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Chaplain Jamie Update 1.30.14

Chaplain Jamie, represented the Sound of Life and her ministry, Compassionate Reach International, in the Philippines from late December through most of January. She was there to bring psychological and spiritual care and trauma education to victims and caregivers. Here is her final update from the trip.

Jamie Grubb


I’ve been home for 4 days now and I am still trying to get myself back into the swing of life in this reality, as well as this time zone. Things like hot showers, which are such a part of my “normal” life (and I have already taken eight hot showers or baths since I’ve gotten home) are a thing that many of my new friends no longer have, or never had. Poverty and government corruption takes on many faces, and those faces look like just like me, minus the privilege, or the pre-destination, or the happenstance of where and who I was born to. Born into the USA means born into opportunity, even at its worst.
Then enters in one of the worst storms in recorded history to rob what most people had in any form of luxury or necessity. Things like insurance and FEMA don’t exist in the Philippines, so the more privileged of my friends now struggle in tents or partially destroyed homes, since Yolanda (Hayain) was the great equalizer in her destructive forces.

I am always changed when I step into a disaster zone, being reminded of the power of God in forces of nature, and forces of redemption; it is the redemption that is most evident in God’s creation to pull together to heal, build, and restore. There aren’t any “atheists in a foxhole,” and God always makes Himself visible in the miraculous stories of survival, or the sustaining stories of loss and redemption. It is the loss I feel His presence the most strongly – in the survival- in the resilience of those who love with agape love. He was in the sharing of bags of rice that were made into rice “soup” as they were stretched to feed more and more people of the Barangay (community), or the heroes who died saving the lives of loved ones, or the homes that were opened up for people to flee, and sleep wall to wall as their own homes were overcome by the tidal surges. God was in the eyes of the moms and aunties whose children were swept out of their arms as they clung to them, but survive and strive to live on with dreams and visions too painful to recount. He is in each nail that pounds into the rebuilding of a new home – a new life. He is in the voices of the school teachers who speak life and bring joy back into the lives of children. They live and rebuild with hope – hope that only God can give to imagine a brighter future in the darkness of the present. They live to experience joy and to find meaning. They live to laugh, and to love, to give birth, to build, to bind, to heal, to find purpose, and to find God.
We live in a fallen world that is filled with pain and suffering, and I am firmly convinced that every torrential downpour is filled with the tears that Jesus weeps for what was, and is, and is to come. Mostly, we live in a world filled with redemption – the redemption of the cross to heal and restore all that was lost – to make all things new.

In the words of songwriter David Brymer
“You bring restoration
You bring restoration, to my soul
You’ve taken my pain, and called me by a new name
You’ve taken my shame, and in it’s place, You give me joy
You take my mourning, and turn it into dancing
You take my weeping, and turn it into laughing
You take my mourning, and turn it into dancing
You take my sadness, and turn it into joy.
Hallelujah, hallelujah, You make all things new, all things new”

Bring restoration to the souls of the Filippino people Lord God. Make it new for your Kingdoms sake, and to the glory of your son Jesus.