Face to Face

1223131846

Last month on the 23rd of December we loaded up a van of three very excited toddlers to go to the airport and pick up our daddy, who had been in the Philippians for almost two weeks. My pictures (taken with my ancient cell phone) do not fully encompass their excitement, nor the extreme adorableness of Fiona walking around the airport holding up this sign.

1223131847

My husband had warned me that he was very dirty, grungy and had not showered for days. I was imagining him red faced, mud caked, with flies buzzing around his crazy hair. But, as usual, he looked completely GQ when he walked through the jet way doors, clean faced, smelling like essential oils, as always, and smiling like sunshine to see his little family (I wish I had a picture of that, but I was too excited to kiss his face to take a photo).

I really want to post some things in his words and from his perspective, but for now just my own reflections from it all.

IMG_6099

Piles and piles of burning garbage. The people now walk a midst the remains of what used to be homes, schools, shops, trees, and everything they knew. The air is heavy with the toxic smoke, making breathing difficult… as if the weight of grief of  almost 6,000 lost loved ones was not suffocating enough.

IMG_6100

It is hard to imagine what the recovery process will be like there. It seems the people there are still very much in a state of shock, and will be processing the effects and emotions of this events for years to come.

IMG_6217

My mind is brought back to Haiti, which was devastated by an earthquake 4 years ago this month. I saw a statistic that today nearly 150,000 people are still displaced with out homes. Events like this do not resolve themselves quickly or easily especially when considering how poor these people are. Plus there are deep emotional wounds that will need to be healed. Yet as the news and press subside about such events for many Americans it will seem like a tragedy of the past, though the daily struggle in the Philippians, Haiti and other disaster torn areas continues on.

IMG_6216

IMG_6105

Sometimes in my life I hear of great tragedy that to me seems to be completely unbearable. And I look at pictures of people walking through the aftermath and think, “There is a person… alive, in the midst of it all. How will they go on? Will they find happiness in destruction?”

549170_10202367512002425_83139522_n

My husbands objective in going to the Philippians was to deliver relief aid good sent over by a charity organization directed towards children in need, from California. Unfortunately when him and his team arrived they found that the relief goods had been seized by the local government, and they would not release them. Unfortunately this kind of corruption happens way too often. There is A TON of money involved in disasters which seems to breed corruption.

But Chuck knew going into this that being able to deliver the cargo was a real possibility, and so with his suitcases full of essential oils and some good working boots he just got to work doing whatever he could.

IMG_6227

Most of the essential oils went to these ladies, from Mercy In Action. They are a group of midwives who deliver babies for free. If you want to cry a little bit, just watch the video on their website (and if you have kids think about your first delivery).

IMG_6110

I asked them last month what they were using the oils for. They said that the women have literally been smelling death and so they use them often for their aromatic properties, They are also used in massage and for pain relief (oh the wonder of Deep Blue and Peppermint oil). Oils can also be administered to newborn babies to help boost immune function (Frankincense and Myrrh are very powerful for infants)

IMG_6223

The remainder just went to people he met on his journeys who had anything from open wounds that needed Melaluca and to people with Polio who were in desperate need of pain relief. It is sad to think that most Filipino people were without proper medical attention before the event due to poverty. Now many of them are in greater need with even less ability to receive it. The lady pictured above actually took Chuck around one town and took him into houses of people who were sick and he gave them oils.

1502898_10153761917435512_1670485024_o

It makes me so happy to look at this lady in her little shack with hundreds of dollars of oils in front of her… something she probably could have never purchased on her own. And then a complete stranger from a foreign land just walked up to her one day and bestowed this gift. That is awesome.

One of the things I love about essential oils is that they let people take their health into their own hands… and you can’t really screw them up (minus getting them in your eye… stings like a beast). They have no side effects.

IMG_6130

Chuck was also able to help in some home rebuilding projects, not actually in the physical labor but in the paperwork. There are a lot of dollars tied up in Charity organization and churches that needs to be distributed and used but there is red tape and paperwork… and for some they have no idea how to fill it out.

