A Trip to the Far East
My time in the Philippines was filled with serving alongside wonderful Christians, connecting with Christ-centered ministries and Churches, and ministering to precious children.
I began my journey from Washington DC, where I flew to Los Angeles to meet up with the rest of our team. Christ In Action had already sent a team over to the Philippines in December 2013, right after the November typhoon Haiyan (known as Typhoon Yolanda in the Philippines) left over 6,200 people dead, and affected 13 million people spread across multiple countries. Our first team successfully connected with several reputable indigenous churches and ministries that wanted to reach out and help their country recover, revive and rebuild, but they had virtually no tools, resources, experience or direction as to where to start.
Our primary in-country coordinating partner has been Gerson Deita of King Jesus Christian Fellowship and his father, Eddie. Bishop Eddie, oversees a network of 66 churches in the Philippines. Gerson is the outreach pastor of KJCF and also oversees the orphanage they run in Kabasalan, Philippines.
We spent a few days with KJCF in Kabasalan where we put on a 1-day disaster relief training where 100 people from the church, community and REACT emergency response team were equipped to be prepared for the next disaster and trained in basic first aid skills. I (Chris) taught the radio communications and first aid sessions of the training.
We spent several more days in Tacloban (one of the hardest hit cities) and connected with Pastors Gordon & Emie Kalich of Eternal Life Ministries International. Pastor Gordon is an American missionary to the Philippines, and their family has been involved in the planting of 21 churches in the Philippines. On Sunday morning we visited one of those churches, meeting in a room at the Astrodome (sports arena) in downtown Tacloban. While we were there, Gordon shared how being right on the coast, the Astrodome was hit extremely hard by the heavy winds and then the surge of water (over 15 feet). The windows in the Astrodome (and much of the construction in that area) are lead-paned thick glass. He shared how because of the prayers prayed over that room, it was the only room that had no windows broken from the storm. What a testimony to God's protection!
In our time there, myself and others (some from Christ In Action and others from other ministries) were able to provide these people and organizations:
• 600 lb of everyday medicine (pain relievers, cough syrup, lice treatments, cold and flu medicine) that you and I take for granted in the United States
• One day of disaster relief and first aid training
• 4 Chainsaws to cut up downed trees (from the intense 235mph typhoon winds) into usable rebuilding lumber that would have otherwise been left to rot on the ground
• 600 Tagalog Bibles, backpacks and flip-flops (slippers) for children who attend a public school
• Music, truth and words of encouragement for the survivors, pastors, government leaders and churches of the Philippines. We spent nearly 3 hours with the Mayor of Tacloban and his wife who are born-again Christians. We encouraged them and shared our heart to help their city in whatever ways we could.
Since our trip, Christ In Action has funded the rebuilding of a home in Tacloban that will serve as a template for future rebuilding projects. Our goal is not to be involved there long-term, but to setup and provide a pattern for other organizations already involved in international relief ministry to take the torch and continue the work there so that we can focus on our first call, Bringing Hope to *America's* Families.
View more photos of our trip to the Philippines and the Rebuilding Effort
disaster , relief , Philippines , Typhoon Haiyan , Typhoon Yolanda , Hope , Partnering ,