Construction Begins

Trip Start Jun 28, 2013
Trip End Aug 25, 2014

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Flag of Philippines  , Eastern Visayas,
Tuesday, April 1, 2014

No April Fool's Joke this year! Construction has truly begun in Cangumbang today!

I am so elated to share the amazing news. The past few weeks have been extremely busy for me, especially after being slowed down for almost two weeks with various illnesses. Though I am still fighting off a cold and cough, and I'm overwhelmed with excitement that things are happening in Cangumbang and the future is within arms reach. Our lovely Architect Claudette told me on Monday that she thinks it is possible the center can be completed in 2 weeks, with the help of the amazing community members and some VFV volunteers too I am sure. I am crossing my fingers it is finished enough to have a small blessing ceremony on Easter Day, a truly perfect day for the celebration of the center's reopening.

I cannot thank all of you enough, from those MSU Grad students that donated money back in 2011 so I could help build my first home in Cangumbang, to my extended family that pooled money to build more homes and supply bikes to some of the children that same year, to the elementary schools in Sturgis and the Greater Grand Rapids area that continue to carry out fundraisers for Cangumbang and VFV, to the churches, especially Holy Angels Church, who have bound together and devoted themselves to helping others a world away, to all of you who have reached out to me since the typhoon with open arms and generosity willing to do anything you can to help support the Cangumbang Community and all of VFV's projects. I am amazed every time a need is filled.

I will share photos soon of course!

Tomorrow I will attend the Recognition Ceremony for the 3rd and 4th grade students at Cangumbang Primary School. I am so eager to see some of my children get recognized for their hard work and dedication, literally against all odds. They are my little heroes (even when they make me feel like a mother of 100!).

More and more homes are being constructed in Cangumbang thanks to Catholic Relief Services, and the children are so excited to show me the progress each weekend. VFV will begin our very own Build A Home Projects in Cangumbang, hopefully by the end of the month, thanks to St John Bosco Parish. I also hope to utilize funds from the Sturgis Community Fundraiser to rebuild the local chapel in Hibicaan (the area of Cangumbang that surround the center) and finish the remaining safety needs of the center, like the window grills and storm covers.

Nearly 5 months has passed and there is still much to be done. Tacloban, and all the towns and villages affected by the typhoon, are trying hard to rebuild. In every neighborhood you can feel the determination in the air. 

The Filipino people have illustrated their resiliency before the entire world, to an extent I never knew possible, and they will forever be grateful for the support of so many countries.

Mabuhay! :)

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Kayla Patterson on

This is so exciting Elsa. Thank goodness for YOU, and your hard work and determination. I'm so happy for you! :)

Betty Casult on

This is awesome news. I am so proud of you and all the hard work you do. You are their angle of all that is kind and good. God bless you. Take care of your self and get completely well. love you

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