Yolanda left a trail for revival

(JECPP’s Recovery Mission in Visayas and Luzon)

By Mayme F. Olegario

Let Yolanda’s trail be the path of revival in the Philippines! This is the hope and cry of all JECPP churches in the country. Now, a month after the ravaging storm, JECPP reviews God’s immense faithfulness and grace that propel injured lives and ministries on the way to recovery.

It all started on a hastily relocated leaders’ meeting in Manila, supposedly held in Palawan but was cancelled due to alarming weather. On that Saturday breakfast meeting of the JECPP Spiritual Council, no one could touch his food. It was November 9, the day after typhoon Yolanda’s devastating six landfalls in the Visayas region.

Around that breakfast table at the Traders Hotel in Manila, the pastors’ eyes and hearts were crying for God’s mercy for the churches in Western, Central and Eastern Visayas and Luzon.  It was an anxious waiting for calls and texts from the pastors stationed in those places. But none was heard of Samar Section Leader, Pastor Nelson Banol, his wife and three young children in EFC-Tacloban.

The agonizing silence on his whereabouts would last for three days. JECPP Chairperson Rev. Peter Wee said that they sent Pastor Ronel from Maasin who walked overnight to reach EFC-Tacloban, ran out of water on his journey there, and went to the police station asking for Pastor Nelson and his family. But all he saw in Tacloban was only the building where Pastor Nelson’s family had taken refuge in.

“We also sent in pastors from Calbayog and Ormoc to search as well as mobilize believers to pray for their safety. We prayed, but we also braced ourselves for the worst,” said Rev. Chuck Chua who heads Central and Eastern Visayas.

Doubly worried on that Saturday morning meeting was Reverend Benjamin (Benjie) Chavez whose family was left in Ajuy, 5th District of Iloilo placed on state of calamity. He was not home on Yolanda’s onslaught as he was travelling for this Spiritual Council meeting in Manila. “According to my wife, they felt the strong wind around 11:00 am. At exactly 11:30am, they saw how the very strong wind totally blew off the wall and the roof of our parsonage.”

Pastor Benjie said his wife Pastor Lina and two children immediately ran inside the church to protect themselves from flying roofs and tree branches. Seeing the rapid surge of water reaching the sanctuary, they decided to leave. But the flood was so swift that in very few minutes, the water already reached their necks. They tried to swim to reach the road where the police saw and picked them up. They stayed in the police station until the typhoon was over.

Thanking God for His protection to the Chavez family and the other pastors in Iloilo, JECPP was also very relieved to hear that Pastor Nelson’s family was found by Pastor Jeffrey of EFC-Calbayog.

“Thankfully, we finally got news that the family was located and safe by noon on Nov 11, Monday! We had them evacuated via land and sea journey, and they arrived finally in Cebu City on Nov 15. We are thankful for protection from the Lord for all our workers and families”, said Pastor Chuck.

A week after the Spiritual Council meeting in Manila, the pastors had to brace themselves again for what they would personally observe on their assessment visit to Yolanda’s trail. The assessment was needed for the recovery direction of JECPP. The pastors struggled with difficult transport and communication as these were dysfunctional for many days in the ravaged Visayas and Luzon regions. Pastor Chuck and Pastor Benjie travelled all over Visayas. Pastor Jessie Yu also went to Iloilo to assist Pastor Benjie to assess the damages of the church buildings.

“I did a follow up of all churches in Western Visayas. Aside from our church in Ajuy, I found out that there were five more destroyed churches in Northern Iloilo and Northern Antique.  My heart was really troubled when I saw the pictures they e-mailed me”, shared Pastor Benjie.

According to Pastor Wee, a total of 23 JECPP churches were hit by Yolanda. 14 of these experienced slight damages (such as blown roofs or walls) to severe damages. Around 6 seriously damaged churches could not hold Sunday gathering. EFC-Culasi, for instance, held Sunday service under a tree.

