Philippine Pastor, Others Bracing for Typhoon’s Arrival

Post a Comment » Written on October 2nd, 2009     
Filed under: News
MANILA, PHILIPPINES (October 2, 2009) – As the Philippines prepare to be struck by a typhoon that threatens the nation, the pastor of Jesus Covenant Church still is waiting for water from last weekend’s flooding to subside from his house.

“The flood in our house is still waist deep – and no indication that the water is subsiding,” says Pastor Jhun Peji.

Tropical Storm Ketsana swallowed whole houses and buses over the weekend and killed 246 people in the Philippines. Most of Manila was under water, and nearly two million people were affected. The storm later strengthened into a typhoon that slammed Vietnam.

The coming storm, Typhoon Parma, already has produced winds of 138 mph and is expected to make landfall Saturday. The Philippines weather bureau reports that the storm may even develop into a “super typhoon.”

Peji hopes that he and others will not have to relive last weekend’s disaster.

When Ketsana hit, Peji was attending a seminar in a local hotel. His wife, Mitos, called and said the water already was in their home, which is located in a Manila suburb. He rushed home on his motorcycle, working his way around roadblocks as well as fighting the rising waters.

“The water (at) that time was more than two feet and enough to penetrate the pipe of my motorcycle,” he recalls. He eventually had to walk at least four kilometers (2.5 miles) to reach the house because the roads were impassable.

He and other church members were among the people forced to evacuate their homes and live in the top floor of the church. “The flood really rose so fast that we were not able to take the church vehicle into a safe place,” he says.

“I tried to call our church members to know their situation, but the signals were all down until the next day,” he says. When he finally was able to make contact, Peji learned that one of the church members had eight feet of water in their home and the family was living on the second floor. The church member also helped evacuate neighbors to higher locations.

Mud entered the factory of one church member and another member had at least four feet of water in her home, but that has subsided.

The Taiwan Covenant Church is sending $3,100 to help with relief efforts and plans to send more assistance. Peji is asking for another form of support, as well.

“Please continue to pray for us,” he says.

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