Relief Operations in Tacloban 2014

Written by jorupacs on . Posted in Christian Compassion Ministries, June 2014, Relief Operation

From May 2014, some of the members of Cubao Reformed Baptist Church helped in the work of relief in Tacloban, Leyte.  We have helped repairing those who do not have roof on their houses and distributing school supplies to some children since the school year has started. Please see the picture below:

CCM Van & rented house

CCM Van & rented house

School Supplies given to public school students

School Supplies given to public school students

School Supplies given to public school students

School Supplies given to public school students

Repairing damaged roof

Repairing damaged roof

Repairing damaged roof

Repairing damaged roof

Repairing damaged roof

Repairing damaged roof

Repairing damaged roof

Repairing damaged roof

Preaching the Word of God

Preaching the Word of God

Preaching the Word of God

Preaching the Word of God

Packing School Supplies

Packing School Supplies

Packing School Supplies

Packing School Supplies

Packing School Supplies

Packing School Supplies

Packing School Supplies

Packing School Supplies

Needy People

Needy People

Loading the CCM Van

Loading the CCM Van

Construction team

Construction team

Construction Team

Construction Team

Construction of Roof

Construction of Roof

Construction of Roof

Construction of Roof

Cathy giving school supplies

Cathy giving school supplies

Bringing School Supplies to class rooms

Bringing School Supplies to class rooms

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Leyte and Samar Relief Work

Written by jorupacs on . Posted in Christian Compassion Ministries, December 2013, Featured News, Relief Operation

Typhoon Haiyan ravaged a large part of central Philippines. Due to its distance from us here in Manila, a team of two, Levi and Henry, both from the affected region, were sent to Leyte to survey the area and help us plan how to go about the relief work. They initially went on Nov 18th to Cebu City in order to find prices of rice, canned goods etc as well as to find a truck to transport the relief goods to Leyte. A sister Baptist church in Leyte, (AFBC) helped them in the survey. Pastor Jovert, one of the pastors of this church, joined Levi and Henry and helped establish contact with churches there as well as local government units (barangays). After four days, Levi and Henry returned to Cubao to report to the relief coordinators and plan the distribution.

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Based on their survey it was decided to buy most of the relief goods in Cebu, and repack the goods in Leyte. Levi and Henry left on the 25th to do the purchasing and arrange for the delivery of the goods. Cathy Gacutan, (CCM EAP Director) and nurse Joy Putal (CCM Staff) left on the evening of the next day to help administer anti-tetanus shots in Palo, Leyte where Reah (one of CCM’s Board members), is currently assigned. Cathy also surveyed other places in Palo and Tacloban. Pastor Mon Macapagal and his wife Bekha, together with Reddy Gonzales (CCM staff) followed on the evening of the 27th in time for the packing of goods in Abuyog the next day.

Packing of relief goods with the help of Abuyog Reformed Baptist Church members

Packing of relief goods with the help of Abuyog Reformed Baptist Church members

Everyone was shocked at the devastation they saw upon arrival in Tacloban. Pastor Mon and Bekha were there earlier in January of this year and their hearts were crushed by what they saw as compared to what it used to be. From Tacloban City all the way to Abuyog, (more than an hour’s drive), they saw the same thing over and over – the ruins of large and small houses, trucks, cars and other vehicles smashed into buildings, fallen coconut trees, posts, people living in tents, mass graveyards and most of all people begging along the highway. It was a sorrowful sight that would shatter anyone’s hope.

The team of seven from CRBC and CCM all arrived in Abuyog and started packing goods immediately before it got dark – since there was no electricity. They repacked 200 sacks of rice (50 kgs per sack), 20,000 cans of food, bottled water and lighters (for lighting fires) together with gospel tracts. All in all, this made 2000 relief packs. They were assisted by the members of the Abuyog church until it became dark.

