We Have a God Stronger Than Any Typhoon
Pictured Above: Pastor Ignacio Tarde
Read a first-hand account of the widespread damage caused by the recent typhoon in the Philippines.
On Saturday, June 21st, 2008, Typhoon Frank hit the Philippine island of Iloilo where our missionary, Brother Rick Martin, pastors. The massive waves and strong winds wreaked havoc across the island. Even today, the people of Iloilo are still working to recover from the devastation Typhoon Frank brought.
Pastor Ignacio Tarde is one of the pastors that North Valley Baptist Church supports. Pastor Tarde pastors Fundamental Baptist Church in Tagbak, Concepcion. This is his story:
It was Friday, and I was preparing for soul winning, visitation and home Bible study. I prepared my small motor boat — my way of transportation to get to my church. My church is on the mainland, but I live on an island about six kilometers away. Suddenly, the wind blew very strong, and the waves became very big. Meanwhile, my neighbors heard a radio broadcast that said Typhoon Frank was going to hit our place. As I watched those ocean waves coming toward me, I began to think that my boat wouldn’t make it across to the mainland.
I knew my people were waiting for me but that they would understand my absence. Friday afternoon, my house shook as the wind blew from every direction. It was only made of light materials and surrounded by trees. I began to look for rope so I could tie the four main columns of my house to different trees, hoping to save it in the storm. That night, my wife and I stayed inside our house, fearful it would be torn apart by strong winds or hit by a large tree. We couldn’t even light a candle inside the house because the winds were too strong. We couldn’t yell to our neighbors for help over the noise of the wind and the ocean. Even if they could have heard us, everyone had the same problem as us— they needed help. It was as if everyone was trying to save himself from harm.
On Saturday morning, it was worse. The wind was blowing strongly. You could feel the awful pain on your skin as the rain hit you. The radio said our place was signal 3 meaning the minimum strength was 160 kilometers per hour (99.5 mph). Trees were uprooted, houses destroyed, and the ocean churned with great waves. My wife and I prayed, exhausted from no sleep. It was too dangerous to go outside, so we had no food or water, and all our belongings were wet.
Sunday morning, I wanted to visit my church but the waves were still too high to cross. I was worried about our members and church building. My wife and I had a simple church service inside our house. Usually the typhoons last about five hours, but this one stayed for two days. The wind was still blowing hard on Monday.
On Tuesday, I was finally able to get to my church, and I was discouraged when I found the building collapsed. Some of my members were there, trying to pick up parts of our building. Some pieces blew quite a distance away. Many members lost their houses as well.
My wife and I thank God for Christians who have prayed for us. We are thankful for those who extended help. Our church will continue doing the Lord’s will, for we have a God stronger than any typhoon.