In Luzon, Pastor Jessie reported that Metro Manila was spared by Yolanda and only one church in Mindoro was minimally affected, thankfully noting that the damage could have been more critical based on the building’s light material. “Our pastor related to me that the wind was super strong. The whole town was black out. I’m very thankful to the Lord for sparing all our planters. None of them was physically hurt badly.”

“We should prioritize to rebuild the facilities of our ministry centers and restore our pastors, workers and members spiritually and emotionally to serve as lighthouses in the physical and spiritual dark areas of the devastated communities,” said Pastor Chuck referring to JECPP’s recovery mission.

Church buildings and parsonages must be rebuilt so church services can function normally again, agreed Pastor Benjie. He said that by doing so, pastors and their families can recover from their own trauma. Then, they can begin to effectively minister to members and other families in their communities.

Rebuilding now goes on for the Evangel Family Churches in Ajuy, Barbaza, Padan, Bugasong, Culasi, Libertad, Patnongon, Bogo, Panliwad-on, Dawis, Anonang Sur, Agujo, Ormoc, Albuera, Macabug, Montebello, Airpot, Seguinon and Sipaway. Construction is expected to be completed in time for these churches to celebrate the hope of Jesus on their Christmas services.

Pastor Wee said that the pastors from these churches were instructed to submit a recovery proposal and budget plan for reconstruction. All JECPP churches, especially in Mindanao and Luzon carried the burden of their fellow brothers and sisters in Visayas and gave eagerly and sacrificially. Founding Chair Rev. Robert Lim spearheaded foreign help upon seeing the great need. In no time, all building expenses were met and sent immediately. “There is no lack. All financial needs were met,” said Pastor Wee.

If typhoon Yolanda claimed lives, it also ushered in rebirth. “It caused me to be more serious on living a life that’s dedicated to serve God because our days are numbered. Anything unexpected can happen,” said Pastor Jessie. “We must hasten our church planting wherever there is any open door, no matter how small.

“The long-term plan that I’m thinking is, if possible, our churches would be made of concrete materials and the roofs have to be tighten up and designed to withstand stronger winds up to 350kph. During my student days, I could still remember that our allowance for roofs was for only 240kph. Aside from that, flash lights, emergency lamps, cell phone chargers or power banks would be most helpful in times like these on top of the basic medical kits,” Pastor Jessie added.

Pastor Chuck believes that the pain of Yolanda’s aftermath is an opportune time for the Church to shine in righteousness and justice. “We must maintain the balance of proclaiming God’s Word and demonstrating good works so that all men may glorify God and have the opportunity to respond to the claims of Christ.

On that day he would never forget, Pastor Nelson was found with nothing, except for the clothes and tsinelas (slippers) he’s wearing, yet seeing his family safe beside him, he stood his ground.  A month after that fateful day in Tacloban, he and his family are now preparing for Catbalogan, Samar where they will plant a new church. EFC-Tacloban will continue to operate as a cell church.

With the Tacloban church building crushed by Yolanda’s 315kph winds and some members dead, the flock he loved and labored for, Pastor Nelson’s and JECPP’s call to rescue others from eternal catastrophe remains steadfast. It cannot be blown away.

16 Therefore we do not lose heart. Even though our outward man is perishing, yet the inward man is being renewed day by day. 17 For our light affliction, which is but for a moment, is working for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory,

II Corinthians 4:16-17 NKJV

Davao del Sur celebrates 1st Family Fellowship

By: Jeanelle Grace Lorilla

The Davao del Sur Section enjoyed family bonding on its 1st Family Fellowship held last October 23-25, 2013 at Our Paradise Beach Resort, Sta. Cruz, Davao del Sur.

55 Delegates from EFC-Kidapawan, EFC- Sta. Cruz, EFC-Magsaysay and EFC-Victor packed their bags for a three-day camp filled with no dull moment. Exhilarating activities and camaraderie among brothers and sisters in the Lord were priority in the camp’s program.

efc_davao_del_surOn the first day, however, excitement was not the only emotion that roused us. Problems such as health, finances, and messed-up schedules threatened to ruin the arrival and registration of those who wanted to be in the fellowship. Maybe the enemy is miserable when God’s people are having a great time! But the intercession that exploded on the shoreline saved the day. After praying, God was faithful to bring more people safe and sound to the venue.

