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Chico priest prays for his family caught in Typhoon Haiyan

By Jerry Olenyn, jolenyn@krcrtv.com
Published On: Nov 13 2013 08:26:42 PM CST
Updated On: Nov 13 2013 11:03:33 PM CST
CHICO, Calif. -

The devastation caused by Typhoon Haiyan in the Philippines made for tense moments for Filipinos who live in the United States. 

Father Renier Siva is the pastor of Our Divine Savior Church in Chico.  A native of the Philippines, he’s been watching news coverage of the disaster very closely..

“Our island is directly on it,” said Father Renier, as he’s known to his parishioners.  He described how the island where his family still lives was in the path of Typhoon Haiyan.  His mother, father and siblings all live there, and all are safe.

Their homes suffered minor damage in the typhoon that’s now estimated to have killed approximately 2,000 people when it struck last Friday.

“I was so worried,” said Siva.

The waiting, the wondering, and the total lack of knowledge about what might happen to his family was excruciating.

As a Roman Catholic priest, Father Renier hears the plights and worries of others.  Now it was his turn.

“Waiting for the news was so devastating. It's so hard.”

As a young lad growing up in the Philippines, Father Renier experienced typhoons first-hand, and remembers one in particular.

“When the wind hit, we would hang on literally hang on to the beams of the house.”

He knew what everyone was in for during Typhoon Haiyan.   But the experience didn't shake his faith.  If anything, it strengthened it.

“I really believe that God is the author of everything. And what we can do is subject ourselves to what God's plan is for us.”

Parishioners of Our Divine Savior may hear more about the father's experience in a future sermon.   A sermon perhaps on the testing of one's faith, even the faith of a priest.