Pastor Roy Rocha reports as follows after a further trip to Tacloban, on the Island of Leyte. The trip was funded by a generous donor in New Zealand.
“Dear Friends @ ACMissioNZ,
Thank you very much for your continued partnership in the work of the Lord. Your prayers and support made our MISSION TRIP possible, to God be all the glory forever and ever!
‘It is a great thing to serve the Lord’ as we went to TACLOBAN, It was a great challenge for it was my family’s first time to be in the bus for 28 hrs. till we reached TACLOBAN. Challenging for it was tiring sitting but the different places and views of the provinces we passed by excites us. We reached TACLOBAN at 8 pm. and went to a Military Camp as our base. Warm welcome by other alumni strengthened out tired bodies. We slept well not noticing the mosquito bites and without electricity because we were tired.
The next day, the first thing I noticed was the dead coconut trees standing. After a while, I realized that it is more than just coconut trees, ‘I see people’s lives.’ Coconut is one of the main sources of livelihood for most of the people. Now that it was all destroyed how will this people survive? I understand why after 5 months since the typhoon people are still dependent on relief goods. Some left the place and seek better places in Manila and other cities nearby.
It also broke my heart seeing most of the school buildings still not ready for the coming school year this June and it will be rainy season starting end of May. What will happen to the kids’ studies?
I was assigned to lead one team with my family as my team members. So after crisis-counselling debrief and packing of goods we went to PALO Leyte (the first town liberated in 1944 by Gen. MacArthur), TACLOBAN (proper), and MacArthur town. We were escorted by Phil. Army to protect us from the New People’s Army (NPA) who are intercepting the goods.
We were able to give gifts and feed 200 kids (the kids waited for hours for us to arrive – pictured right), and led 35 adults to Christ. We distributed paper, notebooks, pencils, crayons, rulers, bags, t-shirts, and sandals/slippers to make the kids ready for the coming school year, while for the adults they received umbrellas, Bibles, medicine, and rice.
We have heard testimonies on how they survived the typhoon from people in different walks of life, Stories that will break your heart that even tough soldiers cried as they shared their stories. But, it was great to be with them comforting them through prayers.
Over all, the IGSL Alumni, we were able to give gifts to 1000 children and at least 400 adults prayed to receive Christ. To God be all the glory!
I could write more, but I believe the pictures describe best our work for the Lord.
We also had the privilege to minister to 30 pastors from different denomination. (pictured above, right) The seminar was about the life of JOB who faced the greatest suffering of his life. They also received books, medicines, umbrellas, teaching materials so they can share to their congregations.
‘HOPE EXISTS’- a phrase that we heard from the people after our effort.
“Praise be to the God and the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! In his great mercy he has given us new birth into a living HOPE through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, and into an inheritance that can never perish, spoil or fade-kept in heaven for you, who through faith are shielded by God’s power until the coming of the salvation that is ready to be revealed in the last time. In this you greatly rejoice, though now for a little while you may have had to SUFFER GRIEF in all kinds of TRIALS.” 1 Peter 1:3-7
LIVING HOPE is in the LIVING PERSON, Jesus Christ who was resurrected.
Early morning, I prayed towards the mountains and declared blessing to the Land.
I praised God for the HOPE which is in his SON our saviour Jesus Christ.
Before we left, we went to ORMOC (a nearby town that was also badly hit). We stayed and in some way ministered to a pastor with his family who lost his whole church building. There I saw phrases that say:
‘Ormoc is ROOFLESS but not HOPELESS’
‘Ormoc is HOPEFUL and THANKFUL, because of you GENEROUS PEOPLE’
Once again friends @ ACMissioNZ, thank you for your prayers and support! Thank you for sending me there! Thank you for the partnership in giving HOPE!
‘It is a great thing to serve the Lord’
Roy and Family”
The Rocha Family, your friend, your missionary, for the glory of God
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