A Broken Family Heals

A Broken Family Heals

By: Brandy Campbell   |   Posted: June 15, 2007

The Basas family recovers from Typhoon Durian in the Philippines
Francis Basas processed his loss following a devastating Philippines typhoon through drawings and letters to his Compassion sponsor.

Two months after Francis Basas and his mother, Mercoria, escaped Typhoon Durian, 10-year-old Francis finally returned to his Compassion-assisted child development center, now meeting in a makeshift tent. While Francis' friends began a game of soccer, he instead headed for his desk, a sheet of drawing paper clutched in his hand.

Francis' fingers moved quickly as he drew a small house in the center of the paper. On the roof, two figures called for help. With a brown crayon, he filled the rest of the paper with muddy waves. In those waves are six people. Clinging to trees. Floating away. Disappearing in the distance.

Francis squeezes his eyes shut, then picks up his pen and begins writing a letter to his Compassion sponsor.

We had a sad experience when the strong typhoon came to our place. Floods carried us and our house was buried. My father and five siblings died and only the two of us my mother and me were left. As of now we are staying at the evacuation center. Pray for us to have a new house to live in. Papa is now gone, no one will look after us anymore.

Francis and his mother were the only members of their family to survive Typhoon Durian, which struck their home on Nov. 30. His five siblings and his father drowned while trying to escape the mudslides. Relief workers found Mercoria and Francis clinging to trees miles from their home. The rescuers took them to a crowded government-run evacuation center where they were met by Compassion workers from the Daraga Child Care and Learning Center, where Francis is registered.

For the next month, project staff made sure that the grieving mother and son had everything they needed, including food and shelter. Mercoria began attending Compassion-sponsored counseling sessions, and Francis returned to the Compassion center. Because of the support of Compassion partners, life continued on and for that, Mercoria is thankful.

"I want to thank Compassion, and everyone who helped us in this time of need. My son and I were taken care of because so many people gave their time, money and prayers."

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