Finally, some good news coming out of the Philippines - we believe our dormitory in Borongan on Samar Island is intact after being hit by Typhoon Haiyan!
It took the director of the dormitory, Rodel five days of travelling through some of the worst affected areas to reach Borongan but the message we have received is that the dormitory is “still standing”.
Details are still very scarce due to the lack of communication infrastructure in the area. We have not had any direct communication with Rodel, and we’re not even sure how this message got out! We don’t know what “still standing” means, and we have had no word on the children who live at the dormitory during school term.
We are thankful to God for the miracle of the building still standing, but please continue to be in prayer for Rodel and the children. Even though the typhoon has passed, there are still many dangers from disease and the lack of food and water.
You can help us support those who have lost their families, homes and livelihood by making a donation to the DMI Disaster Relief fund today by clicking on the PayPal Donate button (above right) and please write ‘Philippines Disaster Fund’ in the description.
You may have read the newspaper reports about the destruction caused by the 7.2 magnitude - Bohol Island - earthquake on 15th October.
This impacted our work in Cagayan de Oro, where we have been improving and re-roofing the dormitory building at the rubber plantation site, ready for occupation by students who were forced to relocate after a dormitory in a close-by town was closed.
Construction was almost completed when the earthquake struck, leaving the ‘unset’ concrete in a cracked and misshapen state.
Just when the Project Leader and students were looking forward to occupying the dorm, where they would receive an education, a welcoming place to eat and sleep, this natural disaster struck. To illustrate the impact of the local damage, here is an excerpt from a Philippines-based aid organisation …
“In less than one minutes on October 15th, the quaint tropical island of Bohol was set back 20 years in development by a 7.2 magnitude earthquake and the subsequent 1000 plus aftershocks. The toppling of homes, stores, schools, hospitals, and 500 year old churches were only a foreshadowing of the realities of the long term effects of loss of communications, water, power, and passable roads. Even knowing the death toll is impossible because many communities are totally cut off. Thousands of people have lost their homes, schools have been rendered unusable, as well as many hospitals and government buildings.
Both Sagbayan and Loon towns have been terribly impacted. Our first priority is to care for the kids, teachers, and dorm parents. As our dormitories have been badly damaged, we need to repair or reconstructed them. This is also true with classrooms. Extra measures are needed to get food and water to these schools as supply routes are almost totally destroyed in some areas. Funds are greatly needed to accomplish these tasks.”
Are you able to contribute towards the “Disaster Relief Fund”?
DMI's Finance Manager, Matt, dines with Val & Doug in Zamboanguita
Proverbs 3:5-6 are favored verses to remember, especially at times when you may be in disbelief at the direction your life is taking.
Canadians, Doug & Val Clutton were in exactly this situation five years ago when the Lord nudged them to consider a life back in the
Philippines. Read the fascinating story highlighting how an audiologist became an agriculturalist!
Bacolod Christmas Newsletter 2012
Davao flood update - Joshua’s report - 7th July 2011
Joshua and Jocelyn with grandchild
It’s only ‘bout 15 min that power has been restored, so at least we in the later part of picking up ourselves from sudden calamity. It happen in the wee hours when we are all in acceleration of a nice needed asleep, what wake us up in the second floor is the commotion downstairs and power block out, only to find that the water is already waistline and coming with a strong current. The boys in the ground floor were already in commotion, saving their things. Only to find out later there was one deaf boy who sleep soundly and was awaken by water coming up to the level of his bed. We have no chance to save the refrigerators, presser, stoves, electric fans, kitchen utensils, chairs, sofas, cabinets and tables all floating in all directions. Iron gates were opened by the strong current and our tables , chairs and things where carried 100 meters away to a concrete wall of our neighbors, that wall also later give way. The big damage was two cars submerge in water at window level. The water on the road is so strong that cars of our neighbor park there was carried to the big canal early in the morning.
