In the recent calamity that hit the Philippines via typhoon Yolanda (Haiyan), I had a few thoughts regarding the storm that just hit us.
We don’t like storms and rightly so because of the damage it creates and the loss of lives that it potentially brings like the recent one we’ve just experience.
But in the middle of the storms of life, there are unseen opportunities that we might miss out on if we’re not aware.
1. OPPORTUNITY TO WITNESS THE POWER OF GOD.
When Jesus told the disciples to go with him to go to the other side of the lake, they were met by a “furious squall.” It was so bad that the waves broke over the boat so that it was nearly swamped.
The disciples asked Jesus, “Teacher, don’t you care if we drown?” (Mark 4:38)
Did Jesus not care? He can’t NOT care. The Bible says He is love.
At that moment, He got up, rebuked the wind and said, “Quiet! Be still!”
It didn’t even take minutes when the supernatural turn of events happened.
“The wind died down and it was COMPLETELY calm.” (Mark 4:39).
We don’t like storms (in life), but guess what, it is an absolutely amazing opportunity to see God’s power at work.
2. OPPORTUNITY TO WALK ON WATER.
While the passage in Matthew 14 was not at a time when a furious squall was at hand, there were winds and waves.
Jesus, in the middle of the night, was walking on water moving towards the boat of the disciples.
When Peter heard the voice of Jesus saying “Take courage! It is I. Don’t be afraid.”, he replied by saying, “Lord, if it’s you, tell me to come to you on the water.”
Jesus told Peter to come and he did walk on water… for a moment.
How come? Because when he saw the winds and the waves, he was afraid and started to sink.
We often sneer at Peter’s experience and jeer at his unbelief. But because of his courage to step out of the boat, he is the only man recorded in history that actually walked on water aside from Jesus.
3. OPPORTUNITY TO TRUST GOD THAT HE IS IN CONTROL.
In the middle of the storm, Jesus was peacefully sleeping. While the disciples were panicking, Jesus was counting Z’s.
The disciples woke Jesus up and told Him, “Master, Master, we’re going to drown!”
Without saying a word, Jesus got up and the Bible says, “He rebuked the wind and the raging waters; the storm subsided, and all was calm.” (Luke 8:24).
After this, Jesus turned to the disciples and asked a simple question, “Where is your faith?” (Luke 8:25).
Storms rock the boat. Storms cause us to panic. Storms put us on unstable footing.
However, when storms come, it is indeed an opportunity to see who is in control because we definitely see that we obviously are not.
Storms are opportunities to witness the power of God, opportunities to walk on water, and to trust that God is in full control.
For those who are asking, here’s some info for the efforts going towards SENDONG victims.
We are all grieved by the tragedy that has befallen Cagayan de Oro, Iligan, and other parts of Mindanao. From our congregation in Cagayan de Oro alone, more than fifty families have lost homes and possessions as a result of this calamity. We are all crying out for God’s comfort and mercy for all those who’ve lost their loved ones, and who need help to recover from this ordeal.
As a church, we immediately responded to help the city in practical ways. Victory Metro Manila has sent financial aid to help with their relief and rehabilitation efforts. We are also coordinating with Operation Blessing to assist in disaster response in the area.
Our churches in Mindanao have also taken part in this effort. Victory Cagayan de Oro has opened their center as a temporary shelter for those who lost their homes in the floods. Our leaders in Cagayan de Oro have also risen up to help their community by taking up a special offering to help their members with the relief efforts. Victory Pagadian, Victory Zamboanga, and Victory General Santos have sent financial aid as well.
How we can Help
Our senior pastor in Victory Cagayan de Oro, Pastor Janssen Torredes, is currently coordinating Victory’s relief efforts for Cagayan de Oro and Iligan. According to Pastor Janssen, the most practical way to help right now is to help fund the relief efforts. The immediate need is to provide food and water for the affected families. Our team in Cagayan de Oro will take care of purchasing, packaging, and deploying the goods to the affected families.
How to Give
Let’s do what we can to help our brothers and sisters in Mindanao. We are accepting cash donations for those afflicted by tropical storm Sendong.
Here are ways on how you can give to Sendong relief efforts:
1. Through BPI Express Online
Please select the “Others” church code.
NOTE: For more information on how to give online, please visit victory.org.ph/give.
2. Through your local congregation
Please indicate “Sendong Relief Efforts” on the “Others” field on the offering envelope
3. Through BPI.
We’ve set up an account just for Sendong Relief Efforts.
Bank of the Philippine Islands
Name of Account: Victory Christian Fellowship
Account Number: C/A 0821-0298-13
4. Relief Goods.
For donations in kind, we have been coordinating with Operation Blessing. You can drop off relief goods at their office at
CBN ASIA-The 700 Club office, 4th floor, Sagittarius Bldg, HV De la Costa, Salcedo Village, Makati City
Thank you for your Christ-like compassion and service to our brothers and sisters in Mindanao. Let us continue praying for those who have lost loved ones, and for those who are participating in relief operations in the affected areas of Mindanao.