Friday, August 24, 2007

After The Devastation, Thank God We Survived

I thought I would see it only in the movies, but no, that was for real. Two weeks ago, my family and I were swept by rampaging floodwaters caused by the release of overflowing waters from a nearby dam due to continuous torrential rains brought about by the convergence of two typhoons. The flash flood came so fast that we literally have to run for our lives, leaving behind our bungalow to seek shelter in our Christian neighbor's house which was situated on a higher ground. We were marooned there for two days as muddy and murky floodwaters continued to linger during those times. When flood water in the street reached hip deep, my son and I ventured out to see our vacated house and what we saw made our hearts to sink and our bones to shiver. It was total bedlam in our deserted and darkened house. All our appliances were floating or submerged in murky and muddy water. Everything, as in everything was under water. We just retrieved some dry clothes from our closets and some provisions and went back to our temporary shelter after securing our house.

After the flood in the street finally subsided, we fearfully went back to our house and it was still knee deep in flood and so full of mud and slime. We could not turn on the main switch because our electrical outlets were still wet. We had no running water since our water pump was submerged in flood waters too. We literally had to pail off the flood waters from inside our house. All my precious books were beyond redemption. Sets and sets of encyclopedias, Bibles, photo albums, everything were destroyed. Piles of clothings and beddings were in slimy mud and sludge.

We had to pick up everything from scratch. My wife was in the US working and my eldest son was in Makati in southern Metro Manila working in a call center and I was left alone to fend for my three other children. Each piece of appliance had to be repaired. Water pump was repaired so we can have running water again. We had to buy nylon mats to sleep on the floor since all our mattresses were thrown away totally useless.

Days went by as though I was in a daze. So much expenses, so little money left. I found myself being awakened in the middle of the night shedding tears to the Lord.

We had barely picked up the pieces when there it came again. One week after being hit by that calamity, our barangay patrol went from house to house in our village warning us of an impending release of water from that same dam again because of a super typhoon. Two of my eldest sons were out of the house and I was left alone to take care of our two kids. I secured our remaining things as high as I could with a little help from our maid whom I have to send home herself to take care of her own brood and house. Good thing the flood lasted only one day and nothing was damaged with the things I left behind. But the strain was too much for my sickly body.

Now I am left alone bruised and battered in spirit and in emotions. But through these all, I came through because the Lord gave me the strength to carry on. As Job in the Bible said, "God gives, God takes." Thank God, we survived.


HeiressChild said...

hi mel,

i'm glad to see you back on the blog, yet sorry to hear about why you'd been away.

i know it's devastating for what has happened to you and the other people in your town. my heartfelt prayers go out to each of you for strength, peace, and direction as you seek to put things back together again.

i hope your town or city can qualify for some type of relief aid which will help to restore some of what's been lost. i know essential things have been lost for many people.

i'm glad you did survive and since you didn't mention it, i take it no lives were lost. my continued prayers to you and your family, as well as everyone else who's been affected.

Marie said...

I am glad you survived this devastation.

Mel Avila Alarilla said...

Dear Heiresschild,
Thanks for your message of support. Thank God, no lives were lost. I never took the experience too personally. All were affected in our subdivision, town, province and region, whether rich or poor, righteous or unrighteous. It just reinforced in me what I studied in Bible College about God's sovereignty, that He can do as He pleases. No one can question that. We just have to rely on His inherent goodness, mercy and grace, that somehow, someway, restoration will be forthcoming.

Happy birthday again and hey, where's the biggest slice of cake full of icing that you sent? Don't cheat on me. *lol*

Thanks again for your comforting words and God bless you with all the wonderful things in life.

Mel Avila Alarilla said...

Dear Marie,
Thanks for your message of support. I really appreciate that. Belated happy birthday again. So sorry for the delayed greetings. You already know what happened. God bless you with all the best things in life.

david santos said...

Thanks for posting, Mel Avila!
Very nice fhoto and very good work.
Have a good week

Mel Avila Alarilla said...

Hi David Santos,
Thanks for visiting my blog and for your very generous comment. I appreciate that. I visited your blog and I was astounded to find that you have 265 comments on your latest post. Wow, that must be some record of sorts for the most number of comments in a single post. The only problem is you communicate in Spanish (or is it Portuguese?) and I don't speak any of those languages.

Anyway, language barrier aside, thanks again for visiting my blog. Feel free to visit again and leaving whatever comment you like. I don't censor any comments except those that use vulgar language. God bless you more.

