affected homes of laPaz church (2)

Currently working with many of the victims of Typhoon Yolanda who are living in homes like this picture.

Due to many relief efforts coming in to Tacloban, circumstances changing from day to day and many reports of people not being truthful with their needs, we decided to make another assessment trip in person before making any purchases. Along the way waiting at the port in Surigao we teamed up with some others and delivered for them over two hundred sheets of tin on this trip who had no way to transport until they saw us with an empty van. We readily agreed to do this after discovering we would always be shuffled behind relief trucks if empty and could be waiting for many hours to catch a barge.We learned on the trip that sure enough we would have made a mistake by purchasing things like food, water, etc. since so much is already being delivered around Tacloban. Also as we were coming into the area, we noticed a huge sign that read “All relief goods must be delivered to the office of the governor.” The churches we had visited the first time were now loaded with foods, medicines, generators, (no longer a use for the solar panel) clean water, etc. We could only speak with the wife of the pastor because he was out in the community delivering generators.
This other church in La Paz, about 30 miles outside of Tacloban had experienced total destruction and devastation to church building and most all church members and had not yet received even as much as a bag of rice from any relief effort including from the government. They were somehow managing quite well however, fed us good with chicken roasted on open fire and gave us a place to sleep for the night.
During this entire 5 day trip, I only spent about $75 for personal expenses.
The greatest needs requests at this time we were getting from most every conversation is the need for a chainsaw. Coconut trees are down all over the place. Some are being sold for lumber and some are being given away. But anyone who owns a chainsaw is backed up with work and is also charging a high price for the labor. Two churches including the one in La Paz and pastor Noe’s church are both in great need of a chainsaw and have people in their church who are trained in operating the saw for splitting the trees into lumber for buildings. We didn’t buy the saws in Tacloban due to high demand and high prices. We can buy them here in Butuan for normal price and deliver there. This is our plan now to get two or three saws back there as quickly as possible.
Also as far as other things like sustainability may be a little too quick as they don’t even have homes rebuilt yet. Some of them including the family who lost a father and brother from the Palo church are being forced to relocate (to who knows where yet) by the government. I gave them my word with tears that by God’s grace we would see them through with this.
We want to get them going with aqua-phonics as soon as possible. We have already located free Talapia fish fingerlings in Tacloban. Seeds for planting and things like that are also one of the top priorities.