AJUY, the Philippines - During Typhoon Haiyan, many people were forced to evacuate their homes to seek higher ground or safer refuge. Villagers from Bobog needed to escape the remote area they were living in because of the great danger from the many trees around them and falling structures. As they were walking, Pastor Enlyn Rubrico shared with us that the fish ponds on either side of the road were rising up and they were not sure how they would cross. Suddenly, as they reached the crossing point, the waters receded and there was dry land for the villagers to cross. As soon as the last one made it past the pond, the water again covered the road. God protected the villagers that day and gave them a safe passage in the midst of the storm.
We visited Bobog Baptist Church today, where Pastor Enlyn serves each week and were blessed to hear a song from the village children. Pastor Ernest asked them to sing for us and immediately, with huge smiles on their faces, they willingly began to sing. The powerful expression of their faith through these words again touched my heart.
When the oceans rise and thunders roarI will soar with you above the storm Father you are king over the flood I will be still and know you are God
God is in control of each situation in the Philippines. It is so evident that He is working and lives are being changed. Jenson, one of the ministers from the Philippine Convention, shared with us that through this storm, their relationships have been strengthened with the churches in their convention. The pastors have received great encouragement through the support and care of their fellow brothers and sisters in Christ.
It has been such a blessing this week to take part in the work of encouraging these churches. Through generous offerings from Texas Baptists, we were able to provide modest monetary gifts to each of the pastors that we met with each day. Each pastor suffered damage either to their church, parsonage, or both, and the gifts we gave were equivalent to a monthly salary for many of them. Thank you, Texas Baptists, for being willing to reach out to help these that are hurting. Through your giving, we were able to provide great encouragement to pastors and Baptist churches in the Philippines this week.
Additionally, through gifts from TBM, First Philippine Baptist Church in Missouri City, and other partnering Baptist churches, roofing materials were provided for 30 churches and parsonages this week. While many have received food and aid, these materials are crucial to the reconstruction efforts and churches would not be able to rebuild without this help.
Please continue to pray for the pastors and churches in the Philippines as reconstruction will be taking place for many months ahead. Pray for strength and endurance as they continue to reach out to their communities and share the love of Christ. Pray for God to provide money and materials for rebuilding. Pray for safety and health as they continue to live in very difficult conditions.
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