Pastoral Exhortation

A Relief Fund

Written by Rev (Dr) Prabhudas Koshy Sunday, 17 November 2013

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Paul wrote in Galatians 2:10 that “Only they would that we should remember the poor”. In Hebrews 13:16, we are exhorted: “But to do good and to communicate forget not: for with such sacrifices God is well pleased.” John, the apostle, reminds us: “But whoso hath this world’s good, and seeth his brother have need, and shutteth up his bowels of compassion from him, how dwelleth the love of God in him?” (1 John 3:17).

We, as a church of Jesus Christ, are bound by divine authority to consider the poor and the afflicted and help them with our gifts. It is our divine obligation to relieve the burdens of poor Christians everywhere. Showing mercy to the poor among His people is a sure proof of divine mercy at work in our hearts.

We have now an opportunity to unfurl the love of Christ to our fellow brethren who have lost home and all in the recent calamitous Typhoon Haiyan. Let us send help to them quickly. The Church Session has decided to raise a “Philippine Relief Fund” of S$50,000. We have already advanced S$20,000 to help the poor there. Many, already poor and struggling with many trials of life, are now further afflicted by the Typhoon.

Not only did the worshippers of our mission churches in Bogo and San Antonio lose their small houses, but their church buildings are also seriously damaged. Let us strengthen our arms to give. We may have many needs in our families and our church, but let us prayerfully and cheerfully avail ourselves to help them to the best of our ability. Some churches and believers who are friends of Gethsemane have called us and offered their assistance. We are thankful for their very kind and quick expressions of charity.

Please send in your gifts and indicate clearly “Philippine Relief Fund”. Rev Reggor Galarpe, Eld Eliezer Ortega and the Session of Gethsemane BPC, Cebu, will manage the fund. Our Church Session will be regularly updated on the progress of relief efforts.

Please read the report of the damages by Eld Eliezer Ortega in the inside pages. We thank God for the protection of all the brethren in our churches, though properties have been damaged. May the Lord use our efforts to help our brethren in distress for His own glory.

 

 

 

Report on Damages Caused by Typhoon Haiyan to Bogo and San Antonio Churches
Pr Eliezer Ortega

Dear Pastor Koshy, Session members, and brothers and sisters of the Gethsemane B-P Church, Singapore,

Greetings in the blessed name of the Lord Jesus Christ.

Thoughts from Cheerful Givers

Church Building Fund of S$5 million
Messages found in the offering bags – 3 Nov 2013

Dear Pastor, I know and am convicted that the Bank of Heaven is the best bank to invest in and this privilege is given only to the children of the living God. Unbelievers do not have this privilege. May the LORD be pleased to multiply this humble effort. A grateful child of the living God. “My inheritance is the LORD.”

--- oOo ---

Take my life and let it be
Consecrated, Lord, to Thee.
Take my silver and my gold,
Not a mite would I withhold

----- iioOoii -----
 

Philippine Relief Fund of S$50,000
Message through the letter box – 14 Nov 2013

Dear Pastor,

Psalm 46:1–3 – “God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble. Therefore will not we fear, though the earth be removed, and though the mountains be carried into the midst of the sea; Though the waters thereof roar and be troubled, though the mountains shake with the swelling thereof. Selah.”

My love gift for the Philippine Relief Fund.

The recent typhoon that hit Cebu province has affected badly the northern towns. Many houses were either severely or partly damaged, not sparing the houses of our members and even our churches in Bogo and San Antonio. The houses of two of our members were completely “knocked down”, and two others were very seriously damaged. It was indeed a disheartening sight. These brethren are also without the necessary provisions. On the day after the typhoon, when I visited our brethren, it was painful to see the situation and condition that our brethren are in, yet I praise the Lord that they had been preserved; no life was taken nor limb injured. What was more encouraging was that the members were holding on and keeping their faith unto God. In their life-threatening situation, they are trusting in the Lord. Their lips were full of praises and thanksgiving to the Lord for how He had seen them through and delivered them from such a situation.

I praise the Lord for preserving each of our members in the church from any harm and injury. I thank God for how He has allowed us to worship last Sunday in our church in Bogo. Last Sunday, we had a combined worship service in the afternoon because the church in San Antonio is not safe for use. I praise the Lord that many of our members came to give thanks and worship the Lord. Though their distress and shock as a result of the horrible calamity caused by the typhoon were obvious, they sang and worshipped the Lord with much praise to God for His grace and mercy that had protected them.

I praise the Lord for the brethren in Cebu church. They have responded quickly to the needs of the brethren in Bogo and San Antonio by sending provisions. Pastor Reggor and the brethren of Cebu distributed the provisions to every family of Bogo and San Antonio churches. The brethren in Bogo and San Antonio received the Lord’s provisions with much thanksgiving in their hearts. These would last only for a few days.

I praise and thank God that you have also kept us in your prayers and thoughts. The communication lines in Bogo were cut off for a while and I was informed by Pastor Reggor that you have been communicating with him and offered to send help to us. Please continue to uphold us in your prayers. “God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble” (Psalm 46:1).

Damages to the churches

All the glass windows and the front glass door of the Bogo church were broken. The glass door partition was also broken. The owner of the building will be repairing them. Thank God, we were able to hold a combined worship service in this place last Lord’s Day (10 November) amidst dripping water from the ceiling.

In San Antonio, the frontage of the church (Domi’s ancestral home), which holds the children’s ministry, was severely damaged. The sanctuary, where the worship services were held, was also damaged by fallen trees. We are now attempting to clear all the debris from the premises of San Antonio church. We are looking for a man who could cut the big branches of the mango tree, and will liaise with Bro Domi’s siblings with regard to the house where we hold our children’s ministry.

The makeshift meeting place that we had in Libjo for the children’s outreach was totally “knocked down”. We are hoping to put up a temporary shed quickly with whatever materials left so that the work among the children can continue.

In Christ,
Eliezer Ortega