Helping Earth’s Needy Ones
Mission Update from Davao City, Philippines
There were several times when the father got a fever, and no one could help to alleviate his pain, but by strong determination he kept on working as a carpenter in order to support his nine children and sickly wife. In the heat of the sun, he bravely stood and worked just for his dear family, who were suffering from poverty and malnutrition. So our God and His Son Jesus Christ stand for us, unmindful of the severe pain with which Satan inhumanely tortured Jesus. Jesus ignored the pain because He loves us and was determined to manifest that love.
On a recent Sabbath, his wife got one of her frequent severe headaches. I soon learned that one of the reasons that she did not have regular bowel movements was because during the rainy season, their septic system functioned so poorly that the bathroom became stagnant as the septic tank overflowed, making it so unpleasant to use that she simply avoided it altogether. By God’s grace, I determined to visit their house in order get a better idea of their situation, and there I found a number of things that needed to be changed to secure good health. We are also now working for their baptism by God’s grace.
I made an appeal to my church brethren based on 1 John 3:17 to help with the renovation of their septic tank: “But if anyone has the world’s goods and sees his brother in need, yet closes his heart against him, how does God’s love abide in him?” The Bible also says, “Look not every man on his own things, but every man also on the things of others.” Philippians 2:4.
“Then shall the King say unto them on his right hand, Come, ye blessed of my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world: For I was an hungered, and ye gave me meat: I was thirsty, and ye gave me drink: I was a stranger, and ye took me in: Naked, and ye clothed me: I was sick, and ye visited me: I was in prison, and ye came unto me…Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me.” Matthew 25:34-36.
One of the most uplifting experiences is self-sacrifice, loving others as ourselves as Jesus taught us. Aside from the clinic work, I prepare cracked wheat to give to one of my neighbors who is very sick, as well as food supplements and herbs. My three children enjoy helping me to prepare herbs for our needy neighbors. “The divine commission needs no reform. Christ’s way of presenting truth cannot be improved upon. The Saviour gave the disciples practical lessons, teaching them how to work in such a way as to make souls glad in the truth. He sympathized with the weary, the heavy-laden, the oppressed. He fed the hungry and healed the sick. Constantly He went about doing good. By the good He accomplished, by His loving words and kindly deeds, He interpreted the gospel to men.” Counsels on Health, 498.
Just this week, a brother who was baptized two years ago, Carl Lester Taborada, 19 years old, visited our common house. His conversion was the fruit their neighbor’s morning worship. Every time he heard their morning hymns, for him there was a hint of a better life. Through those hymns, Carl and that neighbor became friends. Carl wanted to know about the hymns, and his neighbor shared with him about the gospel. By God’s grace, his neighbor invited a Bible worker to study the Bible with him. Even though Carl was a very worldly person, he happily received the invitation. By God’s grace, he decided to be baptized, despite his family and relatives being against it.
His mother, the family bread winner, died a year ago of breast cancer, and this brought to him a big problem. His father could not sustain them due to certain health problems and left them and married another woman. His eldest brother is a drunkard, and his two young brothers, aged nine and five, are in a relative’s care. He realized that he needed to do something to help his younger brothers when they told him “Kuya (elder brother), our auntie forced us to eat pork.” These words stabbed in his heart and pushed him to take the training to be a call center agent, where promising wages and benefits were waiting. But at the end of the week of training, the Sabbath issue would be a test. Their weekly training would end on Friday at 10 pm. He felt trembling and guilty. As he prayed to the Lord for help, a thought came to him to visit me. He arrived at my home after Sabbath worship at 12 pm. I was surprised at his visit. After learning of his situation, I encouraged him to stand for the truth, and we prayed together. To make the story short, he decided to leave the training, and we invited him to stay in our common house. He is planning to study nutrition and dietetics. He passed the entrance test for this course already, by God’s grace. Envisioning helping the gospel work with the help of medical work, he desires to study nutrition so as to help diseased people, poor and rich, especially our brethren and sisters in Christ, to obtain sound health, aiming at everlasting life.
To this end my dear readers, let us therefore do what the apostle says, “Distributing to the necessity of saints; given to hospitality.” Romans 12:13. Carl Lester needs 7,000 pesos ($164) for his school year and about 5-7,000 pesos for his lodging house and daily food. As he stays here in our common house, we are teaching him to be faithful and to keep in vision the end time gospel work. We taught him also to sell health products, do massage and give health consultations. My brother Bruce and I are planning to help him with part of his daily needs according to our capacity. We are appealing to other brethren likewise to give support to Carl, and by God’s grace, there are two brethren who plan to help. But still we are seeking whomever the Lord will send to pledge the funds for his school year, as the Lord leads. It could be us; it could be you. It depends on whom the Lord shall entrust His means as stewards. Let us help our brother. Let us work hand in hand. We envision that after he graduates from this university, Carl will help our future health institutions as well. He intends to go to school this coming June 2012. “For God is not unrighteous to forget your work and labour of love, which ye have shewed toward his name, in that ye have ministered to the saints, and do minister.” Hebrew 6:10.
Our present needs include the following:
1. Means for our church to establish church school.
2. Support for two full time Bible workers. This is an urgent need.
“Blessed is he that considereth the poor: the Lord will deliver him in time of trouble. The Lord will preserve him, and keep him alive; and he shall be blessed upon the earth: and thou wilt not deliver him unto the will of his enemies. The Lord will strengthen him upon the bed of languishing: thou wilt make all his bed in his sickness.” Psalm 41:1-3.
By Joseph Brian Palange. Support for the work in the Philippines can be sent to Mission Projects International, PO Box 59656, Renton, WA 98058.