Typhoon Parma direct hit on Aparri Bible Seminary, N. central tip of Luzon, Philippines (Update)

Dear friends,

Thank you Ever so much.

To God be all the Glory !

Aparri Bible Seminary (ABS) and (we believe) Aparri Christian Hospital (ACH) were miraculously spared : no loss of life, no know injuries, no major damage, no major flood.

This is an absolute miracle ! There is no 2 ways of looking at it. Even flood alone was should have been certain as ABS is one of the low points around them, and Aparri has some areas that are 2′ below the walking-distance sea level. How could a major typhoon NOT dump torrential rains on them ? God’s angels rang it mostly dry just before it arrived, or had very big umbrellas !

Looking at storm tracks the worst of the eye-wall did indeed pass right over them, but just like in the days of Moses just before he led the Israelites out of Egypt, God’s death angel “Passed Over” each house that obediently applied sacrificed lamb blood at the points of a cross to the front door posts, so God’s angels held the worst of the damaging winds over their head, and almost all of the rain.

The only damage we have yet heard about so far to ABS was to at least 2 windows being blown in on the Missionary house, with possibly some rain damage.

Even as most of Aparri lost power (and phone lines), ABS maintained a generator for ACH, which also continues to supply them.

I am not saying this typhoon didn’t do lots of damage in and around Aparri :

  1. There are many dirt poor people close to the seashore, who’s humble thatched roof dwellings were devastated or totally lost by the yet somewhat high winds. That is, those with the least lost the most. Even some of the not as poor lost their roof.
  2. Over ⅓ of Aparri is flooded. There are many dirt poor people close the adjacent rivers who were flooded out, and may have lost everything. Both sets of people need shelter and our prayers.
  3. The aforementioned power failure, which combined with some flooding have no doubt spoiled much of the communities’ food and contaminated their water. Hunger and disease is the greatest concern.
  4. The current crop of rice was just 1 mo. left to be harvested, but in much (if not most) of this big island (Luzon), including all of their Northern Luzon, have lost this to floods from this typhoon (Parma), and from Ketsana 1.5 weeks ago, which still has vast areas of Manila flooded. For instance, the fields of rice which ABS Administrator Esmelito Acson uses to feed his family are yet again lost to flood. His “honorarium” which ABS can afford to pay him doesn’t quite pay for just his fuel to drive there. This is hitting them all hard since the Philippines in general have been growing ever short on rice, and other food.
  5. I don’t yet know what if any damage occured at ACH, but its equipment is getting old. They too have lost most of their US funding in the wake of God calling the late Charles Selby home, and Roberta to an assisted care facility. The Selbys were called of God to a 50 year missionary ministry, and used mightily in this whole area to upgrade the Seminary from a former Bible Institute, build a Scripture Press, ACH, 3 Christian High Schools, assist with 2 orphanages, a radio and aviation ministry, and to lead a long-term evangelistic effort that has resulted in well over 100 churches in Northern Luzon.

Please pray that God will continue to supply power to ABS & ACH, fuel to run the generator as long as it is needed, and freedom from any problems with this equipment.

Pray that God will use ABS and ACH as a beacon of hope, and a hand of help to their now-struggling community. Their community may have not been the hardest hit in the Philippines, but many of those hardest hit already have some support from the US, and from their government.

Pray that God will continue to miraculously meet their great needs, to finish replacing 50+ yr. old termite-riden wooden buildings with solid reinforced concrete buildings, like the one they are ⅓ done constructing for classrooms, computer lab, library and office. They suspended construction several months ago, not due to lack of need, but due to lack of funds. Yet many would-be students don’t enroll because of lack of adequate facilities.

Pray that God will mightily continue to use them to fulfill our Lords commission to reach the lost around them, and all of N. Luzon.

Do not think that this is a tear-jerking plea for money. I hate those ! Esp. on TV. Seldom do much of those funds actually go to those who need it; most is eaten up by “administrative costs” ! Much of the remainder isn’t necessarily used in a Christ-honoring way.
No, these are our brothers and sisters. I wanted to alert you to their blessings, but also their needs, and to tell you what a wonderful work they are doing that is sorely needed in their communities. What they need most, and all I am asking for, is your continued prayers. And thank you so much for those. Keep them coming.

If ( but only if ) God calls you to share their burden using any of what He has provided and blessed you with, I will personally guarantee that I will protect it and make sure that it is delivered 100% intact to the Godly men and women He has placed in authority over this vital ministry, those who sacrificially continue to train those who are will be their future Christian leaders and evangelists. If you ever want to help them, now is the very best time to do so. If you would want to have this opportunity to help, you may send your check to the following, using a memo line of “ABS Fund” :

Aparri Bible Seminary
c/o Cornerstone Christian Church
312 Geneva Road
Glen Ellyn, Illinois 60137

I’ll ask our treasurer to get fully tax-deductible receipts returned to you.

Thank you again for your concern.

Your brother,

– Mike
Michael P. Burns

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