Many of you have been reading about the super typhoon that hit the Philippines. The main brunt of it hit Tacloban a city located on the Northern end of the island of Leyte (yes, that same Leyte where MacArthur landed in fulfillment of those famous words, "I shall return."). The pictures are beyond description. Just complete devastation. What was once row after row of cement houses is completely flattened. Where life with trees, animals and street vendors once were thriving there is nothing. It reminds me of a picture after a tornado has ripped through. Just debris and ground zero silence.
I was born and raised on the northern island of Luzon in the Philippines. I have never been to Leyte. But after reading the stories I could not help but think, "They are my people. I must do something...what?" After praying about it I have come to the conclusion that I wanted to do more than just send money I wanted to make this personal because it IS personal to me. The Filipino people helped to raise me. They shared their meals, homes and laughter with me. They became my window into a wider world. A world I feel so honored to have known.
When I looked for a map I couldn't help but notice how close Cebu city was from Tacloban. My parents, when they came to be missionaries (they were missionaries for 27 years in the Philippines), first came to Cebu. It sits in the middle of the Islands of the Philippines. My mom was pregnant with my brother, Devin, on the way over to the Philippines. They had never seen the islands before and at every port (they took a ship) my Mom said she would ask God, "Will it look like this?" She said that when she got to the Philippines it wasn't like any place she had ever seen before in her life. And their adventure began with heartbreak and with joy.
Cebu and Tacloban
My sister was 3 years old when Devin was born in Cebu (the first of our family to be born in the Philippines). A month later my parents would bury him. Our family marker. The place we all know on a map by our hearts. It was soon after that my parents moved to the Northern island of Luzon and started a church in Naga. This would become the place where God would work through them. This was where I was born and although I began life with the same sickness as my brother, I lived.
The Philippines sees on average about 19-20 typhoons a year. Storms are nothing new to this part of the world. One of the most striking childhood memories I have is of a typhoon that was coming through Naga and how my mother was literally yelling at the top of her lungs for me to get out of bed and I could not hear her. That is how much the wind was screaming. I was frozen in fear at the sound of it and her voice finally grabbed me and put me back into reality. I can still remember looking outside at the trees as they were sideways, literally sideways in the wind. I felt the power of that storm in my chest and I have never forgotten it.
I think of the children and graves left by this super typhoon. The markers for their families only they don't even have a body to bury. I think about my fear at the sound of the storm and try to imagine the fear that must be thick over the island of Leyte. Even today some will ask, "Will I live? Will I have something to eat? Will I find my loved ones?"
After praying and asking God what I could do I felt Him telling me to offer the 5 loaves and 2 fish that I have. My art.
I have three of the most popular pieces (some are older and some are more recent). All of them will be 8x8 (square shape). I kept them small so that the prices were lower. One print will be $25 and for all three it will be $50. This is on archival paper and will be signed by me (and eyeballed) before shipping. ALL proceeds will go to World Vision disaster relief for Leyte.
"Tree of Protection" will be available in 8x8
"Redemption" will be available in 8x8
"Aslan is Coming" will be available in 8x8
I confess I feel a bit nervous putting this out there and not knowing if anyone will even order but I KNOW God's heart for the Filipinos. I know He has put that love in my heart and that He spurred me on to this idea. I know He will be faithful. My part is to just put it out there. So here I am doing that. If you can't give then please pray for the Philippines. Pray for the precious ones that are suffering. Pray for God's good hand of protection on the most vulnerable that they won't be exploited further. Pray for hope and His church to rise and love.
Paypay buttons were taken down on 12/9/13. All prints were sent out and by the grace of God we were able to raise $3,583.25. Check to World Vision was sent out 12/9/13. Thank you all!