New U-Turn for Christ church building under construction in Hernani, Samar.
After traveling for slightly over a week through six islands in the Philippines, employing countless trucks, vans, three-wheeled motorbikes, ferries, and fast boats, we landed on the island of Samar looking to meet up with the pastors from U-Turn For Christ in the small town of Lalaweggans. U-turn for Christ has been in the Philippines for over 20 years and has planted 8 churches and a Calvary Chapel Bible College on the island of Samar.
The final leg of our assessment tour on the island of Samar, brought us past the beach where General Douglas MacArthur landed with the US Army when he returned to the Philippines. Years earlier, MacArthur made a promise to the people of the Philippines and the world; he said “I shall return to the people of the Philippines”. As we rolled past that beach and those words rolled through my mind, there was a striking parallel to Another who came and promised to return. For all those who have placed their faith in Christ, that day, is a day we await with great anticipation. But, while we are waiting for His return, we are told to “Occupy until I come” or stay busy with the gifts and talents we have until Christ returns. As we rolled through the region of east Samar, the devastation and destruction was unparalleled to what we had seen to date. We saw the tremendous need and felt the Lord stirring our hearts. We arrived at the U-Turn For Christ church in Lalaweggans and were greeted by our hosts Pastor Ron Brown and base host, Josh Brown. As we discussed the needs and opportunities in the region, we knew that the Lord had called our church to serve along side the dear folks at U-Turn and to “occupy” with the talents He has given us to serve the people of east Samar.
A few tents stand where dozens of houses once stood.
Presently, James and I are in Tacloban in route to Manila to meet the team which is coming in from our church on Tuesday. While in Manila, we will also be shopping for tools and supplies requested by the ministry which are not available on Samar. On Wednesday morning, will fly with the team to Tacloban and then ground transport to Lalaweggans. It is a very long and technical day. Please pray for the team to arrive safely, that their baggage arrives with them, for safe travels across to Samar and on to our U-Turn base. Also please pray for health and oneness of Spirit throughout the mission.
I am personally excited about opportunities to share the Lord with those who have lost so much. On Thursday, James and I were able to go and pray with, Maria, a lady from the U-Turn for Christ church in Hernani who lost her husband to the storm. He drowned when the their house collapsed on him as the storm surge came ashore. She experienced a tremendous lost that day, but, she has a faith which is evident and steadfast. Before we left her, our church was able to bless her with funds to help rebuild her home. Please pray for opportunities to minister to those who need to feel Christ’s love.
Maria standing by the shell of her new home.
Thank you for your all your prayers and support. We are looking forward to what the Lord will do in and through the team.
Yours in Christ,
sent from my iPad