All posts by philip

We need a building….

Size of the classroom we will build
All the teachers and the principle
The classroom they are currently using we want to replace with more stable structure

As most of you know by now, we are currently in the process with a building project at one of the elementary schools on our island. Once we start teaching in that area we will need a place to do the creation to Christ teachings. The elementary school in that are approached us and asked for help in a building. The have to many children for the amount of classrooms they have.

We initially thought of a two room but it will be to expensive. Expenses are always higher on the island as it cost a lot of money to get the materials to the island. Therefore we started with a budget of around R500 000 or $40 000 but quickly reduced it to a one classroom with a budget or approximately R300 000 or $24 000.

We will start making the blocks in August and once that is complete building will start. We will keep you updated. We already received one generous amount of R60 000 towards the project and that will get it going. We will continue the project as we receive funds.

We will start a second project Lord willing next year with the other elementary school in another area on our island where we will also need a teaching room and therefore use the school room at the other school. This school however already have a half built building which we just have to complete for them. We have not yet discussed this more in detail but will soon after starting the first project.

Should you want to get involved in this project by either funding or even come and help to build (we can discuss this if any are interested), please get in touch with Peter Thomas kpbc@global.co.za or peter.thomas.bbc@gmail.com.

Thank you again for each and every one of you that are in which ever way part of this ministry in seeing the Agutaynens receive the true gospel.

Philip

Inside of the school room
The classroom they are currently using we want to replace with more stable structure

Are you blessed by God?

Being on the mission field has taught us so much, one of it is that nothing happens by chance and all we receive is from Him and therefore we should always rejoice. It is just amazing how Paul said it in the “most difficult” times. Well I thought it was difficult times and always amazed when reading this as I am so focussed on just getting through “difficult times” so the Lord can bless me. That was until I read an article about blessings from the Lord.

I was amazed after reading what the Lord tells us what blessings are. You can read it for yourself in Matt.5. We are all so familiar with the sermon on the mount. Blessed are the pour in spirit, those that mourn, those that are meek and it goes on and describe every little “difficult” time we can think of. The light went on!!! We are blessed. Paul knew he was blessed and I am sure he enjoyed every minute of it. I look at it completely different now. Material things are not a blessing but most of the time a burden hehe.

I am so discouraged reading missionary letters on how they struggle and how difficult things are ( I am not saying to not keep our supporters up to date) but not all the time complaining. We are not special people!!! We don’t deserve more care than others!!!. How can we complain about circumstances if it is the Lord our Father who loves us and want to bless us, bring these circumstances on our way. We have our challenges but so do each one of you back home or in your home country! Please pray for us that we will see the Lord’s hand in every situation and be content and rejoice in all circumstances. Reading some of missionary letters make me sometimes ask where is the Lord in all this? Let’s shine Christ unto this broken world. Let’s show them that we have faith that everything that comes our way is from Him and we will use it for His glory. Let’s show them we are planted next to the rivers that makes us grow and bear great fruit through all circumstances.

On that note, we are preparing soon to go on furlough to South Africa. We are excited to see how the Lord will use us during this time. Please don’t hesitate to invite us to come visit or talk at your church or group. Even if we have to travel lots or live out of suitcases. We are willing and able! For further details please contact Peter Thomas from our church at +27113962672 or +27823617580. So many things happened during our last term on the field and we would love to share this with all of you! We are not coming to South Africa to raise support, the Lord will do that automatically hehe but we go back to share, encourage, and most importantly glorify Him for He is worthy!!!!

 

May God truly bless you all 🙂

Philip for the le Roux’s

Matt 6:25-26

Just a quick post of how God cares for us. It was that time of the year again or in this case of the two years to get our visas. We were expecting it only in October and so we were shocked to see the charges on our account this month.

Just as the flesh wants it, our attention was quickly drawn and distracted to not meditate on God and His promises. We were challenged again this week with Matt.6 and earlier today we received a mail from a supporting church that God blessed them in order to give us a love gift. It is not the complete amount but just enough to make us see a new that He wants us to concentrate on Him and His command and He will take care of the rest.

It is sin to worry and be anxious. We praise God for always helping us growing closer to Him.

 

Latest Update Typhoon Yolanda

We had known the storm was coming already for a few days. Philip had been up on our roof sealing things as best possible for the strong winds that we were expecting. But, other than that life continued as normal. Friday morning I even managed to get laundry done and dried outside. Phil continued to caution our neighbors to insure their houses were secure, but over all people seemed very casual about the incoming storm. It was only when I was reading the internet that day that I began to feel a little unsettled. Terms like “Worst storm of the century” and “strongest winds to ever hit landfall” did not do much to make me feel better.

