In Their Own Words. Stories of Survival

This is a little long, but it could be the most inspiring and touching thing you’ve read in a long time.  These are stories, in their own words, from kids who survived a major typhoon last month in the Philippines.  More than 1000 people lost their lives in the storm.  Many are still missing and presumed dead.

In the middle of the night children living at the garbage dump climbed "mountains of trash" like this one to escape the rising flood waters.

The Setting and Some Background.  The children who wrote these accounts live on and near one of the largest garbage dumps you can imagine, a place impossible to describe – you have to see it to understand it.  The garbage is piled very high in what we would call “mountains of trash.”  During the storm which came unexpectedly in the middle of the night, people fled flooded homes and climbed on top of those mountains of trash to escape the rising water.

You will notice that English is not their “first” language, but I decided not to edit what they wrote. This is as they told it in their own words.

Grace. Age 15.  It was Friday evening after worship service at the garbage site, the weather was so cooled so I go to sleep but suddenly my mother was shouting, wake up, wake up there is a flood. Only a few minutes the water filled our house so I swim and we climbed into the roof top, my mother said please don’t left me behind, we hold our hands together in prayer but the flood destroys our house and we were scattered. We cannot see each other because it was so dark I shouted many times Lord help us then suddenly my hands hold a water lilies but I drunk some dirty water. I thought I am safe but there were vehicles rolling towards me but Thank God they did not hit me. I was so scared for I heard people were shouting for help and the flood was roaring like an airplane.  I found my brother Anias, he help me up into the top of the garbage but the problem was where are the other members of my family. After 3 hours were together thanking God that we were alive. In the morning I headache and fever but thank God early in the morning Pastor Rudy arrived give us money for medicine and foods.  Our problem today was where are we going to stay now.

Jamica. Age 13. I was so scared for the flood was so strong and noisy. People were shouting for help and the logs was like a dragon eats the houses. There were vehicles floating strongly straight toward us and almost hit us.  My family and my neighbors were so very afraid but the Holy Spirit told me to preach the word of God after 2 hours, together we asked God for forgiveness. We saw the second story building was covered with water but it was amazing because the place we stand was lower than the second story did not cover with water. We were so thankful to God because we were safe. Question remain where we are going to stay.

Rodnie. (Age 14). Thank God I am safe for I was not here during that night. Our house besides the river bank washes out by the flood with all our belongings. In the morning the rumors that I was missing and Pastor Rudy was so sad of the news from our brethren early in the morning but in the afternoon I send text stating that I am alive but the problem was where I’m going to stay now.

Jenefer (Age 14). During worship I played the beat box and when I went home I open my Bible again and write a journal before I sleep. I woke up because we heard people outside were shouting run, run and run. We were so scared but God reminded me in Acts 3:19- repent then and turn to God and I encouraged my family through this words. Suddenly the water filled our house but God provided us an ax we used it to cut and loosed all the pigs for them to survive and we climbed into the second floor. Thank God somebody help us and lead us into the gymnasium. Our house was not destroyed but our belongings were lost.

Angel (Age 11).  We heard people were shouting for help then we go out from our house and we run and run without direction. God reminded me in Psalms 50:15- call upon me in the day of trouble and I will deliver you and you will honor me. I confess it with my mouth and preach it before the people. Thank God, He lead us into a place where we cannot go out because we were surrounded with waters but amazing the house we stand was not destroyed but the concrete house next to us was destroyed.

Anabel (Age 17).  I stay in the Kids Freedom Center (safe house for orphans) with Marilyn. During that time I could not sleep so I open my Bible and I wrote a journal. The wind started to blow very strong I was scared because last night I had a dream that there was a flood and many were died. Nevertheless I sleep then I heard my cousin shouting at me Anabel go out and we go out from the house,  we run away going against the flow of the water until we reached the higher level on the garbage site. There were 5 families from the sea shore seek refuge in the church (Freedom Center). They climbed the posts for the water was so deep but the current was slow. They were hanging there for 4 hours but amazing the bed in the room was not wet including my clothes so because the children were wet and cold they used my clothes for the children.

Judy Ann (Age 12).  Our house located at the sea shore. The wave was so great and our house started to sink. We jumped out of the house but my feet crumpled and I could not move until somebody help me to go up in the second floor of my neighbor. I saw our refrigerator tumbling down and everything we had were no more. Our problem today where are we going to stay.