Pastor Mon Sharing the gospel

Pastor Mon Sharing the gospel

Early the following morning, the relief goods were loaded onto the truck, which was generously loaned to us by one of the deacons of the church. The relief distribution started in Tacloban where almost 400 recipients were waiting. Our contact there was with a local pastor. Pastor Mon from Cubao then shared the gospel to the awaiting crowd. It was obvious that these people desperately needed the relief goods as they patiently waited for their turn.

The next stop was in Calogcog. Pastor Jovert, who joined us from Leyte, gathered the residents along the highway before Pastor Mon once again shared the gospel to them. This time, tickets were used in distributing the relief goods for 50 families. It was also in Calogcog that the relief team met the group of Americans from Texas whom CRBC has been assisting. They had just come from Samar where they installed water filters in different communities.

Our American brethren set up water filter stations in various different parts

Our American brethren set up water filter stations in various different parts

The Relief Team then proceeded to Dagami, a very remote area in the province where we had a contact called Pastor Roel. Pastor Mon again preached the gospel. People with their tickets patiently waited in line as 300 packs of relief goods were distributed. While this was going on, our American brethren set up two more water filter stations.

Queues form behind the truck loaded CRBC/CCM relief goods

Queues form behind the truck loaded CRBC/CCM relief goods

The following day was Abuyog, Leyte’s turn to receive relief goods. There was much devastation here again – destroyed homes, mostly without roofs, fallen trees and of course no electricity. Very early in the morning people flocked to the street where the church is located. After Pastor Mon’s preaching, an orderly distribution ensued with the use of tickets and priority numbers for 650 packs. However, after these were served, there were still about 300 people waiting patiently for a share of relief goods. The volunteers were seized with fear and apprehension as the crowd had started to become unruly. For a time, they decided to stop the distribution.

The 5th distribution this team made - at one point the crowd became unruly

The 5th distribution this team made – at one point the crowd became unruly

However, as they saw the desperation of the gathering, they were deeply moved. When one lady sprained her ankle in the crowd, they knew that these people had to be served quickly. The volunteers decided to repack packs for another place so they could give 300 more to the crowd. Our men asked them to kneel down and encouraged them to pray, after which there was an atmosphere of order and calmness. All those waiting were then served and the volunteers felt the hand of the Lord upon them as more than 950 relief packs were distributed. In the afternoon of that Saturday, the team set out for Baybay, Leyte where 120 packs of relief goods were also distributed.

The whole family living in this house died when the typhoon hit

The whole family living in this house died when the typhoon hit

After the Lord’s day, the volunteers started on the long journey to Samar, another province badly hit by the typhoon. A church in Tacloban received 50 packs while three other churches in Samar received about 250 packs.

CCM's Cathy Gacutan helping coordinate

CCM’s Cathy Gacutan helping coordinate

Seeing the place where the storm surge had occurred was a very distressing sight for the volunteers. They felt that what they had done trying to meet the great needs was so insignificant, just a drop in the ocean. They wondered what more they could do. The whole province is in a state of calamity, such as they have never seen nor known before. The whole team were gripped with pity for the people they left.

The signs say 'Thanks to those who help - those local and foreign sponsors thank you'

The signs say ‘Thanks to those who help – those local and foreign sponsors thank you’

The members of CRBC then met on Sunday afternoon, Dec 1st to discuss what still needs to be done. Together with the volunteers for Basey Samar, the Leyte relief volunteers all agreed that we still have to do much more to help in these two provinces, maybe to give more relief goods, but also this time tools and construction materials are needed for the victims. Foremost in our minds are how we can provide livelihood for these desperate people. Please pray for us as we explore how we might go about this.

Rebecca Macapagal

Typhoon Haiyan Report – Wednesday Nov. 20, 2013

Written by jorupacs on . Posted in Christian Compassion Ministries, Featured News, November 2013, Relief Operation

This is a short report on CRBC/CCM Relief Work in some of the areas affected by Typhoon Haiyan.

