Paul states in Romans 15:13, “Now may the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace believing, that you may abound in hope, through the power of the Holy Ghost.”
This past Sunday I spoke in New Hope Church in Manila on Hopelessness and Hope. When we read the papers and look all around us it is easy to become discouraged and hopeless, but God is a God of hope! To those of us who have received His salvation, we can abound in hope both now and for eternity. One of my favorite Bible verses is John 10:10. “The thief comes to steal, kill, and destroy, but I have come that they might have life and that more abundantly.” Despite all the things we see, I believe for a God-filled 2014!
Last year ended with one of the worst typhoons in recorded history hitting the Philippines. The large city of Tacloban in Leyte was hit especially hard. Along the coast three or four ships were washed onto the shore clearing the homes in their paths. Though the initial reports of 10,000 people killed were later discredited, now people in the area say that they believe there may actually be over double that amount. We may never know for certain.
This month, Lorrie and I traveled to the island of Leyte and continued our relief aid to the village of Bugabuga and a neighboring village of Campurog. We are focusing on these villages because we already have a church there and they were not receiving the aid or attention of the more metropolitan areas. Bugabuga is a village of about 150 families and Campurog is a village of 160 families. They are both located in a remote mountainous area. Though there was no loss of life, most of the homes suffered either severe damage or were completely destroyed. Through your gifts, we have been able to supply some food relief, building materials, and a water well. We just purchased a chain saw and are planning to hire some of the villagers to cut the fallen coconut trees into lumber for houses for the most needy people. It is our plan to provide some cash income for the workers at the same time as we are supplying materials for their homes.
Our daughter, Amy, has joined us this month in the Philippines. We are looking forward to her help in teaching at the Bible School for the next few months. It is always rewarding knowing we have the opportunity to influence these young people in their walk with God.
Please pray especially for Geraldine, one of our former graduates, she has been diagnosed with leukemia. Pray also for our son Jeremy as he leads a missions team in Africa.
Thank you for your continued prayers, faithful support, and friendship.
Nels and Lorrie