Emmyrose said...

Hello Bro.Mel,

My prayers go out to you and to your family.

I thought of you when I heard from the news how devastated your province was and I may have never experienced what you went through but I'm quite sure it was a difficult time for all of you.

I pray that you may have the strength to face what lies ahead in rebuilding what was lost, and may God provide the resources that you need and for continues protection to you and your family, you know rainy season is just about to start and more floods are to be expected.

I'm glad to see you back in blogging though, we missed you! :-)

Mel Avila Alarilla said...

Dear Sis Emmyrose,
Thanks for the kind words and your support. Things like this happen to everyone. I don't mind them. I know the Lord will restore everything to us. Right now, I'm still consolidating my finances to be able to transfer to a higher ground house which would be a two story one. Thanks for your concern. God bless you more.

HeiressChild said...

hi mel, that really is a beautiful pic you have on this post. isn't it amazing that we can still find beauty in the midst of devastation? i hope you and your family are faring well in getting things in order, in spite of all that's happened. peace & blessings to you.

perhaps the cake got washed up? i'll bake another one soon. *lol*

Mel Avila Alarilla said...

Dear Heiresschild,
You're an angel and a blessing to me. I thank the good Lord that I have you for a friend. You lift me up when I'm down. I just want to thank you from the bottom of my heart. I'll wait for the new cake. It might be a big wedding cake, who knows. *lol*

Thanks again for being always there for me and God bless you with all the happiness you richly deserve.

Princess Heidi said...

Hi Dad,
I finally have my own blog spot and personal profile. I don't have to share with your own personal profile. I wish your friends will also visit my blog. Thanks for being such a wonderful dad to me. I love you.

Princess Heidi@@@@@&&&****#####

Princess Heidi said...

Dearest Princess Heidi,
Sorry that it took me quite some time to figure out how you can have your own personal profile in your own blog. Charge that to senility. He, he, *lol* I'm really not that old yet. God bless you in your endeavor to explore the wonderful world of blogging. I love you too.


HeiressChild said...

aaaaah, that is so sweet between you and your beautiful daughter. i saw her name on the blog, and wondered if that was your daughter. then i didn't want to intrude on her blog, which is why i hadn't gone there. but now that princess heidi has extended an invitation to all, i will visit her. *lol* and that reminds me of how our Heavenly Father is to us.

you are such a blessing to me too. i think i said this before--it's good to be able to talk freely about our lifestyle because that's what being a christian is to us--a lifestyle.

i appreciate your comments on my blog. i saw an opportunity to make a little fun at the prez and took advantage of it. these "natural" disasters are exactly that--disastrous. unfortunately, as long we're here on planet earth, we'll have to contend with them, but one day.....

i'm definitely looking forward to having the wedding cake of my choice one of these days, but i'm patiently waiting on God for the groom. *lol*

thank you for the blessings you always speak to people at the end of each post. i wonder if people pay attention to that. i do because i know words have power and i receive every blessing you leave. thanx again and continued prayers and blessings for you, your wife & children, and the rest of the people who've had to contend with the floods, etc.

Mississippi Songbird said...

What a beautifully written blog. Thank you for visiting mine. and of course,you may link if you wish. God Bless you and your family.

Mel Avila Alarilla said...

Dear Mississippi Songbird,
Thanks for visiting my blog and for your very generous comments. I really appreciate that. Thanks also for allowing me to link with your blog. I really want to interact with as many bloggers as I can.

Thanks again. God bless you with everything nice in this world.

Mel Avila Alarilla said...

Dear Heiresschild,
Thanks again for the usual generous and very kind comments you left behind. I will never get tired in reading and appreciating them. They always make my day. As I said before, you always lift me up when I am down. You give me the reason to continue on blogging since I found out that this "ministry" is a thankless job. But we cannot complain where the Lord has positioned us. I could not seem to balance my objective of spreading God's words and making my posts palatable and interesting enough to readers. The very people I had wanted so much to minister to seem to be not interested in my posts. Probably it's my fault as I am so blunt at times for comfort.

Before I came to the blogger's world, I used to send daily inspirational messages to more than 200 people through text messaging (sms)and it was indeed a very expensive chore. But the inspiration for the messages stopped and I found myself directed by the Lord to venture in the internet and put up my own blog. I didn't even know how to operate the computer much less dabble in the intricacies of internet and blogging, but the Lord gave me the wisdom to put up two- Blessings and Random Thoughts. The 1st one was purely spiritual and the 2nd was more secular.

