News / Asia

Philippine Church Near DC Prays for Homeland

Philippine Church Near DC Prays for Homelandi
|| 0:00:00
...  
🔇
X
Ira Mellman
November 11, 2013 4:13 AM
Alvenia Ropeta of the Philippine International Bible Church in Laytonsville, Maryland prays for her family and homeland.
Alvenia Ropeta of the Philippine International Bible Church in Laytonsville, Maryland prays for her family and homeland.
Ira Mellman
As the rescue efforts continue in the aftermath of the typhoon in the Philippines, expatriates across the globe are mobilizing efforts to help.
 
A typical case is that of the Philippine International Bible Church in Laytonsville, Maryland, not far from Washington, DC, where around 50 churchgoers gathered following their pastor's call for help. Pastor Nardito Manalang suggested each parishioner place extra money into collection envelopes passed among the congregants to raise funds for those affected.
 
"This is not the first time that this is happening. All of us were saddened and shocked actually by the impact of it. Today, we took a special offering to give people a chance to write a second check - a separate envelope designated just for this… as part of our international involvement. The name of our church is ‘international.’ We feel we are obligated to the world and share its pain and sorrow as well as its joy," said Manalang.
 
Among those gathered at the church, several members had relatives, some of them very close relatives, who live in the Philippines and are in the path of the storm. One of them is Alvenia Ropeta.

Alvenia Ropeta of the Philippine International Bible Church prays for her family - Part 2i
|| 0:00:00
...  
🔇
X
Ira Mellman
November 11, 2013 4:21 AM
Alvenia Ropeta of the Philippine International Bible Church in Laytonsville, Maryland prays for her family and homeland - Part 2

"My 2-year-old son, Luke Jefferson Ropeta… He is with my sister-in-law in Banistawtacloben. It's in Fatima Village close to Robinson Mall. Since the typhoon, I have not heard anything. I have not had any communication with them. I can't reach them and I don't know if they really have survived. I'm trying to find out… [looking on] Facebook and everything like that [to see] if their name would appear, but I have not heard anything,” said Ropeta.
 
Ropeta said that her relatives are likely struggling to get even the most basic things.
“I believe the area that was flattened was very close to my houses, or where we lived. I don't know if they have like a roof over their head, clothes or if they have water to drink, or if they have food. So those are the primary needs they can survive,” said Ropeta.
“It is beyond explanation. It is very overwhelming. I feel numb right now. My tears just run down my eyes. I don't know how to explain it. It's just very painful just to imagine the suffering. My loved ones and all of the Filipinos who are affected by the typhoon they are experiencing right now. It's just beyond my imagination,” she continued.
 
Despite everything, Ropeta also expressed feelings of hope and implored her family to remain strong.

“Just be still. Just be still and hang in there. That's what I'm exactly doing over here. I'm putting all of my trust and faith that God is in control and He will make sure that we will get through all of these trials and calamities, that He will be taking care of us. And give Luke my warmest hug and kiss him for me," said Ropeta.
It is that faith, the cornerstone of the church, that remains the central message of Pastor Manalang.

"We will do the best that we can to share our love and comfort and encouragement to these, our people who have been affected. And then, of course, reassure them we are in this boat together. We will walk together through it. Remember, there is more to God and belief in the Lord beyond what our senses can see and interpret and understand," said Manalang.

Alvenia Ropeta of the Philippine International Bible Church prays for her family - Part 3i
|| 0:00:00
...  
🔇
X
Ira Mellman
November 11, 2013 4:41 AM
Alvenia Ropeta of the Philippine International Bible Church in Laytonsville, Maryland prays for her family and homeland - Part 3

You May Like

Turkish Public Fears Jihadists More Than Kurds

Turkey facing twin threats of terrorism by Islamic State and PKK Kurdish separatists, says President Erdogan’s ruling AK Party More

Video One Year After Massacre, Iraq’s Yazidis a Broken People

Minority community still recovering from devastating assault by IS militants which spurred massive outrage More

