In an email we’ve just received from our partner CCT, which has sent a medical team to the Tacloban city evacuation centers, we’ve learned that the city’s vice mayor is actually a Christian pastor of a local church. What a blessing that a Cross International partner has been able to connect with a like-minded local official inside one of the most devastated communities!
Not only that, but the Tacloban mayor also is a believer, and we’re told that during the annual city fiesta, Christian symbols are paraded through the streets. In fact, Tacloban even has a theme verse, Isaiah 60:1, “Arise, shine; for your light has come, and the glory of the Lord has risen upon you.”
CCT tells us, “After the storm, we thought, ‘Exactly the opposite of that verse has happened.’ But after meditating on it further we thought, ‘How can one rise if he never fell? How can one shine if he never experienced darkness?’” They are convinced that God has something good in store for the city.
This is the side of the disaster that doesn’t make the headlines – the side that brings meaning out of chaos and shows the unique role Christians are called to fulfill in dark times. Right now in Tacloban, there is no electricity and no cell phone or internet service, a severe curfew is in place to prevent looting and other crime, and transportation is so difficult that the vice mayor is walking 45 minutes just to reach city hall each day. But one thing that has not been broken is Christians’ direct access to the ear of God. He is still in control, and he has not abandoned or forsaken them.
Please continue to keep the typhoon victims in your prayers, and pray that God will use our humble efforts to bring them hope, healing, restoration and an experience of Jesus’ love.