Several of you have written to ask about our friends and church planting partners in the Philippines. It has been my pleasure to work with these dear people for the past 13 years in the province of Negros Oriental, in the Central Philippines.
I am thankful to report that we have heard from most of them.
I am passing along their communications in this post, so you all may see their level of trust in the Lord and their reactions to being hit by the strongest storm ever recorded to make landfall on the planet.
Negros had high winds and torrential rains, but they were blessed to be missed by the most powerful portion of the typhoon.
Here are communications we received from Pastor Josue Cadiao (who also had the family of Pastor Ernel Agaban with them in Bacong), and Pastor Roberto Martin in the coastal area of Bais City.
Hello Dear Brethren in the Lord,
God is gracious enough who holds our lives from the monster typhoon Yolanda.
We cannot hold our emotions upon looking at the news. Hundreds of people were dead due to the typhoon and homes and establishments were broken. We are so sorry for them. And we prayed for God's comfort and hope for them.
For us we are sending our heartfelt gratitude and thanks giving for your earnest prayers for our situation upon waiting the coming of the typhoon. Your prayers mean a lot to us. God redirected the typhoon in our area Negros Oriental. From signal No. 4 to signal no. 2 He made it possible and it is because of all your prayers for us. We really appreciate.
We cannot explain our emotions upon waiting the said typhoon but because of your prayers, your calls, and your concern we felt God's hand and comfort. and protection.
To Central , Burnaugh, Ptr. Darrell, Bro. Richard, Ptr. Pete, Ptr. Joed, Dr. CJ and all who prayed for us our heartfelt appreciation to all. How lucky we are to have you as our prayer partners. To God be the glory for all that He has done.
We are now back to our daily routine of works. Today we are experiencing a sunny day.
We will uphold you all in our prayers continually.
We thank God for all of you.
God's blessings be upon us all.
In His Vineyard,
Bro. Josue Cadiao, Cristy and Bacong Christian Fellowship
Pastor Roberto Martin in Bais City kept us updated with the following dispatches as the Typhoon approached, and in the aftermath:
11/6 5:59AM “Hello dr. Cj.Pls pray for Negros we are the center of Super typhoon.The Gov. already suspended the classes for two days.please pray for the covering of God's hand”.
11.6 11:26PM “The strong Wind is now starting.... We are in the house.praying,preparing just open the computer till there's service of electricity to update the news.”
11/7 6:48PM “The typhoon striking signal no.3 in our place.About to landfall before 2 hours.”
11/10 6:29AM “Hello Dr. CJ.....Thank you for all your prayers.God's grace we are all safe.Lets just continue pray because Yolanda is still in the Philippines and this coming Tues night-Wed.There's another heavy rain threat and it may become a tropical storm.
God is amazing!miraculous!He really answered prayer.There's no any damaged in our home and church building.During the landfall,we sing God's songs and prayed.rebuking the typhoon.God is good all the time.”
I have also heard from Pastor Nico Folio in Manjuyod. He did not give specifics regarding damages, etc, but we understand that the Bamboo Church is still standing along the sea coast in Manjuyod.
While our hearts are broken at the tragic loss of life and catastrophic damage in Tacloban City, Leyte Island, Samar, and northern Cebu, we are thanking God for the deliverance of our dear friends and partners on Negros Island.
Please keep the thousands of affected families in your prayers.