I am headed to the Philippines soon. It was sudden. Just last week on “Giving Tuesday” the Sound of Life Radio (the Local Christian Radio Station) chose to have me be their “gift” to the Philippines. The radio audience generously gave to purchase my airline ticket so I can go and bring comfort and hope, in the form of psychological and spiritual aid. If you question what good psychological aid is when there is so much devastation – keep reading over the coming weeks. It matters. A lot.
We are also collecting toiletries, medical supplies, crank flashlights, bug spray with deet, and various other needed practical aid. Our goal in our ministry (www.hesedhope.org) is body, soul, and spirit. It all matters to be whole.
We will bring as much as our financial donations allow us to purchase, and to carry or ship.
I will teach the victims of the disaster that the awful nightmares, physical discomforts, emotional distress, confusion etc. is “common” for an uncommon event. I will teach them some coping mechanisms so hopefully we can reduce the long term effects of PTSD, and anxiety. They will get some helpful hints for their children. Or in the case of orphans, their nieces, nephews, neighbors etc. As I learned in Haiti, the chances of any ever seen any “mental health professional’ is very slim. So I will give them current disaster psychological and spiritual cares best. I will give them God’s best – hope. I will do my best. And I will pray that like my Haitian friends, they will be helped, and that God will show up in my frail, weak, limited, scared, humanity, and relieve some of their suffering.
Mostly, as I did from my Haitian friends, I will learn from them. I will learn what it really means to suffer, and yet to survive, to lose and yet to live, to fear and yet to love.
I will come home a better person for it. I know God will show up, but not really in me, but in them. And that is where the real miracle of humanitarian aid lies, in empowering others to see Emmanuel, God with us.