GLAN, Sarangani — Waters used to spell life for 37-year-old Noriel Barcelona. For the last 15 years, he saw how fish thrived in the fishpond he helps take care of in Barangay Big Margus. Just 30 meters away from the fishpond stood his two-storey home made of nipa, which he shared with his wife Mary Jane.
But heavy rains and a storm surge sent a torrent of waves, sweeping over his village that fateful morning of June 12. Heavy banana trunks towed by rampaging waters pummeled at his house and swept it away almost instantaneously.
Save for the clothes Noriel and Mary Jane wore, everything else they owned were gone—their kitchen appliances, their DVD player, and the sound box on which Noriel loved to play his favorite music.
The neck-high floodwaters reminded the couple of a painful memory. Last September, Mary Jane lost her one-month-overdue baby when they weren’t able to get to the hospital on time.
She recalled, “Ni-ulan pud tu. Dugay ni-abot ang ambulansya kay ni-ulan pud ug kusog. (It was also raining then. The ambulance arrived too late.)” It would have been their first baby. Right now, the couple is afraid that Mary Jane, at 36, would not be able to conceive again.
“Murag natagam na ko sa kakita ug tubig. (I don’t want to see water anymore.)” Noriel said. This is a feeling he tries to set aside as he supervises the restoration of their fishpond destroyed by the storm surge.
A pensive mood settled on Noriel as he looked at the open fields in front of the church where Operation Blessing held a relief distribution for 65 families who lost their homes to the flashflood. Beside him was a new pail full of assorted hygiene and cleaning supplies. But more than this, volunteer counselors also encouraged and prayed for him.
PHOTOS: See Operation Blessing in action in Sarangani. View the Flickr album HERE.
As Noriel sped back to his home on his motorcycle, Operation Blessing hopes for better days ahead for his family and all those affected in Glan. | by Rosanna Javier, Operation Blessing
BRING COMFORT AND LOVE
More than just giving relief goods to flood survivors, Operation Blessing also introduces to them the Living Water—Jesus Christ. Together, let us join hands in sharing God’s love and comfort to our kababayans in Sarangani. Visit www.obphil.com/sarangani to find out how you can help.