Typhoon Yolanda

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My heart is so full as I write this newsletter. So full of thankfulness and humility when I see all that God has done! A typhoon dubbed as “the typhoon of the century” and “the strongest typhoon to hit landfall in recorded history”, and God has protected us through it all. As I write this newsletter we have no contact with the outside world. The cellphone towers are down and we have no local generator power as powerlines litter the streets.

Yes, there is devastation and destruction, but this is not a story about that, its a story about God and His Grace upon us and the people of Agutaya. This morning as people cleaned up the debris and piece together the pieces of their houses, we cannot help but marvel at the wonderful reality that not one life on Agutaya was lost! Infact God in His goodness added life to Agutaya as a mother gave birth to her baby during the typhoon! He is good!

I cannot begin to truly describe what raging 300km/h winds sound like when they blow against your house, or what sounds you experience in the dark with trees falling around you and rain rushing in through your closed windows. It was scary to say the least. But through it all as many across the world prayed for us and the Agutaynens, God held his hand of protection over us all.

It was overwhelming to hear stories of huge coconut trees falling over and just missing bamboo houses by inches. Of how families huddled together in a room afraid as trees fell around them, but they were unharmed.Some may consider how “lucky” they were, but we know the truth.God in His goodness has spared them.

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The photo above is of our dear friend Mercy Pasete’s house. She recently moved to a grass house literally next to this one. Her house was almost untouched, but this one was destroyed. What you cannot see in the photo is a huge, thick coconut tree that collapsed behind the house. Had it fallen the other direction it would have landed on top of them. God is good!

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Part of our roof was almost blown off, and Phil literally had to hold onto it from the inside. Banana trees around our property were torn down and my twintub washing machine was lifted in wind and flipped sideways damaging the control panel. Minor damage considering the force coming at us from the ocean. God is good!

It was a scary experience for the kids, but they got to see the power of God in action. They experienced His might, and then His Grace as He protected us all. They saw His love through the many people praying for us, calling us and texting us, even as the storm raged. And today they saw that God is good when they looked at the destruction around us and realised that we were kept safe.

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Although its not an experience that I would like to relive, I am thankful. I am thankful that God showed us His love through the many that prayed for us. I am thankful that God will be glorified as we seek ways to help others around us rebuild their homes. I am thankful that many lives were spared and that they will, Lord willing, hear the Good News in the future.

God is good. Had He chosen to not spare our lives, He would still be good! He remains faithful. He remains our rock and our fortress. And it remains our privilege to serve Him as long as He will allow us. Today is a new day, and we will use it to praise Him!

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