Answered Prayer #12114
16th May 2019
God unleashed a mighty blessing
At the end of a mission trip to the Philippines I experienced a tragedy that I hope and pray I don't ever experience again. A massive fire - started accidentally - broke out in a squatter village . Fifty-two houses were burned to the ground but, miraculously, there were no fatalities. As well as this, and only a week before, unseasonal rain fell so heavily that it caused landslides and floods, which killed three people and destroyed numerous homes. As I was still there at the time, I sent word back to my church via the missions team, to lift up these poor people in prayer, as well as help them rebuild their houses and lives. I remember saying to the Lord at the time that, if we could just raise about £1,500 we could give these people enough to have a simple shelter in which to survive until they could rebuild. That would be an amazing witness. Little did I know, however, that God was about to touch the hearts of my church family and unleash a mighty blessing upon these poor innocent victims of this devastating fire, and turn their ashes to beauty. Not only did God answer my prayers in reaching the target of £1,500 but, as it says in Luke 6:38, 'A good measure, pressed down, shaken together and running over will be poured into your lap.' Over £17,000 (seventeen thousand pounds) was raised! This meant that the villagers wouldn't only receive a new house, but there were sufficient funds to pipe in water, bring in electricity and also provide toilets and sanitation. The blessings didn't stop there, we arranged for the shipping of three large boxes of aid, containing clothes, lanterns, toiletries, shoes and blankets. Also, one of the missions team members, who is a teacher in a local school, organised a fundraising event that brought in a further £1,000. It was an incredible outpouring of God's blessing. This blessing also brought a challenge for the local church, as they had to leap into immediate action with limited resources, both financial and personnel. Working with the local authorities, they provided each family with emergency packs, which included clothes, food, rice, water and blankets. Seven months on and the villagers all have homes to live in. Some actually returned to the village to rebuild, but some relocated to other places. Many have now made Jesus the centre of their lives by committing their lives to Him. Many have joined the local church. Who would have thought that salvation would come through personal tragedy. Who would have thought that a local church, over 12,000 miles away from the Philippines, could impact over 300 villagers in their time of need, as well as help mobilise a local Filipino church to impact one of it's communities? God knew, and only He knows how many disciples, leaders and churches will come out of these ashes.