Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Flooding in Manilla


Written by Lendehl, Vice President of JIGSAW Philippines. 9th Aug 2012

Call for Prayer for those who continue to be devastatingly affected by the flooding in Metro Manila.


We bid your prayers for the children, their families and Jigsaw staff in Metro Manila suffering from intensive flooding. The continued typhoons and downpours of rains beginning Monday has caused the overflowing of major dams and rivers in Metro Manila and nine surrounding provinces causing heavy flooding. The La Mesa dam, which supplies water to the National Capital Region of 12 million people, spilled excess water for a second time early Tuesday into the rivers flowing into Quezon City, Malabon, Valenzuela and Caloocan, where several villages were submerged, creating full emergency alert from the government.
We pray for Jigsaw workers specially those living in Area4 where one of the Jigsaw center is located.  
The community has been 60% submerged in water where the Jigsaw staff worked tirelessly in bringing the children and their families to a safer ground. Jigsaw staff and families stayed overnight of Tuesday in the Jigsaw main office. Alert level has gone down to Green/extreme signal on Wednesday morning which meant that the water is catastrophic but has slightly subsided and safer to go back home. All of them went back and started cleaning their houses and try to put the broken pieces of their lives back together where they could only to be frustrated when torrential rains started pouring again in the afternoon. At 3 PM today, water level at the Marikina River raised to the 20-meter mark, way above the critical level of 18 meters. This prompted local authorities to raise Alert Level 4/extreme emergency again. The staffs have to go back at the office as this is on higher ground and is concrete while the children and families went back to government evacuation sites.

    Please pray for the rain to stop
    Pray for those who lost their family members in the floods.
    Pray for Jigsaw children and staff who have to be back in the evacuation sites.
    Pray for the traumatised communities Jigsaw works in and especially for the children.
    Pray for Strength and comfort for the people.
    Pray for Jigsaw staff as they seek to be a strength even as they are too driven from their homes and communities.

Friday, August 10, 2012

Eyewitness Accounts: Updates from Manilla about the flooding

It’s been raining for few weeks but last two days’ torrential rains have surpassed the amount of rainfall during tropical storm, Ondoy, in 2009 which inundated a half of Metro Manila and nearby areas, particularly Quezon city where we are located, according to the media. So, your guess was right. Last night, there was no communication due to the cut-off of telephone and internet. Now the communication is resumed but it will be cut off any time because the rain is still heavy.

Here in the SATS (St Andrew’s Theological Seminary) community, there have been some severe damages caused by this rainfall. One of faculty member’s houses was flooded yesterday by the waist line. Paul and all seminarians went there to move all down stair furniture, books, and appliances to up stairs yesterday morning. I went there this morning to check how they’re coping. Water level seemed go down despite of constant rain last night. Please pray for all the community members who have been severely affected by this flooding and who are helping them, particularly seminarians.

Please also pray for:
1) ceasing continuous rains
2) After rain stop, healty and safety from Dengue mosquito
Charitas (8th August)

Thanks for your concern.  Yes the flooding is serious.  Media are speaking of half Manila being under water.  That is surely an exaggeration, but very many are affected.  The lower part of the compound of St Andrew's Seminary (here) was under water on Tuesday and several homes were flooded out.  One member of Faculty was forced to live on his second floor.  I walked around there and the water was above my knees!!  Our seminarians have been marvellous in moving furniture etc.  The flood has subsided here now (though it continues to rain on and off every day) but many poor homes not far from here have been flooded out.  An American member of Faculty is helping two boys from one such home.

At present the great need is for prayer for the rain to stop to allow things to dry out.  There are no doubt real needs for food and clothing but at this stage it is hard to assess what.  Best to await aid agency appeals (e.g. Christian Aid) and respond to them.  We are not in a position to distribute such things to squatter areas.  Local councils will do that.
Rev Andrew   (9th August)

Friday, March 23, 2012

Happy Pakistan Day

Happy Pakistan Day to all our Pakistani friends !
and for the rest of us a request to pray for the 'Land of the Pure'   that it would live up to its name and calling: 

'Rab Khudawand Badshah hai, O Jelal da Badshah hai'

Lift up your heads, O you gates; be lifted up, you ancient doors, that the King of glory may come in. 
Who is this King of glory? The LORD strong and mighty, the LORD mighty in battle. 
Lift up your heads, O you gates; lift them up, you ancient doors, that the King of glory may come in. 
Who is he, this King of glory? The LORD Almighty — he is the King of glory.  (Psalm 24) 

Pakistan Zindebad - Long live Pakistan ! 

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Pray for Christians during Iranian New Year

 As their country celebrates the Iranian New Year, Iranian Christians have requested our continued prayers for those affected by the recent wave of arrests of Christians in Iran, and for longer-term detainees.

They rejoice that some have been released on bail. These include Davoud (arrested in Ahvaz on 23rd December and released on 8th March) and Sharifeh, Masoud and Nima (arrested in Shiraz on 8th February and released on 14th March). In addition, they give thanks that Giti, a 78-year old detained in Isfahan for three days in February, this week received back all of the property confiscated when she was arrested. This included her passport, pension book, computer, mobile phone and Bibles and other religious materials.

