HUGE PRAISE #1: God allowed our family to have cell service throughout the WHOLE storm! My sister-in-law updated on facebook every couple of hours, even during the calm when they were in the eye of the storm – what a crazy and unexpected blessing!
Lord, thank You, Thank You, THANK YOU!
They experienced the first half of the storm, praying their roof would stay attached. They live in a three story concrete home. My brother’s comment just before the storm really started – when he thought he was headed to bed – was how thankful he was to have a concrete home. Then the storm hit. Then she posted when all was quiet and they were then anticipating the second half of the storm. My dad said the second half was worse than the first. I can’t imagine.
At 5:30am for them she posted how it was almost daylight and she was afraid of what they’d find. Can you imagine – the whole horrifying ordeal, in the dead of night?! After the 5:30 post, cell service was lost.
The damage and pain is immense … but God is so good!
HUGE PRAISE #2: Another NTMA pilot wife provided updates throughout the day for the rest of us. It was many, many hours before all missionaries were able to check-in from the tribes – obviously, no cell or electricity. But all of the NTM missionaries are safe – Praise the Lord!
In the end, a portion of my brothers roof was ripped off and pinned under trees in their yard. Their washing machine, stove, and a large, full, storage cabinet of supplies was ripped to shreds, all the contents were tossed & dumped around the corner of their home. She posted it took them most of the day to cut down the trees & rebar blocking the gate into their house.
This is not what any of this looks like today – and it was all much more grown up since I took this photo – it has had 3.5 more years of growing. I guess the trees had grown up so much on the empty property in-between my brother’s home and the place behind the blue gate (where we stayed when we were there), you couldn’t see that home from my brothers. Now, it’s all been ripped bare, and the carport they had attached was down on top of the vehicle under it. But they were thankful it hadn’t blown away!
HUGE PRAISE #3: The helicopter was untouched! The hangar was damaged – inside & out – but it looks as if God Himself cupped His great big hands around the heli. The picture I saw looks like a large, shredded tree landed right next to the heli (inside the hangar) – Praise the Lord! It looks as if my brother will once again have the opportunity to fly this heli in relief effort. This will make the third year in a row he has flown relief in this helicopter in the Philippines. The first time was three years ago for Typhoon Haiyan, and almost exactly a year ago for Typhoon Kopp. In 2010 he flew a different helicopter for relief in Haiti. It is SO awesome seeing him be used by God, doing what he loves to be doing.
The above photo is when we went to the coastal tribe where Haima made landfall. I know this is NOT what this space looks like today. I haven’t heard anything more than the missionaries on the coast are all alive. As expected there were roofs and homes lost there as well. I know one of the missionary homes was a concern if it would make it through the storm – I’ve not heard. Reports will come in the days ahead. But their lives were spared.
Please continue to pray for the people of northern Luzon. This is far from over, the damage is so great. the pictures so heartbreaking. I’ve seen the damage to solid buildings, my heart aches for those who didn’t have solid walls or roof over their head in the first place. There are news reports saying 100% of the homes in Tuguegarao have been damaged by Typhoon Haima.
If you want to help financially, you can do so here: http://go.ntm.org/relief-fund.