It’s been 12 days since Yolanda struck and without a doubt the 8th of November will live in infamy. It’s changed all of our lives forever. More than ever, I believe that it’s important that we don’t cease in prayer because there’s never been a time when we need God’s grace, guidance and blessing more than right now.
Do I believe that God caused this? No. Do I believe that he allowed it? Absolutely. That’s what makes him God. He’s sovereign and that simply means that he has the final say and he calls the shots over everything. I don’t know what his reasons are for allowing it and I won’t play God but I do know this from the Bible: his thoughts and ways are higher than ours, and he uses what was intended for evil for our good. I don’t believe that what happened was a blessing because saying that is nothing less than disrespectful and hurtful to those who lost loved ones, but it would be a lie to say that no good has come out of these tragic events. Around the world and here in the Philippines, the outpouring of aid overwhelms me and brings me to my knees. We are so grateful.
The heightened strength of the typhoon was a result of climate change coupled with the storm surge because of the area’s proximity to the ocean. It was a natural catastrophe. Yes, God could have stopped it and the government could have alleviated its effects but I don’t believe that this is a time to play the blame game. It’s a time to get on our knees and pray, use our hands to repack and rebuild, and speak words of life and love over our nation. It’s a time to take action.
In the words of one of my all-time favorite bands, Hillsong United: “Politics will not decide if we should rise and be your hands and feet.”
This is an email that I received from International Prayer Connect and it serves as my daily prayer guide. I hope it helps you, too.
Thank you for your messages, prayers and concern for our current situation in the Philippines. As you know, a super typhoon named Haiyan (deadlier than Hurricane Katrina that had swept the US) ravaged the provinces in the central part of our archipelago last Friday. These cities are a plane ride away from Manila, so those of us live in the capital city are safe. Before the typhoon struck, Christians were praying that the Lord would change the typhoon’s course. As it was however, fierce winds and tsunami-like waves totally whipped these provinces, killing an estimated 10,000 helpless victims. Warnings and preparations for evacuation and relief work were no match for the winds and rain. Many cities now look like no man’s land.
But our Lord is sovereign over all; He never fails us and we believe that as a nation, this is an opportunity to show our spirit of unity, deep faith in the Lord Jesus Christ, and demonstrate our selfless giving. We have not seen in our history such a generous outpouring of aid and supplies from within the country (through the private sector), and from countries around the world, (some of them erstwhile ‘enemies’ of the Philippines). Everywhere, we see people wanting to help out and give their support. Please pray with us through the weeks and months ahead of relief, rescue and rehabilitation work, on behalf of the millions of Filipinos who are helpless victims of this tragedy.
These are our specific prayer requests:
1. Pray that our Lord will give an extraordinary amount of wisdom, steadfast spirit, keen insight, quickness to respond and political will among our national, regional and local government officials in mapping out and implementing a sustained plan of action for relief, rescue and rehabilitation. Pray that the Lord will give them the mind of Joseph who knew how to direct the people when the seven years of famine struck Egypt. Such was his wisdom that no one lacked. Pray that the millions of aid will be wisely distributed and allocated.
2. Pray that evil will be ‘padlocked’ so that unscrupulous people/thieves/robbers will not be able to carry out looting, robberies, or resort to killing; pray that no corrupt officials will be able to lay their hands on any of the relief money or goods for their own selfish motives.
4. Pray that the Lord will give our Filipino brothers and sisters timely help in terms of food, water, medicines and a safe place to sleep for the weeks and months ahead.
5. Pray that the US military personnel sent to help will be able to quickly train Filipino local officials so that all (and not only a few) affected towns and provinces will receive timely relief help. Pray that the aircraft sent to airlift goods and supplies will be safe and will help bring food especially to those towns where people have not eaten.
6. Pray for miracles of healing to those who are ill. Pray that the body of Christ in the Philippines, represented by the thousands of local churches will be a source of sustained blessing to the typhoon victims, in word and deed.
7. Pray that as we see the rehab work successfully accomplished, we will be able to declare,
Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, forever and ever! Amen. (Ephesians 3:20,21)
World Vision Philippines
If you prefer to course your donation through a local church:
Victory Christian Fellowship
God bless you!