However, at least 27 believers are understood to remain detained across Iran, because of their Christian faith or activities.

Following a series of raids in February and early March, five believers remain detained in Shiraz, three in Kermanshah and at least seven in Isfahan. Among those detained for more than a year are Yousef (arrested in October 2009), Noorallah and Farshid (both arrested in December 2010). Several who have been released on bail await court hearings. Alireza, a believer released on bail in 2010 but convicted in November 2011 of 'actions against national security,' was re-arrested on 14th March while attempting to flee from Iran.

Christians supporting these believers request our prayers that:
a.  Each of those detained for their faith will know the presence and peace of Jesus
b.  Those detained will be released soon and restored to their families
c.  Others facing court hearings will be acquitted, or the charges against them dropped, and that bail payments will be returned
d.  Believers across Iran will know the Lord's wisdom and protection in meeting together, and will be enabled to live without fear
e.  All officials involved will love mercy, act justly, learn about Jesus and choose to follow Him.

Open sources used: FCNN, Mohabat News, Present Truth Ministries

Information supplied by Middle East Concern 

Saturday, March 17, 2012

Pope Shenouda III - Rest in Peace

News just in via  an Iraqi  friend, Aziz Nour of the Oriental Churches Association

With great sorrow  and a since of loss I just heard the  official
announcement of the death of Pope Shenouda III at the age of 89 years .
Patriarch of the Coptic Orthodox Church.

The death of Pope Shenouda will mark an end of an era. A legacy and hallmark
of  more than four decades of ecclesiastical leadership will prove to be
indelible in the  history of the Coptic Church.

 Pope Shenouda III  left the Coptic Orthodox Church and the entire
Christian Middle East with a great and irreplaceable  leadership void  at
 the juncture of the beginning of a fluid, unsettling and perilous new
ear for the Coptic Orthodox Church and the Christianity in the Middle

May God rest his sole in peace and provide the Coptic Church with a
leaders of the caliber of Pope Shenouda III

Your prayers for the Coptic Church and Christians in the Middle East is
greatly appreciated.

Yours in Christ


Friday, January 6, 2012

St Peter's Karachi - symbol of resistence

Pakistan's latest church is its largest

St. Peter's in Karachi has become a symbol of resilience over state discrimination and extremist violence.

The small Christian community in the Pakistani city of Karachi thought big when constructing its latest church — a domed, three-story building that towers over the sprawling slum it serves.
St. Peter's is now the country’s largest and for many of the 5,000 worshippers who attend services there, the church has become a symbol of resilience over state discrimination and extremist violence.

Imtiaz Tyab of Al Jazera reports.

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Cagayan de Oro floods

A further update today from Eric and Sandra in Mindenao. Water supply is a critical need as the main water supply pipe for Cagayan De Oro was destroyed in the flood and the authorities are trying to get water in by tanker lorries.  But there is intermittent supply in some parts of the city.   Eric is involved with his local church in receiving and setting up at least one water filtration unit as part of addressing this need. For this he is coordinating with Marlon  (who is based in Manila ) who is arranging for the supply of this unit in the next 1-2 days.

 It is now known that over a 1000 lost their lives in the flooding.  There are so many urgent practical relief needs and Eric and Sandra are hoping that some of their friends and supporters can send in some support through CMS to help in the local response.
 Please continue to pray 

In maybe 90% of the city, everything is normal and normal life goes on.  
In the remaining 10%, people are crowded into schools and sports centres 
for shelter, they spend their days recovering whatever they can from 
what used to be their homes, queuing for water or food or other relief 
goods as they come, bathing at the side of the road and presumably 
trying to think about what they will do now.  Many will also be mourning 
for loved ones.

Yet through all of this I (Eric) am amazed and humbled at how calm and 
how cheerful people are.  People are chatting and laughing as though 
everything is normal.  They form orderly queues and wait patiently their 
turn.  If they miss out this time they just say, OK we;ll wait for the 
next lot.  I have yet to hear a word of anger or even irritation. Yet 
these are people many of whom have lost everything, including members of 
their families and who are unlikely to have a house of their own for 
months or even years.

Water is a major problem now in much of the city, they are using fire 
engines to deliver it.  One of the major supplies used to cross the 
river on a mini version of the Tyne bridge.  It is now a twisted heap of 
steel.  It must have been a massive rush of water to do all the damage 
it has done and so dramatically change the shape of the river.  
Everything is covered in a thick layer of mud, we helped some friends 
recover what they could from their house, absolutely everything

Eric has been asked to help one church assemble and set up a water 
filtration unit which is being lent by a church in Manila.  We visted 
one of the possible sites for it today and met one of Peter's school 
friends.  His mother told us he doesn't want to go outside wandering 
around any more now.  He did go down near the river with Peter though, 
so hopefully is fear will subside.  The filter is due to arrive tomorrow 
or Friday.