When mishaps were finally cleared, we all settled in and started to set up tents. As comradeship kicked in, everyone expected to witness the Lord’s marvels in this camp. The glitches early in the day only served to make us anticipate for more of God’s goodness.

Evening came; the camp fire blazed as the symbol of the affair’s opening.  There were presentation of participants, testimonies and entertainment numbers from each church and camp teams. Yellow, Orange and Green teams showed their instant yells. Age did not matter since all ages were present in each group. We all enjoyed gulps of fresh air and therapeutic laughter all throughout the evening.

The second day started with a morning service led by Pastor Sanny Padua. Tears fell as the Lord gave hope that His people should continue to serve Him faithfully amidst the storms of life. After the service was the Treasure Hunt. The hunters searched for the hidden treasure with serious determination. Others did with some silly efforts, like diving into the ocean thinking that the prized treasure was kept in the deep!

We did dares and answered the puzzles. In the afternoon, our knowledge of the Bible was tested. Bible games shook the place with fun and facts.

The last night’s service led by Pastor Leomilo Jones challenged everybody to declare Joshua’s famous words, “As for me and my house, we will serve the Lord” forever. God saturated everyone with His presence, reviving the weary, healing, and restoring the joy of serving Him. Every person stood in awe of God’s powerful deeds. The evening was closed by testimonies and giving of awards to the deserving teams.

Alas, time flew fast! The third day was home sweet home with thankful hearts sealed with holy fire to bring glory to the Lord.


JECPP First Audio Workshop

Audio Check 1, … 2, …3, ….

By Bong Sepulveda

  And all the people went up after him, playing pipes and rejoicing greatly, so that the ground shook with the sound. (1 Kings 1:40 NIV)

Last October 2 to 3, 2013, JECPP, in partnership with SHOWIMAGE, held its first Audio workshop with the theme: “Basic Audio System Applications for End-Users Workshop” held at Evangel Family Church-Davao. The workshop was formally opened by Rev. Peter Wee, and the Resource Speaker was Engr. Dennis B. Domingo, owner of SHOWIMAGE Inc. There were 26 JECPP delegates in all from Luzon, Visayas and Mindanao who were trained on the Public Audio (PA) System to help them balance good and clear sounds for church services.

On the first day, delegates were taught on the basics of the PA System setup for different venues, as well as surroundings and applications for each venue. The delegates were also taught to know basic terms such as: Mixers, Power Amplifiers, Monitors, etc. and the basic functions of these equipment.

On the second day, we were taught how to manipulate the sound mixers. The hands-on experience boosted the enthusiasm of the delegates as we learned proper handling of the Analog and the Digital Mixer. There was also a question and answer session where the resource speaker addressed concerns raised by delegates over PA systems in their own respective churches.

We must value the PA System as a tool that helps church members to fully grasp the message conveyed to them by the speaker or Pastor. It also enhances the harmony of the instruments, thus, enabling the worshipers to fully participate and further enjoy the songs and the presence of the Lord. Even in the history of the Old Testament church, God gave clear commands to His people on clear sounds of “rumbling of thunders, the sounds of the trumpets and the clarity of His voice”.

Engr. Domingo, whom we all fondly call Kuya Dave or Brother Dave, gave us a reminder on the role of someone who operates sounds. “You must not use just your ears but use your heart. Mixing sound is a talent and we should ask from God who gives generously to those who ask for it.”

The heart beats life to our physical body. In the same way, a good sound that comes from the heart releases life to the hearers, he said. “You can either be used by God to produce anointed sound, or by the enemy to produce noise and neglect the body of Christ by blocking the clear message God intends for all.”

