I have been greatly saddened by the incredible loss of life that we are presently witnessing in the Philippines. It is hard to take in the devastation that Typhoon Haiyan caused to the island of Leyte and other islands throughout the Filipino archipelago. The degree of property damage is unbelievable.
The loss of life is nothing short of terrible. As I watched the news night after night my heart ached at seeing broken families, scores of children without parents and weeping women sharing how their children were swept from their arms. How do we react to calamities of this scale?
I still have very clear images in my mind of the tsunami that hit Japan following the earthquake on March 11 2011. That black swirling mass of water submerging everything in its path still lingers in my subconscious. The loss of life on that day was staggering. Then of course there were the tsunamis that hit South East Asia, the Subcontinent and the Indian Ocean that claimed hundreds of thousands of lives.
As I reflect on the many natural disasters of such magnitude over the past decade it makes me wonder whether we really are in the last days. I can think of catastrophic cyclones, hurricanes, earthquakes, floods, drought and even volcanic eruptions just in recent years that have wiped out hundreds of thousands of people in the prime of their lives. Luke records Jesus as saying that in the last days, “There will be great earthquakes, famines and pestilences in various places, and fearful events and great signs from heaven.” Could we be in the last days? We may well be!
We are so blessed to have members of the Filipino community as part of our church family. I am sure that their hearts are heavy as they realize that their fellow countrymen are suffering immense pain.
How can we walk with them? How can we reach out to the grieving people on the island of Leyte and the other islands? What can we do when we witness such calamity? Let us seek the Lord’s leading as we respond to the great sadness that is before our very eyes night after night on the news.