IMG_6142

He also made sure to distribute little bags of candy to kids. Which always gets a smile, plus Fillipino kids love to have their picture taken… it is the cutest.

IMG_6149

And of course the little dollies that my kids hugged and kissed to fill with love travel around the globe to be hugged and kissed and loved.

IMG_6180

IMG_6091

And where you may wonder did he sleep? Well his bed is the blanket on this tile floor, and one of this traveling companions slept across that row of chairs because she was terrified of rats. (As I would have been too… and yes they were running around) This is an LDS church building. They are some of the only buildings still standing because they were really well made structures. There are about 45 buildings on Leyte and Samar and most of them are housing  over 100 people (or about 3,000 displaced LDS families).

1523693_10153761931325512_747888058_o

1015469_10153761851840512_238756022_o1512527_10153761808375512_298131894_n

Very soon after the Tyhoon water purification systems were put in place inside of each of the church units. I must say despite any reservations you may have about Mormons, they sure know how to get organized and get stuff done especially in situations like these.

1487788_10153761879940512_1761765436_o

 

Chuck told me that out of view in this photo (bottom right corner) was a man taking a bath, he declined to have his photo taken. But you can see how needed purified water is, if this is the bathing conditions for many.

IMG_6220

Here is the scene of a food giveaway done by the organization Charity Vision that happened at one of the churches. Chuck said the lines would be incredibly long and some people would wait almost all day to get something to eat.

IMG_6164

He was especially touched at one of the giveaways he helped with. They gave out the ingredients for spaghetti diner, which is the equivalent of a Christmas feast for most. He said the people were so happy.

IMG_6174

I love now that these images flash my mind every time I eat a bowl of spaghetti. That it is not just the meal we throw together because we are pressed for time or don’t have anything else in the house… but it is a sign of abundance somewhere and celebration.

IMG_61971501044_10153761961090512_33851575_o

His last major endeavor was chainsawing this tree down. He joined up with a group called Charity Vision who had the equipment and transportation. Which can you see how big the root structure is compared to the guy standing there! This things was massive and despite a whole day of work they didn’t get it all removed.

IMG_6209

Chuck said that guys like these are the real heroes. This group of three friends named themselves Seagull Rescue, a nickname that stems from an old Mormon story. They spend their days going about doing good and looking for ways to rescue people.

1493353_10153761926525512_2056842655_o

Chuck wanted to go to the Philippians because he wanted to help the people Face to Face, I am glad he took lots of pictures for us to see that there is hope for them.

I am having a hard time summing up all of my thoughts. Perhaps I will write some more thoughts in a few weeks.

But for now don’t forget the Filipinos. Pray for them, they are still and will be for some time recovering. May God Bless them and may God show us how we can help.

 

Advertisements

About tacycall

I am a mommy of four little ones. Two girls (5 and 3) and two boys (3 years and 5 months) This only consumes about 95% of my life. I try to squeeze as much as I can into the other 5%. I am a stay at home mom with dreams of owning a hobby farm with my husband and recreating the garden of Eden in my backyard. I crochet , keep bees and spend time with my hubby, cook, read and of course do a little writing.
This entry was posted in Uncategorized and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink.

3 Responses to Face to Face

  1. Joyce Anderson says:

    Thanks for sharing this. I’m going to forward this post to a friend whose daughter was serving in Tacloban City with the typhoon hit. She was reassigned to the Baclod mission, but is hoping they will get to go back eventually.

  2. Edith says:

    Thanks for sharing this. We have so much and don’t even realize it.

  3. joni call says:

    Tacy, I felt so humble and grateful reading this post. I think back to when Chuck opened his mission call to serve in the Philippines and how happy he was to go there. I remember well his farewell talk and how he spoke of the need to show people who they really are, which is a mission of sharing love to others of God’s children. What I think the Lord was really asking him to do was not just for 2 years, but a lifetime. May God bless you both for your wonderful example to the rest of us of love and sacrifice.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s