Apocalyptic Experience—EE Teams Demonstrate Compassion posted by John Sorensen on Dec 11, 2013
Tom Mangham currently directs the EE Advanced Theological Studies program and formerly served as Vice President for EE Asia for many years. During that time he was involved in the recovery effort following the tsunami that ravaged parts of Indonesia in 2004. I asked Tom to head to the Philippines to help the local EE teams with their outreach efforts responding to the devastation brought by typhoon Haiyan. Tom whole-heartedly agreed to go. Here is his latest report:
“My first impression when I arrived is that it looked like a war zone or something from the apocalypse. Palm trees were snapped in half, uprooted and laying on the ground. One Filipino said, ‘The typhoon made the palm trees kiss the ground.’
Some towns were entirely swept away by the typhoon wave leaving little evidence of civilization. In other towns, there was clear evidence of civilization, but in a twisted, destroyed and ravaged landscape. Images of apocalypse filled my senses as survivors desperately stacked piles of debris to burn. Fires smoldered along roadsides. People begged with outstretched hands for food, water or any subsistence. I was overwhelmed with the un-earthly sadness.
I couldn’t have imagined a worse scenario until we arrived in a town named Tacloban, which sits beside a bay. Water entirely engulfed the vulnerable town. It was hard to believe that anybody could survive such a mammoth blast. Amidst the calamity, I was reminded of a passage from Jeremiah 6:14,
‘Let us not dress the wounds of these people as though it were not serious.’
This verse reminds me that we cannot become consumed with the tangible, like getting bars of soap, sardine cans, and noodle soup packets for distribution. We must dress wounds physically but remember the important, eternal spiritual work.
Please pray that each EE team member who distributes physical supplies will see this act of love as the first step in entering into a sacred relationship with the wounded. The relationship is sacred because dressing the wounds of these people includes introducing them to their eternal Creator and Lover—Jesus of Nazareth who came to save wounded people!
Thank you for standing with us in this serious and sacred crisis response ministry.”