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Posts Tagged ‘November 2013’
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Preacher: Matthew Gamston
Text: Luke 7:18 – 35
Click to listen, right click to download: MP3
Click to listen, right click to download: MP3
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.
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.
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.
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
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
“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.
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.
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.
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.
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
Erwin 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
UK Contact Address for donations
CCM c/o Mrs. Angela Green
Netherfold, Heath Road, Woolpit
Bury St. Edmunds, IP30 9RU
USA Contact Address for Donations
Mr. Aaron Schavey
Mishawaka, IN 46544
AUSTRALIA Contact Address
Mr. Cliff Langton
23 Kipara Road
Thagoona, Queensland 4306
NEW ZEALAND Contact Address
P.O. Box 217237
Botany Junction, Auckland 2164