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posted May 22, 2010, 8:57 PM by Jason Quick   [ updated Nov 2, 2011, 5:44 AM by Sites Admin ]
~ Deanna (Jenkins) Nichols, '89


On Saturday, September 26, 2009 the Philippines experienced the devastating effects of Typhoon Ondoy (Katsuna). Record flooding affected most of Metro Manila and neighbor- ing provinces. 16.7 inches of rain fell in just 20 hours, with the most dangerous flooding happening within a matter of minutes, mid-morning. More than 200 died, hundreds of thousands more displaced.

Faith sits on a hill so it fared okay, but surrounding areas were a disaster. Many of the photos posted on the Internet were taken in Cainta, the area hardest-hit. Faith Academy cancelled school the week following flooding to enable the Faith community to reach out and help. Many Faith families had flooding, some needing to retreat to upper floors of their buildings, even roof-tops!

Seventh grader Frank Hurl described his experience, “Last week was fun and horrible. It kept on raining and raining. I thought it was just a strong rain but it was ‘way-worse’. The streets flooded and our house flooded. The flood ate our piano.”

Needy neighbors in the valley down from Faith lost all of their personal belongings when multiple streams over-flowed, washing out whole communities. Much work was in store for those available to respond, cleaning, cooking, shopping, laundering and much re-building. Many paused to pray, “God, show us how to glorify You by blessing others.”

Missionaries worked alongside local churches and neighbors, ministering by feeding those who were hungry, attending to medical conditions raised by dirty water and sludge, then seeking to meet the spiritual needs of those most affected. Friends from supporting church- es became involved, praying and donating funds for relief. Kristen MacKay, a parent and wife of Faith’s Campus Pastor, Don MacKay shared with friends back home:

“Many people lost everything they own, including two of the workers here at our building. Driving to the places that were hardest hit by the flood waters is sobering. Seeing so many personal belongings alongside the road, either drying or thrown away makes us appreciate how blessed we are. It’s hard not to weep at the sights around us. Once the roads cleared, we were able to go out with other students, staff and parents from Faith Academy to help fellow missionaries and Filipinos dig out and clean up from the flood. The sight of small children sifting through the muck for anything that is salvageable. Faith suspended classes for the week so that we could go out and serve.”

Faith Academy’s Administrative Team, led by Don MacKay, helped to organize a two-day campus outreach in which 200 students and parents participated. Students went out in teams to assist in relief work. The school is still conducting an ongoing clothing and food drive since relief will be a long haul.

Tom Hardeman, Faith Academy Superintendent, shared this comment demonstrating the incredible Filipino spirit: “One of the Faith-employed staff, when asked by her supervisor how she was doing replied, ‘We are fine, Sir. Our appliances are floating around the house downstairs. Then I went to my sister’s place and it was the same. The good thing is, there are plenty of fish to catch!’”