Wednesday, November 13, 2013

What If...?

In a blink of an eye...
Everything you know to be normal suddenly isn't there anymore? Everything... gone. Blown away, killed or destroyed by a super typhoon called Haiyan, one of the strongest tropical cyclones ever recorded.

I can't imagine such devastation and such heartache.

We sat still as this super storm raged and ravaged our beloved Philippines, the country where both hubby and I were born.

A place where we still have family including my parents and hubby's dad.
A place where two of our Compassion children live.
A place where, two summers ago, God broke our family's heart for the things that break His.

We breathed a sigh of relief upon hearing that our parents are safe. We breathed another sigh of relief upon knowing that our Compassion daughters are safe.

But many, many, many countless others aren't safe... just take a look at these heart-wrenching photos taken by hubby's cousin who lives right in Tacloban.

For almost a week now, our family can't peel our eyes off our TV and computer screens. We just sit there and watch in horror... our hearts broken all over again. 

For days now, I have been weepy and full of emotion. Tonight, I am finding it very difficult to put my thoughts and feelings into words... so I am just going to let some images tell you the story.

Summer 2011: Excited to arrive in Tacloban City.
Hubby has lots of fond memories of this place. It is his mom's home town and
where he spent a majority of his childhood summers. 

This is the airport today.
Photo Credit: BBC News

My kids posing outside the Provincial Government building.

This is the exterior of the building today.
Photo Credit: ABS-CBN News

At the Leyte Park Resort Hotel where hubby's family so generously gifted us to stay at.
It is right beside the ocean... such breath-taking view!

I don't even want to imagine what state the resort is in now when this is how the Tacloban coastline looks today.
Photo Credit: The Guardian

We visited this famous tourist landmark --- The Leyte Landing Memorial. So much history!

This is how it looks today. Look at the barren landscape in the horizon!
Photo Credit: NBC News

No words... there are just no words!
The above images don't even show the depth of the desperation and the pain of heartache that the people there are currently experiencing. They don't even show the faces of frightened and hungry and wounded children now waiting for days for food and clean water and medical help to arrive. They don't even show the countless people rendered homeless just wandering the streets not knowing where to go and what to do.   

There are just no words. Yet today, I read these words by Ann Voskamp... complete with a link to Compassion International's website appealing for donations for the Philippines:
Maybe watching the news and lingering on a face and being brave enough to let a calloused heart feel the ache of humanity again makes you press your heel differently into this soft earth.
In a world of need, it’s too easy to think that static gratitude is our only responsibility — instead of feeling gratitude as the electric current empowering our ability to actually respond.
To actually do something. To actually walk, live, move, respond, go into this world as though our feet are kissing the grace of the ground under us and God over us, going as an embrace to those in need. 
The Grateful are the great fuel of world change.
And I smile... and I cry some more... remembering that phrase by Ann that has become a household saying for our family... "Eucharisteo – thanksgiving – always, always precedes the miracle."

And I smile... because we are all connected together, global citizens, brothers and sisters in Christ, called to help each other especially in times of dire need.

And I smile... because many are coming alongside our beloved Philippines and donating to the relief fund and praying hard and sending love.

And I smile... because hubby's extended family in Tacloban have been evacuated safely to another city.

And I smile... because my boy decided to empty his bank account, his "life savings"... and give it all to Compassion Canada's Philippines Disaster Fund.

And I smile... because my girl writes this blog post linking arms with our beloved Philippines and writes her speech for this Peace Medallion award including in it an appeal for people to open their wallets.

And I smile... because this facility was used as an evacuation centre during the typhoon, shielding at least 28 families from the storm... a reminder to our family, once again, that God takes our meager offering, our five loaves and two fishes, and multiplies it one thousand fold.

And I smile... because of these photos posted on Compassion Canada's Facebook page.

Friends, somehow... 
Tonight, I have renewed hope. I just know... I know that our beloved Philippines will get through this. Us linking arms with them, our fellow brothers and sisters in Christ, hand-in-hand and heart-to-heart, our Filipino friends will come out of this stronger, because... when our thanksgiving literally becomes thanks-living, what comes next is always, always, always the realization that a miracle has unfolded.

Will you come link arms with us?
U.S. donors, please follow this link
Canadian donors, please follow this link.
Philippine donors, please contact Compassion Philippines to see how you can help.

Compassion is a command, an act of worship, a song of thanks to Him.
Do justice. Love mercy. Walk humbly with God!


  1. I love this post - even though the subject of it is so hard. You have personalized this in such a unique way. I'm so thankful your family and your loved ones are safe.

    Joining with you in prayer for the people of this country you love.

  2. You left me speechless but hopeful. Our hearts really are connected by all this. One day at a time...

    1. Thanks for dropping by, Darryl! Yes, one day at a time...

  3. Aimee and family, great blog article! thank you for all the prayers and love, words can't say. He said to the storm: "Be still and know that I am God."

    1. Love that story in the Bible, Dave! We are just so, so, so thankful that you are all OK!

  4. Thank you so much for sharing from your heart. Also, for all the words and help. I appreciate it so much. I am so very thankful.... for you. Your words.... your heart and your love for Jesus.

    1. Thanks, Teena! I am glad I was of some help... it's the least I can do.

  5. We continue to pray for our daughters' birth country too. Thank you for sharing your heart.


    1. Thanks for dropping by, Deborah. We continue to pray as well... the devastation is wide-spread, it will take a long time to rebuild. :(