It is imperative that in our modern churches today, the PA system must be deemed as an important part of the church. Despite this fact though, we must never forget that what matter most to God are our hearts and our motives. As worship leaders, we must glorify the Lord Almighty in everything that we do. Let us press on and strive to improve on the sound management in all our Churches, all for the Glory of God.

2nd batch of TWIT graduates boosts tribal missions

By La Donna Yap

When the rest of the world is busily catching up with “Twitter”, ten zealous workers diligently connected the gospel to the unreached tribes by following “T.W.I.T.”

T.W.I.T for them stands for Tribal Workers Intensive Training which started last January to July 2013.

 Their hard work was rewarded with no other than the JECPP Founding Chair, Rev. Dr. Robert Lim, came all the way from Singapore as the guest speaker on their graduation day. And Rev. Peter Wee, the current JECPP Chairman personally had the privilege of handing them their Certificate of Training on July 31, 2013 at Evangel Tribal Training Center, Barangay Ladayon, Arakan Valley, Marilog District of Davao.

On top of that, the JECPP Spiritual Leaders and Regional Directors namely:  Rev. Jessie Yu, Luzon; Rev. Chuck Chua, Central and Eastern Visayas; Rev. Benjamin Chavez, Western Visayas; Rev. Andrew Kwong, Northern Mindanao; and Rev. Christine Wee took off from their respective offices to support and to lay their hands in prayer on the new graduates. 


This extensive training for the tribal ministers was made possible with the partnership of JECPP and the Tribal Mission Foundation Inc. (TMFI), who dedicatedly shared their time, resources and teaching. The following are the lessons in which these tribal ministers were equipped with:

  • S O W – School of Workers – a simple and transferrable Bible training course designed to equip students for evangelism and discipleship using the cell group method. The desired result is for church planters to raise up workers that would in turn reach out to others.
  • R A D – Rural Area Development a system that explores principles and practical approaches to help rural people manage, conserve and develop their resources particularly in the area of sustainable agriculture and sound environmental practices. Hands on activities include the practice of a simple gardening technique combined with the module of Integrated Farming. 
  • CHRONO – Chronological Bible Story Telling – an evangelistic tool that communicates Biblical truths and theology through the narrative method. This culturally relevant approach starts the account from creation and ends by providing a foundation for How & Why Jesus Christ is the only one who can save mankind. 
  • PHC – Primary Health Care – practical lessons on hygiene, proper nutrition, herbal remedies and first aid, this module also includes practical strategies of developing a community based health care system. 
  • S T S – Simply the Story – a Bible Study tool that narrates story segments of the Bible and uses open questions to dig out spiritual truths and applications. 

This curriculum was carefully designed to balance culture and development, a combination of holistic development and Native Spirituality to meet the needs of the tribal people. 

founding_chair_pas_limFurther, Rev. Lim stirred the graduates with the liberating message entitled “SET FREE FOR THE GLORY OF GOD” taken from Luke 13:10-17. He emphasized that we have the power of the risen Christ to set the captives free. He said that most people now, whether in the mountains or those in the cities, are stricken with “sickness of the soul”. We, with the resurrection power of Jesus, can release them from this bondage, said Pastor Lim. 

 The graduates were filled with overflowing joy, enthusiasm and empowerment of the Holy Spirit. They went home with a bag of goodies and supplies as well as a pair of rubber boots to start their mission journey.   

Testimonies from the graduates: 

bro_jose_rochaJose Rocha: “Daku kaayo ug tabang alang nako ang “S O W- School of Workers”, dinhi nako nasabtan nga ako tinawag sa Dios sa pagpangabig ug kalag alang kaniya, ug Iya akong gipuno sa Balaang Espiritu alang niini nga buluhaton.” (“S O W – School of Workers” helped me tremendously. Here, I understand, that I am called to win souls for the kingdom of God and that the Holy Spirit empowered me for this ministry). 


