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April 2014

Bringing God's Healing to Children of Tacloban City

60 plus children. 18 youth and young teens. Four pastors from four different Free Methodist local churches. Good Friday celebration on this Holy Week. Blessing upon blessing. God's grace overflowing. Praying inside the Lora Jean Schlosser Memorial Free Methodist Church (FMC) of Tacloban City, Philippines.

I am here in Tacloban City, helping our Set Free Movement Philippines facilitate a 5-day camp for these 60 children. It is a Stress Debriefing Camp for these children. It is challenging. I only prepared for a camp for 15 children. God sent us 60 and 18 young people. I studied and brought materials for grief debriefing, but God redirected our efforts to this stress debriefing efforts. Funds were limited, but our Lord provided. I had my worries and doubts. God, however, took over. He rebuked me. He comforted me. He taught me to depend on him. This is the work of God.

How did it happen? People from many places gave money for this camp. I am grateful for their donations. Leaders volunteered to help out. What a blessing! Also, at the last minute, Jayvee, the pastor of the Free Methodist Church, rallied her 18 young people and mobilized them to assist with these 60 children. No time to give these 60 young people training for leading small groups. They just learned it along the way. God helped these 18 youth. God led this camp. God is our leader.

The work is still going on. The challenge of bringing healing to the people of Tacloban City is still current. After the visit of supertyphoon Haiyan (Yolanda), Filipinos here are slowly recovering. It is an uphill climb. And some days, they are overwhelming. We do our small part and focus on these children. We contribute by obeying God's call for healing located in this one local church. 

Truly God is leading the way. During this 5-day camp, Jayvee and Marilyn, one of the local leaders of Tacloban FMC, organized 20 mothers to come for an afternoon of sharing and reflection; their own time of debriefing. Paula, our Supt. from Manila, and Kenneth Joy, one of our Manila FM leaders, and both members of the Set Free Movement Philippines team, facilitated this time with the mothers. We did not plan for this meeting. God took over. One of the mothers said: "I thought I was already okay. But I discovered that I still need to be debriefed." Healing and recovery will have to be continued. There has to be more debriefing events. The process of rehabilitation needs a long time. Readers, write me back if you want to help Tacloban City. Any help in this time of recovery will greatly be appreciated. I have many suggestions and proposals to give you all, but I will wait for God to lead you. Only when God leads the way will these efforts of healing have any meaning at all.