We’re halfway through our ministry trip in the Philippines, and we are amazed at what God is doing. We spent the last week in Tacloban, a city that was devastated by the typhoon five years ago. Though the rebuilding is slow and the scars remain, God is moving powerfully to heal this community.
The Worst Storm in History
In 2013, Super Typhoon Haiyan struck the Philippines with devastating force, killing at least 6,300 people and leaving 11 million people homeless. The city of Tacloban was destroyed. With infrastructure completely gone, the environment was chaotic in the weeks and months after the storm.
Guidelines happened to have radio equipment already in the Philippines, and it was rerouted to Tacloban. Within a day, our partner ministry partner, FEBC, used the equipment to set up a First Response Radio station. Broadcasting from a makeshift tent of tarps on what was left of the damaged city hall roof, the station gave out critical life-saving information on where to find water, food, and surviving loved ones. The station also shared messages of hope with its grieving, panic-struck listeners.
Over the next several months, the radio station continued to broadcast valuable information. The station proved to be so helpful that the government decided to grant a license for a permanent, Christian radio station in Tacloban. Over the last few years, Guidelines has been in partnership with FEBC and other organizations to build this radio station. It will become a symbol of rebirth for Tacloban as it continues to broadcast messages of hope, community programs, and of course, Guidelines devotionals.
Collaborating to Launch a Community Radio Station
Last week, all our major ministry partners, including FEBC, Operation Blessing, Center for Community Transformation, and Catjoy Holdings, joined together to launch the new radio station 97.5 DYFE-FM. The radio station that was so instrumental in broadcasting hope to the survivors of the typhoon will continue to share messages of inspiration to the Philippines. Along with Guidelines’ devotionals, dozens of local partners are contributing to the station’s content. As many in the community still suffer from the trauma of the disaster, these messages will help bring the peace of Jesus to their hearts.
It’s unusual to see so many organizations working together collaboratively, but this was definitely a movement orchestrated by God. As we all celebrated and gave thanks to God for what He did in this community, Guidelines’ founder Dr. Harold Sala shared about the importance of collaboration to achieve God’s mission.
Delivering Radios That Broadcast Hope
For those who had lost everything – their homes and all their possessions in the storm, our ministry partner, Operation Blessing, built new homes in a village for the survivors. We distributed solar-powered, fix-tuned radios to the village that enables them to listen to the new radio station. These radios are also MP3 players loaded with the audio Bible in their native local language – Waray Waray.
Helping Address Real Life Issues
Though the community of Tacloban is still recovering from the typhoon, the struggles of normal everyday life don’t go away. While in Tacloban, our Guidelines speaking teams held conferences and seminars that helped people work through their own personal struggles and relationships.
We held our Thrive Women’s Conference, in which Luisa, Bonnie, and Darlene shared from their hearts and helped women to realize their true value in God’s sight.
Dr. Harold Sala and Darlene Sala led a Marriage & Parenting Seminar, in which they shared from their years of experience on how to raise healthy families.
We had an incredible week of ministry in Tacloban and praise God for all He is doing to heal and strengthen this community. We’re exhausted, but filled with joy.
Our team is now in Manila for one more week of ministry. Please pray for continued strength and health as we finish out our time in the the Philippines. We are so grateful for your support.