Aaron and Ema, #SPManila, share praise along the way as their church supports their squatter community in recovering and rebuilding after a devastating fire.
The rebuilding effort has been slow. Many families have completed their first floor and are able to move back to their houses with makeshift roofs made from tarps. Many families are stopping at rebuilding the first floor of their houses due to lack of funds. It is expensive to build a house, even though most houses are under 300 square feet. People are building with steel and concrete to make the community fireproof.
Most of our response has been helping to purchase building supplies. The challenge for families is having enough space to store the materials as they rebuild. It would be much easier we could just place one bulk order, but the limited space to safely store construction supplies means that we at the hardware store almost everyday. We made an arrangement with the owner to give us a discount for families rebuilding after the fire. This has been a great help as we are able to purchase a lot more construction supplies than we normally would have been able to afford. God has continually used things like this to encourage us during this challenging time.
We are in the middle of the hottest season of the year and are still without electricity. Daytime temperatures can get over 100° Fahrenheit. It is very difficult to sleep at night. In the middle of the night the temperature “drops” to the mid 80’s, but the high humidity makes the heat index over 100°.
The lack of electricity limits some of our church’s ministries. Our evening activities are now held in the homes of church members that still have electricity. This works for our prayer meeting and mid-week Bible study, but our youth and children’s ministries have suffered because private homes are not big enough for games and other activities. Our leaders have begun prepping for Vacation Bible School, but the date is still tentative depending on when the power is restored. The next school year starts in June, so we have about a month to determine if we will have a Vacation Bible School this summer or not.
Pray those families that lost everything in the fire.
Pray for a turning to Jesus for comfort.
Pray for the rebuilding process; that people will come to know Jesus as the community is rebuilt.
Pray for the churches in and around Botocan as we reach out to neighbors.
Pray for the electric company to be quick in restoring the electricity to our community.