Posts Tagged ‘8’

A Shelter In Their Time of Storm

Wednesday, November 27th, 2013

We all remember Hurricane Katrina. Not the largest storm to ever reach the US mainland, nor the strongest, yet how can we forget the apocalyptic scenes and trail of destruction it left behind; an entire metropolis in ruins and a country in shock. Then just about a year ago, Sandy came and again we witnessed more destruction and ruin, even in places usually safe from such phenomenon.

Satellite view of typhoon Haiyan

Satellite view of Typhoon Haiyan

The Philippines is a very poor nation made up of a little over 7,000 small islands, situated in what geologists call the Ring of Fire. It is also home to over 30 active volcanoes. Earthquakes and powerful storms are common in this part of the world and the Filipino people have learned to cope with it, yet no one could have prepared them for what befell them on November 8.

Typhoon Haiyan, or Yolanda as the Filipinos named it, was something they had never seen before. Its sheer size and destructive power would move both Katrina and Sandy down the scale. It covered the entire archipelago and far beyond. Its destructive force knew no equal and spared no one. Now the country lies in ruins and millions of people, many of them women and children, are homeless.

Survivors sort through debris following Typhoon Haiyan http://www.flickr.com/photos/novefirenze/

Survivors sort through debris following Typhoon Haiyan — Photo: Nove foto da Firenze - Creative Commons license

As you know, International Children’s Care operates a village for orphaned and abandoned children in the Philippines. We came there in the late 90s because of the thousands of destitute children living in the streets. Fortunately the children’s village is located in the northern region, and away from the main brunt of the storm, and we are grateful to the Lord for that. But in all reality there was no safe place in the Philippines during this storm.

As servants of the children the Lord has entrusted to us, we feel a very strong sense of responsibility for them. We pray unceasingly for them. But we also think about the others, the unreached ones, the ones not inside our little cities of refuge. As Christians we know that life in this world of ours will only get worse. People are growing more evil, more selfish, and more calloused about the less fortunate. And what about terrible natural disasters like the one afflicting our Filipino brothers and sisters right now? The Bible tells us that those will also get worse.

A young girl makes her way through downed powerlines following Typoon Haiyan http://www.flickr.com/photos/novefirenze/10823475466/sizes/o/in/photostream/

A young girl makes her way through downed power lines following Typhoon Haiyan — Photo: Nove foto da Firenze — Creative Commons License

The eyes of the world are on the Philippines right now, and that is good. Humanitarian aid organizations are shipping resources and personnel to assist the needy. But what is going to happen when all these philanthropists leave after a few months? Who is going to care for the child who lost his mommy and daddy in the flood? Who is going to take her home and love her?

The physical storm has passed, but the real storm in the lives of the orphaned, the abandoned, and the homeless has only begun, a very long storm that may last the rest of their lives. And that’s where ICC comes in, becoming a shelter in their time of storm, not only in the Philippines, but in Congo, in India, in Guatemala and all the other countries where we are present.

We want to thank you today for being part of their family, for being that much needed shelter in their time of storm. Our hearts ache every time a child suffers, but we are also very grateful that with your help we can do something and offer them a loving hand. No, this world is not going to get any better. Worse things will happen and more and more, children will be left homeless. Thank you for partnering with us today to make a difference.

Distressing News — Renewed Fighting And Insurrection In The DR Congo

Friday, May 31st, 2013

We received a distressing email from the DR Congo on Monday, May 27, 2013. Désiré Murhima, our director of ICC Congo, informed us that rebel militias were once again attacking the city of Goma where the office for ICC Congo is located and where some of our newest children were temporarily housed. Following is an excerpt of Désiré’s email:

“We are sorry to tell you once more, in less than five months, about war in the eastern part of the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC).

“In fact, after our last phone call (which failed because of network connection) [that] same night we did not sleep owing to bombs launched and gun shots in the northern part of Goma and at less than 900 m (less than half-a-mile) [from] Goma International Airport. Until now there are only two days of some peace (Saturday, May 25th & Sunday, May 26th).

“On Thursday, May 23rd, around 9:10 AM, two bombs fell [on] Goma approximately 300 m (two-tenths of a mile) [from] our ICC Congo Office. Consequently [as a result of the blast] one [local] child died, [another] lost [both] legs and another child had his right arm [severed] and his eye was totally damaged.

ICC Congo children from Goma being transported by boat to the Patmos Children’s Village on the island of Idjwi in Lake Kivu

ICC Congo children from Goma being transported by boat to the Patmos Children’s Village on the island of Idjwi in Lake Kivu

“On the basis of this horrible situation, we immediately took the decision to take the new children [to the Patmos Children’s Village] on Idjwi Island where they can live peacefully. [On] Idjwi, we accommodated them in one part of the newly built home [number] eight.

ICC Congo children from Goma on Idjwi

The ICC Congo children from Goma are now residing at the Patmos Children’s Village on the island of Idjwi

“Nowadays, Goma town is not supplied in food because all the roads from Butembo, Rutchuru, Masisi and Bukavu are blocked/shut/closed by rebel militaries. There is only access to Goma town via the Kivu Lake. Civilian aircraft (excepting military aircraft) do not land or take off. Half of Goma’s population has moved to other peaceful areas/regions/places/zones.”

We highly need your prayers.

Désiré Murhima
Administrator ICC Congo