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A prayer for a Macedonian-type response

typhoon

 A double-whammy of natural disasters has pummeled the Philippines.  What’s on the mind of a missionary that holds that country and it’s people in a special place in his heart?  Here are a few of those thoughts from Pastor Jeff Jackson.

I’m sure I’m not the only one that has been emotionally overwhelmed with what has taken place in the Philippines recently.

My guess is that even though most of you that are reading this have never been to the Philippines, you probably know one or more of the multitude of Filipinos that have migrated from that country and have come to call your town or city their home.

And if you do know a Filipino, I don’t believe it would be too much of a stretch for me to speculate that for some reason, that Filipino has endeared him or herself to you.

Suffice it to say, that wherever they go, Filipinos are some of the easiest people on the planet to be friends with, to like, to love, and to care about.

And if that describes the way you feel about the Filipinos that you know that live in your midst, imagine what you might feel for the Filipinos you would meet if you ever visited the Philippines.

Now amp that up one more notch to the level of love and care you would probably feel for the Filipinos you would meet if you LIVED in that beautiful, but natural-disaster-prone country for any length of time.

Are you imagining along with me?

If so, then you probably have an inkling of what I’m feeling emotionally after having lived in the Central part of the Philippines, (Cebu City), for more than five years.

Cebu is in the region of the country that in less than a month has experienced its citizens being shaken from below by a 7.1 earthquake, and tossed about from above by what is probably the strongest typhoon/hurricane ever recorded, (Typhoon Haiyan).

I’ve been contacted by many people who have asked me how my many friends in the Philippines are doing.

By God’s grace, none of the Calvary Chapel ministries that I’m familiar with have seen any of their members die as a result of the storm.  At the same time, there have been many homes, buildings and churches that have been damaged or destroyed.

And as strange as it is to say, for those that have survived, the damage and destruction will provide yet another platform for the Filipino’s world-class resiliency to be on display.

Some have asked me how they can give.  All have asked me how they can pray.

I’ll provide some detailed answers for giving in my next post.  But if you’d like to give immediately, I can guarantee that your funds will be used in a God-honoring and people-serving way if you give through New Tribes Mission.

Here’s the link:  http://usa.ntm.org/projects/haiyan-relief

As far as prayer, there are two areas to pray for:

1.  Pray for God’s peace and provision to be extended to those who have been impacted.

Be thinking as you pray about what kind of things you would want people to pray for you if your house, your family and friends houses, your church, and basically every building in your city had been destroyed–and then pray those things.

2.  Pray that God’s people in other parts of the Philippines and around the world would follow the example of the believers in Macedonia to the dire needs of fellow believers that lived in Jerusalem.  The Apostle Paul described it this way in 2 Corinthians 8:1-5.

2 Cor 8:1-5  Moreover, brethren, we make known to you the grace of God bestowed on the churches in Macedonia: 2 that in a great trial of affliction the abundance of their joy and their deep poverty abounded in the riches of their liberality. 3  For I bear them witness that according to their ability, yes, and beyond their ability, they were freely willing, 4 imploring us with much urgency that we would receive the gift and the fellowship of the ministering to the saints. 5 And not only as we had hoped, but they first gave themselves to the Lord, and then to us by the will of God.

Personally, I pray that what Paul said about these Macedonian believers, especially in verse 4, would be a description of God’s people all the time, and even more so when these kinds of catastrophe’s take place.

Paul says these materially poor, spiritually rich believers were “imploring” him with “urgency” to receive their gifts.

–The ESV says it like this:  “begging us earnestly for the favor of taking part in the relief of the saints

–The NIV says it like this:  “they urgently pleaded with us for the privilege of sharing in this service”

–The NLT says it like this:  “They begged us again and again for the privilege of sharing in the gift for the believers in Jerusalem.”

Oh, that God’s people would permit His grace to move His people to implore with urgency, beg earnestly, and beg consistently for the privilege of sending a gift to those in dire need!

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