It’s good that our building is until third floor, we have reserved option where to go and what to do if water continue to rise, the whole early morning was spent watching and waiting for water to rise and fall. Our neighbors went up to their roof, spend their early morning there. Thank you Lord for this DMI high building, we need not climb the roof, we still have floors to spare. We wanted to give our neighbors shelter but darkness and strong water current does not permit us to take the risk. We are still in better situation where houses were carried and as of this time of writing 23 plus dead and many still missing.
The next day was spent in cleaning inside out, but when evening comes it starts to become gloomy, as if a second flood is about to hit again, our fears has reached its worst when our neighbors vacated, and a good Samaritan relative offers us shelter for the night, including deaf students, teachers and staff reaching to almost 95. Rumors spread that our place is the catch basin of water rushing from mountain facing us, and that we should expect it from now on such a threat of flooding or even worst. I permit them( Jocelyn and some staff) to go and seek shelter for the night. So they sleep outside in a safer place. That night, Radio keeps on reporting that in the mountains keeps pouring heavy rain and so a possible second round of flooding is likely to occur. As I, decide to stay and keep watch there where few who decided to stay with me, we made ample preparation if second flooding will indeed happen, thanks to be awaken in the middle of the night rains stop, and everything is fine, including the weather.
Floods has its purpose, and one among many reasons just recently is to take away our focus from things on earth to God, earthly things are passing, Our minds have a vacation for good two days, a needed one before squarely facing again our financial issue.
The next day, still no classes as we finish the cleaning chores, and extend helping hands to our neighbors. we are comforted that none of our deaf is a is a victim nor one sustain any hurts, its only variety things that were damage. Floods messes and mixed up all our earthly things. Praise the Lord!!!
Inside the school
Drying everything out after waters receded
Cagayan De Oro
New Rubber Plantation
DMI is now the proud owner of a Rubber plantation near the city of
Cagayan De Oro in northern Mindanao. 1800 rubber trees have been
panted on the 3.7 hectare property with another 500 still to be planted.
With the purpose of trying to make the work in the Philippines and other parts of the world where DMI is working more sustainable, we have invested in some businesses which we hope will bring this to pass. Not only are we trusting that income from these projects will bring this to pass but, will also see deaf people receiving employment, thus meeting two aims.
We currently have 5 people employed caring for the trees which will begin production in the near future. Until the trees reach production age they have been interplanted with bananas, sweet potatoes and tomatoes which will also provide income until the rubber starts flowing.
Borrowed car stuck!
A vehicle is needed to transport workers and equipment from Cagayan de Oro each day. Currently we are using a borrowed vehicle which is not really suitable for the trip to the plantation.
Cagayan De Oro Church
A new church has also been planted in Cagayan de Oro along with a small dormitory where some of the plantation workers are staying together with some High School deaf students. Two were baptized in the river recently.
Samar is one of the Philippine’s 5000 odd islands and the home to countless deaf people. It is one of the least developed parts of the Philippines, situated in the typhon belt and subject to the elements. DMI commenced a ministry to deaf young people in the town of Bongonan in Eastern Samar. The work was started, and is lead, by Rodel Manila, a deaf young man from Batangas.
Rodel on his new bike.
Rodel Manila is a deaf young man with much drive and vision. He found a house to rent then went out to find needy deaf people who could not attend school because of lack of accommodation. Ignorance and poverty prevail hindering the development of deaf people. There is little motivation for parents to see that their deaf children are educated, most thinking that deaf people cannot achieve any thing. Poverty prevents many from attending school. Rodel is making a difference.
We have room for 20 deaf young people. A church has been started and it is all including the dorm, is run by deaf people themselves. What a fantastic testimony.
Samar dorm kids
We need sponsors for the kids in the dorm. $35 a month. We need $500 to develop a piggery to provide some income for the dorm. We need mosquito nets, bedding, toiletries , books, medicines. Can you help?