Philippines (MNN) — U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon is calling the global community to step up their support for the Philippines.
After visiting areas ravished by Typhoon Haiyan last week, Ban outlined the U.N.’s four-year support plan. Totaling around $8 billion, the plan’s aim is to help revive the local economy and rebuild infrastructure destroyed by Haiyan’s wrath.
Greg Kelley, Executive Director of World Mission, says they have a plan of their own. In spring 2014, “We’re sending teams in from the U.S. that will be coming alongside our Filipino partners.
“They will be participating in rebuilding churches, pastors’ homes, and doing evangelism work, as well as distributing the Treasures,” Kelley explains. Those looking to join the trip should “have a heart for evangelism…along with the construction ability.”
While rebuilding will be a primary focus of the trips, Treasure distributions will be equally important. World Mission’s Treasures are digital, solar-powered audio Bibles that hold over 60 hours of Scripture recorded in the heart language of remote people groups.
Kelley says stories of unimaginable tragedy pour out of the Philippines like a never-ending flood. But, “what we heard over and over was people’s desire for our Treasure, which is our audio Bible that’s in the Cebuano and Wari’ language.”
MNN’s sister station, WCSG, raised around $25,000 for World Mission’s relief efforts in the Philippines. As a result, the group sent 500 Treasures, along with relief aid like food and clothing, to communities affected by Haiyan.
It wasn’t easy, though. Kelley says looters are continually robbing convoys carrying relief aid to disaster-hit areas.
To protect their precious cargo, World Mission partners on-the-ground devised a clever scheme. They put signs on trucks carrying the Treasures and donated relief supplies that read “Good News Ministries” in the Arabic language.
“Anything in Arabic makes people pause and say, ‘You go ahead and pass through,'” Kelley explains.
“But [in reality], it was Christian relief coming through with these Arabic signs.”
Praise God for His protection of these supplies and local workers. Thank Him also for openness to the Gospel that didn’t exist before the storm.
Kelley says Guiyan, an area hit particularly hard by Haiyan, previously wanted nothing to do with Jesus Christ. “But after the storm, the hearts [of many people] opened up, and many of them have given their hearts to Christ.
“It’s pretty amazing to think how the Lord just used that tragedy to really open up the hearts and minds of people to the Gospel,” he adds.
Pray that more people will turn to Christ for salvation as they learn of His power and love.