US donors help widows in need

Persita stands in front of her new home that was reconstructed by members of several local churches. (Image, caption courtesy Christian Aid)

Persita stands in front of her new home that was reconstructed by members of several local churches.
(Image, caption courtesy Christian Aid)

Philippines (CAM/MNN) — Filipino widows are getting their homes back just in the nick of time, thanks to the help of U.S. donors and Christian Aid Mission, your link to indigenous missions.

When Typhoon Haiyan swept through the Philippines last year, already-vulnerable widows lost the little they had. Many of these women still live exposed to the sun and storms nine months after the typhoon blew their houses away. Already living hand-to-mouth, there was no one to care for them.

But this scenario changed recently for Persita Evangelista, a 69-year-old widow who lives with her only son in a fishing village on the shores of Bugtong Bay.

Evangelista said she has suffered through many storms, but none like Haiyan. “It was the strongest typhoon I’ve ever experienced. It just lifted the roof right off my house!”

“I thank all the Christians who gave help to me, especially those in the United States,” she said. “Without this help, I would still be living in the open!”

Evangelista’s house was rebuilt with the help of community volunteers from several local churches that joined together to replace the roof and walls of her home. The American aid, used to buy sheet metal roofing, prompted the churches of Busuanga to add their “sweat equity” to the project.

The project couldn’t have “crossed the finish line” at a better time.

Every August, massive hurricanes begin to form in the Pacific, and several usually make it through Luzon and Leyte to the more sheltered islands of Palawan. Evangelista and her son will be safe and dry as the storms pound ashore in the coming weeks.

Pray for supernatural speed so workers can complete more homes before storms begin.

Like many fishermen in their storm-tossed coastal village, Persita’s son was eager to return to work. (Image, caption courtesy Christian Aid)

Like many fishermen in their storm-tossed coastal village, Persita’s son was eager to return to work.
(Image, caption courtesy Christian Aid)

Palawan is in many ways a tropical paradise. The cluster islands are sheltered west of Leyte and the city of Tacloban. They were practically wiped off the map by the intense winds and flooding from Haiyan. Tacloban and the surrounding province grabbed most of the news media attention and the lion’s share of the aid which poured into the Philippines.

But with the help of indigenous pastors and ministry workers, Christian Aid is sending support to overlooked areas like Palawan.

You can help Filipino believers rebuild more homes destroyed by Typhoon Haiyan here.