Levi (our member and GMA student) has gone with member Henry to the island of Leyte. Both of them are from that island. They are working together with the Sovereign Grace Bible Church of Cebu (SGBC). Pastor Paul Cuevas has already been visiting Leyte and particularly areas where there are churches. Our men have also gone there taking a truck of relief goods from Cebu City for distribution. However we have had no word from them due to the lack of communications in the area. Many of the places they were going were very badly affected. This area is south of Tacloban City one of the worst hit areas.

Packing of goods in Naga, City. Glen Manuel organizing the work

Packing of goods in Naga, City. Glen Manuel organizing the work

Our other workers have gone to Naga City in Bicol where we have been able to set up a small warehouse to sort relief goods. (Photo). Glen one of our men is overseeing the packing of relief goods. Members of the Naga Sovereign Grace Bible Church are doing the packing. In the photo are sacks of rice. They purchased 200 sacks as well as canned goods mainly sardines, biscuits and other foodstuff including bottled water. This is being sent by truck (see photos of truck) to the island of Samar.

Erwin who is our full-time church worker was able to get to Samar and has been delivering relief goods to some areas but mainly surveying what the needs are in areas not reached by government supplies. These are outlying villages many of which have been totally destroyed. He described to me this morning by phone how some away from the coast but up in the hills were devastated by the 200 mph winds. Nothing has been left. Many have died. He himself seems somewhat traumatized by his experience. He is weary and tired. He has been helped by a number of pastors of evangelical churches in that area.

Basey, Samar

Destruction at Basey, Samar

Pastor Ismael was going to join him by bus but has been stuck at the port in Sorsogon just north of Samar. One has to take a ferry for several hours to get to Samar. There are long lines of relief vehicles waiting to get across to Samar. It is a logistical nightmare. Relief is being flown in now to Tacloban by various planes, Filipino, USA and Korean etc. There is much need in Tacloban but how to get it from there to those in desperate need far from the main centres.

Erwin was describing how helicopter drops of relief supplies in outlying villages means the triumph of the strong. They get to the drop first and take the supplies. The weak and the marginalized, the ones in most desperate need are not being reached. He has been in tears. He also reports that kerosene (paraffin) needed for cooking stoves and lights has more than tripled in price due to the shortage. Some of the people of the world are often quick to make a profit out of others adversity.

Matt Gamston has gone down to help Pastor Warlito Monsalud and the brethren in Iloilo City. They are going up to the north of Iloilo province to seek to bring relief particularly to churches in those areas badly affected. In the goodness of the Lord we are expecting six brethren from churches in the USA to arrive tonight with portable water filtration units and other supplies. They hope to be able to help in Samar and possibly Leyte. We shall be sending someone to help them with translation.

Naga City

Goods were loaded ready to be delivered

Also next week we should be seeing a small medical team consisting of doctors and nurses also being able to go to Samar or Leyte. Dr Delia Lim, sister of our deacon Louie is planning to go with another doctor and backed by several of our CRBC lady nurses. We are expecting some of our CCM staff to also join the relief work by next week once we have more information of what we need to do and which areas are not really being reached by government.

One of the difficulties though is people have jobs and they cannot just up and leave without the permission of their employers.

Please continue to pray for us. Those of us who seek to hold the ropes in Manila as well as our members on the ground. Pray for the tracts and the opportunity to speak to people about Christ as well as the greatly needed practical assistance of food, water, medicine and loving concern.

There are many needy children. We could possibly take up to 12 more children

Naga City

A truck was hired to deliver the goods from Naga City going to Basey, Samar

in our CCM Children’s Homes. Reah Medenilla one of our CCM Board Members is helping with the relief work through another agency and will make known the possible help of CCM.

Many have lost their livelihood and have no immediate means of earning money. Fishermen have lost their boats and their nets, farmers have lost their crops, many have lost their homes, and others their loved ones. May the Lord help us to bring relief and hope. Above all may the Lord be pleased even to use this massive calamity to awaken many to their need of the Lord Jesus Christ.

Thank you for all your loving support and prayers.

