Guest / Limited Access /

I was in Manila last week on  business when Typhoon Ondoy swamped the city. But when it hit, I had no idea it had.

That Saturday, I was staying at a hotel on Manila Bay. I heard rain falling all day, and the few times I went to the lobby to eat, I noticed staff mopping the floor—apparently some water had overflowed from the street into the lobby. The next day, I took a walk early in the morning, and I saw signs of flooding here and there, and a couple of intersections that contained a foot or two of water, but that was about it. The night I arrived, my taxi driver had welcomed me to "monsoon season," and I figured this was just a slightly more than typical rain for the Philippines.

I'm not a CNN watcher, and I had only sporadic Internet access at the hotel, so I used my online time only to check my emails, not the news. Unlike most hotels, a newspaper was not delivered to my door, and since I was immersed in a book at the time, I didn't feel the need for reading material on Sunday, the day after the rains hit. So I was clueless as to what had happened only a few miles away. I would have known more had I been in a hotel in Chicago.

I got my first clue when later that Sunday morning, a taxi driver refused to take me to a church in Makita City, a little south of where I was staying. He said he couldn't get there because of the flooding. Slowly I started to pick up that Ondoy was the worst storm to hit the Philippines in some 40 years, and that hundreds in Manila were dead (the figure now stands at around 250) and hundreds of thousands more left homeless—mostly squatters whose riverbank homes, and a few inhabitants, had been swept away in the floods. 

The next Saturday—when Typhoon Pepeng was supposed to have ...

Subscriber access only You have reached the end of this Article Preview

To continue reading, subscribe now. Subscribers have full digital access.

In "SoulWork," Mark Galli brings news, Christian theology, and spiritual direction together to explore what it means to be formed spiritually in the image of Jesus Christ.
Mark Galli
Mark Galli is Editor of Christianity Today in Carol Stream, Illinois.
Previous SoulWork Columns:
Read These NextSee Our Latest
Current IssueEvangelism, Without the Weird Aftertaste
Subscriber Access Only
Evangelism, Without the Weird Aftertaste
How to share the gospel without making other people—or ourselves—so uncomfortable.
RecommendedAnn Voskamp: We Must Trade Charity for Solidarity
Ann Voskamp: We Must Trade Charity for Solidarity
An excerpt from The Broken Way
TrendingWhy Max Lucado Broke His Political Silence for Trump
Why Max Lucado Broke His Political Silence for Trump
In the face of a candidate’s antics, ‘America’s Pastor’ speaks out.
Editor's PickI Found the Gospel in Communist Romania
I Found the Gospel in Communist Romania
And then I shared it with the man the government sent to kill me.
Christianity Today
Leaning Over and Getting Close
hide thisAccess The Archives

In the Archives

October 2009

To continue reading, subscribe now for full print and digital access.