Date: December 22, 2013
By Paul Mattson
Special to ASSISTNews Service
PHILIPPINES (ANS) -- Imagine living in the aftermath of a storm such as Typhoon Haiyan, (known as Typhoon Yolanda in the Philippines), which was an exceptionally powerful tropical cyclone that devastated portions of Southeast Asia, particularly the Philippines, in early November 2013, leaving some 5,260 dead, and millions homeless).
A scene of devastation after Typhoon Haiyan
You are a poor family living in a country in which city after city, and town after town has lost their food supply, water supply, sewage service, governmental infrastructure, banking resources, church buildings, and yes, even around 80 church pastors have all disappeared as a result of the mega-storm.
Imagine living where you have had to sell all your clothes to buy food; imagine no shelter from the elements; imagine losing everything of value except your faith in God, and possibly your immediate family (if you are fortunate enough to have your spouse and children survive and be with you).
Why do I ask you to imagine? In God's Word, the author of Hebrews says to remember those who suffer, since we are all part of God's body of faith. In a letter to the church in Corinth, we are reminded that when one part of the Christian body of faith suffers, we Christians all suffer. We are to remember them as though we are there with them, as though we are there and are part of them.
Pastor Wally (who was born in the Philippines, was sentenced to death in Saudi Arabia for running a house church, and was miraculously freed and now lives in Sacramento, California, where he runs Christians in Crisis -- www.christiansincrisis.net), has alerted all of us to the ongoing suffering of the Filipino peoples who struggle to piece together new lives out of the ashes and wasteland that once was their homes. We see them, and hear them, and echo the philosophy that asks us all to "See a need? Fill a need". if we can.
Families in the Philippines pick their way through the streets after the super typhoon
Therefore, Christians In Crisis (CIC) is asking you to prayerfully consider donating monies to help enable the CIC team's ministry trip to places like Tacloban city, Ormoc city, and elsewhere, to bring encouragement and tangible resources for their church congregations.
More specifically, Christians In Crisis is looking to be able to help re-construct the lives of 150-300 families in eastern Samar, other parts of Leyte, Coron, Palawan and other least reached areas.
Can we contribute financially to this effort (at a cost of $50 worth of goods and medicine per family)? CIC will be partnering with JHMT (Jesus, The Heart of Missions Team, Inc.) and other ministries to bring medical services, relief distribution, critical incidence stress debriefing, and an adopt-a-family program that we all can bring our help to. Involved ministries including CIC hope to provide water and food, toiletries, medicines, temporary light substitutes, water pumps, blankets and sleeping mats, rubber slippers/sandals, and under garments.
Toward this end, CIC, JHMT, et al, are seeking donations from local churches, individuals such as you and me -- as well as volunteers for construction work, electrical work, plumbing work, carpentry work, communications work, etc.
Youth groups or individuals are encouraged to consider raising money from their families, churches, schools, youth clubs, YMCAs and YWCAs to fund their travel to the Philippines to help out. Local churches can hold special offerings to help support this multilateral Christian outreach, as well.
In his letter to the church in Galatia (modern-day Ankara, Turkey), Paul wrote "As we have therefore opportunity, let us do good unto all men, especially unto them who are of the household of faith." (Galatians 6:10). If you are able to help make this missions trip possible, please check out the www.christiansincrisis.net web site or inquire via postal mail to the address given, below.
Please consider giving of not only your financial resources, but also of your God-given talent in these areas and volunteering your time, physical effort and caring directly to our hurting family in the Philippines. We have been praying for our Filipino family, and now we have an opportunity to do more, through the organization of Christians In Crisis, on the behalf of these dear ones whose lives have been shattered.
As you are led by God's Holy Spirit to assist with this effort, please consider an additional way in which, this Christmas, you might come to the aid of Filipinos in their need.
Two special gifts can be provided to those in need in the Philippines:
- Help provide a cellphone and bless a family (Cherry Mobile C6 or B8, with SIM Card) -- $18.00 each unit.
- Share a chainsaw and bless a community (Elimax Brand) -- US-$285.00 each chainsaw.
This special campaign, called A "CHRISTmas Gift Campaign Project" is sponsored by Christians In Crisis Ministry-USA and Jesus the Heart of Missions Team-Philippines.
Help provide a cellphone and bless a family
A CELLPHONE has become a basic need. This is something that we all value nowadays. During our partner's two trips in the Eastern Visayas (November 18-29) they met with some people, including pastors, who lost contact with friends and loved ones because they lost their cellphones during the Typhoon Haiyan (Yolanda). Thus, you can provide a new cellular phone with a SIM card that will cost you less than US-$18.00 donation.
A dozen Cherry C6 and B8 cellphone units were purchased and given to a dozen pastors on December 7. We hope to provide more cellphone units in the coming weeks to bless more pastors and their families. Yes, you can help provide this very important and urgent need to BLESS a pastor and his family this CHRISTmas.
Share a chainsaw and bless a community
A CHAINSAW is needed by a village/community not just to clear the roads and communities of fallen trees but to use the logs and fallen coconut trees to erect new houses. You may consider this as your CHRISTmas gift to bless a village/community. Through local donations received, our partners brought six of this (Elimax Brand) kind to be distributed to pastoral associations in key areas that will be visited this week in Northern Cebu, Ilo-ilo, Ormoc and Tacloban. These chainsaws will be entrusted to key network pastors in different communities which they can use to bless many families in the construction of houses.
May the LORD pour out His mercy and compassion, and may HIS followers extend GOD's love and provisions to an estimated four million plus Filipinos affected by this super typhoon.
Donations can either be mailed to: Christians In Crisis, PO Box 293627. Sacramento, CA 95829, USA, or at the following internet location: www.christiansincrisis.net/donate.html
"We thank and praise God for your prayers. Please continue and persevere in your prayers for the people of the Philippines. In Christ's Love," says Pastor Wally in a message.