Please see www.ccmmanila.org for information how to help practically the ongoing relief work which will continue for a very long time due to the need for shelter as well as food.

Pastor Brian Ellis

Yolanda (Haiyan) Relief Work in Action

Written by jorupacs on . Posted in Christian Compassion Ministries, Featured News, November 2013, Relief Operation

Basey, Samar

Destruction at Basey, Samar

Basey, Samar

Destruction at Basey, Samar

Basey, Samar

People in Basey, Samar

Packing of goods in Naga, City. Glen Manuel organizing the work

Packing of goods in Naga, City. Glen Manuel organizing the work

Naga City

Canned goods packed in Naga City

Naga City

People from a church in Naga City graciously helped us to pack the relief goods

Naga City

Relief items were bought from Naga City

Naga City

A truck was hired to deliver the goods from Naga City going to Basey, Samar.

Naga City

Goods were loaded ready to be delivered

Roro Naga City

The truck was loaded to a ship to travel by sea going to Basey, Samar. The whole travel will be about 12 hours

Relief Goods

Trucks containing relief goods from different organization are at sea

 

CRBC Update and Typhoon Yolanda Relief Work

Written by jorupacs on . Posted in Christian Compassion Ministries, Featured News, Grace Ministerial Academy, November 2013, Relief Operation

Elders of CRBC with Matthew Gamston

Elders of CRBC with Matthew Gamston

“This is the day that the LORD has made; We will rejoice and be glad in it” Psalm 118:24 (NKJV)

The Lord is truly wise in giving this day for His people to worship Him and rejoice in the coming of His Kingdom!  Today, the Lord blessed us by gathering His people and opening His Word in preaching.  We are reminded of the great opportunity we have as a church being spared in the great catastrophe brought about by typhoon Yolanda (or Haiyan).  But even then we are also reminded that as Christians we have the obligation, privilege and the opportunity to serve those who are badly affected by the storm by providing for them their temporal and spiritual needs.

Pastor Ismael Montejo Jr

Pastor Ismael Montejo Jr

In the morning worship service, Pastor Ismael Montejo Jr. preached from the first and the beginning of the second chapter of Job.  He exhorted the church by showing that in the midst of great suffering, difficulty and trouble, the response of those who fear God like Job is worship.  While Satan accuses Job before God and the angels in heaven watch as to how will Job respond in Satan’s accusation, Job showed that he is a man who is in total submission to God.  There are times when we do not understand the things that are happening, yet the great call of the believer is to worship God.  This message is given to encourage the church in the midst of the present suffering brought about by the typhoon.  Indeed a timely reminder for all believers.

Matthew Gamston

Matthew Gamston

In the afternoon, our brother Matthew Gamston preached to us from Luke 7:18ff.  He showed us from the text that while God’s work is mysterious, be should fully trust in our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.  There are times, when things that goes along our way may bring us to doubts, yet we must be assured that first Jesus is our Messiah and secondly, the Lord exactly knows what He is doing.

We thank the Lord for Matthew Gamston.  Matt will be leaving to be a pastor in the UK.  He was instrumental in beginning a ministry for the homeless people which we call Drop-in Centre. Just this week, the work celebrated its 10th year anniversary.  It is a taxing ministry yet God blessed the church’s effort by giving conversions from it.

We are glad that the Lord has given a pastor for Providence Reformed Baptist Church in Tondo, Manila in the person of Pastor Larry Malabayabas.  Pastor Brian Ellis went to Tondo this morning to conduct the ordination service.  Pastor Larry is currently a student in Grace Ministerial Academy, currently on his second year.  We pray that his pastorate would truly be a blessing for the church.  For a long time the church in Tondo prayed for a pastor.  Indeed, God is a God who answers prayers.

