We finally made it to Tacloban!
Our trip to Tanauan Leyte was planned for last September. But owing to the poor condition of the airport runway, we decided to postpone it to 22-26 Jan 2015. Little did we know that this would be directly after the papal visit one week earlier! As a result, the airport was spruced up and the entire town cleaned up. What a blessing for us!
This delay also allowed Ptr Joel Lerios to read more about my ministry in Kidapawan City in October 2014 where the message of Archippus Awakening was shared. I was then requested to bring the same message of awakening to Jesus Our Refuge Church through a one-day seminar on Saturday 24 Jan, aptly entitled “AWAKENED. ALIGNED. ASSIGNED.” [Read blogpost “Archippuses Awakened in Tanauan Leyte”]
At the Sunday service, the recipients of the BuildHope houses took turns to convey their thanks and appreciation. Other than my dad, Henry, and Christie who were present to receive their words of gratitude, I had to accept these on behalf of many others who did not make the trip but generously gave to this cause.
After that, the congregation had a surprise lined up for them. We had arranged with Ptr Joel in advance to bless the families of Jesus Our Refuge with gift packs of rice, sardines, corned beef, soap and biscuits. It was really wonderful to see the joy on the faces of the families as we distributed these packs to them.
We were not able to visit all 22 houses but I think we did quite well to cover as many as we could in the time allowable. With the light intermittent drizzle, the weather was extremely pleasant for us. My mother deserves a medal for gamely climbing in and out of the vehicle at every stop! At each house, we stood with the family to pray with and for them. To date, together with other contributors, a total of 48 houses has been built. The greater news is that many of the recipients have become cell leaders and groups meet in these houses every week. When Typhoon Hagupit hit last year, these houses passed the test and stood firm! There are also many testimonies of lives impacted and of friends and families being saved as they experienced the love and grace of Jesus Christ through this BuildHope Project of Jesus Our Refuge Church. We are so blessed and privileged to be able to participate in this!
In consultation with Ptr Joel, a couple sponsored a church van, now affectionately referred to as the “yellow car”. Members are encouraged to make their own way to church and after service, the church uses this van to send them home. Ptr Joel explained that this is to train discipline and commitment, which the church affirms and reciprocates by sending them home, making quite a few shuttle trips each week. Can you imagine such a system in Singapore? Haha! That said, the people had to make their own way back this weekend as the “yellow car” was used to ferry our Singaporean team around to visit the houses that weekend.
We had a light moment as the five pedicabs we sponsored were lined up for a photo opportunity. After that, the riders gamely took us for a little spin around the block. Sure reminded me of our trishaw days in Singapore.
To all who have contributed to this cause, I want to say a HUGE THANK YOU to each and every one of you! I stand amazed at how the Lord has touched hearts to respond over the past year. It all began with a tug in my heart as I flipped the papers on the morning of 9 November, the day after Super Typhoon Haiyan ripped through Tacloban. After connecting with Ptr Joel, all I did was blog about it and the Lord did the rest! Truly, if we would be faithful and obedient to His prompting, He can do wonderful things to bring love and hope to lives!
To God be the glory!!!
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
Houses for the People of Tanauan Leyte: One Year On
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 firstname.lastname@example.org. If 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.