I'm sorry if I troubled you with my personal circumstances. I really have to vent my feelings inside. I feel better now that I know someone really reads my posts and understand me, however hardheaded I may seem to be. Well, that's what friends are for. Thanks for being my friend.

God bless you and your loved ones with all the wit, wisdom, humor and all the pleasant things in life.

Emmyrose said...

Hi Bro.Mel,

Thank you so much for your comments on my blogs, I really appreciate them. I envy the relationship you're sharing with your daughter, my father and I have been estranged for the past few years now and I grew up with so much hatred in him. Anyway, I'll try to visit your adorable daughter's blog.

I'm also inviting you to visit my new site. Dancing With Butterflies ( your presence will be highly appreciated.

God bless and have a nice weekend ahead!

Mel Avila Alarilla said...

Dear sis Emmyrose,
Thanks for visiting my blog again and for the very warm comments. I really appreciate that. My youngest child and I have an astounding bonding. It's a year ago that my wife left for the US to work and I am now the mother and father of our 4 broods. My youngest daughter always misses her mother and she gravitates to me for attention and love. Since she's our only daughter, I have to be extra tender and loving to her.

I sure hope you will forgive your own father for whatever disagreement you have with him. Learn to love him more. I no longer have any parents and I miss them both so much, especially when I'm troubled. You are fortunate if you still have both your parents to look over you in times of distress.
Their love for you is undying and beyond time and space. No amount of caring and attention from friends can ever compared with the unselfish love of one's parents. There's still time to mend fences before death sets in and separate you. That would be tragic.

Anyway, I respect your own feelings and I just gave you some unsolicited advice (here I go again). Thanks again for visiting my blog and for the wonderful comments. God bless you with the realization of all your secret wishes in your heart. God bless you with the happiness and fulfillment you so richly deserve in life.

HeiressChild said...

hi mel,

i hope the weekend is finding you in good spirits. i know you're still recovering from the floods, and that's no easy task in itself, trying to put things back together.

our ministry does seem thankless sometimes, but i always remember that everything i do for Jesus will last, and that He's my great rewarder. i do everything that i do as unto Him. that makes things easier for me a lot of times, especially during the times of persecution.

when we chose our path to walk with Jesus, we chose a different path from the world. when you don't do as others do, in the world, they label you wierd, but when we become christians and don't do as others do, we get persecuted for it.

God sees all and knows all; the important thing is His Word is going out and going forth. i know it gets discouraging sometimes, but like david, i constantly have to encourage myself. part of encouraging myself is blogging. visiting other blogs and reading their posts helps me to take my mind off of my problems. that's why i always insert some humor.

people don't always like truth, and i'm seeing people create their own god in their minds--a god who will allow them to do anything and live any kind of way, apart from the Bible. that's their idol god because the God we serve is a holy and righteous God, and if people would read the Word for themselves, they'd see that. however, you still have those folk who say the Bible was written by man, so why should they believe everything's that written. whoo, scary! (shuddering) sometimes i pray, "forgive them Father because they really don't know; they really don't understand."

keep writing your posts; don't worry about who's interested or not interested. believe me, people are reading. it's ok if some don't come back anymore and leave comments. God is doing this thing, and He will send people over. i know there are people who read my blog, but don't leave comments. i'm not even concerned about the numbers.

i believe God directed you to my blog, and the same way, He will direct you to others, who in turn will come to yours. don't be concerned about who stays or goes; continue being yourself mel.

i don't think you're hardheaded at all; you're doing the work of our Father, and everyone doesn't want to hear that, but do it anyway. always let God lead you, and always obey.

sometimes i do spiritual writings, relating to my circumstances. sometimes i do "junky" stuff like the memes and pictures, etc. the important thing is to let God lead you, and because you're doing His work and will, everybody won't get on board. but that's ok too.

didn't mean to write a book here (lol), but i wanted to say this to you and so, it took up a little more space. *lol* enjoy the rest of your weekend and your family. do you all celebrate "labor day" in the philippines?