Relief Operation

Relief Work Meeting

Relief Work Meeting

Members of the church met this afternoon to discuss the upcoming relief work in partnership with Christian Compassion Ministries.  Currently, Erwin Cadalin is in Samar surveying the places that needed relief. This evening Glen Manuel will board the bus going to Naga City to oversee that packaging of the relief goods to be transported to where Erwin is. While here in Manila, Glen’s wife, Adette, is coordinating the work.  Next week, Lord willing, we shall organize a second round of relief operation which will be done in Leyte.  Brother Henry and Levi will oversee the work.  Aside for the two provinces mentioned, there are still other places where relief is needed, we hope and pray that we will be able to reach them too.  Two of our elders, Pastor Ismael Montejo Jr. and Pastor Ramon Macapagal will share the load of preaching to people in the areas where relief will be distributed.

We thank the Lord for friend from abroad who has pledged help for the relief work.  We also are glad for local churches who already gave donations and are organizing to give some amount or items for the work of relief.  As we assess the need we see that the work for relief will last for a couple of week and may be even a month or two.

This week Dr. Ian Densham will teach in Grace Ministerial Academy. Please pray as he will be teaching on the Pentateuch for the next two weeks.

We hope that you will be in prayer with us to thank the Lord for all of His blessing and for the graces that we need to do the work which He has entrusted us.

Message from Kalibo Reformed Bible Church

Written by jorupacs on . Posted in Featured News, November 2013, Relief Operation

Ph_locator_aklan_kalibo“I form light and create darkness. I make well-being and create calamity, I AM THE LORD, who does all these things.” (Is. 47:6)

15 November 2013

Pastors and Brethren,

First, I would like to apologize for sending this letter only this time, as there is difficulty sending wire through the net. Also, after the typhoon, our immediate task was to assess the situation by going the rounds to see what happened to members and their houses.

All souls were accounted for; there were no reports of injuries sustained by any member. For that we are very grateful to the Lord our Preserver. Another thing we are thankful to the Lord for is that the typhoon did not bring with it too much water and mud. Nevertheless, the landscape was one of rubble and ruins more than I could have conceived before; but unlike during the typhoon Frank in June 2008, we did not spend time clearing mud, though the volume of debris from broken trunks, felled trees, blown away roofs, collapsed houses, and strewn wires from electric poles, were more than what typhoon Frank left. Because of this, the skyline received more than its fair share of light and glare, as a result of trees and bushes torn, if not snapped, from their trunks. Volumes of leaves blown away rendered standing trees shorn of their green.

When we made the rounds later, and also due to communications coming from members, we found out that four (4) houses of our members collapsed; while another five (5) houses were partially damaged.

As some of you may have been made aware already, the church building – built of light materials – was struck hard by typhoon Yolanda, as what happened to innumerable structures and houses also made from native materials. The roof of the church building was blown away to the adjacent lot because of the very strong winds – the strongest so far I’ve witnessed in my entire life. As a result, the whole structure was rendered weak when the wind blew the roof off snapping in the process all the bamboo posts from where they were planted; because of this, the whole structure leaned – if you’re facing the church premises from the street – to its left. So the following Sunday we gathered at another place for worship.

The elders of the church praise God for the spirit of the members – especially those whose houses were damaged; though, at first, shock overwhelmed them, the clear teaching on the sovereignty of God, that God is the author of this calamity, gave much comfort to them, especially, in the light of other passages (especially Rom. 8:28) that show that God will definitely do good to His people, despite the seeming incomprehensible disaster that struck us. Yes, there were signs of sadness; but I thank God, as an elder of this church, there was no sign of bitterness in their hearts. The messages were centered on hammering the sovereignty of God over these things. We are blessed, indeed, for knowing that God sends these things, not out of caprice or whim, but – and we are sure about this – to do what is good (best) for His people at this time.

Another cause of praise is the immediate response of brethren from other places; having known that there are many who would want to help, and exerted much effort to communicate with us, strengthened the hearts of the brethren here – I know of a member who was moved to tears knowing that brethren from other places are willing to render aid.

Earlier this day, I got information from a staff of the electric cooperative here that 140 posts (which include those in the province of Aklan) were felled or snapped, so that it will take at least two (2) months before our province could be re-energized.

