Since telling her testimony to local churches, the Presbyterian Women from First Presbyterian Church have collected t-shirts, clothing and household items that will be shipped directly to Robertson's church and to the Presbyterian Bethany Hospital in Los Banos, Laguna (which is currently operating out of a tent).
Buckner International Benevolence donated 450 t-shirts to the Presbyterian Women's group to send to the Philippines.
In addition, the United Methodist Women at First United Methodist Church and a group of Baptist women are collecting items such as children's clothing and quilts.
Items are still being collected locally with plans set to pack boxes the first week in March. To donate items, call Joan Rhone at 903-729-5139.
Robertson's father was a preacher and her mother was a nurse.
“They were really some of the first Protestant converts in the Philippines,” Robertson said, noting her father received his calling after hearing a preacher share the gospel on a street corner during his earlier days.
Growing up, they lived in the city with their six daughters and one son. At age 9, Robertson was going to school along with her siblings. Her father led a local church.
On Dec. 7, 1941, things changed on the day Pearl Harbor was attacked.
“Our teacher said go home now — no school. If you see airplanes, get in the ditch. We grabbed a bundle we could carry with a few quilts and hardly any food because there was no time,” Robertson recalled. “We went to the bus station. It was very chaotic. We were evacuated to the other side of the island. It is still very vivid to me.”
Eventually, the family ended up in the jungle, having to build a shelter out of bamboo and palm leaves, as natives do in the Tropics. They lived in the jungle for four years until the war ended.