​What Might Happen? Having a Plan

April 16 2015

I love it when a plan comes together, especially when it is God’s plan. On March 15, 2014, the plan was in place, and Pastors Willy and Vicky moved from Tarlac City to Tacloban City. By car, this is a more than a 24-hour move. Their plan was to distribute roofing sheets to people who lost their roofs during the typhoon. This would give them an opportunity for connection to the community.

In the first two months, they had distributed sheets to 44 homes in one area and 22 in another. They requested the roofs be painted red so you can see which houses were given new roofs. The picture gives a view from the top with several homes “seeing red.” The best part of the ministry is the relationships built with people who have started attending house churches as new believers. In two months, they already had two worshiping groups meeting weekly with more than 50 in attendance.

The people of the Philippines are such giving people, despite what little they may have. If you are visiting, they will prepare a meal or an afternoon merienda (snack) from what little they have. Many of the locals lost their families in the typhoon. Some parents lost all their children; children lost all of their family members. In fact, in one family alone, 26 people died.

A woman survived with all eight of her children by clinging to trees while the storm surge hit. By God’s miraculous grace, they all survived. This was not the case for many, as more than 6,000 people lost their lives in Typhoon Yolanda. The area was devastated, yet the people still show love and hope.

Pastors Willy and Vicky have committed to stay three years to help those in need and to build up leaders in the church. They live sacrificially and have a true heart for glorifying God in their daily lives. They yearn to do more for the families of Tacloban City.

To be continued …

By Shane Christopher, Development Officer, Every Community for Christ

Tags: god's plan, typhoon, philippines, plan of action, compassion ministries,

What Might Happen? - Plan

April 16 2015

Plan.

I love it when a plan comes together, especially when it is God’s plan. On March 15, 2014, the plan was in place, and Pastors Willy and Vicky moved from Tarlac City to Tacloban City. By car, this is a more than 24-hour move. Their plan was to distribute roofing sheets to people who lost their roofs during the typhoon. This would give them an opportunity for connection to the community.

In the first two months they had distributed sheets to 44 homes in one area and 22 in another. They requested the roofs be painted red so you can see which houses were given new roofs. The picture gives a view from the top with several homes “seeing red.” The best part of the ministry is the relationships built with people who have started attending house churches as new believers. In two months they already had two worshiping groups meeting weekly with more than 50 total in attendance.

The people of the Philippines are such giving people, despite what little they may have. If you are visiting, they will prepare a meal or an afternoon merienda (snack) from what little they have. Many of the locals lost their families. Parents lost all their children, children lost all of their family – 26 people were lost in one family alone.

A woman survived with all eight of her children by clinging to trees while the storm surge hit. By God’s miraculous grace they all survived. This is not the case for many as more than 6,000 people lost their lives in Typhoon Yolanda. The area was devastated, yet the people still show love and hope.

Pastors Willy and Vicky have committed to stay three years to help those in need and build up leaders in the church. They live sacrificially and have a true heart for glorifying God in their daily lives. They yearn to do more for the families of Tacloban City.

To be continued…

Tags: god's plan, philippines, typhoon, relief, restoration, house church, worshiping groups, grace,

​What Might Happen? Finding a Person of Peace

April 14 2015

Faith. Without this we are lost. Pastor Willy had faith, but he needed guidance from God. The group of four from Faith Evangelical Church of the Philippines, Inc. and One Mission Society traveled to Tacloban City with an overabundance of faith and trust. They knew God would show them a way.

Their first goal was to get to a hotel to drop their luggage. In a ravaged city, this is not an easy task. Many places were destroyed and transportation was limited. With this in mind, they attempted to hail a motorcycle taxi (trike) in hopes of easier mobility. The first trike they stopped was not for hire. The driver was a vendor of peanuts heading home after a long day.

Knowing the difficulties of finding transportation, he gave them a ride. Conversation ensued as the men described why they came to the area. He had nothing to gain from them, but he offered his house to them as a place to stay. This one ride resulted in the driver becoming their local contact or person of peace (see Luke 10).

The peanut vendor soon accepted Christ into his life and became instrumental in introducing Pastors Willy and Vicky to many people impacted by the typhoon. Since that chance meeting, his business has flourished. Through faith, God revealed their person of peace and an opening into a community in pain.

The person of peace described in Luke 10 will welcome you into their house. This testimony shows God still reveals those people today. We meet people daily in our lives. Many are living without hope and simply need someone to reach out to them. How often do we overlook opportunities? “If a man of peace is there, your peace will rest on him; but if not it will return to you” (Luke 10:6). Keep an eye out for persons of peace in your life.

