Emma Roa Oliva is a volunteer teacher working in Claveria, Masbate. Typhoon Tisoy struck southern Luzon last December 2019, it brought about strong winds and rain that destroyed a lot of infrastructure in the island of Masbate. Emma’s house was made of wood so when the winds began to blow, she decided to take her children seek shelter in her mother’s concrete home. She considers it as God’s intervention because a coconut tree had ended up falling on their house during the Typhoon.
In the days that followed, Emma and her husband tried their best to repair their house with the limited resources that they had. It was fortunate that the coconut tree hadn’t destroyed the furniture and other appliances that they had, making it easier for them to move back in by arranging their things in a section of their house that wasn’t destroyed.
Life has been challenging for Emma and her family. Her husband used to be an OFW (Overseas Filipino Worker), but because he developed a problem with his eyes, he was forced to come back to the Philippines. As a result, Emma became the primary breadwinner of her family. She receives a small stipend working as a volunteer missionary teacher, but because this is not enough for their daily needs, she makes dried fish every Sunday to sell and augment their household income.
There were many instances that Emma wanted to go also go abroad and work as an OFW to fund her husband’s eye surgery. She decided to stay for her children, relying on her teaching stipend and the small income from the dried fish to be able to pay for their daily expenses.
Trying to rebuild their house after Typhoon Tisoy was a challenge, because even finding materials to protect their things from the rain was difficult. That’s why they were ecstatic when they received the household and emergency shelter repair kits that ADRA distributed in their town as part of the Typhoon Tisoy response. Emma is full of hope. Both she and her husband are praying that, just as God provided the materials for their house, He will also provide them with the means to be able to buy medicine her husband’s eyes. Emma will not stop praying and have faith that God will provide.