As I write this letter I am sitting in a modern coffee shop. Outside the large glass window literally three feet from me is a mother with her three small children begging. Beyond the sidewalk are modern vehicles passing steadily by. We are in Tacloban where three years ago a major typhoon destroyed much of the city.
Yesterday, we were in the village of Bugabuga. To reach Bugabuga, you must walk or ride a motorcycle down a rough “road” for a mile and a quarter. There is no cell phone and therefore obviously no internet. They cook over wood fires and mostly live in small bamboo homes.
Because of your generous financial help after the typhoon most of the homes have been rebuilt and Bugabuga’s small church is flourishing. When we were last there, water was limited. Now with your help, there is a plentiful supply of water in the village coming from a cistern on the mountain. In addition, Jon and Carol Dufendorf and Kevin and Yvonne Temple and the Fairbanks Hosts Lions Club have supplied a water filter for the church.
This past week, Lorrie and I were the primary speakers at the annual pastor’s conference. Though we were at this remote location, there were still about 60 people in attendance for the conference. The topic was “Unity As One” and we were excited to see a lot of unity among the people that attended.
Let me share with you a portion of a couple of testimonies that were shared with us from former students.
Gilbert was originally from the village of Bugabuga. He was not a good academic student and seemed to have a harder time understanding. He had been a former drug addict and pusher. He was sent to a village on the island of Palawan to take a struggling work that the former pastor had left. After some months, the work has grown significantly. He says, “Even (though) there are difficult situations, the joy from the Lord cannot be broken….”
Rodel and Renan were sent to a very remote village on another island where the language is different from theirs. The village can only be reached by foot or horse. Renan relates, “…it is very challenging this mission because we don’t (know) how to speak their language…their culture is different from ours. But God made a way and I know it is one of His miracles. One Sunday, I said to Rodel, keep praying because we preach the gospel but we need to speak in their language, which is Visayon. God did it – we preached the gospel in their language. We saw all of them when they heard God’s word. They are crying they realize that there’s one God who loves them…HOW GREAT THE LOVE MERCY AND GRACE OF OUR GOD…all that happened by faith and praying of all Christians….”
The Good News is being preached and you are a part of making it happen!
Nels, Lorrie, and Amy