THIRSTY GROUND UPDATES

Back in Manila

The team had a good night’s rest after making it to Manila following almost 35 hours on the road. I’ve traveled some rough roads, but even I was getting a little nauseous on the winding and gut wrenching trip as we flew around the bends then would slam on the brakes for a truck or to avoid a pothole big enough to get stuck in…

We just finished packing up the bins, was a tight fit as we had filters left over we thought best to conserve for the next disaster response. All in all we distributed out almost 150 purification units to various villages, churches, Philippine NGOs and even a hospital. I calculated today too that in addition to the hundreds of tools we also gave out almost 2.5 tons of nails towards the rebuilding efforts. What’s even better was to know hundreds of Bibles got out to churches that lost them in the storm as well as individuals and inquirers. We also have only a few hundred of the 5,000 tracts left too, thousands got them across the Islands, pray God might use that seed planted coupled with the words preached during distribution and bring many souls to Christ.

We are also leaving behind some wonderful Philippine brothers and sisters in Christ in Manila, Cebu, Basey and Catbalogan. They are already planning the next phase of relief and outreach, the Manila church looking at possibly building 200 houses and also rebuilding some of the destroyed churches. One of the men in the affected areas that we left a chainsaw with to help rebuild also told us today he is not only cutting down trees to help the village out, but they just gave him permission to build a chapel there for preaching. This village had 95 families and all of them lost their homes. They were the recipient of one of the tool drops last week as well and received us gladly.

As we leave after about 3 weeks out here, it is encouraging to see people beginning to rebuild, and even more so to see an openness to the gospel following the labors towards those in need. Pastor Ismael here thanks them for sending us out here to help his people and labor alongside them for the gospel. He was very moved that we came as we did.

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