HeiressChild said...

i can relate to emmyrose and her relationship with her dad. my dad is deceased now, but when he was living, he was mean and insulting to me pretty much my whole life.

because of that, i was always looking to men for that love, and of course, it wasn't working out because you can't subsitute a dad's love for a man's love. they're two entirely different kinds of love.

while i'll never know a natural father's love, i do know my spiritual Father's love, and for that i'm thankful. God's love has healed many places in my heart, and is still healing me.

people who grew up with loving parents are really blessed, but unfortunately it doesn't always happen that way. my mother's still living and we're not close. we talk sometimes, but she still has a mean streak, so to avoid getting in that path, i don't interact with her too much.

i've forgiven my parents, and have a love for my mother, but there has to be some distance right now. it's a lot of dysfunction in my family across the board, but i've seen God move over the years, and will continue to believe Him for my total family's salvation.

i'm glad about your relationship with your daughter, even to the point of you understanding since her mom isn't there right now, you have to give her the extra (tender)love and attention. believe me, it's going to make a difference as she gets older. it will give her greater confidence and assurance, i believe. there's nothing like a father's love. unfortunately, some of never got to experience that.

Mel Avila Alarilla said...

Dear Heiresschild,
You are like the Daily Bread to me. You sum it all and I'm very much grateful to you for that. You see, I lost everything that is readable in the flood, my Bibles, my Daily Bread, my books on theology, everything. I miss them all since I'm a regular bookworm. It's nice that I have memorized a lot of key verses and I lived by them for my spiritual nourishment. I also listen to, but there's nothing like the regular Bible in your hand. Maybe, the Lord is teaching me a valuable lesson in this episode of my life. I have no bitterness though for all that had happened to us, including the plight of my wife in the US who is finding it hard to get a regular job there since her papers are not yet in order. But I always hold on to God's promise in Romans 8:28, "All things work together for the good of those who loved Him, who have been called according to His purpose." Even in the midst of a catastrophe, there is always something good in that as the Lord has promised and I hold on to that.

Nice of you to lift up my spirit when things are not doing well with my blogging. Sometimes there's a nagging thought in my mind whether it's all worth it. But I can't help it. I cannot disobey God when He placed me in this blogger's world.

Regarding Emmyrose, I hope you can communicate with each other. She's a very remarkable woman too. She's suffering from a rare disease called lupus but like Marja, she is doing so many things for others to lift them up in their own struggles. God bless you ladies for your noble endeavors.

Thanks for the spiritual nourishment. I needed that. God bless you and your loved ones with every blessings in God's great storehouse of blessings. May you find happiness in your loved life too.

oomi said...

thanx sir for your kind comment on my blog you were apcilutely rite.
and shure sir i will be honourd

Dr. Deb said...

Oh, how terrible. I am glad that you and your family are all right!

Mel Avila Alarilla said...

Dear Ooomi,
Thanks for visiting my blog and for your very respectful comments. I will always visit your blog to find out what's going on in Pakistan. You have such a strong social awareness for someone at your tender age of 17. God bless you, your family and your country with all the blessings in His great storehouse of blessings.

Mel Avila Alarilla said...

I'm sorry Oomi for misspelling your name. Typographical error, or you may say, "senilitical" error. He, he, *lol*

Mel Avila Alarilla said...

Dear Dr. Deb,
Glad to have you back in blogger's world. Things were a lot different without you around. We missed your wonderful posts. Anyway, thanks for your concern. We're all okay now. Things are getting back to normal. God bless you and your family with everything that is pleasant and wonderful in this world.

alienkeren said...

I heard about the flood on the news...
never imagine that someone I know (virtually) had to experience that...
Hope you're doing fine now.

Mel Avila Alarilla said...

Dear Alien,
Thanks for visiting my blog and for the very comforting comments you left behind. Yes, we had become victims of a natural calamity. I remember the own devastation suffered by Indonesia during the great tsunami several years ago. We were appalled by the terrible loss of lives and properties
during that catastrophe. The Philippines and Indonesia both belong to the Pacific rim of fire where volcanic eruptions, earthquakes, typhoons and giant tidal waves are a natural occurrence. Thanks again for visiting my blog. I will always visit yours as often as I could as I already linked up with your blog. God bless you with all the very best in life.

Paris said...

whoa! where do you live? i' glad you and your family are fine

Mel Avila Alarilla said...

Dear Paris,
We live in a subdivision here in Bocaue, Bulacan. There's no planning in this part of Bulacan as far as public roads are concerned. They just raised the level of the highways unmindful of the deleterious effects that would bring to the adjoining houses and other structures there. Another thing, we are always at the mercy of rampaging floodwaters every time the dams in Bulacan are full and excess waters are released. Thanks for the comforting words. God bless you always.

Jim said...

the world is glad u guys survived
without loosing your faith in Jesus

"Today, if you hear His voice, do not harden your hearts" (Hebrews 4:7b)


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