Wednesday, October 28, 2009

The Recovery Begins -Equipping The Caregivers

As I left Manila 3 weeks ago, as is my normal practice, I started an outline of a ministry response plan. My heart was very heavy for the Pastors and leaders of the EFC of Philippines (EFCP), and I felt that Priority #1 was providing support and care for these men and their families, and equipping them to be caregivers to others.

The Lord started to answer prayers along those lines almost immediately, in the form of a ReachGlobal staff couple (Paul and Judy) who specializes in crisis counseling and caring for Pastors. Pictured above is part of a group of several dozen EFCP leaders and spouses who participated in a debriefing and triaining session this past weekend.
Paul wrote of the session, "We will not go into all the gory details, but to hear the stories of those who experienced the trauma would break your heart. There was very little mention of the great loss of material possessions. (Some lost everything.) In most cases the flood came without much warning and without the realization that it would become a major disaster. Some were separated from family members for several days and not able to communicate because all the phones, cell phones, and electricity were out".

"As we met with the local EFC pastors and their wives in a debriefing session on Friday evening, we again were reminded of the importance of allowing them to verbalize their stories. These are resilient and committed servants of God."
Saturday morning was given to training these EFCP Pastors to serve as crisis caregivers with their own families, church members, and neighbors.
It was a blessing to then see a packed out church of over 200 neighbors Sunday night and the pastors we had trained on Saturday debriefing those who went through the stress of the flood.

All agreed that expectations were exceeded. The victims were ready to unload and tell their individual stories.

On Monday, Paul and Judy spent the day with the team of German missionaries who work here in Manila. This team is with the Alliance Mission, the overseas ministry of the Evangelical Free Church of Germany. This team experienced the same stresses as the local Filipino people. Some of them had to swim though 10 feet deep waters to safety and lost all their possessions. Some have had to permanently leave the houses they were renting and are still living in temporary housing. Please pray that they will be able to find new accommodations.

One of the German missionaries who was hospitalized Monday afternoon. She picked up an ameba from having ingested some of the water in which she had to swim during the flood. Please pray for healing for Wiebke.
Priority #2 is communicating the needs of the people of Manila and the EFCP and raising up prayer and financial support for their recovery. You can give to EFCA Acct#3973 Philippines Relief on the link to the right.
Priority #3 is multiplying the EFCP and helping to restore the Church by deploying short terms to help in the recovery and outreach. Consider sending a team to serve in Manila next month or later next year. Contact for more information.

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