Just a quick update for all you that have generously donated - We just got back from another trip to Bantayan. Building has finally gotten underway on one house. We had a few days where no building was taking place while waiting for supplies to replenish. I am hopeful that the other house will start building this week. This is the house that I prayed we would receive enough funds to help build and YES!! We made it. The houses are costing a little more than we had originally planned, due to cost of materials being higher than we anticipated and price gouging. It is still unbelievable to me that we can build a home for $2,0000, which to many of us is almost like your mortgage payment. I will post pictures on facebook of the current pictures and more to come. Thank you again from the bottom of our hearts for all your support. Merry Christmas!
I just have to share some things that have been on my mind and heavy on my heart. While we were in Bantayan this past weekend we were able to meet up with another friend who we hadn't talked to yet. His family has lost their home. They have pieced together a temporary shelter for his parents and he is staying at the resort he works at where the roof is still missing. We have helped one family rebuild a new roof with typhoon strong materials. We have helped rebuild two bamboo homes and construction on another will be starting soon. We also have a cement home starting construction as well. We want to be able to help his family, but funds are going fast. They have priced gouged the building materials. A home that would normally cost $1,500 is costing us $2,500. The roofing materials were double and the bamboo homes were costing around $800. I prayed and meditated for the four hours we were in the car driving home. I prayed that if I was supposed to help this family that it would all come together even if I had to buy the house myself! When I got home, we had a new donation which brought us to $6,000!! WOW!! but still not enough to build another cement home. As of today we have received three more donations. It is overwhelming the support we have received. I have decided to move the goal to $7,000 and I am already $530 away from that goal! I am planning on heading to his families home Thursday to take pictures and I am hoping that I will be able to surprise him with good news - he won't see it coming!! Another note to share, all donations have gone straight to the housing materials. Dave and I decided that we would donate all the money that has been spent on food and water. Again thank you to all that have supported us in this effort. The families are still finding it hard to believe that so many people want to help them! I am privileged to be able to see their smiles and the pure joy they feel when they have one less thing to worry about and one step closer to being normal again!
We have just returned from Bantayan. We bought supplies for Alfie's roof. Grace's parents house is also being rebuilt with the funds all of you generously donated. Update of Jonas; he was able to find land to rebuild!! YEAH!! Luckily, his wife had some relatives that were willing to give them enough land. The land will be cleared this week and we are hoping to be able to get construction started by the end of the week. We also took three large suitcases of rice and canned goods to hand out to Alfie's neighbors. While we were packing the rice bags we had about 50 children surround us looking for food. It broke our hearts that we didn't have enough food for all. As a family, we have decided to forgo any Thanksgiving celebration this Thursday and take another trip to Bantayan with 100 bags of rice to hand out along with some treats for the children. We have so much to be thankful for this year while so many others are trying to piece together their homes and find food each day. Please keep the Philippines in your prayers as so many people this week still have no homes or enough to eat.
Just wanted to update everyone! Not sure if you saw my post on facebook the other day, but through this site I was connected to someone in MN whose father had lived in Cebu and a women who had taken care of him needed help with her house. With all the donations we knew we had more to give. It was wonderful to be able to give the money to this person personally as she had been taking daily trips to Cebu for food and supplies for her family. Remember this is a 4 hour trip by bus one way. She will be sending me pictures of the house this weekend when it is rebuilt and we are hoping to get to her town in the coming weeks to see for ourselves. We will be traveling back to Bantayan Island this weekend to get Alfie and Grace the roofing supplies they need. We have run into a snag with Jonas and his wife. The land the family has lived on for many many years is close to the sea. The landowners are not allowing any new buildings in the area because of being in the danger zone. They whole extended family and their surrounding neighbors are being asked to move and find a new location. Jonas is hoping to hear from a relative on another island that has some land on Bantayan. We are hoping the relative says we can build on his land. Keep them in your prayers as the await a response. For now we will keep bringing them anything they need from the mainland. Blessings
I have posted photos of Jonas and Alfie's house damage. We did not get to Grace's parents house this trip. She lives on a smaller island off the coast of Bantayan and we just didn't have time to get over there. We met Grace's mother and gave her the bag of food. They are staying in a house on the mainland while they wait for repairs to the house. It is amazing how resilient and accepting they are of their situation. There is no power and it will take at least 4 months to restore. There is power available at the municipality, you can go here and charge cell phones. Water is available for two hours in the morning only. Supplies boats are arriving everyday for the markets to stay open, the biggest problem is many lost their jobs. The resorts employ many of the people who live on the island. Until they are up and running, their jobs are to find food and water. Grace, Alfie's wife, is still going to work everyday but is only making p50 a day until the resort is fully functioning, that is a little over a $1. Many people stand in lines at the municipality waiting for relief goods, but there are more people than relief goods. Most of the schools we saw were damaged and no one is in school right now. This post is getting long so I will end it for know - I think I will write on my blog page and upload it on facebook. Again, thanks so much for the donations - Jonas said he is feeling like a celebrity!!