‘Malvertisements’ Undermine Internet Trust

Hackers increasingly prey on users' trust of major websites to delivery malicious software More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Iraqi Yazidis Fear Death of Their Communityi
X
Sharon Behn
August 03, 2015 2:23 PM
A year ago on August 3, Islamic State militants stormed the homelands of Iraq’s Yazidi minority, killing hundreds of men and enslaving thousands of women. The scenes of desperate Yazidi families crowding on the top of Sinjar mountain without food or water spurred Kurdish fighters into action, an emergency airlift and the start of the U.S. airstrike campaign against the Islamic State Sunni extremists. VOA's Sharon Benh reports from northern Iraq.
Video

Video Iraqi Yazidis Fear Death of Their Community

A year ago on August 3, Islamic State militants stormed the homelands of Iraq’s Yazidi minority, killing hundreds of men and enslaving thousands of women. The scenes of desperate Yazidi families crowding on the top of Sinjar mountain without food or water spurred Kurdish fighters into action, an emergency airlift and the start of the U.S. airstrike campaign against the Islamic State Sunni extremists. VOA's Sharon Benh reports from northern Iraq.
Video

Video Bangkok Warned It Soon Could Be Submerged

Italy's Venice and America's New Orleans are not the only cities gradually submerging. The nearly ten million residents of the Bangkok urban area now must confront warnings the city could become uninhabitable in a few decades. VOA Correspondent Steve Herman reports from the Thai capital.
Video

Video Inclusive Gym Gets People With Disabilities in Fitness Spirit

Individuals with special needs are 58 percent more likely to be obese than the general population. According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control, they also have an increased likelihood of anxiety, depression and social isolation. But a sports club outside Washington wants to make a difference in these people's lives. With Carol Pearson narrating, VOA's June Soh reports.
Video

Video Astronauts Train Underwater for Deep Space Missions

Manned deep space missions are still a long way off, but space agencies are already testing procedures, equipment and human stamina for operations in extreme environment conditions. Small groups of astronauts take turns in spending days in an underwater lab, off Florida’s southern coast, simulating future missions to some remote world. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Special Olympics Show Competitors' Skill, Determination

Special Olympics competitions will wrap up Saturday in Los Angeles, and the closing ceremony for athletes with intellectual disabilities will be held Sunday night. In a week of competition, athletes have shown what they can do through skill and determination. VOA's Mike O'Sullivan reports.
Video

Video Civil Rights Leaders Struggled to Achieve Voting Rights Act

Fifty years ago, lawmakers approved, and U.S. President Lyndon Johnson signed, the Voting Rights Act of 1965. The measure outlawed racial discrimination in voting, giving millions of blacks in many parts of the southern United States federal enforcement of the right to vote. Correspondent Chris Simkins introduces us to some civil rights leaders who were on the front lines in the struggle for voting rights.
Video

Video Shooter’s Grill: Serving Food with a Touch of the Second Amendment

Shooter's Grill, a restaurant in Rifle, Colorado, attracts visitors from all over the world as well as local patrons. The reason? Waitresses openly carry loaded firearms as they serve food, and customers are welcome to carry them, too. VOA's Enming Liu and Lin Yang paid a visit to Shooter's Grill, and heard different opinions about this unique establishment.
Video

Video Despite Controversy, Business Owner Continues Sale of Confederate Flags

At Cooter’s, a store in rural Sperryville, Virginia, about 120 kilometers west of Washington, D.C., Confederate flags are flying off the shelves. The red, white and blue battle flag, with 13 white stars representing the Confederate states, was carried by southern forces during the U.S. Civil War in the 1860s. The South had seceded from the Union over several key issues of disagreement, including slavery. VOA’s Deborah Block has the story.
Video

Video Booming London Property a ‘Haven for Dirty Money’

Billions of dollars of so-called ‘dirty money’ from the proceeds of crime - especially from Russia - are being laundered through the London property market, according to anti-corruption activists. As Henry Ridgwell reports from the British capital, the government has pledged to crack down on the practice.
Video

Video Hometown of Boy Scouts of America Founder Reacts to Gay Leader Decision

Ottawa, Illinois, is the hometown of W.D. Boyce, who founded the Boy Scouts of America in 1910. In Ottawa, where Scouting remains an important part of the legacy of the community, the end of the organization's ban on openly gay adult leaders was seen as inevitable. VOA's Kane Farabaugh reports.

VOA Blogs