Bangka, Bota, Right Start and CCT


Our Bangka

The past week seems like a second nightmare to most Filipinos. Here we are again, facing deep flood, rescuing people, evacuating from houses, doing relief operations, and praying hard. I like to share my documentation of my experiences here. I do not wish to try analyzing why God allowed the rains to flood our nation, or even to answer what causes the flood in this blog. What I wish to share with you all is WHAT’s really happening there.
Right Start, an NGO that I am a part of partnered with CCT ( Center for Community Transformation ) in raising funds and gathering donations for their relief and rehabilitation programs. CCT serves hundreds of thousands of Filipinos nationwide. With the recent Monsoon Rain, they have around 5,000 plus families that were members/partners of their 60 community centers in Luzon that were affected.
I visited one of their centers today at Muntinlupa. I coordinated with their area Coordinator, Pastora Ging and ask her to show me where the communities that we are helping. Pastora Ging welcomed me with a big warm smile, and share to me a little background of what happened in their community. Then at the middle of our conversation, she began telling me that they went to visit areas where the waters are as high as shoulder deep. I was trying to be sympathetic with the flow of her stories and then she said, we’re going to visit them now. In my mind I was like.. ( oh, okay we are visiting them now… but how? ) Then she said that we’re going to walk first, then ride a bangka and take rounds in the community. The way she delivered those lines were like what we are about to do is a very “ordinary” thing and she said them with such boldness. Then rains poured down at that moment. I am like praying… (Lord, we are going to submerged ourselves with a heavy rain now…oh please make her change her mind.) It took us 30 minutes to arrive at our community destination. When my driver saw the place, he told me.. “Ma’m we can’t enter there, the water is too deep.” Pastora Ging went down with her boots and umbrella to check the place. I was inside the car thinking why are we going down there? Just for me to take photos and report them to my head office and post the pictures at facebook? Why will I risk my life there and why will I do this? My partner boldly went ahead, she was at the middle of the street and began talking to people. I was like texting my team from Right Start to cover us in prayer. My driver was reversing our car to park in the land. 10 minutes pass by and I was waiting for my partner to come back and expecting her to tell me, let’s not go because it’s dangerous. But she did not. Ok Lord, five more minutes. But she was still there at the middle talking with people. Then the Lord told me, go down. Don’t be afraid. This is why I ask you to be here, not just to raise funds nor feel sympathetic for these people, Go down, you need to see this. So I put on my boots, carry an umbrella, my cellfone and my camera. I told the Lord, Okay… I can do this.
I went towards where my partner was but in between there were people from that community recognizing that I’m not from there ask me where I am going and telling me that water is too deep. They saw my boots and said, your boots is not enough. I call my partner and shout a bit for her to hear me ( there’s quite a distance between us) I said, “Ate tutuloy pa ba tayo? mukhang delikado” She said, “oo kaya natin ito”. Then I said, Lord, bless this woman who is super bold. ^_^ So we walk along the riles ng train, with our feet knee high submerged in water. Then it’s time for us to ride the bangka. Then I felt an anxious feeling from my partner if the bangka can really carry us to our destination. But this time, I was bold already, getting the assurance from God that He ask me to go, no turning back. When i sat at the bangka, pictures of disciples of Jesus and the story of calming the storm was in my mind. I have peace. I know God will show me something here. Sharing with you some of the photos I took while on this journey. Will be writing my reflection in the next blog.

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About inthebusinessofchanginglives

God has called me to be in the business of changing lives through advocating for children and youth-at-risk, leading faith-based organizations, equipping ministry workers, and empowering the next generation as change agents in their communities. The author serves as the Executive Director of Visions of Hope Foundation and CCT-Visions of Hope Christian School, the children and youth ministry arm of Center for Community Transformation (CCT). She also co-founded Right Start Community Development Inc. an NGO reaching underprivileged children by providing afterschool programs.

One response »

  1. Your write-ups is Spirit inspired. While reading it, I was almost in tears remembering the grace and mercy of God through those relief goods and other form of calamity assistance given by our donors. Thank you so much and congratulation for a job well done. You are blessed, Arlene.

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