By 4pm winds had dramatically increased and the town generator only managed to supply power for 3 mins before winds tore down the powerlines. The rain was getting heavier, but still we were not too concerned as we have already exprienced worse in the last few months. A policeman drove passed the house cautioning people to secure their goats and pigs. By 6pm Philip and I got ready for our weekly Friday family evening and I can remember thinking how cosy it would be with the howling winds and darkness outside. But no sooner had I thought this, an awful bang preceded by incredibly loud banging filled the house. It was so loud that we could almost not hear each other.

Philip climbed into the gap between the ceiling and the roof to see what was happening on the roof. He didn’t come back down for several hours as he held onto the loose zinc panels that the wind had lifted. He knew that once the wind lifted those panels, all the rest would go too. Meanwhile downstairs the kids and I were dealing with our own chaos. Water was coming through the closed windows and even through the cement walls. It was coming in at such a rate that I couldnt keep up with mopping and getting rid of the water. All 12 towels of ours were soaked and every bucket we have (and even the kids toy tea cups) were collecting water that came in through the ceiling. The lifted roof panels were allowing water into the house too. Im not sure if rain water was coming into the house or splashes of sea water was bashing against the windows. It was dark outside and impossible to see what was happening. Later I discovered the bathroom was under 2 inches of water that came through the closed window there.

The kids were really scared too. The two youngest both cried and Val was quiet but admitted later that she was shocked by it all. I couldnt help but worry about our neighbors whose houses are so flimsy in comparison to ours. It was too dark and dangerous to risk going outside. Trees were falling down and winds were screaming through the night. We kept our dogs inside the house and they hid under the table through it all. Our bodega flooded with water and with water streaming into the sockets we decided to turn off our generator. I was worried about Claudi too and wondered how she was doing on her own.

During the storm we were being updated on the movement of the storm by our friend and pilots wife, Candy Dalton. Many were praying for us across the world and our Pastor even managed to call us. He told us that he was praying that the Lord would send a row if angels across the ocean to protect us. Around 9pm we lost all contact with outside world as internet and cellphone signals were down.

Winds died down a little around 10pm enough for Phil to attempt to climb on the roof and lay bricks over the lifted panels. The winds were still strong and it was slippery. While climbing up the 19 foot tower to get onto the roof, the bamboo ladder snapped on one side. Phil managed to still hold on one side and get up to the roof. It was terrifying to watch. At this point I looked at some of the damage around us. It was then that I realised my washing machine had been lifted and thrown across the porch, taking the water pipe with it. Phil managed to lay bricks on the roof and when he came down winds picked up again.

The storm raged through the night and at 4 am it seemed really loud. By 6am everything was calm and people were outside picking up fallen trees, debris, roof panels. They were cutting our banana trees that had all fallen blocking the small street infront of our house. It looked like a war zone outside. Everyone seemed a bit dazed. I felt dazed as I looked around at the destruction around us. Phil and decided to walk around the island to see if we could help anyone.

It was shocking to see the huge trees with 1/2 meter wide bases knocked over across houses and roads. But what an encouragement to hear story after story of trees narrowly missing houses and people. God is so good! Not one life lost on our island. Infact one of neighbours gave birth to a baby boy during the storm. Little Yolando was born in the community centre as winds raged through their little grass house. It was so clear to us how God has protected every life on that island! Claudi was shocked to hear of the chaos at our house. Turns out that she had only some water through her windows and slept through the storm! Her house is protected quite well as it lies behind ours and has a hill behind it.

Later that afternoon we managed to get a hold of our NTMA people and let them know we were okay. It was only then that we were told of the devastation in many areas of the Philippines. So many had lost not only their homes but their loved ones too. As time passed we heard more of the devastation on surrounding islands. We truly were devinely protected! God had answered the prayer of many and placed angels across our path! So humbling to see Gods love in such a personal way.

As we heard about the desperate situation on the surrounding islands that belong to Agutaya, their lack of food and shelter, it was clear to us we needed to help somehow. Over the past 2 years Claudi (our partner) and us have put aside a monthly amount of money from our personal support to be used on the Agutaynen people for emergencies. After praying about things we felt we wanted to give it all to help. We asked the Lord to use it to His Glory and since then He has blessed this effort in miraculous ways!

Once we knew we would help with the fund we were confronted with two issues. Firstly getting the money and secondly, how could we get the food? No boats were travelling because of the weather and boats were damaged and in need of repair. Our pilot then informed us that some funds had come in and that they would buy the food and fly it to Cuyo for us! We were amazed. God has already made a way for us. Little did we know that Gods plan was so much bigger than we could ever imagine!

As Josh was buying food and flying it in, Phil was hard at work organising for the food to be collected at the airstrip on Cuyo, taken to the local church, packaged there, taken to the pier where it would bypass port authorities, and then coordinating with the boats to get it to Agutaya where it would be distributed to various islands. He coordinated with the Mayor of Agutaya and Cuyo, police, coast guard, pastors, tricycle drivers, truck drivers, boat owners and captains. It was no small task to get the food to the people! But as this was happening God was doing big things.

