(Bonjie Bonjibod, CFC FFL Work With the Poor)
A big fire struck Brgy. West Navotas in Metro Manila last year. A thousand families were left homeless, 16 of them CFCFFL member families. Initially, they were accommodated at evacuation centers but eventually they were made to go back to their fire ravaged area with only tarpaulins and plywood over their heads. In seeing the plight of our brethren, our Work With the Poor (WWP)ministry initiated a campaign to rebuild their houses. CFCFFL brethren both locally & abroad responded. We were able to raise funds good to rebuid the houses at about P43T each. The fire victims themselves are reconstructing their homes with materials provided by the funds donated by our community members. The brethren-families transferred to their new homes one after the other.
A tragedy made into a blessing… until Typhoon Pedring came. Since the area is beside the Manila coastline and due to the storm surge and waves caused by the typhoon, most of the newly built houses were damaged. Now, we are in a quandary. Do we rebuild again? But what if another strong typhoon comes along? We asked the Lord for a solution. Then we remembered our RV coordinator at Valenzuela mentioned that they have excess lots at their Restoration Village. We talked to our brethren- victims and explained we can not rebuild their houses at their present site but we can help them if they relocate to Valenzuela. They made a site visit and many agreed to relocate. We made an appeal to the CFCFFL community to help the typhoon victims and the response was overwhelming. We were able to raise the amount needed for the houses at the relocation site aside from the relief goods we distributed to the typhoon flooded areas like Navotas, Obando, Calumpit in Bulacan as well as Pampanga & Nueva Ecija. We are starting the construction of the houses at the relocation site. As we told the beneficiaries, we always look at tragedies as oppurtunities for blessings. Even twice over.