Princes Nicole (Age 11).  Our house is located at the sea shore hit by the wave and destroyed, my grandfather died but still my mother help other people out of the water. There was a couple float on the sea were crying asking help then my uncle jump to get them. My prayer to God Lord please guide us where to go and keep us safe. Today we are enjoy in the evacuation center and I said to my mother, our family problem today how do we build our house we don’t have enough money and I don’t want stop from going to school. Please help us to pray.

Mylene (Age 14).  I was not here during the flood because my mother told me that I will go to my auntie’s house. Our house was wash out and all our belongings. I learned a lesson in prayer when I heard about the flood and the rain and the wind so strong my prayer to God was that Lord save my family never mind the things and all our livestock’s, my family is important to me. My family save through the roof out of the house. Now our problem is how we build again our house. Please help us to pray.

Marjun (Age 12). We were very scared when we heard the wind and the water resounding like an airplane, people were crying, shouting, we saw those hands waved and they were asking help.  The whole roof of our house flew away in amazement the roof went back again brought by the wind. My prayer is that Lord please stops the wind and the flood. I never mind our house destroyed by the flood. Today our big problem is how build again our house. We need prayers.

Angelica (Age 14). Our home was totally destroyed and until today the mud still there very deep. All our belongings and livelihood were no more but thanks to God we are all alive He lead us into a higher ground. Today, we are in evacuation center sometimes we could not sleep because they were very noisy. Thank to Pastor Rudy who give us foods. Please pray for us. Thank you sponsor.

Mary Ann (Age 12).  During that night my mother and I were talking about the flood before the experience and also that day was one year death anniversary of my father. Then we heard an unusual sound of the wind and the rain it was furious. Then suddenly the deep of the water rise up so we get out of the house but the empty barrel almost hit us and we went to the higher level of the garbage site. In the morning I notice that many were die because they were hit by logs, timber, vehicles and wounded by debris galvanize iron and round bars. Please help us to pray for the recovery. Thank you sponsor for being with us in this trying moments.

Alvin  (Age 11).  Our house is located on the top of the garbage but still I am scared because of the sound of the water and the wind. I heard many people shouting for help waving their flash lights. I want to help but I cannot do it or I might die and be a hero. So I pray to God Lord help us don’t let this garbage dump go tumbling down and cover with water. I thought that was the end of the world but thanks God that all of us still alive and I promise to serve Him more all I can do. Thanks to Pastor Rudy we received foods and rice and others for my family.  Thank you my sponsor.

Kristine (Age 13).  Our house was destroyed by the flood together with our belongings we have nothing except the dress we wear. We run onto the garbage dump and we were surrounded with waters like an angry lion with the shout of the people for help. I pray to God Lord help us for do not have other way to escape. Thank you for help we received rice, foods, mats , blanket, groceries and kitchen wears. Thank you sponsors.

May Marie (Age 12).  Our house hit by the flood and destroyed. We run into the gym but in the gym the water still increasing up to my hips. I am afraid and crying for help but I remember God. So I prayed for help from the Lord then suddenly fears vanish away. Thank you for the rice, foods, used clothing’s, kitchen utensils and others. God bless you my sponsor.

Aniaz  (Age 16). Our house was wash out but we were still alive. I swim until I felt tired I remember Psalms 23, I recite them all with boldness also I speak in tongues can be heard to other people. I encourage my younger sister Grace to calm and keep on praying.  When our house tumble down we were scattered and it was so dark I cannot see them but I did not stop praying Phil. 4:19 God will supply then suddenly there was an empty container came to me and I used it for my survival. Thank God that He provided pail for my mother and Grace a water lily, miraculously the water lily did not sunk until we reached the top of the garbage site. After 3 hours every member of the family were meet on the top of the garbage site, God made revival, we were crying and thanking God for the salvation. Thank God Pastor Rudy he give us money to buy medicine for in the morning we have fever and headache and coughing.  Thank you for the rice, kitchen wears, foods, mat, blanket and groceries.  Thank you my sponsors.

