Obedience. This is what happens when ordinary people listen to God’s call. On November 7, 2013, Typhoon Haiyan/Yolanda hit landfall in the Philippines. One of the areas hit hardest by Typhoon Yolanda was Eastern Visayas. Tacloban City and the surrounding area accounted for 5,877 deaths, with more than 1,000 people missing.
Pastors Willy and Vicky Galzote were following God’s call as pastors of a church 996 kilometers away in Tarlac City when they heard the news. Their compassionate hearts immediately ached for the people affected by the storm. When such a travesty hits, many of us hurt for those impacted.
Their desire to help was unstoppable. Pastor Willy contacted leadership within Faith Evangelical Church of the Philippines (FECPI), the OMS-founded denomination, in hopes of coming up with a plan. Their desire was not to merely travel down with supplies or for a brief visit. God had convicted them to be much more, to build authentic relationships. Their call was to comfort aching hearts and offer hope.
Have you ever felt a call so strong that you were willing to leave everything? This is what Jesus asked of those he called. “And he said to them, ‘Follow me, and I will make you fishers of men.’ Immediately, they left their nets and followed him” (Matthew 4:19-20). This is exactly the call that Pastors Willy and Vicky received. They requested permission to leave the pulpit and move to Tacloban City.
A month after Typhoon Yolanda made landfall, a group of four from FECPI and One Mission Society traveled down to see what God was calling them to do. They had no clear contact person but went on faith that God would guide them. Pastors Willy and the others were just looking for a clear sign on how to help the people impacted. What they found was truly from God.
To be continued … We’ll continue the story next week …
By Shane Christopher, Every Community for Christ Development Officer