John Campbell live
My wife, Jewel and John Campbell.

Last year, Typhoon Haiyan devastated the provinces of the Visayas, particularly Tacloban City and many towns of Leyte and Samar in the Philippines.

John Campbell, New Zealand journalist and TV personality campaigned for funds to help the typhoon-stricken Philippines.

Through his TV show “Campbell Live”, a total of NZ$750,000 was raised for the Philippines.

The donated amount was coursed through UNICEF.

Taking time to visit our friends in Auckland, we had the unexpected chance to meet John Campbell of Campbell Live on 27 December 2013.

Going around Aukland CBD, we took the ferry from Auckland port to Devonport, a 12-minute boat ride across the bay.

Jewel spotted and recognised him when his group embarked on the ferry.

As we were nearing Devonport, we took the opportunity to approach him and thank him for helping the Philippines.

For us, it was very rare opportunity to have met John and to personally thank him for what he has done. We are quite elated.

We approached him and introduce ourselves and told him how grateful we are for his support. John asked how was our family in the Philippines.

My wife shared that her town of Ajuy was badly hit but her family was okay.

I believe that nothing happens by accident. Everything is well-planned under God as Jeremiah assured the Israelites in Jeremiah 29:11

“For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.”

After that short encounter with John Campbell, I and my wife thank the Lord God for the many possibilities He is giving despite storms and trials. Last year’s calamity event was a great opportunity to help.

Within hours after Typhoon Haiyan hit our towns in the Philippines, I and Jewel helped provide information to relatives and friends around the world through Facebook and Twitter.

Using our internet marketing skills, we helped raise funds for food and relief via Facebook. Working with several young professionals town mates who received the money and buy food, we also helped in coordinating their delivery.

We helped raise funds and coordinate relief distribution right here in our living room in Timaru, New Zealand for over a week after the calamity. I also assisted a Filipino family in Clandeboye locate their missing family member through Google and social media.

We just can’t stand doing nothing while our calamity-stricken fellowmen are suffering so we spent hours getting in touch with friends from around the world.

Later, we requested the support of Hopevale Trust for our local fund-raising effort here in New Zealand. Please read more about these at our ministry blog “Multicultural Response“.

For us, meeting John Campbell in Auckland is a great respite and break from a month-long of helping our co-Filipinos and to ready us for a further fund-raising campaign. Working with Hopevale Trust, our fund-raising activities continue in the first quarter of 2014.

I wrote this recollection today after watching the news coverage of the onslaught of Super-typhoon Hagupit.

John presented the progress of the UNICEF’s work in Tacloban in last night’s Campbell Live episode.

See last night’s feature by clicking on the image below:

Campbell Live

PHOTO CREDIT: The image above was taken from the “Typhoon Hagupit: Philippines govt better prepared?” video.