To be continued …

By Shane Christopher, Development Officer, Every Community for Christ

Tags: person of peace, faith, philippines, typhoon,

What Might Happen? - Faith

April 13 2015

Faith.

Without this we are lost. Pastor Willy had faith, but he needed guidance from God. The group of four from FECPI and OMS traveled to Tacloban City with an overabundance of faith and trust. They knew God would show them a way.

Their first goal was to get to a hotel and drop luggage. In a ravaged city, this is not an easy task. Many places were destroyed and transportation was limited. With this in mind, they attempted to hail a motorcycle taxi (trike) in hopes of easier mobility. The first trike they stopped was not for hire. The driver was a vendor of peanuts heading home after a long day.

Knowing the difficulties of finding transportation, he gave them a ride. Conversation ensued as the men described why they came to the area. He had nothing to gain from them, but he offered his house to them as a place to stay. This one ride resulted in the driver becoming their contact, or Person of Peace (Luke 10).

The peanut vendor soon accepted Christ into his life and became instrumental in introducing Pastors Willy and Vicky to many people impacted by the typhoon. Since that chance meeting, his business has flourished. Through faith, God revealed their person of peace and an opening into a community that was in pain.

The person of peace described in Luke 10 will welcome you into their house. This testimony shows God still reveals those people today. We meet people daily in our lives. Many are living without hope and simply need someone to reach out to them. How often do we overlook opportunities? “If a man of peace is there, your peace will rest on him; but if not it will return to you.” (Luke 10:6) Keep an eye out for persons of peace in your life.

To be continued…

Tags: faith, philippines, compassion, typhoon, person of peace,

​What Might Happen? Pastors Obey in the Philippines

April 10 2015

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

Tags: church planting, obedience, train and multiply, philippines typhoon,

Update on Typhoon Relief Work in Philippines

May 28 2014

Report on Trip to Tacloban and Tanauan, Leyte, Philippines

By Brent H. Burdick, OMS Missionary

This report is intended to inform interested parties about the ministry that has taken place in the Philippines as a result of donations given. We are so grateful for all that has been done to enable the people of the Philippines to begin their recovery after the destruction of Typhoon Haiyan on November 8, 2013.

Background information: The restoration and relief efforts are coordinated by One Mission Society, of which I have been a member for 23 years. My wife, Kim and I served in the Philippines for 20 years from 1991-2011. Our ministry took place primarily in and around Metro Manila, and in central and northern Luzon. We had no ministry in the central Philippines. OMS established a national church, called Faith Evangelical Church of the Philippines, Inc., (FECPI) composed of 10 organized churches and 20 churches being planted; and a Bible college, (Faith Bible College or FBC) After Typhoon Haiyan hit the central Philippines last November, FECPI, in partnership with OMS, decided to send a team there for relief and restoration efforts, with the goal of eventually also planting churches. The team that was sent was composed of Pastor Willy Galzote and his wife, Vicky. Pastor Willy and Vicky are in their mid-50s. They willingly gave up pastoring in their hometown in order to serve the people of Tacloban and Tanauan, Philippines, on November 8. The capital city of Leyte province, Tacloban City, was hit hard by the typhoon. Typhoon Haiyan had the highest recorded winds of any typhoon ever to make landfall. It also had a storm surge of almost 30 feet in some areas. Tacloban was not hit directly by the eye of the storm. Tanauan, about 12 miles south of Tacloban City, was. A member of Faith Fellowship church, Tess Marcelino, is from Tanauan and had many relatives living in Tanauan. More than 100 members of her extended family/clan were killed by the storm. Total official estimates of the death toll from the storm are “6,000 dead with many missing.” From the destruction we saw six months after the typhoon hit, I would have to say those estimates are incorrect. It was probably more like 25 – 30,000 dead. The reason for the discrepancy is that if the death toll had reached more than 10,000 the UN would have taken over, and the Philippines government did not want this. Relief efforts are ongoing by some agencies, but most of the major ones have pulled out after initial weeks. There are reports of widespread corruption among local and national officials: some relief supplies rotting in warehouses, only 10 percent of financial aid given actually getting to the people, etc. The type of project OMS and FECPI are doing prevents this from happening and meets a real need. The project consists of helping affected families by helping them put a new roof on their homes. The families must sign up, prove their need of a new roof, rebuild the frame of their house, and provide nails for the roofing material. Once these criteria are met, they are given up to 12 pieces of 3’ x 10’ Galvanized iron sheets.

