Pastor Nonita Oclarit, 62, is a pastor at Christ Faith Fellowship in Roxas, San Isidro, Surigao del Norte. She passionately desired to see the Word of God flourish in San Isidro through their local church. But she never imagined that just a few years later, their church would be a beneficiary of Operation Blessing and Kalayag’s Rehabilitation Project after the devastating tropical cyclone, Typhoon Rai (locally known as Odette), hit their region in December 2021.
“During the onslaught of Odette, our roof was taken off our house. My daughter and I went near the door, saw the damage around our neighborhood, and escaped through a small hollow. We kept praying because we did not know what to do,” Nonita narrated.
“It was so devastating that we couldn’t operate as though it was business as usual,” she added, recalling how the storm washed out their church and their house.
But there has been hope amid the despair, like the empty lot given to them in 2017 which remained unscathed after the storm. “We are all about finding those bright spots,” Nonita said.
Nonita started ministering soon after, encouraging her church members to pivot from suffering to servanthood. Congregants walked through the disaster-hit zone and began forging metals that can still be utilized to rebuild the church. They also received coco lumbers from Kalayag’s Project Noah who partnered with Operation Blessing in purchasing the chainsaws needed.
Amid the grief of losing their beloved church, Nonita has asked her members to “worship God with joy” and find the promise of hope that is found in the miraculous hands of God.
But above all, Nonita is grateful. “I thank Operation Blessing and Project Noah for choosing me as one of their beneficiaries. As a widow, it has been so difficult thinking about how to recover from this disaster. Then you came and blessed us with all these materials. We will never forget your kindness!”
If you want to help our disaster-stricken kababayans like Nonita, contact 09399215543 or 09189067753.
DSWD-SB-SP-000061-2021-Nationwide. Valid until Nov 23, 2022.