The world has watched aghast at the destruction worked by typhoon Haiyan in the central provinces of the Philippines. It carries a special gravity for my family, since my wife Rachel grew up there as an MK, and her younger brother was adopted from the Philippines. Anyone who has spent time there knows Filipinos to be some of the most warm and welcoming people in the world.
I received an email today from Menchit Wong, who serves as Director of Global Advocacy for CAFO-member Compassion International. Menchit lives in Manila, capital city of the Philippines. Although Manila was spared the brunt of the typhoon, Menchit is seeing the ripples of the destruction done to other areas of the many-island nation. Her email captures both the terrible harm done by the typhoon and also specific prayer requests for the days ahead.
Dear Friends and Spiritual Family from around the world,
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 for our Compassion Philippines Rapid Response Team to be able to carry out relief assistance and to provide comfort, prayers and support to our afflicted children, their families and local churches. Pray for the safety and health of Noel (our Ph Country Director), Toyditz (our Asia Regional Advocacy Director), and the rest of the Rapid Response Team as they are in Cebu and Leyte for a few days to carry out the relief work.
3. Pray that Satan, the Enemy 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 with unwavering faith in the Lord that they will receive timely help in terms of food, water, medicines and a safe place t 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 a single food since Friday.
6. Pray for miracles of healing to those who are ill, and for thousands and millions of Filipinos in central Philippines to come to know Jesus as their personal Lord and Savior through the mighty work of the Holy Spirit. 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)