I was invited to participate in the Ecumenical Women's Jubilee 3-day celebration and the Jubilee Celebrations for the 50th year of ministry of the NCCP which just happen to be immediately following upon the heels of Super Typhoon Yvonne and left many of us wondering if I would travel safely. GOD is GOOD and I have arrived after a 24 hour flight ...Montreal...Toronto...Tokyo and Manila, my final destination for the moment. Our time of worship and honouring women who have made significant contributions to local history has begun and I received a wonderful welcome from our partners who so appreciate the support of The United Church of Canada. But we are also very conscious that as we ate dinner of rice and fish and banana, many are without, and as we are sleeping on clean sheets, many haven't a home any longer, so there is great sadness and concern for the people.
The communities are shaken and some struggling, and while I hope to visit the devastated area next week, currently transportation and communication is difficult, with an estimated 10,000 dead, homes and rice fields destroyed. This is one of the poorest areas in the Philippines which is also vulnerable due to the effect of large-scale mining and logging operations. There is desperate need of clear drinking water, food and materials to reconstruct their lives. And prayers.