I’ve tried to attach pictures to this message, however, the line is slow in transferring them from the files to this letter. The brethren could view the pictures by going to the facebook account of our member who is presently studying in Los Banos, Laguna. Her facebook account is novelyn revesencio.

For the moment, we would like to solicit your prayers and help for the following:

1. That the lives of these members would return to normalcy soon;
2. That the houses of members could be rebuilt soon, so that they will be able to return to their normal way of life;
3. There are members who really need help, at least financially, because they have to face two things: their collapsed houses and their livelihood;
4. The safety of everyone during nighttime because total blackout is a convenient cover for criminal activities;
5. That we will be able to worship comfortably in our present worship place, and that the visitors who regularly visit us will not be discouraged from attending (as the alternative place of worship is some kilometers off from the present site, and transportation fares slash sizably their already meager budget);
6. And in relation to this, that God would provide us with the finances to be able to rebuild the worship place with stronger materials, since we expect that this phenomenon will become the new ‘normal’ for the coming years. Also, the church finances will not sustain a prolonged lease of worship place;
7. That God will give wisdom for the elders on how to distribute aid to needy members.

We seek your prayers, most especially, for the whole church to mature more out of the spiritual exercises that this providence brought us to. Our hearts also go out to the brethren and the people in Leyte whose houses and livelihood Yolanda ravaged, not to say the least thousands of lives perished.

In behalf of the elders and brethren,

Ptr. Andy Ingente
Kalibo Reformed Bible Church of
Kalibo, Aklan, Philippines

Surveying Areas Affected by Typhoon Yolanda (Haiyan) – Update

Written by jorupacs on . Posted in Featured News, November 2013, Relief Operation

xcentral_philippinesErwin one of our members has left and he will be joined by a Pastor from Naga City. They will seek to rent a truck there and fill with relief goods to take by road and cross on the ferry to SAMAR.  Erwin is from Samar and they will seek to go to small towns not yet really visited. They will also seek to contact churches in the area. This is really a survey mission with others expect to join a team eventually there.

Second team of 2 members from the island of Leyte are seeking to get to Cebu city by plane. They could not get a booking until Monday.  They will then also get a truck there and relief goods to take to Leyte.  Both men are from Leyte and they will seek to contact churches they know there and assess how best we can help.

We also need to send someone to Aklan. Which is in western visayas.  North of Iloilo.  This area, Capiz and norther part of province of Iloilo were also affected. We have at last made contact and hear of the destruction of the RB Church building in Kalibo.  We will be seeking to help them rebuild but we need to contact others in the area.

We have members very concerned about family members in this area as well.

There is a team of 5 coming from the USA. The leader has experience of relief work in India and they come from a RB Church in Texas. I know the pastor. We will try and help them get to the areas affected and provide translators.

Value greatly your prayers. This is going to be a long operation because of the need to rebuild lives as well as homes.  We are beginning to collect clothing and anything we can ship to replace lost things. Churches will be helping in this way.

Thank you everyone for your prayers.

If you wish to help with donations please send money through Christian Compassion Ministries.

Send donations online: http://www.ccmmanila.org/donate

Philippines Contact Address
CCM, 44 Notre Dame St., Cubao,
1102 Quezon City, Philippines
(+632 9125062)
eap@ccmmanila.org

UK Contact Address for donations
CCM c/o Mrs. Angela Green
Netherfold, Heath Road, Woolpit
Bury St. Edmunds, IP30 9RU
UKTreasurer@ccmmanila.org

USA Contact Address for Donations
Mr. Aaron Schavey
402 Studebaker
Mishawaka, IN 46544
USATreasurer@ccmmanila.org

AUSTRALIA Contact Address
Mr. Cliff Langton
23 Kipara Road
Thagoona, Queensland 4306
australia@ccmmanila.org

NEW ZEALAND Contact Address
Warwick Worth,
P.O. Box 217237
Botany Junction, Auckland 2164
nz@ccmmanila.org