We have been receiving some stories from our missionaries and national leaders about what God is doing in the midst of the pandemic. We are sharing these stories with you so that you can be encouraged and also remember to keep lifting up our brothers and sisters in Christ around the world in prayer.
This story comes from Samuel de la Cruz who is the senior pastor of Community of Hope Fellowship. This is a congregation in the Metro Manila area that belongs to the Evangelical Friends yearly meeting in the Philippines known by its acronym PEFIM.
The work God has been doing in our church during the pandemic is a continuing act of his grace that started at the beginning of the Community of Hope Fellowship. To know a little bit of the background will help us understand how the amazing grace of God is making an impact on the lives of its members and even in the community. The church was more like a youth fellowship when it began four years ago. It was started with what we consider a holistic approach- a divergence from a dichotomy of spiritual and so-called secular life. We have incorporated spirituality to the existential experience of the members. An example of this is to give high regard to education of the youth so they can become more capable people as well as believers. We believe that becoming a good steward of the talent and the potential God has given these youth is integral to our way of worship. By supporting their education as much as we can, we create opportunities to becoming productive Christians. I would like to share short stories of our two members, Pastor Ryan (youth pastor) and Sister Jigs (children ministry head).
A jeepney driver known to the family of Pastor Ryan went to them asking for help since he has not been able to return to his job for three months already. Pastor Ryan lent him some money even though he knew very well that the man would not likely be able to return the amount due to the pandemic situation. Pastor Ryan also helped the church in our effort to provide some relief goods to at least 40 families. Pastor Ryan is a regular employee having worked for three years now in his job as automotive technician. Prior to getting his job he was a typical young man who didn’t seem interested in education. The church guided him towards having direction in life as part of his faith walk. We invited him to dine at an all-you-can-eat restaurant and offered him finances to enroll in a short course. He refused the money saying the meal was enough to convince him. Six months later he was among the top graduates of his class and landed immediately the job he has now.
Sister Jigs dreamed of going up on stage for her graduation. She recently graduated but without the usual ceremony due to COVID-19. This August she will be starting to work as a call center agent in the metropolis. She had three jobs offered to her, so she got the one of her choice. This is such a big blessing for her since literally millions are losing their jobs at this moment. Sister Jigs is our Sunday school teacher together with her older sister who graduated last year cum laude. They both received financial assistance from the church for their education. In addition to teaching the children Bible stories, Sister Jigs is also teaching them how to read and write.
God has blessed the youth through the hard work of the church. The progress has been gradual, limited and financially painstaking. The church took big risks. It’s like placing all your eggs in one basket. We had the experience of one of our scholars quitting his studies after one year in order to take a job which he later lost in this pandemic. For those that have achieved their goals, they are like an oasis in this time of pandemic. The church was able to give relief goods to at least 40 families three times during the nationwide lockdown. We would like to thank EFM for your recent support to our relief effort and for your prayers. Keep us in your prayers as greater challenges are becoming more eminent in this new normal, especially with the new requirements needed for online education of the youth.
If you would like to receive on a regular basis prayer requests and praises for how God is working I encourage you to sign up for EFM’s monthly prayer letter. You can do that by clicking on the button below.
Also, EFM is still receiving donations to our emergency fund for COVID-19 related relief efforts. If you would like to contribute at this time you can do so by clicking here or using the button below.
- You can give online here. Please make sure to note that you would like your gift designated to the COVID-19 Emergency Aid.
- You can give by credit card over the phone at 303-421-8100
- You can mail a check marked with COVID-19 Emergency Aid designation to EFM, PO Box 771139, Wichita KS 67277.