The visit: I flew to Tacloban on April 9 with Reverend Roehl Rivera, FECPI President, and Rev. Mar Ocampo, FECPI National Church Planting Director. When we landed in Tacloban everything was green. Much had re-grown after the typhoon six months ago, but the airport terminal was basically an open shelter without walls. We left the airport and rented a van to Pastor Willy and Vicky Galzote's house. Vicky fixed breakfast for us. Then while we were visiting together, a man named Dennis showed up at the door. He is the president of the Purok 6 (Greenhills) subdivision and had accepted the Lord a couple weeks ago. It is his subdivision where the team is installing all the roofs. We visited with Dennis for about four hours! He was so excited about his new-found faith and the difference it is making in his life! He's a fascinating guy. He is actually a teacher of business at a local university and has lots of community development plans. After a lunch of Pastor Willy's famous fried chicken, Dennis left and we rested since we had all been up since about 2 a.m. At about 4 p.m. a tricycle (motorcycle with a side car) driver came around and took us up to the area where Dennis lives and most of the contacts are. Wow. It was not what I expected. It is basically a squatter community on the side of the mountain in back of Tacloban. They took us around and we visited all the people who had been given GI sheets to fix their roofs. Pastor Willy and Dennis are doing a great job of this. I got lots of pictures and took some video. It is hard to imagine what these people have been through, but they seem happy, and God is really moving in their lives. Lots of little kids were running around and kept hanging on me. They were sweet. We walked around for an hour or so and met the people, talked about their typhoon experiences, prayed for them, etc. We left there then came back and had dinner, reflecting on what we'd seen. I went to bed after spending a fruitless hour trying to check email. Internet connections in Tacloban are spotty and undependable still. I was so tired with jetlag.

The next day we spent the morning visiting the hardware store of a man named Adan. He is a friend of Dennis' who has given a great rate to purchase all the tin roof sheeting for the project. He has quite a vision to help a lot of people through establishing piggery's. Too much to go into here, but it seems he and Dennis are great contacts for everything FECPI hopes to do. I wonder Who had a hand in that!?!

That afternoon, we went to Tanauan. It was sobering. Tanauan was hit by the eye of the hurricane. It is about 1 kilometer (6/10ths of a mile) inland from the ocean, 12 miles or so from Tacloban, and had 20-30 feet of tidal surge in some areas during the storm. We met two families who are relatives of Tess Marcelino, the member attends Faith Fellowship in Manila. The first family we met lived on the west side of the road, farther from the ocean. They had a house with cement walls and twenty people crammed into the back part of the kitchen during the storm. The roof blew away, and then the storm surge came. They said the water was horribly black and full of all kinds of debris. It was moving very fast and the cousin of Tess, a man in his late 50s named Rudy stood in the doorway to keep people from being washed out. The water here was about 10 feet high because the house was higher off the ground and farther from the ocean, so there was about 5-6 feet in the house. The cement walls nearly gave way with the force of the water and you could see how they nearly fell over because they were still leaning when we saw them. It was amazing that the people survived. Rudy said that in the next compound over many people died and the smell was horrible for a couple weeks until they got the bodies taken care of. We passed a Catholic church on the road where there was a mass grave of several hundred bodies. We will start a re-roofing project in this community soon. The people that are left have started rebuilding with the broken bits of wood and debris that they can find. They have not received much relief except from family members in Manila, which isn't much.

We next walked across to the east side of the road, closer to the ocean. Here, the devastation was complete. Where there had once been thousands of people living in houses, was now barely a few cement foundations. We met Eduardo, a man of about 40 who was also a cousin (probably 2nd or 3rd) who had lived through the storm, but his wife and four children all died. We stood where his house had once been and all cried as he told his story. His parents and several other relatives lived in the area and also died in the storm. Their houses were totally wiped away too. This was the area where the storm surge hit 20-30 feet, and the winds were nearly 300 miles per hour.

As we listened to Eduardo, we noticed a bunch of pretty purple and white flowers growing right in front of where his house had been. No one knew where they had come from, or what they were. I've never seen any like it in the Philippines. They had to have been put there by God as a sign of hope for Eduardo. Eduardo was a fisherman but lost everything in the storm. He lives in a makeshift shack up by the road with several other men who lost their families. We are going to try and help Eduardo with a boat and a livelihood project. You could tell he was still in denial and depressed. Pastor Willy will go back and talk to him and the others to help get a roofing project going for this area. I imagine they will need medical missions and other projects. We hope Faith Fellowship church in Manila will get involved with the Tanauan projects.

