Sunday, December 03, 2006
I doubt that it made many headlines in Europe or the USA but a couple of months ago a devastating typhoon that hit the Philippines south of Manilla.
For a while now we have been supporting a couple of Filippinos in this area in their work of reaching the lost for Christ.
Lourdes Manabat runs a Christian school on the mainland south of Manilla, the photograph shows some of her pupils. Her husband, Venancio, known as 'Boy', pastors a church on the island of Mindoro, which is a boat journey away. He also runs a free school for the Wawa people on the island. The church on Mindoro recently celebrated its first anniversary on the Island. the picture here shows the entrance. In addition he has undertaken the pastoring of another church on the island.
Recently, we received this e-mail from the Manabats.
"Two months ago, there’s a typhoon named “ Milenio “ a super typhoon strike Mindoro. Sad to say, that the church where our Brethren gathers, totally swept away. Now, they only gather in a four post with shade.
Here is an illustration.
The members in the church want to build it again, but they don’t have means to do it, for most of the members are farmers and selling charcoal that they get in the mountain. Now, as the steward of God in that place, we are burdened. We are praying and praying and think of means on how the church will be built again.
In San. Vicente, there is no Christian Church. Now, through the Grace of God, there will be a Christ Centered Christian Church in that place. Include us always in your prayers, that God will speed up the time in answering our prayers, to build a church building for the Glory of God. The estimated cost to build a simple church building is 3000,00 US dollars. It is not a concrete one, it will be made up of logs, woods and Galvanized Iron sheets. This Christmas, its our hope and faith that the church will be rebuilt again, so that they can worship God in a new sanctuary on Christmas eve.. And it will be a testimony to the community that our God is alive and can make a way, even there’s seems to be no way.
Since Ptr. Boy is pastoring two churches, 25km. Away from Wawa, we are praying for a motorcycle for him to use in taking care of the flock, transportation in going there is limited and there’s only a designated time for the tricycle to go there. We are praying for 1000,00 U$ to buy a motorcycle."
Today, we received another e-mail from Lourdes.
"Greetings in the Most Precious Name of our Lord Jesus Christ.
How are you? Its always our prayer that you are fine and always in good health and the whole family.
This week, the typhoon " Reming " strikes again the Philippines, specially the Province of Bicol Region, where hundrends of people died and buried alive by mud flows.
In Mindoro, our mission field was also strike by the typhoon. The mission House, where Pastor Boy leave was hit by a electric post and a tree. Praise God, for my husband transfer in the church before the post and tree fall down. In the church, he was not able to save the instruments used in Praise and Worship from water. The Church was being used now as an evacuation center,for the houses of the members were badly damage and needs repair.They are just made by nipa hut.
The church in Sn. Vicente... again...totally swept away for the second time. The members are so depressed. I dont know if where they held their worship service yesterday.
There are things that sometimes we dont understand. Christmas is coming, but before Christmas... disaster hit the Philippines, and most of our members were affected, not just their house, but even the Church. They really need prayers and to understand that all things work together for good....
Two days now, i dont have communication to my husband, i dont know now what is happening there, for theres a problem in electricity and communication.He mentioned to me last Friday that the tower of Globe telecoms fell down. But i trust God, that he is fine...
Remember us in your prayers, remember our brethren there in Mindoro. Their livelihood is fishing, but now...they cannot go out in the sea to catch fish to supply their needs.Help us in praying for a miracle blessings for them to survive and overcome all these things and become victorious in their christian life and with all these trials.
As their flock keeper, all we can do is to pray and ask for prayers, that miracles will happen. Some expect from us, but we expect God to move in a miraculous way.
Im so sorry for telling you every detailed of our ministry, you are also our prayer partner and this is also your ministry in the Philippines. You can share our situation and ask for prayers to our brethren, for we really need it... Through prayer, Gods hand move mightily.
God willing, the school permit will be released on the 6th of December. I already got the Mayors Permit.
Please,as Aaron's sponsor, dont be disappointed if Aaron stop in his schooling, we tried our best, but financially, we cant (Aaron is her son). We are disappointed also, specially Aaron, but we can do nothing but to accept it.the everyday expenses becomes our problem, not the entrance fees, because you provide it for them. Sir, i hope you understand. As parent, we want our children to finish their schooling..., but our present situation is our problem.... but i know...this is only TEMPORARY, for the Lord says..." for i know the plans i have for you, plan to prosper you and not to harm you, plan to give us hope..." As Christian, we need to pass this trials...and we will pass it, in Jesus Name.Amen."
We are obviously responding to her plea, but I have posted this message in the hope that others might like to share in this ministry. St Paul wrote this to the Church at Philippi, “ Not that I am looking for a gift, but I am looking for what may be credited to your account…” (Phil ch 4 v 17)
If anybody reading this has the opportunity to visit the Philippines you would be very welcome to help in this ministry of church building.