Two years ago in November, Typhoon Ruby made way for Operation Blessing Foundation Philippines to meet the people of Eastern Samar.

In Barangay Mantang, Taft, Pastora Melina Pines received a call from someone she did not know asking for her church’s help in a disaster relief effort in their community. She even said that she felt joy when she agreed to work with Operation Blessing.

Bless-A-Child Eastern Samar

Although she had no idea how OB was able to contact her, Pastor Melina said she had not thought of all the hardships that they will undergo. Instead, she focused on the good side of the work – that this can be a way for her community to know the Lord.

Church Involvement in Disaster Efforts

Operation Blessing Philippines partners with churches all over the country to follow up the physical and spiritual lives of the people.

The Jesus our Victory Church, the church where Pastor Melina serves, lies inside a small neighborhood. It was built on a lot given by a church member. The walls show an ongoing construction with expenses being pledged by the members. The church has its regular services, but as a starting church, it has also some struggles. The church had its first service with only five people.

Pastor Melina shared that the church was not yet known in the community. “Our church then was not yet known in the community. We were struggling with the consistency of the bible studies and commitment of the people,” said Pastor Melina.

Eastern Samar Bless A Child

One of the recipients of shelter kits during Typhoon Ruby disaster efforts.

Eastern Samar Bless A Child

One of the recipients of shelter kits during Typhoon Ruby disaster efforts.

In 2015, Operation Blessing Philippines went to Barangay Mantang to extend help to the typhoon-affected people by giving shelter kits,  conducting feeding program and distributing free wheelchairs after Typhoon Ruby battered their town.

“Through the efforts, we were able to reach out to the people around us. There are also others who have heard that we work with Operation Blessing, and they looked for the church and started attending,” Pines snapped as she remembered this.

Greater Challenges

During the disaster efforts, Pastor Melina told Operation Blessing that there were people who were asking her if she does not get tired of all they were doing.

“Someone even told me to stop because I receive nothing from it,” Pastor Melina continued, “I told them, I am not expecting anything in return. I am just happy with what I am doing because I know that it is for the Lord.”

‘I have witnessed the changes’

The efforts had already ended a year ago but Pastor Melina still walks every day to visit and follow up each family who received help from Operation Blessing Philippines.

When asked why she was doing this, Pastor Melina smiled while saying, “I have seen the changes in the people and even in my own church.”

“Today, from Sunday to Friday, with the help of the committed volunteers, we now have Bible Studies in different households around the community. Families, who were the recipients of help through the programs, are now attendees of their church.”

“Some even told me that they are willing to host bible studies in their home,” she said excitingly. “The members also learned how to be more prayerful.”

Their local government unit now involves their church into some activities in their barangay.

“I never really expect that all of these will have a great impact for me, for the church, and for the people. I only thought at first that these efforts will only feed the physical needs of the people, but then realizations came, and I saw that these are only ways to meet their spiritual needs,” ended Pastor Melina.

Be part of the Hope Builders now and let us reach out to people in need! Call 477-78-02 or email us at [email protected] to learn how you can be a partner of Operation Blessing.