The mayor of Agutaya came to see us and was in tears as she described the situation on the other islands. Our hearts ached to hear from friends on the other islands struggling without food and shelter. Our NTM aviation people had flown to Tacloban to try be of assistance there, but because of red tape and dangerous circumstances they were unable to enter. We believe God was opening the doors for us to assist the people who we work with. It was with tears that we received the news that both our NTM 6 seater planes and the helicopter with our 4 pilots would fly up to help us assist the Agutaynen people! Now food could be bought and flown in directly to the people!

These islands who had still received no aid, would now be helped! While the world focused on bigger areas, the Lord showed the people of Agutaya that He has not forgotten them. It still touches me deeply when I think of our small offering to the the Lord that he has multiplied to feed the masses. What started as P100 000 pesos has been increased to over a million pesos already! We serve a great God!

Now that we had all the planes and pilots flying for us, we knew that we needed to get enough supplies to send up. We had been planning to go for our break to Manila and decided to still leave and put things in place to send food in. 10 days after the typhoon we left the island on a little boat borrowed to us by the mayor. We had hardly left the island when rough seas began tossing the boat side to side. What a stressful boat ride! Boeta was really scared and cried during the ride from fear. Both our girls were sick. I was really scared and prayed the whole way. While the sea tossed the boat around Boeta said to me, “Mom, if we sink, I hope we rather die and the boat operators survive. Because they don’t know Jesus yet, and at least we know where we are going.” It really encouraged me to know that His hope was in the Lord,and even in the midst of her fear he was concerned for the lost!

On arrival in Cuyo the girls and Claudi flew out while Phil, Boeta and I bought relief supplies and packaged them with help from the local Baptist church and Criminology students. Boeta and I flew out but Phil stayed behind to show the helicopter pilot the various islands we would be providing aid to. During our flight back home we noticed a heart shaped gap in the clouds which we could fly through. Another reminder of Gods love.

The next day we went to buy supplies to send in. Many back home may not realise that things are not that simple here. To get the amounts of money we needed takes special effort. The banks here run out of money and need to be given notice when big amounts are drawn. Buying supplies takes hours of waiting as supplies are brought down from warehouses. We have to go to more than one shop to buy what is needed. Once everything was bought we needed to get packing. It took us until 5pm to get packs completed and then had to deliver them to the plane hanger. This was our daily routine as we rushed to remain ahead of what the planes can deliver.

God has blessed us with many hands to help. Fellow church planting missionaries are helping us with the buying of the food packs and getting them to the hangar. Local church members volunteer daily to pack relief packages. Missionary friends in Manila helped get fuel for planes, our guest house manager arranged finances and helped with packages. Office personnel sent donations from Manila down by boat. Friends in the finance office in Manila keep records, opened relief accounts and ensure we have enough money. Phils friends who fly fish planes helped deliver oil for planes to Cuyo. Police on Cuyo delivered goods to the pier. Volunteers on Cuyo packed food to send in.. There are so many who have helped that Im sure I have forgotten some along the way. Its taken an army of people to get food to these dear people. Im sure if they truly understood the magnitude of all of this, they would be awestruck.

Everyday at the crack of dawn our pilots load their planes with food and supplies and fly them to Cuyo. Often they make two trips daily dropping of supplies for the helicopter to fly in. Our helicopter pilot flies as many trips as he can, landing in very windy conditions. He has been staying on Cuyo all this time. Their wives spend the day flight following to ensure that they are safe and in course. Others spend the day buying and packing food to supply the planes. Philip coordinates everything with the people on the islands, the police, mayors, pastors etc. Its a labor of love and everyone has been so blessed to be involved.

Many touching stories of peoples gratefulness keeps us humble. Its a constant reminder of how big this all really is. Although we rejoice in the knowledge that their bodies will be fed, its their souls that we care about more. We pray that God will open their hearts through all He is doing and that someday they will be ready to hear His truth. But for now we are thankful for an opportunity to give them a glimpse of His love.

Thank you to everyone that has tirelessly given of their time, money and prayers. Please continue to pray for the Philippines. Pray that through this terrible tragedy many will come to know our precious Lord and Savior.

Change in email address

Hi all please note,

 

our old email addresses of lerouxs@ntm.org.uk and vina_leroux@ntm.org.uk will soon no longer be available. Please change our records to the following:

 

joint email philip_leroux@ntm.org

Vina – vina@heartforthelost.co.za

Philip – philip@heartforthelost.co.za

Note: our new ntm email is without the uk at the end.

Please change your records accordingly.

