Elon community gathers to pray for the Philippines
A Nov. 14 vigil offered comfort for those at Elon with connections to the Philippines and prayers for those affected by Typhoon Haiyan.
Elon students, faculty and staff gathered in the Numen Lumen Pavilion’s Sacred Space on Thursday to offer prayers and support for the people of the Philippines who have been affected by Typhoon Haiyan.
Through personal reflection, hymns and scripture readings, members of the Elon community expressed their sorrow over the devastation and loss of life in the Philippines, and also their hope for recovery and reconstruction.
“We gather to confess that our heads and hearts are boggled by the severity of the storm that hit the Philippines,” Elon University Chaplain Jan Fuller said. “Such a natural disaster, although it is far [away] geographically, weighs on us. The plight of the people is heavy, although we may know few of them.
“We remember the dead and the injured, those missing and separated from their families,” she continued. “We give thanks and support for the first responders [and] for those, even in our midst here, who give to ease the burdens of our fellow human beings.”
The Nov. 14 prayer vigil offered those in attendance the opportunity to share scriptures and songs from their own faith traditions. It concluded with the lighting of candles to symbolize hope and healing.
“It was really nice to see that [support], especially from people who didn’t have a personal connection” to the Philippines, Marella Gungob said. The Elon freshman was born in the Philippines and has been forced to witness the devastation in her home country through online news reports and videos.
“It was really hard for me to watch,” she said. “It made me wonder why I wasn’t there.”
Gungob says she’s been touched by the support she’s received from her friends at Elon and through Thursday’s vigil.
“This is our duty and privilege as human beings,” Fuller said of the gathering, “to reach out in care and concern, to shoulder the cares of others and to ask for relief, mercy and healing.”