Super Typhoon Yolanda Victims Dedicate Their Own Church

Testimony by Attorney Floyd Lalwet

December 16. Tonight is my family’s Christmas party at my sister’s house in Trinidad. I’m going to miss that and, except for my brother Joe Anthony if he is on overseas assignment, this will be the first time that a member of the family will be absent. I’m really very sorry for this.

I’m now holed up in a hotel here in Tacloban with the Prime Bishop and Mrs Precy Pachao and Mr Danny Ocampo as our flight to Manila yesterday was cancelled due to raging Typhoon Urduja. The earliest flight available to us is on Monday, December 18. Strong winds and rains are slamming into the roof and walls of our hotel and the streets are flooded. It’s a good thing that ECARE staff here in Leyte have joined us in the hotel as the staff house is flooded. They are now running around the city looking for open restaurants to buy food and coffee for us since our hotel doesn’t have an eating place. At least it is on higher and safer ground and residents of the city whose homes are flooded have also checked in here.

But we don’t regret coming down here. We were here for the blessing of Ressureccion Episcopal Church in Ormoc City yesterday as this church is maybe one of the best gifts that ECP has received from its people this Christmas season. Ground-breaking for this church was done in April this year and was completed in record-time of only 7 months. This was also built entirely from the resources of the people here who, about 4 years, ago were almost completely devastated by supertyphoon Yolanda. In fact, St Luke’s Medical Center, impressed with the successful housing project here offered to build the church but the people politely declined as they believed that it us their way of expressing gratitude to the Divine Providence who has enabled them to rise up from the unspeakable devastation. We would never have missed the blessing yesterday. We are so thankful that we were still able to fly down here before the storm so that our people were able to use the church for their first misa de gallo this morning!

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