Chaplain Jamie, representing the Sound of Life and her ministry, Compassionate Reach International, will be ministering in the Philippines until late January. Her goal is to bring psychological and spiritual care and trauma education to victims and caregivers. We’ll be bringing you her updates as we receive them.
As I approach the day I was originally supposed to leave, I have mixed feelings. I am really missing my family and long for a hug from Dave and my kids; at the same time feeling useful in ways I never imagined.
Today I met with a pastor who is basically trying to start a “VOAD” (voluntary organization active in disasters) without realizing it, and this happens to be one of my fortes. He oversees churches in Tacloban, one of the major areas that was hit with the highest casualties. I will be going to his home on Saturday, providing more documentation to help them navigate working with larger NGO’s, and networking churches. I was also invited to stay overnight, and attend church with them on Sunday. I have to admit it will be a nice break as they have real beds to sleep in, even if the electric is not yet on so no hot showers on this Island.
We also visited a prison briefly today, so Rose, one of the midwives and daughter-in-law of founder, could visit an inmate whose baby they delivered, but who shortly died from Tetanus. The realities of why prenatal care and immunizations are so necessary over here. In hearing her story and her charges, I couldn’t help but think that she would not be in a US prison for her alleged crimes. When the storm was about the hit, the prisoners had been released and told to go and help their families, but to return in six weeks times. She was picked up at her family’s home, six weeks later and just after the death of her daughter. Poor woman – enduring so much. It is wonderful to work alongside people who get that this is where the rubber hits the road in loving on the least of these. Actually, more like where the rubber hits the mud, because the journey there was far out a muddy, rutted, mostly single lane road where no one would dare to travel other than to visit the prisoners.
Early tomorrow, I begin my trauma training again with school teachers who have not yet had their own “psychological debriefing”, and I will see how my schedule for next week unfolds. I was asked to provide debriefing and training at the local university, as well as to some area pastors and the children. I will remain busy I am sure, and I am praying for additional funds to purchase my supplies, as well as help some truly hurting people get on their feet by roofing their tarp shack, and other basic needs. These people need so much help and they need us to help them.