Early Christmas prayers for the Philippines and an appeal for the victims of Typhoon Sendong

- Tina Santiago-Rodriguez -

Christmas is only days away, and as the world rejoices in anticipation of the Baby born in a manger in Bethlehem some 2,000 years ago, we in the Philippines mourn together with our brothers and sisters in Visayas and Mindanao, especially those affected by Typhoon Sendong.

I personally could not help weeping when I read the news reports, saw the photos and watched the videos of the typhoon’s wrath. Last night, during our family’s Jesse Tree prayer, tears flowed freely as we prayed for our fellow Filipinos affected by the most recent calamity that has affected our nation. I can’t imagine the grief of those who have lost their loved ones, so close to Christmas. The images below, in particular, continue to haunt me:

This heartbreaking photo of a father clutching his child helped raise the nation’s level of attention to how serious the flooding in the South was.

This photo of mothers grieving over their drowned children is equally heartbreaking.

Although there has already been a lot of finger-pointing going on, especially as to why the effects of the typhoon were so devastating; the “lack of action” of government officials, etc. I would like, in my own small way, to call on my fellow Filipinos to be one in prayer and action to help our brothers and sisters in need.

During this time, when our children are excitedly counting down the days to Christmas, there are people who are counting the dead in their families and communities. While many of us are preoccupied with last-minute Christmas-gift-and-pang-Noche-Buena shopping, thousands of refugees are wondering where their next meal will be coming from.

One of the refugee sites for the typhoon victims

As we sleep snugly in our beds at night, savoring the coolness of the December air, many families sleep on the cold, hard ground, hoping and praying for their nightmare to end. As it says in this news article, those who are in Cagayan de Oro, Iligan and Dumaguete especially, “lack everything.”

Christmas is the season for giving, and what better way for us to show the real reason for Christmas than by helping our countrymen? We must not forget, too, that aside from the victims of Sendong, we also have kababayans who were affected by Typhoons Pedring and Quiel, just months earlier! Many of them are still in the process of picking up the pieces of their lives, even until now.

Let’s give what we can to those in dire need this Christmas.

For the moment though, it would be more urgent to reach out to our countrymen in the South. Here are a few links describing ways we can help out:

How To Make Donations For Typhoon Sendong Victims (Philstar.com)

Be Christ this Christmas – Help The Victims of Typhoon Sendong (CFC Singles for Christ and Couples for Christ)

How To Help The Victims of Typhoon Sendong (Smart Parenting Online)

When Typhoon Sendong Dilutes The Christmas Spirit In Mindanao (Style and Soul) (contains a blog post and details of how to help)

Of course, the easiest way would be to donate via the Philippine Red Cross. You can donate as little as P5 and it requires little effort from you. I believe we all can spare a few pesos, especially those of us who are blessed with 13th month pay and Christmas bonuses.

Let’s help the victims of Typhoon Sendong!

So, please get your phone now and donate what you can. The little you give will go a long way.

For Globe subscribers:

Donations via SMS, c/o Red Cross:

Text RED <amount> and send to 2899 – Valid donation amounts are P5, 25, 50, 100, 300, 500 and 1000 (For example: RED 10). Transactions are free.

Donations via GCASH:

Text DONATE<space><amount><space><MPIN><space><REDCROSS> and send to 2882

For Smart subscribers:

Donations via SMS, c/o Red Cross:

Text RED <amount> and send to 4143 – valid donation amounts are P10, 25, 50, 100, 300, 500, 1000 (For example: RED 10). 

You can also donate via Paypal or credit card here: http://www.redcross.org.ph/donatenow.

However you choose to donate — via text, credit card, Paypal, bank deposit; in cash or kind; through your time and efforts — don’t forget to accompany your donations with lots of prayers for the typhoon victims. Let us also pray that our country and the rest of the world be spared from future disasters. Let us “humble ourselves and pray, seek God’s face, and turn from our wicked ways,” and pray that “God will hear from heaven, forgive our sin, and heal our land.” (2 Chronicles 7:14)

Praying for and with you all as we, as a nation, despite all calamities and tragedies, welcome with joy the Christ Child into our hearts, homes and communities this Christmas. May God bless and have mercy on us all.










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