Finding Joy in the Midst of Life’s Ordeals

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Written By Sheena Ferrer, Writer, CBN Asia

While some of the victims of Typhoon Yolanda still remain under the roof of their makeshift homes, Benny Ortega, also a typhoon survivor, made sure that the catastrophe they experienced would not cripple his ability to provide for his family.

He admitted that it was hard for them to start anew but because life is already demanding as it is, he couldn’t help but work double time and think of practical ways for them to survive.

A few days after the onslaught of Yolanda, Tatay Benny volunteered to help Operation Blessing (OB) in its disaster relief operation in Tacloban. He helped the OB team by driving them around the city and nearby towns. “I am thankful that I got connected with OB. Through them, I was able to rekindle the joy I once had in serving and helping people,” Benny shared.

He also added that his stay with OB helped him quit his vices and be more responsible. “I was once a heavy drinker and I smoked a lot, but because I am surrounded by people who work for the Lord, I am confident that I am in good company,” he said.

From his salary as an OB driver, Tatay Benny was also able to raise money to fix their house, buy a new TV, refrigerator, dining set, and electric fan for his family. He said that, “This is my reward for my being a good steward of God’s grace and blessings.”

Aside from working as the OB team’s driver, Tatay Benny also owns a small sari-sari store and a tricycle as their other source of income. He shared that because of his hard work and simple lifestyle, he was able to redeem himself from the seemingly hopeless case that he was after the typhoon.

Aside from being part of OB’s family, Tatay Benny and his community in Brgy 12, Palanog, Tacloban City were also beneficiaries of Operation Blessing’s Water and Sanitation (WATSAN) Program. This program aims to build communal toilets and water wells in places that are deprived of safe and clean drinking water.

“We are grateful that OB saw our need for potable drinking water. We used to dig and extract water from underground for our everyday needs. We even spent hours digging the riverside to quench our thirst,” Tatay Benny shared.

With all the blessings that they have received through OB, Tatay Benny says, “May the Lord bless your kind and generous hearts! He has amazing plans for all of us,” he added, “I am rejoicing and I am excited!”

Because of your faithful giving, our kababayans who are still struggling to make a living now have a chance to live life with dignity and self-respect. Help us reach out to more people in the Visayas region and other parts of the Philippines, and together, let’s be a blessing to our nation!

Operation Blessing’s typhoon Yolanda Disaster Response efforts have already served a total of 805,361 individuals or 144,912 families in Samar, Leyte, Northern Cebu, Palawan, and Panay Island. Do you want to make a difference? Join our pool of volunteers and partner with us today! Call us at these numbers: 477-7802 to 04 and 06/0939.921 5543/ 0922.803.6922/0917.581.2603 or visit our website at obphil.com/home  for more details.

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