News & Updates

Philippines Disaster Relief - Mark Dekoning

Apr 4, 2014

Early in the morning on November 8th super typhoon Haiyan (Yolanda) blasted the west coast island Leyte in the Philippines. It was the strongest typhoon ever recorded with sustained winds of 315 km/h and wind gusts of up to 375km/h. This disaster killed more than 24,000 people and left an estimated 2.5 million people in need of food, water and shelter. Having already gone on a short term trip to this Island, I felt God leading me to go back and help bring hope, encouragement and resources to help empower the Filipino people. God used us in very diverse ways from speaking events, to visiting farms, gifting resources and spending time in prayer. The major project we established was a small loan opportunity for new businesses. We empowered two Filipino’s (lawyer and local pastor) to give out no interest loans to locals, with great business ideas but no resources to get started. The loans come with a contract, exit strategies, teaching on ethics, accounting, growing through failure and they have to agree to tithe. We had our first young man enroll

in the program and accept Jesus as his Lord and saviour before we left. He had attended Church for the first time and was excited about his new opportunity for his young family. We also created a mercy program where tithes from the small business program can be collected to help those with immediate needs. Through this program we sent a few people to the dentist, a few to the doctors, provided eye glasses, helped send food to villages cut off from the government feeding programs and materials to rebuild a few homes. I left the Philippines extremely grateful for

my life in Kelowna and very encouraged by the faith and resilience of the Filipino people. Jesus said -“Whatever you did for the least of these, you did unto me.”

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