It didn't seem that much international aid had reached this area. Once in a while you would see a tarp with "UNHCR" or "Samaritan's Purse" blazoned on it as we drove by, but that was all. It will be years before some of these people fully recover. That's why I'm excited about the work that we are doing here. It will make a lot more long-term impact for the people than anything else. Pastor Willy and his wife are committed to at least three years in the Tacloban/Tanauan area. Already they have a once-a-week Bible study going with about 30 new believers attending! Several people have already accepted Christ. Pastor Willy and Vicky have begun to disciple these new believers. They will become the nucleus of the new church!

Prayer requests:

  • 1.Pray for the new believers who are growing in their faith.
  • 2.Pray for protection for Pastor Willy and Vicky as they serve in Tacloban and Tanauan.
  • 3.Pray for God to open more doors and provide more opportunities to serve.
  • 4.Pray for the victims who still need help and need to hear the Good News and have a personal relationship with Jesus.

Tags: philippines, typhoon, relief, faith fellowship

Making a Difference in the Philippines

January 22 2014

Making a Difference in the Philippines

About a month ago, from December 16-20, 2013, our Every Community for Christ Philippines coordinator, Mar Ocampo, and two fellow pastors and ECC workers, Roehl Rivera and Willy Galzote took a 5-day exploratory trip to Tacloban City, Philippines, to access the damage from the November 2013 typhoon and determine how One Mission Society and our denomination of churches in the Philippines, Faith Evangelical Church of the Philippines, can best help in this area. Here is a brief report from Mar.

We flew to Tacloban City on December 16 with a confidence that God would guide and help us with our exploratory mission. Before the airplane had touched the ground, we saw the panoramic view of the extent of the devastation. The ruins are indeed heartbreaking; even worse than what we have seen on the television. 

While on our way to our first destination, we saw the unbelievable destruction all around the area, plus we heard the stories from our driver on how thousands of people were killed instantly when the typhoon surge hit Tacloban City. His son, who is a policeman, was on duty at the airport, has been missing since the typhoon. 

From day one until we returned home, the trip was filled with divine meetings, being in the right place, at the right time, to meet the right people.

Our future plans are to return to Tacloban City to focus our relief and rehabilitation activities, starting with purchasing corrugated metal sheets to cover the roofs of all the houses that lost them in the typhoon. The team also plans to build relationships and share the Gospel with the people. 

We hope to begin work there the first week of February 2014, but this is subject to approval of OMS and FECPI. We thank God for directing our path to all the right people we needed for future ministry connections. 

Rev. Marcos M. Ocampo, ECC Country Coordinator, Philippines

Let’s Make a Difference

This July, Dynamic Women in Missions will be partnering with the ministries of Faith Evangelical Church of the Philippines to share the Good News of Jesus Christ, who is not only the “missing piece” of the puzzle, but also the “missing peace” in people’s lives in the midst of storms.

As a member of our team, you will have the opportunity to use your unique gifts, abilities, personality and life experiences to minister to and alongside Filipino women and children.  Opportunities may include children's ministry, leading and sharing in praise and worship services, outreaches, mini-retreats for women, teaching values education classes in a local high school, and encouraging Filipino women in ministry. Total cost is approximately $2,700. If interested, please contact Dynamic Women today at DWinMissions@onemissionsociety.org.

Donations are also still needed. We have set up account #408056 ― Asia Pacific Typhoon Relief fund to receive donations. OMS will distribute funds to our regional partners and ministries as funds become available. 

To give online, go to http://www.onemissionsociety.org/give/express-give and use account #408056 in the project box, or send a check to One Mission Society, P.O. Box 1648, Monument, CO 80132-1648, and on the memo line put “#408056 ― Asia Pacific Typhoon Relief.”

Thank you for your support through finances and prayers for the victims, missionaries, and ministries in this region.

Tags: asia typhoon, be a missionary, church planting, compassion ministry, disaster relief, every community for christ, medical missions, dynamic women in missions, missions in philippines, short term missions, short-term mission trip, typhoonworld missions

Philippines Typhoon Disaster...One Month Later

December 11 2013

Philippines Typhoon Disaster...One Month Later

It's been only a month since the tragic typhoon hit the Asia Pacific region, especially the Philippines, yet we hear very little, if anything, in the news about what is happening there today. OMS continues to work strategically with our national partners there, along with sending an OMS missionary who lives in the region to coordinate the efforts, and soon, we hope to send teams to help.

