In a small house near the sea, Analyn Longcop, 29, was alone in protecting her two young children when Super Typhoon Yolanda came.

The next morning, phone signals were damaged and her husband Arby was left in Manila without any information about their situation. Days after Yolanda, Arby Longcop had hard times in contacting Analyn and their children in Tacloban City. After a month, Arby was able to go back to the province and found his family living with their relatives.

Arby never came back to Manila again and built a new life in Tacloban. But in Tacloban, they rebuilt their small house near the coastal area. To recover from the damage of Yolanda, Arby needed to find ways to sustain their needs, especially of their children. From the things left from the typhoon, Arby made a makeshift oven and bought even the wet baking powder at the market, just so he can start baking again.

Arby and Analyn with their children in their old house along the coastal area.

Then they started selling bread as their source of income. But even then, there were still worries about the security of their children. “When it rains, we cannot sleep well because we were traumatized by what Yolanda has brought here,” Analyn stated.

When help came to Tacloban City, Analyn found out about the housing project of Operation Blessing Philippines through the Community of Hope in Palanog. She planned to apply but lost her interest, as she remembered, “I heard people saying that when you transfer to COH, they will change your beliefs so I turned down the application.”

The Longop family outside their new house in our Community of Hope in Palanog, Tacloban City.

Months after, Analyn was again encouraged to apply to the housing project in COH when she learned that one of her neighbors also applied as a recipient. Analyn really wanted to have a new house but she still had questions in mind. She then personally went to the Operation Blessing office in Tacloban and have heard good testimonies.

Arby in their bakery near the COH-Palanog.

Analyn Longcop and her family became part of the Batch 2 of families who are recipients of the disaster-resilient houses in the Community of Hope-Palanog last 2016. Operation Blessing Philippines also helped them to start their bakery again as their main source of livelihood in the community.

Through the values formation seminars and spiritual retreats, Analyn and Arby learned the importance of marriage. Last February 14, 2017, they decided to join the Mass Wedding. Analyn also learned how to be more prayerful and is now reading the Bible.

“The values formation seminars are a very big help to us as a family, even to the whole community. I can see that we are more secured here than in our previous house. The people here are not saying bad words unlike from our previous neighborhood. I remember having a comfortable sleep here during our first night,” Analyn uttered excitingly.

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