Before writing this article, I was hanging our family’s clean clothes to dry under the hot, bright sun. My almost-seven-month-old baby was sitting snugly in a sling, babbling cheerfully away. It seemed like just one of those days here in the Philippines — another day full of routine chores and responsibilities. But it wasn’t. It isn’t. And I’m afraid it won’t be for a long time to come.
I’m sure by now almost everyone around the world knows what has happened in the southern part of the Philippines. Disaster after disaster has struck our brothers and sisters there — first, a deadly earthquake last month, and most recently, just last week, a killer storm, one that has been dubbed one of the most powerful storms to ever hit land.
As news reports and first-hand accounts of the destruction and devastation brought about by Typhoon Haiyan started filtering in, people all over the world were, and still are, saddened and shocked by the suffering and pain that the victims have had to endure. Until now, a week after the storm struck, many areas are still in need of aid, and many, many people are hungry, thirsty, and desperate for help. The situation has even been described as being “worse than hell.”
To be perfectly honest, it is enough to leave you feeling hopeless. The amount of help that is needed is overwhelming. The images we see on the news and social media may even cause some to ask, “Where is God in all this?”
My four-year-old daughter, when we were watching initial news reports about the typhoon, asked me, “Did Jesus make that? Did He make the rain and the storm and the floods?”
I was speechless for a moment. I didn’t know what to say nor how to explain things to her.
So I said something like, “He will take care of the people who were affected.”
And those words are what I cling to now. Ever since the storm struck, I’ve been trying to do my part by sharing relevant updates and posts on social media, blogging on different ways to help the victims, and making donations to relief efforts. Our homeschool lessons this week focused on kindness, loving our neighbor and identifying ways we could help the typhoon victims. But still, many times I feel like what we are doing is not enough.
To the people who are homeless, starving, have lost loved ones, feeling hopeless and that God has abandoned them, the little that we do may not seem enough.
But I’m here to say that the little that we can >do will go a long way. It may not seem “enough” but as long as we help out in our own small, seemingly insignificant ways, I believe God will see our hearts and bless our efforts.
So if you feel overwhelmed today at the seemingly hopeless situation that our world — not just the Philippines — is in, do not despair. The little that you can do, share, give today will make a difference. As Blessed Mother Teresa once said, “We ourselves feel that what we are doing is just a drop in the ocean. But the ocean would be less because of that missing drop.”
So what are you waiting for? Go and do what you can to make this world a brighter, better place today.
Then the king will say to those on his right, ‘Come, you who are blessed by my Father. Inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world. For I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me drink, a stranger and you welcomed me, naked and you clothed me, ill and you cared for me, in prison and you visited me.’ Then the righteous* will answer him and say, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you drink? When did we see you a stranger and welcome you, or naked and clothe you? When did we see you ill or in prison, and visit you?’ And the king will say to them in reply, ‘Amen, I say to you, whatever you did for one of these least brothers of mine, you did for me.’ — Matthew 25:34-40
What do you think you can do to make a difference in the lives of others? Let us know in the comments.
P.S. If you’re so inclined, please do consider making a difference in the lives of those affected by Typhoon Haiyan. Here is a post on some ways to help. Please remember that it’s always best to donate to organizations that you trust and that are endorsed by the Catholic Church. Thank you in advance for your kindness!
Copyright 2013 Tina Santiago-Rodriguez
Photo credits: Ian Yao