Houses for the People of Tanauan Leyte: One Year On

The Straits Times, Saturday, 8 November 2014.

Last Saturday, I didn’t realise that it has already been one year since Super Typhoon Haiyan (Yolanda) swept through the Philippines, devastating Tacloban in its path. Seeing the Facebook posts by Ptr Joel Lerios and the articles in The Straits Times helped to jolt my memory.

As shared in my very first post, Houses for the People of Tanauan Leyte: “This was what I woke up to the day after the Super Typhoon hit. It was the main story in The Straits Times and the pages were just filled with photos of devastation and loss, especially in Tacloban City. As my eyes scanned the pictures, a desire arose in my heart to visit the place and to help the people of Philippines in any small way I could. At that time, I didn’t know when or how.”

One year later, it is good to note that the Philippines government has finally approved funds for the rebuilding of Tacloban. How the funds will be used and how long before this is implemented is anyone’s guess. All we know is that there are still many families displaced without homes nor hope. If the condition of Tacloban Airport is anything to go by, I suspect it might still be a while before any real plan or work begins on the ground.

Ptr Joel. with one of the BuildHope Houses.
Ptr Joel. with one of the BuildHope Houses.

To the glory of God, and entirely by His grace, together with like-minded brothers and sisters in Christ*, we have been able to play a small part to bless the community in Tanauan, Leyte. Since connecting with Ptr Joel Lerios of Jesus Our Refuge Church in January, we have provided funds for the building of 22 BuildHope houses. For the growing needs of the church and community, funds were raised for a church van. And to help families start over again, we contributed five pedicabs. I am so thankful for the partnership of these sponsors who simply responded to my articles and updates. [*No names are mentioned because these prefer to remain anonymous that no attention is drawn to them.]

Dedication of Church Van
Dedication of Church Van
Sample of Pedicab that will enable members to earn a living.
Sample of Pedicab that will enable members to earn a living.

I know this amount pales in comparison to what international aid agencies have given and what other churches are doing. But as a personal initiative, I marvel at the grace of God and how He has led and blessed this effort. More than just meeting physical needs of the people, there is now a partnership between us and Jesus Our Refuge Church. We rejoice each time Ptr Joel reports on how the church has grown and how the people are being trained and discipled to be a blessing to their community. We are praying that the Lord will use Jesus Our Refuge Church in great and powerful ways for the gospel of Jesus Christ to be preached and manifested in Tacloban … and beyond!

A "welcome" poster created and displayed in expectation of our visit in September.
A “welcome” poster created and displayed in expectation of our visit in September.

Owing to the state of the airport runway in September, I postponed our trip to Tacloban.  This has been deferred to January 2015 and I am looking forward to visiting the 22 BuildHope homes and seeing our Pinoy brothers and sisters in Christ! What’s even more meaningful is that I will have an opportunity to share and teach at a one-day seminar and a night revival meeting. At the request of Ptr Joel, I will be bringing the message of Archippus Awakening to Tanauan Leyte! This is really exciting for me because Archippus Awakening is about God raising His people from the bottom up for His end-time Kingdom move. And we know how the Lord loves to use the weak things to reveal His power and glory (1 Cor 1:27)! For more on Archippus Awakening, please visit the our website and Facebook Page.

Once again, a word of thanks to all who have contributed and for being a part of this wonderful opportunity to demonstrate the love of Jesus Christ. I know that your efforts and contributions are never in vain for God will surely richly reward that which is given up for the sake of His kingdom and the name of Jesus. Praise the Lord!!!

Related Posts:
House for the People of Tanauan Leyte
Houses for the People of Tanauan Leyte: Building Starts Tomorrow
Houses for the People of Tanauan Leyte: Building in Progress
Houses for the People of Tanauan Leyte: Pray for My Trip 20-24 March 2014
Houses for the People of Tanauan: Ministry Trip Report
Houses for the People of Tanauan Leyte: Target Reached & Surpassed

If you’d like to partner me to contribute to this re-building initiative to bless the people of Tanauan Leyte, please email me at brohenson@gmail.comIf you know of others who might like to participate, please feel free to share this post with them via email, Facebook or Twitter. My request is that they let me know how and through whom they came to know of this so I have an idea of the source of referral.

Thanks for your support and co-labour in the work of the ministry so that together we can do more to bring hope to the people of Tanauan Leyte in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ!

NOTE: This project is strictly undertaken on a personal basis and not affiliated to any church, ministry or organisation hence funds will be directed to my personal account. As such, if you are not comfortable with that, it is perfectly ok. I will do my best to provide information and details, and to remain accountable to those who are led to contribute to this cause. Thank you.

6 thoughts on “Houses for the People of Tanauan Leyte: One Year On

  1. Hi Henson Yesterday we had Emmund Chan at our church…n spoke morning service n spoke to us(leaders) after service.. he reminds me of you. Do you know him? Blessings Esther Leaw

  2. Hey bro Henson, coincidentally (or not) I just saw a TV program today on one of our free to air channels on rebuilding home for Tacloban community and thought of you and the team!! 🙂
    Praying for this mission!!!! 🙂

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