2014 Philippines – Lee Radde

Valuable

“If I am supernaturally gifted, but do not have love, what’s the point. Life boils down to three things, faith, hope, love, but there is nothing without love.” -1 Corinthians 13:1-13

During my trip to the Philippines God taught be about the concept of value and ultimately what is valuable in His eyes. I think one thing we all value right now right after missions is testimonies of the supernatural. We’re hungry for it right? This was an expectation of mine getting ready for the Philippines. This was my first missions trip, and I sought to witness God’s unbelievable power before my eyes. But this trip met and exceeded my expectations. God showed me the true meaning of supernatural power through the immeasurable value of His love.

Our trip to the Philippines was marked by Holy Spirit’s leading as very little happened according to plan or schedule, but we were always in the right place at the right time. God brought us to a specific remnant in Isabel City who have remained devoted in their love for Him. It was here that I learned from what it means to suffer well through trial and loss. This community excels in their faithfulness to prayer and unhampered celebration in the Lord. God used our team to release inner healing in this community, displaying His heart that these sons and daughter are His precious treasures. And God’s treasures are not limited to one community. Spirit led us quite unexpectedly to a hidden treasure much further away as well.

On our first day in the Philippines traveling to Isabel City, a woman named Bess from Tacloban was highlighted to us. She became our contact, and five days later we traveled to her home in Tacloban, the area most severely damaged by the Typhoon. As it rained, the city looked as though it had just been hit yesterday even though it was four months after the event. Our team sat around Bess in her new house as she explained her experience during and after the superstorm.

Having endured 6 hours of the strongest typhoon winds ever recorded, flood waters several stories high, and some of the highest causalities rates in history, it was apparent that this community felt abandoned and of little worth. After the storm, people looted the buildings for food. “Shoot to kill” was the law for protecting property. Dead bodies were counted as debris unless they were identified by a family member. And within days, locals watched as 16 wheel trucks rolled in to take out anything of value from the city: electronics, furniture- thus communicating to the survivors that they no longer carried significant value.

Bess remained positive and strong throughout the events by her own arbitrary faith and hope. But it become clear that she did not know the love of Jesus Christ. We shared the Gospel message with Bess, and by God’s grace she gladly accepted Christ as her Lord and Savior! But unexpectedly across the room, we also witnessed her father, a devout Catholic laying on his death bed with stage 4 lung cancer, also lifted up his hands to receive Christ into his heart as his daughter was praying the Sinner’s Prayer.

So our team went over to pray for Bess’ father Jose- for full healing and remission of his cancer. He was quite weak, finding it hard to breathe, and also suffered pneumonia. We interceded powerfully and prayed blessing over his life. I wanted him to sit up and declare strongly, “My cancer is all gone. I am 100% healed,” but something more spectacular happened. Jose sat up with his face scrunched up as he began to cry and his lips trembled with thankfulness. He said, “In my 84 years, this is the first time that anyone has ever prayed for me. Thank you.” How incredible is God’s love. This man had endured his house, money, and health taken from him and yet the most important and sufficient thing for him was this tangible revelation of God’s love.

This man will be a testimony of life in an area devastated by death. God showed how valuable the people of Tacloban are by pouring out His salvation and joy upon those whom society may see as the weakest and lowest. People can witness miraculous healings and still walk away faithless, but being washed in the loved of Christ is the real supernatural wonder: That while we were still dead in our sin and seemingly worthless, Christ showed us love by being put to death for us and raising to life again. Experiencing that love allowed Jose to experience life for the first time in the face of death and be overcome with joy and thankfulness. As believers or even as people journeying with God, let us never forget the power of Christ’s love that gives us a life worth living. Thank you and God bless.

Leave a Reply