Typhoon Alphabet

“What more can I say about the Philippines than has already been said?”  I think that’s why I hadn’t written about it here, but yesterday a lady at church (who comes from the Philippines) told us something I hadn’t heard before.

I had seen someone call the typhoon Yolanda instead of Haiyan, which I thought was strange, but yesterday I found out why.  In the Philippines, they name their typhoons after women, starting every year with the letter A.  Typhoon Yolanda means that this year, they must have had 25 typhoons.  25 typhoons in 11 months seems unimaginable, doesn’t it?  It certainly surprised me.

I’ve just found out the island where Cindy lives is without electricity and may not receive it for another 40 days, so what can we do?  Well, we can pray.  We can ask for the power on that island to be reconnected so they won’t have to wait another 6 weeks.  God said He was concerned about suffering as long ago as when the Israelites were slaves in Egypt, and He loves the people of the Philippines, so we can ask Him to comfort them, and we can be a part of the relief effort by giving.  If like me you’ve heard on the news that the UK is sending £30 million in aid, maybe like me you wonder whether what you can give will amount to anything.  When I think about this, I think of a man who spoke at a road-show I went to.  He was a pastor who’d been in prison for his faith and received over 90,000 letters.  He asked us to imagine what would have happened if every one of those people thought their letter wouldn’t make a difference.

Please prayerfully give what you can.  I believe every pound helps.  I know there is concern when you give money about whether it gets to where it’s needed most, and that’s why I’d personally recommend Compassion – because they’ve worked with local churches in the Philippines for years and I know they have contacts in the affected area, so if you’re in the UK you can give here, or here if you’re in the US, or perhaps there’s another organisation close to your heart or you have a contact there yourself.  However you give, thank you, and if you’ve got family or friends in the Philippines, please know that you’re loved and supported in prayer.

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Typhoon Haiyan

Status

Latest from Compassion UK:  We’ve just received an update from Noel Pabiona, the Director of Compassion Philippines, who has indicated the damage is enormous. Noel has predicted that at least 99 child development centres where 19,000 children are registered have been severely affected. Communication lines are still down, so we are still waiting on specific information regarding Compassion assisted children.
We will relay all information to you as soon as we are notified. In the meantime, please keep praying!

Link

Compassion UK sent their latest E-newsletter today.  In it was a link to Wess Stafford (Compassion’s former president) speaking at Spring Harvest.  I like this video; he speaks with such conviction.

 

And the biggest challenge for me?  When he asks what the cause is that moves us to tears in 30 seconds, either of great sorrow, or of joy because of the victories.  What does move us to tears, and is it something God would be pleased with?

Building on What we Have

Status

“Elisha answered, ‘How can I help you?  What do you have in your house?’” – 2 Kings
4:2.  God could help by giving us what we don’t have, but He does that by building on what’s there already.  Maybe God uses what we have to show us we’re precious, making our unique qualities part of His creative process.

A Tribute to Bible Society

Have you ever thought about Bible Society, and their work to get Bibles to Christians around the world?  After hearing yesterday about 10 people sharing 1 Bible, a man riding for an hour on his bike to get a copy, and the cost of a roll of paper that would print 600, I wanted to write this:

You paid the greatest price – all the money you had saved;

You treasure every time that you read those words:

For you know they give you courage to live, when you see He is your Rock;

You hold them in your heart as you give the treasure to another soul.

How many people?

How long must it take?

How much does it cost you,

And will you believe?

You walk so many hours; you can feel the sacrifice,

But he’ll treasure every time that you bring those words:

You always want to share what you learn, to comfort and to heal,

And in your heart you hope for the day those words will come to every soul.

How many people?

How long must it take?

How much does it cost you,

And will you believe?

Suddenly from nothing,

We see the words spill out;

And for sure, there’s power in the ink on the page

To touch so many lives.

How many people?

How long will it take?

How much will it cost us,

And will we believe?

The Cure

The Daily Post asks us today:  “If you could create a painless, and inexpensive cure for a single ailment, what would you cure and why?”

I would cure addiction.

My first thought was of alcoholism.  It destroys people’s lives.  Mistakes are made that a person just wouldn’t make if they were sober – saying things they shouldn’t have said, doing things they shouldn’t have done …  As with any addiction, the lengths people will go to to get their fix.  If they’re a patient in hospital, they’ll abscond in a taxi to the nearest supermarket if they have to.  “Do not get drunk on wine …  Instead, be filled with the Spirit” – Ephesians 5:18.

Then I thought of smoking and the damage it can do to your body.  It probably wouldn’t be allowed nowadays, but when I was at school, we did a science experiment where we each had a machine that effectively smoked a cigarette.  The smell was awful, and we were shown afterwards how much ash had collected in the bottom of our machines.  “Do you not know that your bodies are temples of the Holy Spirit …?  You are not your own; you were bought at a price.  Therefore honour God with your bodies” – 1 Corinthians 6:19-20.

Lastly I thought of social media.  If I let social media take over my life, to the exclusion of my time with God and face-to-face contact with others, that wouldn’t be healthy.  “God sets the lonely in families” – Psalm 68:6, and He’s given us our families and church-families so we can love them and learn from each other.

Have you noticed there is a cure?  The cure is the Word of God – not just words on a page, but the living and active Word of God, working in our lives and transforming us.  “They love the LORD’s teachings, and they think about those teachings day and night” – Psalm 1:2.  We heard in church this morning about cows and their stomachs – how they put something into one stomach, then back into their mouth again so they can chew it over and get all the goodness out.

If I could cure addiction, I would tell everyone to read the Bible; think about it day and night; chew it over, and let the Word of God work.  It’ll do you no harm; only good.