Sunday, December 22, 2013

Super Typhoon!

You might have been wondering what’s been happening at PAFCOE for the last few weeks since nothing was posted lately. It was not because there was nothing to write about! Oh, no! There were so many stories and experiences to share and simply not enough time (or writers) to get them written down and published!

So what has been going on at PAFCOE lately? More than can fill one blog post, for sure!

During the days following October 31, all our students and staff left the comfort and security of PAFCOE and headed out for their respective evangelistic sites – more known as OJT (On the Job Training). Doing a one month evangelistic seminar for either adults or kids is a requirement for the students to be able to graduate from PAFCOE, so all were participating.

I am sure that as they arrived at their sites where they would be preaching, some were a little nervous and unsure of what would happen during their one month stay in that place. What would God do through them in that area, especially because this was their first time?

All the students and staff had about one week at their site to organize the church, prepare their crafts and do a week of prayer in their local churches. November 8, 2013 was the target date for the 30+ seminars to be taking place all over the Philippines at the same time. All was going well and everyone was excited for their first night!

But very early Friday morning, November 8, super typhoon Yolanda (Haiyan for the rest of the world) with winds up to 200 mph slammed into the eastern shores of central Philippines, causing 
severe destruction and devastation everywhere it went.

Most of you read about it in the news as it has been the worst typhoon to hit the Philippines in 30 years. Hundreds and even thousands of people died from drowning in the huge storm surges and heavy flooding from the severe, driving rain and strong winds. Roofs flew off most of the houses and many (including concrete ones) were totally destroyed, leaving the inhabitants (if alive) with no shelter for the coming weeks. Because many power poles collapsed, most people were without power and some had no water, either. 

Did the storm affect our sites? Yes, it did. Out of our 30+ seminars to start later that same day, about 10 of them had to postpone because of the bad weather. Those in the central part of the Philippines were hit the worst, while the northern and southern areas were not affected too badly. For awhile, we were very concerned about some of our students and their safety, but little by little, the news started trickling in that though many had gone through some harrowing experiences, all were alive – safe and sound! Praise God!

And the stories that we began to hear were absolutely amazing of what God did to help the students and staff whose sites were affected severely by the super typhoon. For those of you who prayed for us and our students and staff, a big “thank-you” for lifting us up in prayer, for God really heard!

During the next blog posts, we will be sharing with you the many stories and testimonies of the student’s experiences during their OJT time.

Keep checking for more stories, coming soon!