A Visit to a Devastated Province in the Philippines, January 2005
by: Pastor Wally and Sis. Matilda
We have just returned from a short turnaround to the typhoon damaged area of the Phlippines.
This was a spiritual adrenaline shot that we so desperately need especially after what we have seen and heard from those that suffered the ill effects of the devastating typhoons that visited the Philippines last month. SM and I are still trying to bounce back to normal life here in America but find it tough knowing that so many in the Philippines and other places are in need of medical care, shelter, food and clothing.
Please continue in prayer for the Philippines as they continue to recover from the devastation of the typhoons that hit the country prior to the tsunami. The damage we witnessed was staggering and the Lord has been impressing us to make a return trip very soon to bring more aid and comfort to those who are suffering there.
There are many ways you can participate. You can definitely pray for them; pray that people will respond to our appeal for aid. For those of you who sent items of comfort, relief and financial aid, we thank God for you and appreciate your help so much.
Your financial gifts will be used to bring even more relief in the form of food, clothes and medicines for the people who have lost everything in this region.
Please continue to pray to raise awareness to the needs in the Philippines. We would like to see our donors donate to the Philippines than to the countries hit by the tsunami due to the over supply of relief goods that continue to pour into Indonesia, India and Sri-Lanka. Aid to the typhoon victims in the Philippines is almost nothing, they have been forgotten, sad but true. There has been too much relief/aid focus on the tsunami hit places that some of the relief goods are now finding their way into the black market. Most of the people that were hit by the tsunami died and the survivors in those places are small in number. Because of this imbalance, there's been an over abundance of all sorts of relief from many nations that can clothe, feed and build houses for the survivors a hundred fold over. Many of the recipients of aid/relief are no longer people that originally lived in the places that were devastated by the tsunami, instead many of these people that are enjoying the supply of relief are coming from other parts of the country that were not really affected by the tsunami. I am praying that the Lord will give wisdom to the Body of Christ that they may know where to direct their gifts/donations.
We at CIC do not intend to raise aid/donations to give to the tsunami hit countries knowing that there are many others with equal needs in other parts of the world, especially fellow Christians like those in the Philippines, China, Vietnam, Cambodia, Myanmar, North Korea, Nepal, Sudan, etc. CIC respects the decision of other ministries that raise donations for the tsunami hit countries, but someone must continue to be a voice for these forgotten areas. We pray that those donations will be used with much wisdom and caution.
I am not saying that we as Christians should not reach out to the peoples of the countries that were hit by the tsunami. But that we should use our God given resources to further the Gospel and provide for the other members of the Body first and foremost. There's an abundance of big ministries that are already doing major relief to the tsunami hit countries, not to mention secular entities and numerous countries.
My heart breaks for the lost peoples of Indonesia, Sri-Lanka and India. They need JESUS! But my heart also grieves for suffering Christians that are neglected by many in the free Church. They need our help.
Brother Terry’s upcoming trip to Indonesia is to minister to the Christian refugees and see what their needs are. Manado is a great distance from Banda Aceh. He will not be going to the Banda Aceh area, but will be in the area of North Sulawesi, assessing the needs of those in that area. Gifts/donations to Indonesia will go to the Christians of that area and not to the area affected by the tsunami.
Matilda and I will be returning to the Philippines, God willing in April, to buy more food, medicines and clothing for those who have been largely forgotten by the international community. Their needs were also lost in the tsunami as well. There are great needs there, overwhelming needs. This is an area where CIC desires to help in reconstruction as the Lord provides financial resources. We desire to build a mission center in Matilda’s village; there is a need to purchase a good vehicle for ministry purposes there and CIC hopes to in the future make this the CIC Asia Center.
A Letter of Thanks to CIC USA and Canada
by: Pastor Johnny and Sister Menchu Espeleta
To CIC USA and Canada: I give God the credit for allowing us here in the Philippines to have worked with you hand in hand personally. Thank you so much for the blessings and advises that you have so generously given to me and my family as well. Thank very much from the bottom of our hearts.
I also want to thank everyone who contributed for the boxes of goodies, clothes, books and tapes sent to us. Tell them that they should be proud of what the Lord did with their gifts. They should have seen the faces of those people all thankful to the Lord that they did not go home empty handed, just by attending a gathering of the community for the development program for the town of Real, Quezon - one of the hardest hits from the typhoon rains last November 29. I pray that the Lord continue to bless all the works of the hands of these people more and more, and may the Lord return it back to them a thousand folds, exceedingly great in abundance. GOD BLESS YOU ALL!!!