Raymond (Age 15).  It was Friday after our worship at the dump site. I felt not scared because the sound of the wind and the rain is not unusual for our house situated beside river bank. Our neighbors were running away but we stayed in our house because we were trap by the waters. When the floor saturated by water we stood on the table. I prayed to God Lord God if you take us away please bring us into your kingdom. It took 1 hour praying in tongues and 1 hour praying with understanding. While people were screaming and shouting for help I remember my father in a distance I used my cell phone and called him I said pa may be you cannot see us anymore.  In amazement is that our house was made of wood and very small but it was not destroyed while our concrete neighbor’s house was totally washed out. Thank you for all the blessings you have sent to us. Thank you sponsor.

Aldrin (Age 11).  During that time I sleep in the house of my aunt I sleep very well not knowing that the water was on our floor when I woke up the water up to my knees. My step father called me outside to go out and he carried me by his arms for the water was so deep. My father is 6 ft high but the water was up to his breast. We were hit by the big pig and we fall down into the water I was lost by his arms I try to swim but I cannot, I drunk water and felt tired my step father cannot see me for it was dark but thanks be to God the current of the water brought me into the gate in front of our Kids Freedom Center that I was be able to hold tightly the gate for me not to be drifted away. I called my father and he swim towards me and bring me into the gym. I prayed to God Lord stop the rain and the flood. Early in the morning Pastor Rudy arrived with great smile saying thank you Lord. Before he leaves to another area he give us money for our breakfast. Thank you sponsor for being with us even in our hard times.

John Mark (Age 10).  When I go out into the water it was up to my neck I hurried to move into the gym but still the gym filled with water and we were scared not knowing what to do my mother brought us into a distant place but the water trap us so we enter into a very small house. Thank God that small house was not destroyed. He saved us and the house. Thank sponsor for all the blessings we received.

Almia (Age 7).  My mother woke me up and immediately my step father carried me into his arms into the gym. My younger sister was 2 years old keep calling pastor, pastor , pastor referring to Pastor Rudy. She was asking help. We did not sleep the whole night but thank God we were not feel tired. My prayer to God was Lord let not this flood happen again.

Rechel (Age 11).  Our house was washed out but no one lost in our family. Our school bags and everything was lost. Please pray for us it take long time to build again our house for we cannot afford. Thank you for all the blessings that we have received thank you sponsor.

Korina (Age 11).  Our house was washed out and everything we have but no one lost from my family. Our problem today where do get money for our daily needs. My father’s fishing nets and boats were no more. My mother’s small store was totally destroyed. I am so worried and many days I still crying when I saw my mother worried. Pastor Rudy visited me last night and comfort us again both of us and my mother were crying. We want to build again our small house for us to have live hood. (The small store was in the house).  Please help us to pray. Thank you sponsor for all the blessings that we have received from you.

We have sent help for food and water and other immediate needs.  Other needs, such as clothing, household goods and school supplies, are needed now.  Would you like to help us meet this need?  If you can help, send your money to Ministry to Children.  All the money coming to this account is being designated for disaster relief.  We will make sure what you send gets to our pastors for the children and their families.

See also: Emergency Need in the Philippines

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About kathybohlin

I am passionate about helping poor children in Philippines come to Jesus, get an education and become all God created them to be. Right now our ministry (Fullness in Christ Ministries) helps almost 900 of the poorest of the poor children in the Philippines. They are over seen by 24 national pastors whom we consider trustworthy and competent. There is accountability. I am single and contented with that. Also I want everyone to know how wonderful Jesus is!!
This entry was posted in Disaster Strikes Philippines, Our Sponsored Children. Bookmark the permalink.

4 Responses to In Their Own Words. Stories of Survival

  1. Wanda says:

    These stories are so sad Kathy, I will help as soon as I get some extra money

  2. Bev Hill says:

    Looks like there are quite a few spiritual leaders among these kids. They were obedient to call out to the Lord when tested. How encouraging they must be to their own families and to those around them. Lord give these pastors your strength, help, and wisdom as they teach and help these families. Thank you that your true character becomes established even through suffering. Reveal and provide your way for each family and child who lost their homes. My family lost our home and possessions once in a hurricane when I was about 14 years old. I was so scared. It took a lot of time, cleaning up, and hard work, but God provided a way for us to have a better, safer home. This is my prayer for each family.

    • kathybohlin says:

      Thank you Bev. Yes, God has given us some very amazing kids who are full of the Lord. They are nation changers! Your prayer for them is also my prayer. God bless. Kathy

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