There are many needs, both short and longer term.  Different churches 
and organisations are helping however they can.  Pastor Lapiz (who leads 
the bible study in our house) church is feeding about 500 people a day 
in the nearest relief centre (a covered basketball court) and they plan 
to continue as long as they have funds.  We have given them a box of 
clothes and a sack of rice.  They are cooking 150kg rice a day costing 
about £70 plus some meat (in total about 30 - 35p per person per day). 
People also have needs for basics like saucepans, water containers, 
basins etc.  Sandra's sister is sending some money for us to put 
together bags sweets and fruit for the children for Christmas.

If you would like to make a donation to help people please send it to 
CMS, marking clearly it is for the Cagayan de Oro floods.

Monday, December 19, 2011

Floods in Mindanao

Following floods in Mindanao on the weekend including Cagayan De Oro, we have received this news from Eric and Sandra Read, our mission partners there:

Dear all

You may have heard on the news about the floods here last night. We are safe and being 2 or 300 ft above the river are well awaya form the flood zone. The first house we were living in has probably been affected.

We woke up and looked out this morning to find the river very visible (normally we can only see a short stretch), the remains of houses, trees flattened and people sitting on roofs and stuck on small islands. The wind was strong and the rain heavy last night, certainly the worst we've experienced here, but not as bad as they get in Luzon every year. However, a dam burst further inland and sent a wall of water down the river, which reached Cagayan about 1.30 am. The electricity had already gone off earlier in the evening and there was virtually no warning, people were suddenely inundated and in darkness.

We went down with a few clothes and some food for people and to see if we could help. We picked up a family at the side of the road and took them to some relatives. They had to go on to the roof of their 2 storey house. All they had were the clothes they were standing in. The husband had just come out of hospital after pneumonia, so his wife was worried it would make him sick again. Some people were standing around looking dazed, others were walking, yet many were still able to laugh and smile, despite what had just happened to them.

Please do pray for those affected, many have lost everything, over 100 people were killed here and nearly as many in Iligan, 50 miles west of here. Temporarily people are staying in schools and sports centres or with relatives. We are helping some friends rescue what they can from their house and move it tomorrow.

Thank you for your prayers and love

Eric & Sandra

Thursday, December 8, 2011

The Way of Life for the Truth

I received the following newsletter from a couple who for me epitomise the DNA of CMS. They have served as Mission Partners mainly in Iran and Pakistan and have kept on serving in their retirement -  they responded to the command to GO back in the 1960s and have kept on GOing.  I  quote chunks of their letter in full, but will keep it all anonymous to give a level of protection and anonymity.  But we give thanks for their nearly half century of mission service in West Asia......... Phil :-)

Two roads diverged in a wood, and I –
                            I took the less travelled one.           (Robert Frost. 1915)

Long before we first met in 1951 we had each decided to take the less travelled road. Studying in different universities and working in other hospitals, it was 12 years before we became engaged. Married in the Spring of 1963, we took our honeymoon driving overland to Isfahan, the beautiful Safavid city on the high desert plateau of central Iran. There in the old established mission hospital one soon discovered that mission work isn’t a job, but a 24/7 way of life; percolating every thought, persuading every decision, penetrating all performance. To us it was a Way of  Life for the Truth, and though we never lived up to the ideal, and though it was not just a job, we found untold job-satisfaction in it.

Being expelled by Islamic revolutionaries in 1979 was a shattering blow, yet God had already opened  less travelled roads in Pakistan, We served first on the plains of the Punjab in Lahore, then along the country’s troubled Afghan borderland in the North-West Frontier Province and Baluchistan; until, a couple of years back, we conceded we could no longer meet the demands of work in a mission hospital. So after a short trip out last year to help in a crisis in the Christian Hospital at remotest Tank, we returned  home in February this year.

Starting in the 1960’s with visions of reaping a harvest, we soon came down to earth realizing that we were still at  the stage of preparing the soil and occasionally sowing the seed. Yet in Iran now, as in China, a wonderful harvest is being reaped, though at great cost to the new believers,  and perhaps not much through our own spadework. In Pakistan our aim was different; buttressing  the beleaguered church in their Good Samaritan mission and concept of serving the majority community, who generally look down on them.  Such work must go on.

In prayer please constantly remember the need for dedicated Pakistani Christian doctors, nurses, and admin staff for the hospitals in Quetta and Tank. At a Christian medical conference we attended in Lahore last February a Pakistani doctor said about Tank ‘Oh that’s too difficult for us, only missionaries can work there’.   And so it is.   Maybe a career dead-end. Tough on wives and children too.  Few have tried it. Fewer  survived. Only the God-called can.
The Samaritan was only one on the Jericho road that day. A hazardous road.

Having begun with some lines  from Robert Frost, we end with some from
J R Tolkien. Though in a different context, they epitomise The Way – our Way;

Roads go ever on and on 
Under cloud and under star,                           The Road goes ever on and on
Yet feet that wandering have gone                Out from the door where it began.
Turn at last to home afar;                             Now far ahead the Road has gone,
Look at last on meadows green                       Let  others follow it who can.
And trees and hills they long have known.       Let  them a journey new begin.