I am to tired to do a complete update but I want to share some messages from Alfie and Jonas:
Alfie: Sir/Mam we are very grateful for your big help to us and we really appreciate for your concern from the deepest of our heart we will say once again thank you so much god bless your family.
Jonas: take care sir and man kim! Stay safe always, my family are much luckier and bless knowing that there are good and kind hearted people like you despite the tragedy that happened. GOD WILL MAKE A WAY! GOD HAS HIS OWN PLAN! Thank you so much.
I think I will be a much better person knowing him!
This is why we fell in love with the the three times we visited - they always made us feel like family!
Heading to bed early tonight. Heading out at 6am tomorrow for the 4 hour drive north and a 1 hour ferry ride to get to Bantayan! Dave and I contributed all the food that is going up Friday - We packed the three costco sized bags to the brim!!! We will post pictures and give an update on the housing. While on the island we are going to assess what kinds of building materials are available on the island and what we will need to transport ourselves. We are also bringing extra snacks and stuffed animals so we can hand them out to other children in the area. They need something to hug and call their own! Blessings to all of those that have helped in this effort! I did get news from Jonas, he has gotten medical support for his pregnant wife, so am I feeling a little better about that! Let's just get them back into their house!
this verse was sent to me privately but the donors wanted everyone to see it -
Isaiah 40: 29-31 He gives strength to the weary and increase the power of the weak. Even youths grow tired and weary,and young men stumble and fall; but those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary,they will walk and not be faint.
We are an American family currently living on the island of Cebu in the Philippines. We survived Typhoon Yolanda ( Haiyan) but many of our friends were less fortunate and they need help NOW. Here are just some of the people we'd like to help "“ local Filipinos who have become extended members of our own family.
& Rikki"“ Jonas worked at a local resort but lost his job when
the resort was washed away by the storm surge. He also lost his home and
his family is currently living under a makeshift tarp made of rice
sacks. His wife, Rikki, is six months pregnant and they also have a
three year-old daughter. With no income, he has no hope of rebuilding.
- Grace, who we employ as a domestic helper, her parents live on the tiny island of Hilintuguan and lost their
home. They managed to make it to the main land (Bantayan island) and are
living in a tent on the beach
- Alfie and Gracie work at another resort that was also hit by the
typhoon. They have two children ( five and one) They are living on the beach with their children under tarps. However, there is no
clean water, relief supplies are woefully inadequate, and the kids have
fallen ill.and their home was
badly damaged and in desperate need of repairs.
These are just a
handful of the people we are desperate to help. Please consider donating
"“ and be assured that every single dollar we receive will go directly
to families here in the Philippines. Relief efforts continue but people
need help NOW. Our family has volunteered our time and we will continue
to do so, but what we need most right now is to put funds directly into
the hands of these people so they can start the rebuilding process. Every
single dollar helps! Even if you can only donate $1...it is $1 more
than what they had before. Most of these families live on less than $5 a
day. With the cost of a (modest) new home priced at $1500, it will take
years for these people to get back on their feet. Think of the
difference you can make! Please, please consider donating. The people of the Philippines "“ the people we have come to know and love "“ will thank you.
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