The above is a picture of part of our church building in Norte, Patanungan, Polillio Islands. They met there last Sunday under “open heavens”, literally, due to a portion of the roof being blown off recently during the raging of typhoon Ulysses (Vamco).
There have been some inquiries about our well-being in the midst of recent storms. Here is a brief summary of conditions around here…
First of all, physically we are doing well, PTL! We give praise to the Lord for His faithful protection and help! Here at our home in Tarlac City we have only had debri to clean up in the yard & on the roof. There were no falling trees on our house or in the yard this time. We are so thankful!
Although there was an electrical outage for several days, and also no running water or internet for a time, the effect of the recent typhoon on us was minimal compared to how badly some places were hit.
A number of trees were blown down in the area. At our mission base in Polillio Islands around 15 trees coconut trees & a mango trees are down. There is also major water damage to our facility there. With its unfinished, open window areas – water blew in and caused water damage to the kitchen ceiling, and made a big mess inside the building.
In Balanti, a huge tree near our church facility fell over, just barely catching a corner of the roof without major damage. Flashing was blown off in our new construction area for children/reception facilitation, needing repair.
Regarding other damages, some have been experiencing some major damage to crops and homes. We recently took several sacks of rice to a family in Moriones whose crops were ruined due to the recent storms. There are quite a few who have been reporting portions of their roofs damaged and blown off, and one of the ladies at a Bible study last Saturday reported a tree falling on her home, but thankfully they were unharmed.
One of the hardest hit by the storm was the home of one of the instrumentalists on our worship team. A tree fell on his house during early morning hours. There were 3 adults & 8 children in the house. The house was destroyed. Although unharmed, they felt trapped. After kicking the door open they ran out into the raging storm with the children in the midst of the high winds and flying debri. The children were put into the tricycle, but it wouldn’t start. They pushed it by hand quite a ways down the road where they could finally find some shelter at one of their relatives house. It was quite the traumatic experience for them.
Here’s a few thoughts about storms of life that we all experience in one way or another. Jesus is able to bring peace in the midst of the storms. A chorus I learned as a child comes to mind — “with Christ in my vessel I can smile at the storm…“.
A verse my beloved Uncle loved to quote over and over is – “God is our refuge and strength, a VERY PRESENT HELP in times of trouble” – Psalm 46:1. The Lord didn’t say we will never have trouble, but that He would be with us in our times of trouble. It is so-o comforting to know that the Lord is always with us to help us through whatever storms we may encounter – He will never leave us or forsake us! (Hebrews 13:5-6) Many are the afflictions of the righteous: but the Lord delivers him out of them ALL. (Psalm 34:19)