I’ve just received updates from Deacon George in Russia and from an Orthodox friend in Davao City.
From: Юрий Максимов
Subject: News from Leyte
Dear fathers, I got news, that all ten orthodox in Palo, Leyte are alive. All their homes damaged, but people alive. Just with fr. Savva still no connection. Tomorrow fr. Philip and fr. Kyril, who visited Philippines these days, will go to Tacloban, please, pray for them.
D. George Maximov
And Alpheus in Davao City writes:
I just talk Alex (Nikolai), he said that no casualty among the new ROCOR parishioners in their area. His location today is Tacloban. But he has no idea about Fr. Crispo Holanda Salinas. According to Alex, their houses are destroyed by the typhoon. No electricity yet in Tacloban but there are few volunteers who let them charge their phones…I am happy that they are safe. I do not know those in Tubabao. Maybe Fr. Philip has already informations. Praying for Fr. Crispo Holanda Salinas.
Father Sava (Crispo Holanda Salinas) is the Antiochian priest who served with us in Tacloban and Palo. He posted on Facebook on Sept. 8, so we know he was alive and well immediately after the storm, but we have not heard from him since.
We are grateful that all the Orthodox faithful in hard-hit Palo have survived, but their situation is grave. The Filipino monk Father Philip is trying to visit the area today. If he is able to connect with them he may have more information, including material ways we can help. In the mean time, we thank God for these ten brothers and sisters, but there are hundreds of thousands of others in need of prayer.
Sheer numbers can be heartbreaking and lead to despair. But God is not intimidated by numbers. A disciple once asked one of the Desert Fathers how to pray. His answer: “There is no need to speak much in prayer; often stretch out your hands and say, ‘Lord, as You will and as You know, have mercy!'”
I’ll share more as I learn it.