bro_alvin_ligueAlvin Ligue: “Salamat kaayo sa Ginoo niining gitudlo kanamo nga R A D – Rural Area Development.  Among natun-an unsaon pag amuma ning among bukid ug daku kaayo ni nga tabang sa among pagpanginabuhi. Ako dayung gisulayan ang akong natun-an sa R.A.D ug nakita nako nga adunay deperensya kung naa nakay kaalam unsaon pag-atiman sa mga tanum. Nagpasalamat gayud ako nga gitudlu-an mi niini. Daghan pa diay ug maayong mga paagi nga makapanalangin ta sa uban, dili lang sa pagtudlo nila sa kaluwasan apan sa pagtabang usab nila sa ilang panginabuhi.” (I am thanking God that we were taught about R A D – Rural Area Development, We have learned how to cultivate our land, and it is a very big help for our livelihood. I applied our lessons immediately and I recognized the difference of those who have knowledge in scientific farming and those who do not. We can minister to them spiritually, and we can also bless and help them in their livelihood). 

bro_edwin_lapasanEdwin Lapasan: “Sa CHRONO -Chronological Story, akong nasabtan ang sunod-sunod nga pagsaysay sa Bibliya, nakatabang jud kini nga masabtan nako ang mga panghitabo sa Bibliya, aron sakto pud akong pagsaysay sa uban.” (In CHRONO -Chronological Story, I learned the sequential order of the Bible. It is very helpful so that I can explain it correctly to others as well). 



Mulyboy Indat:   “Alang kanamo nga layu kaayo sa tambalanan, daku gayud kaayo ug kahimu-an kining gitudlo kanamo nga PHC – Primary Health Care. Usahay sa among pagbisita sa mga katribuhan, aduna silay mga panginahanglan, labi na jud sa ilang panglawas, apan wala kami laing mahimo apan lamang sa pag-ampo. Karon amo na silang maampo-an ug matudlu-an kung unsaon pag atiman sa atong mga panalwas.” (For us who live far from Health Care facilities, we are really grateful that we are taught about PHC – Primary Health Care.  There are times when we are faced with people who are sick. All we can do is pray for them, but right now, we can pray and teach them preventive measures for their health). 

sis_divina_mambayenDivina Mambayen: “Nindot kaayo ang S T S – Simply the Story, kay diri among nasayran mga laglum na nga mga pagtudlo sa Bibliya pina-agi sa storya. Unya among nasayran nga lingaw kaayo tun-an ang Bibliya.”  (S T S – Simply the Story is wonderful. We learned deep spiritual truths of the Bible through the stories. We learned that studying the Bible is very enjoyable.) 

Acts 1:8 “You will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.”



JECPP 10th Tribal Medical Mission

JECPP 10th Tribal Medical Mission

– A decade of giving hope to the weary

By La Donna S. Yap


Rev. Peter Wee, the chairman of Jireh-Evangel Church Planting in the Philippines (JECPP) and Senior Pastor of EFC-Davao led at least  60 enthusiastic volunteers from the church, JECPP tribal pastors and leaders, a group from Davao City Health Office, dentists and medical doctors to Marahan, Marilog District, Davao City to take part in the 10thAnnual Medical Mission of JECPP on April 24, 2013.

The team was welcomed with excitement and grateful faces of our tribal brethren who eagerly lined up for registration at 8:00 am in the gymnasium of West Marahan Elementary School.

Mrs. Beatriz Elvira

Mrs. Beatriz Elvira


In an interview, one of the recipients of the Medical Mission, Mrs. Beatriz Elvira, 51, said that she and her family waited for the JECPP Annual Medical Mission for the whole family’s medical check-up.  She added that without this mission, they would not be able to know their health condition.



Mr. Jolito Ambong

Mr. Jolito Ambong



Mr. Jolito Ambong, 27, happily carried his son John Patrick to line up for the free medical consultation. According to Mr. Ambong, his son is always coughing,but they do not have the resources to bring him to the doctor.  He exclaimed how blessed they are that the hospital (Medical Mission) came to them.


