April 24, 2014


BANGON, Philippines (BP) -- A Baptist pastor found Jesusa and Michael Booc with their four children in the ruins of a destroyed chapel, sheltered under a table covered by a tarp.

The chapel's walls were blown off during Typhoon Haiyan and lay in a stack on the side of the battered structure.

The face of the Booc's one-month-old baby, Ella Mae, was sunburned from prolonged sun exposure since Friday, Nov. 8, when the typhoon's furor swept across Cebu and other islands in the Philippines.

The Boocs' home now sits in a crumpled heap.

All of northern Cebu looks as if a rampaging giant had visited. Thousands upon thousands of banana trees -- the source of income for many villagers –- were crushed. Electricity poles lay on their sides, the wires twisted and lying in roadways. A brand-new gymnasium's roof looked like the giant had sat on it.

A house was left completely upside down. Hundreds of houses were smashed as if they'd gone through a trash compactor. Still others lay on their sides.

The Booc family soon realized the strength of Typhoon Haiyan as it bore down on Cebu. Their bamboo thatch house shook violently and they knew they could not stay. They ran in the midst of the typhoon's fury with their children to take cover in a chapel with a concrete foundation.

During their flight a banana tree fell, miraculously missing them. They had to dodge flying sheets of tin that were blown off of roofs.

The walls of the chapel were not built to withstand the winds. The family then ran to Michael's mother's house, which also was proving to be an unsafe structure. All of the homes in the area are made of lightweight materials such as bamboo while the roofs are corrugated tin.

When their third place of refuge lost its roof as the eye of the typhoon hovered over their village, the family decided to make a run for the high school that was nearly two miles away.

Jesusa said they thought Typhoon Haiyan would be the end of them. The family held hands.

Jesusa reflected, "[If] we just wait, we will die." She, Michael and their four children made it to the school.

After the storm, the Boocs returned to take shelter in the chapel but realized it was too hot, especially for their baby.

The sunburn on Jesusa's baby's face started to peel when IMB missionaries visited.

The village of 61 households had not yet received aid from the government as of Thursday (Nov. 14), six days after the typhoon's onslaught. The government is providing families with several pieces of tin for their roofs and two kilos of rice.

Two kilos of rice does not last long in the Philippines. Rice is the staple meal for most families, and for a family of four, it barely lasts a few days. A family normally eats around 10 kilos of rice in a week.

The community gathered together and shared what food and supplies remained in their village.

Their village name, Bangon, means, "rise up" in the Cebuano language. The villagers say they are people who indeed rise up from catastrophes.

"That is what we are," Wilma Booc, Michael's mother, says. "Our name gives us hope."

They will rise up, they say. They are asking for help to lighten their burden and load. They know they cannot do it alone.

"We pray God will hear our prayers and help will come," Wilma says.

For having gone through such trauma and tragedy, the Booc family and their community seem positive and hopeful. Villages throughout northern Cebu share this positive attitude, according to various reports.

Baptist Global Response teams have now assessed the village's needs, and relief funds donated by Southern Baptists will help provide food in the coming days.

Every dollar given toward Philippines disaster relief through the International Mission Board goes directly to meet needs, since IMB personnel are supported through churches' gifts ... Read More

2nd VIEW: Missionaries recount miracles, mercy amid Philippine typhoon
TACLOBAN, Philippines (BP) -- Suzie Miller sat on her mattress, floating on the second level of her flooding home, not knowing whether she and her husband would survive Typhoon Haiyan. Read More
In Prague, college grads form real-life networks
PRAGUE, Czech Republic (BP) -- When Evan and Lauren Parker decided to venture overseas for six months after college graduation, their friends thought they were crazy.
      But, as Evan put it, "We shouldn't let what the world is telling us to do get in the way of what God is calling us to do."
      The Parkers are in Prague -- the Czech Republic city known as the atheist capital of Europe -- serving in the semester-long Hands On program of the International Mission Board, which gives college students and young adults an opportunity to serve Christ alongside missionary mentors. Read More
Immigration reform garners pastor support
NASHVILLE (BP) -- Nearly six in 10 senior pastors of Protestant churches support immigration reform that includes a path to citizenship, according to a new survey from LifeWay Research. Read More
Mo. Baptists affirm CP, biblical marriage
KANSAS CITY, Mo. (BP) -- Reminded that God's Word and Spirit can transform a lost world and empower ministry, messengers to the Missouri Baptist Convention reaffirmed a "50-50 by 2020" cooperative giving initiative, defended the biblical definition of marriage and prayed for persecuted believers around the world. Read More
Ky. Baptists pass 'no confidence' vote, elect layman, end ties with college
PADUCAH, Ky. (BP) -- Messengers to the Kentucky Baptist Convention's annual meeting conveyed a "no-confidence" vote in the leadership of Sunrise Children's Services, ended a partnership agreement with Georgetown College, elected a layman as its new president and rejoiced in more than 330 decisions for Christ through pre-convention outreach. Read More
W.Va. Baptists welcome first Chinese church
PRINCETON, W.Va. (BP) -- West Virginia Baptists welcomed eight new churches, including their first Chinese congregation, to the convention during their 43rd annual meeting at Immanuel Baptist Church in Princeton. Read More

First Person
Kelly Boggs
FIRST-PERSON: Restaurant patrons in need of WWJD
Baptist Press columnist Kelly Boggs revisits the "What Would Jesus Do?" fad in light of the challenges between Christians and gays in contemporary culture.
Roger S. Oldham
CALL TO PRAYER: The building blocks of gratitude
SBC Executive Committee vice president Roger Oldham cites key facets of gratitude found in Scripture.
Fermín Whittaker
EDITORIAL: Divisiones, conflictos y argumentos ...
Todos sabemos que los dos asuntos que pueden motivar problemas entre las personas o grupos son la religión y la política. ...



 © Copyright 2014 Baptist Press. All Rights Reserved. Terms of Use.

Southern Baptist Convention