Uncle Roland was the guy who met us at the bus station late in the evening when I arrived in Baguio. Uncle Roland, and his wife Geraldine, gave me a place to stay while in the Philippines and are family to me. He was quiet, but very friendly, and would always make an effort to make conversation despite being tired after a long day of work. He was family man, the breadwinner, putting his daughters through school and providing for his wife and young son. They say still waters run deep and that describes him.
When I heard the news this morning that uncle Roland, after disappearing a few days ago, was found dead, brutally murdered, my first thoughts went to his family. Uncle Roland was a Christian and I believe he is now in glory with his father (also murdered) and his heavenly Father. But his family has now lost a man who was rock solid in his commitment to them. I can't imagine the emotional turmoil they must be experiencing with this terrible loss, so close to Christmas, and that is not to mention the financial hardship they will face.
We still do not know the circumstances of his death. He had made a living as a mechanic (by refurbishing and reselling used vehicles) and he also drove a van for those who would hire him. He was apparently hired at the time of his disappearance. The vehicle and his money were taken suggesting that it was a robbery and the police are investigating at this time.
Even if those who murdered him are caught there will be no justice when a loved one is ripped away from those who need him most. No amount of money can bring uncle Roland back to those who depended on his love. But, regardless, there will be bills to pay and giving of our own resources is one small way that we can help. And, again, in the United States there are all kinds of government programs to alleviate the needs in a case like this, but that is not the reality in the Philippines.
Uncle Roland was loved for his generosity to others. He helped many people and he also paid for things while I was visiting because it was just his habit.
If you can't give, please pray for this family, pray that they are comforted in this time of tragedy and pain. My heart is heavy for them. I lost someone who was a real friend, a true brother, a person who I would not have hesitated to partner with in business, and it is really hard to process. I'm not sure what I should do. However, starting this fundraiser is something small that can be done and I hope that there are those out there as generous as uncle Roland who will step up to provide for his wife and children.