Ms. Ailyn Espera

Ms. Ailyn Espera


Mrs. Ailyn Espera, 26, could not wait for the Medical Mission’s date.  She was suffering from a constant tooth ache which disturbed her daily routine, but after benefiting from the free tooth extraction, she gleefully blurted, “the suffering is over!. 





These boys were eagerly waiting for their turn to be circumcised. “Tuli” or circumcision, is a deeply cultural and hygiene-related procedure; it is a “rite of passage” for young Filipino males.

For the past 10 years, JECPP Medical Mission endeavored to act as a beacon of light and hope for our tribal brethren in Marilog District by shouldering medical expenses and providing services that typically require payment such as medical checkups, tooth extraction and Operation Tuli.  These services were combined with the provision of free medicines, vitamins, deworming and immunization.

The annual event was supported by diligent efforts of Davao City Health Office and a number of local professional doctors.

All volunteers were offered the opportunity to witness, learn and get hands on experience in assisting local doctors. Even those who were volunteering outside of the medical rooms were able to support the smooth running of the day by admitting patients, recording their medical history and serving in the Pharmacy. Another group was also assigned to make and serve “lugaw”(rice porridge)  to the recipients.

In particular, the 10th JECPP Medical Mission was able to extend support to 446 individuals with the provision of the following services:

345 availed of the free medical checkup

52 availed of the free dental service (tooth extraction)

35 availed of the free Operation Tuli Procedures

14 availed of the free Pneumococal Immunization

The Medical Mission is one of JECPP’s annual contributions to the work of God and to bring our tribal brethren to the knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.



Meet the JECPP Medical Mission volunteers who labored unceasingly for 10 years:

  1. Dr. Rizaldo Gonzales IMG_0815

The first time I attended the JECPP Medical Mission, I saw firsthand how passionately the Singaporean Missionaries served my very own tribal brethren. As a Filipino doctor, I was challenged by how they left their families and used their own resources to serve the Filipinos wholeheartedly.  That was my turning point, and ever since my wife and I, together with my children, supported and volunteered for JECPP Medical Mission.

In fact, our year will not be complete without it. My fellow medical practitioners whom I recruited to join also feel the same. I am humbled every time I saw the grateful faces of our beloved tribal brethren. To help them ease their pain and burden encouraged me to keep on coming back. For me, joining the JECPP Medical Mission is more than my social responsibility; it is my way of giving back to God what He has been blessing us with.     



  1.   Ptr. Judith F. KintanarDSC_0534

The compassion from God motivates me to serve in the JECPP Medical Mission. To see the people being helped in their physical condition is a reflection that Jesus does not just care for our spiritual but also our physical condition.

Seeing the  pastors- both from tribal and city, doctors, nurses and members of Evangel Family Church from Singapore and Davao  who tirelessly work together to bless the unreached tribal people without any monetary incentives is very heart warming.  

Sometimes, medical teams come straight from their night duties to join this mission. They have not returned yet to their families or gotten any rest, but they are still willing and delighted to offer their services yearly for the JECPP Medical Mission.

To see Pastor Wee and Pastor Christine, together with other Singaporean volunteers helping and always looking for means how to better serve and bless the Filipino tribal people, even with language barrier, is really an encouragement. Truly, love knows no language.

Lastly, knowing that Pastor Robert Lim and all JECPP pastors are praying and giving their financial and moral support motivates me to go on the task yearly in blessing the tribal folks without any hesitations. 


Prov. 11:25  The generous will prosper; those who refresh others will themselves be refreshed.


Light rain did not dampen the excitement in the air last July 14, 2012. Resplendent in their Matigsalug tribal attire, 14 trainees, together with family, friends and mentors celebrated the successful culmination of the seven-month long training at Ladayon, Arakan Valley. For one week every month since January, each one of them made the regular trip to the Evangel Tribal Training Center from their respective homes and places of ministry to go through one of the nine modules on Evangelism, discipleship, health, agriculture, literacy and community development.

