Greetings from Central Florida. In November I had sent out an article on the relief effort in the Philippines. Below is an encouraging update from last week written by NTM writer Cathy Drobnick for the NTM Daily Bulletin.
In the face of suffering and loss, God is faithfully at work in ongoing Haiyan disaster relief. View a gallery of photos from relief efforts in the Philippines.
A catastrophe is often God’s opportunity to pour out His grace. The staggering losses sustained by the people of the Philippines during the deadly destruction caused by Typhoon Haiyan are deeply disturbing from a human perspective.
But it is encouraging to recognize that there are new doors swinging open for God’s Word as a direct result of this disaster. There are opportunities for the gospel to enter and impact needy areas as the tangible display of God’s love embraces hurting, struggling people through providing relief.
Missionary pilot Steffan Pyle expresses how he has seen God using relief efforts to open hearts:
“A village I flew for was closed to the gospel in the past. They were not interested in a Bible teacher, until they saw that the Christians were the only ones helping them in their time of need. … When we showed up with relief supplies, they told the pastor that they wanted him to come and begin teaching them the Bible!”
“God is at work, even through the devastation.”
God is abundantly blessing the bringing of relief. People who have never heard a clear presentation of the gospel are seeing God’s love in action through the meeting of their physical needs by God’s servants who have given generously of their lives and resources to pour the love of Jesus on stricken, wounded people who have suffered extensively the effects of Haiyan.
Because NTM missionaries are required to raise their own financial support and live by faith, trusting God to provide their needs, no portion of the relief fund has been used for wages or salaries for missionaries involved in providing relief. One-hundred percent of the funds given for disaster relief have gone to help storm victims.
In the early stages of this effort, the most urgent needs were addressed as quickly and effectively as possible. Much of this initial effort was dedicated toward getting food and basic sanitation supplies to areas that desperately needed them. A total of 595 flights in six different NTM aircraft invested nearly 400 hours in relief flights.
Now that most of those critical needs have been met, the remaining funds will be directed toward rebuilding communities and reestablishing the livelihoods of stricken areas in the most cost-effective ways possible.
Pray for God’s blessing in the ongoing relief effort in the Philippines. Pray that extending relief will continue to alleviate suffering and open doors. Pray also that people who have never heard the Good News about Jesus will, as a result of this devastating typhoon, soon be able to hear a clear presentation of the gospel in their own language.
Pray that as stomachs are filled and communities and livelihoods are restored, God’s redeeming love will have new opportunities to reach starving souls and fill them with joy and eternal hope in Christ.
Expanding the Reach,
Dave & Diann