The following is excerpted from the Church News. To read the full article, CLICK HERE.

Peeking through the door of his small cinder block home, Jorge Alvarez smiled. “I’m very happy to be home,” he said. “But there’s a lot of clean-up to do.”

After spending 25 days in the Batangas Philippines Stake Center — where he sought refuge following the evacuation of his hometown of Lemery, Philippines — Alvarez was excited to be home.

The Taal Volcano erupted on Jan. 12, sending a large plume of ash, steam and rocks miles into the air and impacting 96,061 people — including Alvarez and his family.

Alvarez, who is dependent on a wheelchair or crutches for mobility, returned home from the stake center to a crumbling roof and walls and thick layers of volcanic ash.

“My back aches from sitting in the chair,” Alvarez said, motioning to the wheelchair now pushed against the wall inside his home. But the stake center that served as his family’s evacuation center was much too big for Alvarez to get around comfortably using his crutches. So when the opportunity came to return home, Alvarez jumped at it.

To read the full article, CLICK HERE.