One of the Cebuano songs in the ceremony captured the shared experience from the first module to the last. The abounding grace and anointing of God made all those learning moments life-changing ones for everybody involved. Five people gave testimonies on the different modules. “The power of God’s anointing is real so His servants can exercise their gifts”, Pastor Maximo Lasquite declared. His learning about spiritual gifts and desiring the gift of healing was immediately put to test when He went back to his community. A neighbor had severe diarrhea and was close to being dehydrated. Before deciding to bring him to the hospital, the wife asked Ptr. Lasquite for prayers. Immediately the neighbor felt relief, and there was no need to go to the hospital. Maryflor Caday shared how she used the Chronological Bible Story Telling in Sunday School classes and Bible Study groups. The members were really excited and deep spiritual discussions resulted from her sessions. Elmer Ramirez, who is an experienced commercial farmer, shared about some eye-opening lessons learned during the Sustainable Agriculture module. He realized that as a farmer, he is responsible to give customers quality products, aside from being concerned only with good harvest and income.  He learned this as another dimension to stewardship.  Another student, Mary Ann, was very grateful for the practical things she learned from the Health module, especially on how to administer First Aid. She believed that it will help her become a more effective minister of the gospel in Guilon. Ramil, on the other hand, talked about his desire to teach his members how to read the Bible. At first he found the Literacy module difficult, but after much prayer, he found it easier to understand. He is now looking forward to helping his members acquire literacy skills. All of them were grateful for all the practical modules they had gone through.

The graduation ceremony was highlighted by Ptr. Christine Wee’s challenge to the graduates to continue doing the unfinished task Jesus left to His church. She reminded them that the unquestionable love of God, with His unstoppable power and unfailing promises to us, will definitely propel us to reap more souls into God’s kingdom.

Last June, the trainers for this first batch talked about involving these graduates in the logistics and actual training for the next batches.  The ‘Paul- and-Timothy principle’ of passing on these teachings to faithful men and women is very much in evidence. Our sincere appreciations to Sis Beng Bicaldo and her team from TMFI (Tribal Mission Foundation International) who has  partnered with us in training our tribal workers for the expansion of God’s kingdom in the Marilog District.


In Matthew 25:40, the King says “I tell you the truth, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers of mine, you did for me”.

These are the words of the Lord Jesus put into practice as Evangel Family Church in coordination with JECPP held its “Typhoon Pablo Disaster Relief Operation” in the Municipality of Boston and Barangay Carmen in Davao Oriental Region last December 18, 2012.

The activity was spearheaded by none other than our Founding Chairman, Rev. Dr. Robert Lim. Pastor Wee, together with some members, surveyed the area and coordinated with the Barangay Officials and the Police Department for systematic distribution as well as for the safety of our team.

Typhoon Pablo first made landfall in Davao Oriental, particularly in the towns Baganga, Boston and Cateel last December 4, 2012 and affected thousands of lives, young and old. Hundreds were buried alive who, up to now have not yet been recovered. The intensity and magnitude of typhoon Pablo has exceeded that of typhoon Sendong. It was tagged as the strongest tropical storm, PAG-ASA labelled super typhoon, to hit the country this year specifically in Southern Mindanao. As described by Pastor Lim, it was 700 kilometer wide like a lawn-mover and vacuum cleaner combined, blowing up and sucking up the whole Davao Oriental area. Typhoon Pablo caused widespread destruction resulting to destroyed properties, disrupted communication lines, cut-off power, flooding, landslides and uprooted trees and thousands of homeless families. Pastor Chua said that compared to the Visayas, the impact of the typhoon was so great in Mindanao. He described it as mind-boggling as he himself saw the devastation. This was indeed very rare that a typhoon will be passing this area; its devastation can leave one speechless.

