On Monday, Communications and Project Manager of Eurasia, Rick Steenbock, was able to interview President James Cerdeñola. President Cerdeñola was in Hannover, Germany after attending Dies Academicus at The Theologische Hochshule this past weekend in Oberursal. When the typhoon hit, he was already in Germany. Rick Steenbock traveled there to interview him concerning the devastation that The Lutheran Church in the Philippines (LCP) is reporting for their churches, members, and communities. Several of the pastors from his churches have been able to contact President Cerdeñola only by traveling to other areas within the Philippines. The pastors have also been traveling regularly to bring back supplies for their members. Many members are safe, but their homes and churches have all been almost completely destroyed. To see the interview Rick was able to record on Monday, click here.
Rick will leave on Friday for the Philippines where he will meet up with several other LCMS staff being deployed to the area including Deaconess Pamela Nielsen, associate executive director of LCMS communications; the Rev Steve Schave, associate executive director of the Office of International Mission; the Rev. Ross Johnson, co-director of LCMS Disaster Response; the Rev. Glenn Merritt, director of LCMS Disaster Response; the Rev. Michael Meyer, manager of LCMS Disaster Response; and Erik Lunsford, associate editor of stakeholder information with LCMS Communications. The team will meet up with Sean Harlow, LCMS Missionary to the Philippines and Taiwan, who is already working in the Philippines, as well as members from LCP, which is a partner church body.
Almighty God, merciful Father, Your thoughts are not our thoughts, Your ways are not our ways. In Your wisdom You have permitted this disastrous typhoon to befall the Philippines. We implore You, let not the hearts of Your people despair nor their faith fail them, but sustain and comfort them. Direct all efforts to attend the injured, console the bereaved, and protect the helpless. Bring hope and healing that we may find relief and restoration; through Jesus Christ, our Lord. Amen. (Prayer for Time of Disaster, Lutheran Service Book, 317).
Lord God our Father, You kept Abraham and Sarah in safety throughout the days of their pilgrimage, You led the children of Israel through the midst of the sea, and by a star You led the Wise Men to the infant Jesus. Protect and guide the disaster response team of the LCMS now in this time as they set out to travel. Make their ways safe and their homecomings joyful, and bring them at last to their heavenly home, where You dwell in glory with Your Son and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever. Amen. (Prayer Before Travel from Responsive Prayer II, Lutheran Service Book, 287).
- Give now to the relief efforts being organized by the LCMS.
- Pray for the team members, that they would be safe and protected.
- Pray for the victims, that the Lord would bring relief through the LCMS and other charitable organizations, and that the hope we have in Christ Jesus would strengthen them in this time.