to each other. Maybe they managed to don their life vests, maybe some of them were not able to do so in the midst of the confusion as the ship was sinking. Lord, rescue the powerless…. they have been at sea for many hours now. Rescue the children, the old women, the infirmed who could not swim… let them all be found by the small bancas trying to find them. You are King over the floods, over the waves….rescue them from the high waters….. many slippers of the children were found floating….. but Lord, where are the children?  Lord God, a couple bound themselves together – and both of them were found floating still bound to each other….. Lord have mercy.

Lord God, the contrast of what we have heard about YOU, what we have experienced from you at the conference – and then the sobering reality of how this whole creation is groaning in agony. Your love is not diminished in our pain. Your mercy is never diminished in our tragedies. You are the Father whose love for us goes beyond the pain of the present. We worship You even as our tears fall as we see destruction around us.

Thank you for your mercy. Thank You for being with them – those who are perishing and those who have been rendered homeless and helpless.

“Though the oceans rise and thunders roar

I will soar with You above the storm

Father , You are King over the floods

And I will be still

Know You are God….”

In the precious name of the SON.

AMEN

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