When Typhoon Haiyan struck Bantayan island, hundreds of people ran to the school for protection and looked to the principal to lead them.
This pastor stands in her church where more than 70% of the building has been destroyed by the typhoon . Only the three walls you see in this picture are left standing. When I asked her about the rebuilding process, she said the following amazing statement:
“IF THE WALLS OF THE CHURCH HADN’T BEEN TORN DOWN, I WOULD NOT HAVE SEEN THE NEED OF PEOPLE OUTSIDE OF MY CHURCH WALLS.”
This Father and son begin cutting up hundred’s ripped downed coconut trees.
During the typhoon, this mother and the youngest 7 of her 13 children stayed in this water jar for protection!
What remains of Sacred Heart of Jesus Parish.
With the roof ripped off his school above and debris strewn all around him, I spotted this young boy playing with the only remaining toy.
Pastor Doodes from Operation Blessing: Philippines says a prayer over the rubble and twisted wood in the home where the owner didn’t survive.
The buya (children in Bisaya) are such fun for me to play with and often are a great distraction from focusing on the destruction.
When I presented these teachers with two solar lights at Hilotongan Integrated School, they were really surprised and excited! They were literally climbing the walls to see the solar lights.
Antinia Buday has been a midwife for 39 years. She actually even delivered two children by candlelight during the typhoon.
This family, despite their current living conditions, was more beautiful than any sunset I have ever seen.
She told me this was her house. When I asked her if she was living here, she said, “Where else would I go?”
This newly-married couple agreed to pose for me with 10 of their combined 13 grandchildren.
Everything this girl’s family owned was blown away or destroyed in moments.
This little boy plays around a burning pile of personal belongings and trash as the sun begins to set.
Leorito Menlengit is able to begin rebuilding his destroyed home even after the sun descends with his new solar lights provided by Watts of Love.
At night, men burn all kinds of leaves and branches to continue the cleanup and to carefully watch the flying embers to ensure they don’t catch any nipa hut on fire.
Although not a word was spoken, in less then 90 seconds, we had shared so much! This man allowed me into his life long enough to tell his story just with his eyes.
This is Fernando the fisherman. When I was in the fishing village of Baod, he offered me the three binga shells he had just caught, despite losing his entire home and enduring damages to his fishing boat.
Father and daughter stand if front of their former home.
Alberto and Isabel Tiongzon had lived in their small nipa hut for 51 years before it was destroyed. Currently, they are living in the shelter behind them with their two grandchildren, Rico and Rex. I struggle to even call it a shelter.
Che-Che is a 29-year-old single mother of two children. Here, she is burning many of her destroyed belongings so she can begin cleaning up and rebuilding.
This family that lives in Barangay Tamiao showed us the “home made cell phone battery charging station” they had been using before they received therelight.