Moved by the sight, Pastor Lim thought of how to help and took a greater leap of faith to raise funds for this relief operation. A close Malaysian friend of Pastor Lim, who was so generous, gave a certain amount of money on time, which was used to purchase the goods. A total of 1500 bundles containing rice, canned goods, noodles and loaf bread were packed. Aside from that, 105 bottles of 6-liter and 100 pieces of 21- liter water from Crystal Clear, goodies for the children and clothes coming from donations of our church members and EFC-Singapore were distributed. With the help of some of the church members, who voluntarily offered their time and effort, the packing of the goods lasted for a week from December 10-15 under the guidance of Pastor Christine. They were grateful to God for sparing Davao City from the destruction and in doing so; they have become a part of God’s work towards the victims of the typhoon. They gladly and enthusiastically did it in service to God and man.

On December 17, 2012, we started to load the goods to the two trucks. Thanks to Brother PJ Pascua, who initiated and offered a closed Elf truck where we can stack half of the goods. The other half was placed in a Forward truck that was rented. Some members came to load the goods onto the two trucks. Pastor Christine together with Bro Sam Simpas and Bro Michael Barrera left in advance with the trucks at 12 midnight reaching Boston area at around 7:00 am to finalize and coordinate with the Barangay and Military officials who will aid us during the distribution. Another team left Davao City on December 18 at 4:00 am and met up with a separate team in Tagum City. Along the way, the rain was pouring so heavily. In our hearts, we thought the operation might not push through but God was awesome and merciful that by the time we reached the place at around 9:00 am, the sun shone through every dark cloud to put a smile on every face. Pastor Lim shared to us that he texted Pastor Marion to uphold us in prayer because of the rain. Pastor Marion reminded him that as God was in the storm with Elijah, then God is also with us in the rain. How great was the impact of her words to put our trust in our God earnestly.

Upon reaching the place, we could see people already lining up inside a church to avail of the relief goods. We waited for about an hour because another truck was set ahead to bring down their goods from another company. Nearly 11:00 am, we started to hand out the goods. At first, we had a difficulty managing the crowd because they were so desperate that they started pushing towards the distributors. Thanks to our military officers who were there to supervise. Some team members even went up the truck while the military officers collected the green cards which the residents used to acknowledge that they have received their portion. A total of 1, 010 residents were served in the Municipality of Boston.

Then, we headed towards Barangay Carmen and distributed about 490 packs to the residents there. In this area which is along the highway, we saw the immense wreckage of the typhoon. Most the houses don’t have roofs anymore, and some even tumbled down. The people were so thankful for what they have received. In their own language, they said “salamatay” to us. We could see happy faces when we left. The remaining goods were sent off to a small barangay called Linggi, which was very difficult for the truck to manoeuvre through the small lanes. Kagawad Altizo offered to carry the clothes and goods to them.

The team left Carmen at about 3:00 pm. And just as we began driving off, we suddenly noticed a brilliant, beautiful rainbow above the sky, reminding us there is always hope after the storm. After a four-hour travel, we reached Tagum City for our dinner. Following that sumptuous meal, we bade goodbye to the Tagum team and headed home to Davao. The testimonies I could hear from my companions were so heart-warming that they put aside every complaint of tiredness. Their hearts were filled with joyful sentiments of extending help to strangers by giving food to the hungry, water to the thirsty, and clothes to the needy. As we do these things to them, we do the same to our God. Our stories were full of gladness.

Finally, Pastor Lim shared his words to all of us during the appreciation dinner, that one thing he admired of the Filipinos is that they can smile amidst devastation, and they can handle any disaster. His heart goes to the old and the babies who are suffering the most. He further pointed out that this activity is just short term and that we are going to believe that God will touch people for resources to come in to help families. He also mentioned about a desire to plant a little church there. And through this we can share God’s love to them and the hope that we have in Christ Jesus which is lasting and eternal. He added that there’s hope for the living, and their hope is Jesus.

We are very thankful to Almighty God for keeping us safe during our travel, for giving us healthy bodies to do His work and the joy to serve Him. We are also grateful to Him for giving us such leaders who were willing to go and support us in this very challenging task. Together as we join hands, we can do much more for the long term assistance of the victims. Thank you for all your prayers, and may God continually bless us to be a blessing to others.