A typhoon hit Mindanao, Philippines on December 4th leaving devastation in its wake.
This was the strongest typhoon to hit this area thus far. Over 700 are dead and almost 900 are missing. Davao City experienced rain and winds but no casualties. However, nearby provinces, like Compostela Valley were heavily damaged.
We visited and have extended help in Monkayo, New Bataan, Compostela, both in Compostela Valley. We saw the devastation- property and lives lost. We brought rice, water, and canned goods for family members of our church members (father, mother, brother and sisters and relatives) who called for help due to many days without food, they have been starving and in need.
Many sad, sad stories—the area smells of death due to many dead bodies recovered and many are still buried in the mud and trees.
Many churches and pastors who are our friends are sharing their stories. Church buildings have either collapsed or some roofs are blown away. Families affected—some lost their homes and loved ones.
We empathize with them in their situation, and it is our desire to help.
A Pastor, one of the pastors we mentor, came here, his church building totally collapsed. He has many bruises on his body. His wife was hit by hollow block in the shoulder (fractured). A tree fell due to strong winds.
One of our church leader’s, parents’ home, is gone. They are temporarily staying in a covered court. We plan to go and help rebuild their home. Any financial help towards the Pastors and loved ones of church members will be greatly appreciated.
There is a need for rice, water, canned goods, kerosene to make lamps as until now still no electricity. Also galvanized iron( g.i. sheet) for roofing (for church buildings). We may not be able to do the whole thing but at least we can.make a difference.
Our heart goes out to those who have suffered loss. Hoping that in some way we can extend help.
If you'd like to donate financially, please click the banner below and select "Typhoon Relief Mindanao Philippines" to direct your giving toward this effort.
PHOTOS & VIDEOS FROM TYPHOON IN MINDANAO, PHILIPPINES
An update from Pastor Tito and Nelrose Sasam, pastors of Releaser of Life Family Church Davao City, Philippines:
October has been a fruitful month for ROLFC: And we can say, it is all because of the Grace of God, His Amazing Grace!
Having launched what we call, Invitation Explosion – to invite loved ones and friends to church -- our church attendance has grown as a result. That is only the first part of the process. The next step is to do the follow-up. We share what to do before Sunday, during Sunday and after Sunday. I did a series of messages about CONNECTION that created a Big Impact. We may have not preserved 100% of the Harvest, but many of those won to the Lord every week are being preserved and are connected to cell groups with cell group leaders doing their God-given assignments.
We also launched STRANGER Invitation. This is an exciting part. Inspired by the Parable of the Banquet in Luke 14:23-24. People who pass by the church gate, people walking by the street, when passing by, some members invited them and they came; even street kids were invited (result parents are glad and some are now attending acell group). I can go on and on... After the service, you could just see the glow in their faces and they are thankful. We are experiencing harvest as a result of that.
The Church attendance has increased. Before, we only did one morning service. As a result, now we have two services in the morning. We were challenged; we were excited. This is something new for us; we are ready for change. Praise God, every service people are coming -- new ones are coming -- numbers are growing. We love to see the Book of Acts happen in ROLFC. Souls are added every week. Lives changed!
We had a New Believers Retreat -- 31 participants, all new believers, our harvest for the month of October ( the last retreat we had was August). All submit themselves to water baptism and now they are connected to cell groups, campus and church after being connected to God. Follow-up lessons are being taught to them. One participant, received not only her spiritual healing but physical and emotional healing. We were quite concerned about her health when she said she would join the retreat. She had a heart problem, asthma attacks frequently, and was emotionally disturbed. Her daughter, who first came to know the Lord and received so much persecution from her Mom but remained strong - led her Mom and brother to the Lord. This daughter said, "Let's bring your nebulizer with you." She said, "NO! I will not need that. God will heal me. We, the Retreat Staff, stood with her in faith and YES she receiveed what she desired and God touched her - Freedom! Her face glows; all the heaviness is gone. Praise the Lord! Now the whole family is coming to church, they have opened their house for cell group meetings. During the Retreat Amulets were being surrendered. PTL!
October 29th - One day-Couples seminar in the morning & afternoon. At the end, we made plans to wed live-in pairs after completing their legal documents. Five pairs/couples said their wedding covenant. Happy faces, dreams and desires fulfilled. Touching lives, relationships. These couples invited some of their unsaved loved ones, some of whom they have relationship problems with. We heard that their marriages have been a blessing, and after hearing the message i shared during the ceremony - it did touch their hearts - there was forgiveness, family relationships restored. That brings joy to our hearts.
Had also the privilege of solemnizing my niece's wedding - her mom is my younger sister, their Dad passed away 3 years ago. She and her husband are Christians, active leaders in the church they are attending.
We also give God the Glory - many of our youth are doing Campus Ministry. Penetrating schools - sharing the Good news to students. Favor from God and Man. Being alumni of a certain school, we have written the principal about our intent on the campus. Some our youth are given time to teach Values Education by their former teacher, some are doing sharing after class hours, some 15 minutes of the teacher's time, some are allowed to gather students - classrooms are provided for Bible sharing. We thank God for the freedom we enjoy here in the Philippines, the Word of God is welcome and we can share openly. We are also privileged to speak at a Public School teachers fellowship - the principal said, he will open the school for ministry opportunities. Pray for us as we are making plans to minister to this school. These are High School students with a large student population.
It was indeed our great privilege to share, to connect with and encourage some Southern Baptist Pastors in Digos City. This is just a start of a wonderful connection in the Lord's work in that place.
Last Wednesday, we shared God's word at a Barangay Hall - many of the local govt officials attended. God is opening doors -- planting seeds of the Word. Some of our youth, are now also given time to share God's word during barangay regular youth session. (Gathering of Barangay Youth Council) local government arm for the youth.
October 30 - I celebrated my 51st birthday. We thank God for life, good health and for seeing me through all these years. Thank you for your prayers and please do continue praying for me, my family and ministry here in Davao.
With all that has been said and done we want to say, TO GOD BE THE GLORY FOR THE THINGS HE HAS DONE.
We are blessed to have a harvest of souls and we need a place to bring the harvest. We are renting the place where we are gathering the harvest. Yes, many are coming in but their resources are so limited, but their hearts are good. Our prayer is that God will give us partners to meet this building rental need -- Partners for the Harvest here in Davao. Thank you.
We are grateful to God for your partnership in the Gospel.