A year after the deadliest cyclone Sendong hit Cagayan de Oro and some parts of Misamis Oriental, the Daughters of St Paul visited Calaanan, one of the relocation sites where the survivors have started to rebuild their lives. This is the first group in Misamis Oriental visited by the Sisters for the “Biblia sa Bawat Pamilya” project in line with the celebration of the FSP diamond jubilee in the Philippines.
More than a thousand people perished and 300,000 families displaced in this disaster before Christmas in 2011. With the help of government, the Church and international aid the new residents have a decent shelter, albeit really small at 21 sq meters.
Conscious of Blessed Alberione’s command to bring the Good News especially to those who are poor (“The apostle’s preference is for the forsaken, the desolate and the outcast; for the destitute, the hostile…”), the Paulines in Cagayan de Oro visited this site with some volunteers and the assistance of the Barnabite community. In an improvised chapel, a 2-session bible seminar was conducted prior to the distribution of Cebuano Bibles. Rev. Rosauro Medallo, a Barnabite, helped in facilitating the seminar.
In attendance were participants who were overwhelmed with joy upon receiving the Bibles. As the Bibles were handed to each one, they also proclaimed aloud their promise to read, pray and live the Bible.
Many of those who came shared how devastated they were after typhoon Sendong, especially those who had lost not only property but also their loved ones. It was faith and hope that helped them see a flicker of light during the darkest moment of their lives. They all affirmed that God is alive and that he never leaves them. For them, the visit of the Daughter of St. Paul to their community is God’s assurance that he continues to love them…that He indeed is Emmanuel, the God who is always with us.