YOLANDA / TACLOBAN
Tindog Tacloban, Stand up, Tacloban.
In November 2013, Tacloban, Philippines was hit by one of the worst typhoons, Yolanda, leaving 20,000 people dead, buildings torn and communities scattered. The Bible Society of Singapore responded by collecting a massive appeal, mobilising it’s Philippines branch to get on the ground to aid in the recovery. Though these funds, there have since done many aid trips, responding to different needs based on the recovery stage. 9 months on into recovery, I went with the Bible Society of Singapore to report on where the money went as well as to update on what their current needs are. This trip was focused on empowering and rebuilding churches by providing bibles, chairs and basic food items as well as encouragement to pastors and community leaders.
During the trip I quietly wondered to myself why we were giving out bibles, not more food - you can't eat bibles. As the trip went on and we spoke to the locals, I realised that these bibles are an investment of hope into the communities. It gave local pastors resources to bring their communities together, providing spiritual encouragement and food for the soul as they embarked on the long road to recovery together.