Greetings from Asia ..
Dorene and I arrived in Manila on Friday night. The first thing we saw was an article in the paper saying they just buried 1400 more unidentified bodies in Tacloban, Leyte. Tacloban is where we fly in when we come here to the World Evangelism Bible College. When we flew in to Tacloban you could see the destruction from the air. But nothing could prepare us for what we would see on the ground. You can read about these disasters all day long, but when you see with your own eyes and smell the stench of death it becomes real. As we drove from the airport we saw total destruction in every direction. The winds were 350kph (200mph). But it was the Sunami that was the real killer. 3000 plus died in the community building alone when it flooded from a reported 50ft wave that hit Tacloban, a city of 250,000 people. As we drove to the college I asked my friend, Ferds, to stop at the grave site in the front yard of a public school. They used the school for refuge from the winds not expecting the Sunami. What i saw was dozens of little graves with family members still weeping 6 weeks later was overwhelming. I wish I had not stopped.
The need is so great.
Please pray for hearts to continue to be open as we give them Jesus Christ. He is the only answer to the human dilemma. The problem is sin and there is only one answer, Jesus Christ and His shed blood on the cross that washes away that sin we all have. If I could give these people $100,000,000 today all the destruction, heart ache, disease would still be here. We are giving them shelter and helping to feed and cloth them also but only an encounter with their Creator and Savior, Jesus can change the heart and bring peace in this time of horrific conditions.
Here at the college grounds our friends had to bury 3 people out at the beach. They washed up, one white, two natives. Two were dressed in some kind of uniform. No grave markers, no identification. This was one week after the Typhoon. Their bodies were already rotting. The bible says are life on this earth is like a vapor. Where are those three now? If they ACCEPTED Jesus and what He did on the cross as payment for their sin they are in Heaven. If not they are in Hell. I have read the bible, purgatory is not in there. I have even asked a couple of Priests and they said, “Well, it’s not mentioned”. No the bible is clear; “it is appointed to man once to die and then the judgement”. No second chance.
Here at the college with death and destruction happening all around them for 5 hours during the Typhoon, 57 people jammed into a bathroom hallway (3×12) they sang praises to the Lord. When the Sunami came, an Island 2 miles out to sea split the 50ft wave and it went either side of the college! Now you can say coincidence but they know it was God! And the evidence is clear. Dead bodies all around them on either side.
The buildings are rough but churches in Luzon, the Island of Manila, have mustered a 16 man skilled crew for reconstruction and the work to rebuild is progressing. So the beautiful Mango trees are gone, the well kept hedges are mostly destroyed, but the presences of the Lord is here stronger than ever as we rebuild. IE: a Bible college is NOT about the grounds and nice facilities! The locals are getting saved and finding joy again as they come to know Jesus! They say electric power is still months away but please pray for Ferds because he may have found a way to rent a big transformer for the campus.
Today we go to town to try and buy metal roofing and other needs. It will be hard to go back there with so much death and grief all around. The international aid here is huge, with thousands mobilized for the long haul.
I cannot close without reporting my first, close up, and personal encounter with a Cobra! As I walked to the beach in the early morning yesterday, which has been my custom, there he was, 18″ from my left foot. 4 ft long with a BRIGHT yellow head, as if to say ” I’m poisonous and you don’t want to mess with me!! I thank God because just mins earlier I was praying “Lord, please don’t let me step on a snake”.
All is well that ends well, but I will purchase a pair of HIGH rubber boots before I make my next trip to the beach
Dan & Dorene