Relief funds are still desperately needed. This is how you can help today. Send your donation to One Mission Society, a ministry you know and trust. We have set up account #408056 ― Asia Pacific Typhoon Relief fund to receive donations. OMS will distribute funds to our regional partners and ministries as funds become available. 

To give online, go to http://www.onemissionsociety.org/give/express-give and use account #408056 in the project box, or send a check to One Mission Society, P.O. Box 1648, Monument, CO 80132-1648, and on the memo line put “#408056 ― Asia Pacific Typhoon Relief.”

Thank you in advance for your support through finances and prayers for the victims, missionaries, and ministries in this region.

Here is a personal account from OMS missionary Kim Burdick, who served in the Philippines for many years with OMS, who has corresponded with a Filipino friend deeply affected:

Marites (Tes) Marcelino (pictured from a few years ago, seated in the middle, along with OMS missionaries Keith and Judy Kennedy and Brent Burdick, with other Faith Fellowship members) is an active member of Faith Fellowship Aurora (an OMS-related church) and works at a local bank in Manila. She is from Mohon Tanauan Leyte in the Philippines, one of the hardest hit areas from Typhoon Haiyan, located south of Tacloban City on the coast. Tes lost 100 members of her family in the typhoon, but she said she wanted to focus on those who lived. 

When I wrote to let her know that we were praying for her, she replied, "Thank you so much Ate Kim... I still believe that God is in control inspite of what happened..."

According to what mutual friends told me, she had been waiting for almost two weeks for any news from her family, due to the phone lines being down. Eventually, her mother and two other family members were evacuated to Manila and found Tes. They shared the news of what had happened to much of their family clan.  

Please pray for Tes and her family. Here are a few specific requests from Tes for those affected:

1. First of all, for them to know God in their lives personally. 2. Rebuild their shelter/house 3. Source of income. Most of them are farmers and fishermen 4. Recovery from trauma, especially for my nieces/nephews whose parents were killed. 5. Some of my cousins are still missing.

Tags: asia typhoon, compassion ministry, disaster relief, missions in asia, missions in philippines, trusting god, typhoonworld missions

Asia Pacific Relief Needed

November 14 2013

Asia Pacific Relief Needed

Year after year, the people of the Asia Pacific region hold their breath in anticipation of the next typhoon/cyclone, tropical disturbance, or severe flooding due to the tropical cyclone season from November 1 – April 30.

This past Friday, Super Typhoon Haiyan devastated the central Philippines, causing widespread destruction and killing thousands.

Some meteorologists report that this might be the most powerful storm to ever hit land. According to CNN, “The typhoon was 3.5 times more forceful than Hurricane Katrina, which hit the United States in 2005. It wasn’t the storm’s 250-kph (155-mph) gusts that caused most of the damage—it was a mammoth storm surge that reached up to 5 meters (16 feet) high.”

The storms triggered landslides, uprooted trees, and destroyed homes and entire communities as its destructive forces moved quickly though the islands.

Early Monday, powerful winds also forced thousands to evacuate their homes in northeastern Vietnam. Destruction, to some extent, is evident throughout the Asia Pacific region.

OMS will send relief to the areas of the Asia Pacific region where we have ministries and workers on hand to do the most good. In one country, we have "boots on the ground," ready to put his military and relief experience to work to get immediate help into the hands of those that need it most.

Today, six days later, in many areas of the Asia Pacific region, we still see: No electricity. No food. No water. Widespread looting. Dead bodies scattered on the streets. Missing people. Hospitals overrun with patients. Houses and buildings demolished. And medical supplies running out.

This is how you can help today. Send your donation to One Mission Society, a ministry you know and trust.

We have set up account #408056 ― Asia Pacific Typhoon Relief fund to receive donations. OMS will distribute funds to our regional partners and ministries as funds become available.

To give online, go to http://www.onemissionsociety.org/give/express-give and use account #408056 in the project box, or send a check to One Mission Society, P.O. Box 1648, Monument, CO 80132-1648, and on the memo line put “#408056 ― Asia Pacific Typhoon Relief.”

Thank you in advance for your support through finances and prayers for the victims, missionaries, and ministries in this region.

Tags: disaster relief, compassion ministry, give to missions, missions in asia, missions in philippines, one mission society, typhoon, asia typhoon