 

Regards

Philip

Overwhelmed

The last three days were so busy. From the time I step foot on the island of Agutaya on Wednesday until I left this morning, I never had a quiet moment except for the times when I slept :). Some things that changed since our last visit:

1. The hollow blocks (bricks) can not be transported to the island as they break on the ocean and the boat owners are not willing to transport them. I have to get it made on the island. It seems better but it comes at a cost. You have to pay the three guys making them a fee per block, then you have to pay rent for the mold on every bag of cement he uses and then you have to pay the baranggay (area where we will be staying), a fee for getting the sand for the bricks. Did I mention that I still have to buy the cement and pay P40 (equivalent to R10) per bag for shipping.

2. They are looking for P20 (R5) a can of stone. I need over a thousand cans for the house.

3. The shipping is not only expensive as there are only a few boats traveling to the island but they have fallen behind on cargo as the one boat sank last week. Therefore we are only allowed to send limited cargo at this point.

The boat that I took to Agutaya
The boat that I took to Agutaya

4. I will get the “carpenters” to start a week before to dig the foundations so when the team arrive we can just start the building… did I mention Agutaya is a volcanic island and have all the se huge rocks on the site. Then we still need to dig a well… I feel so sorry for the team that is coming already and we have not even start yet.

Here is a link of a video I took on the boat on the way to Agutaya

I guess what I am saying is that once again I learned to completely trust in the Lord. There has been times where I felt I was taken for a ride with some of the prices as I am white, but then again I am not just a foreigner on the island who wants to just make a living, I need to build strong relationships with these people and have to keep that in mind when making choices and decisions. I knew it will not be easy and I am ready to be persecuted and broken but I just had to get this off my chest.

What I am asking for is prayers. We need them so much so please don’t stop praying for us. Nothing is just simple on the mission field. I am not saying it is simple for you guys back home as we all have different challenges, it is just extremely difficult living in a different culture.

Enough of all the sulking. We have a super friend on the island. She is so precious to us and a big gift from the Lord. She has been so helpful in all of this. I can not wait to introduce her to the team that is coming. She is also our land owner. She has been a huge blessing in organizing people and keep an eye on things for us. She will host the team when they arrive for the two weeks on the island. Her name is Mercy and we call her ma’am Mercy. She was on the boat that sank last week and she is still struggling in recovering from the accident. It was the third time she was on a boat that sank. She lost all her cashew nuts she bought in Cuyo worth P2000 (R500) which might sound like nothing but to them is like gold as well as two cellphones and all her luggage. Please pray for her as she is seeking the catholic religion mixed with animism especially after the incident.

Ma'am Mercy
Ma’am Mercy

I am sorry for the bit of complaining in this letter, I don’t like doing this but had to mention it to our dear brothers and sisters so that you all can pray for us. We do receive favor from the Lord on a lot of occasions so it is not all bad :).

We are looking forward to the team coming. They are 9 at the moment and will leave SA 2 March. They will go through a lot of adjustments like weather, culture, living simple for a couple of weeks and out of routine. Please pray for them so they can be open for challenge. We are excited to see how the Lord use it for His good in each one of them.

Thank you all for praying and supporting us. We are not yet where we should be with the finances for the house especially now but we believe the Lord will supply what we need even if we don’t finish the house, we will be content. Please pray for our finances. The house is quite cheap to build but the logistics is extremely expensive.

Last things to fix before leaving :)
Last things to fix before leaving 🙂

We miss you all and think of you daily. Stay strong in the faith and be encouraged. Our time here is just a pass through into the beauty that is awaiting us.

Lord bless

le Roux’s

Please pray for safe journey

Finally I managed to get a boat to Agutaya after the last one sank last Wednesday. Please pray for safe travels as they tend to overload it now that there is a shortage of boats.

Also please pray that the arrangements I have to make on the island concerning our house building and preparation goes as smooth as possible 🙂

Please pray for Vina and kids that stay behind as I am not sure when I will be able to get a boat back to Cuyo.

Thank you for your prayers.

Sunken boats and going back the island…

Hi all,

 

we heard last night that the boat we take to Agutaya from Cuyo sank yesterday. Apparently it was close to  little island so all the people on the boat are safe. On this note, we will begin our journey back to Cuyo in a couple of hours. We will fly from Manila to the island of Iloilo, then take a bot on 16 hour journey to the island of Cuyo. We are not sure of we will be able to get space on the boat as you can not book tickets ahead of time and it is first come first serve. Worse case scenario, we have to stay over in Iloilo until the next available boat.

 

We know the Lord is in control and we will trust Him through it all. I suppose I am asking you all to pray that we stay content and calm through this journey back.

 

Thank you all for praying and we will give an update once we are back. Thank you also once again for your support in this great work we are privileged to be a part of.

 

Your co-workers in Christ

le Rouxs