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

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

Dear friends,

Please help !

As most of you know, I have been making nearly annual trips to Aparri Bible Seminary (ABS), doing what I can to help them get back on their feet, as they are struggling to carry on the exceedingly important work of training students to fill empty pulpits throughout northern Luzon, the largest of 7000 islands of the Philippines. They have been struggling to get re-established and grow in the face of needing to replace their 50 yr. old wooden buildings that are falling apart. Their Staff have made incredible sacrifices because they see the need to reach the lost, all over the towns and villages of this area. More than half of the existing churches do not have a trained pastor/preacher, and you can imagine how dangerous that can be; to avoid errors cropping into their teachings.

Last week Manila was hit by a very large typhoon (their term for hurricane) causing severe and widespread flooding : Typhoon Ketsana (Ondoy) – The Big Picture – Boston.com

Right NOW an even stronger typhoon missed Manila, but is hitting the northern Luzon !

There is RIGHT NOW a great need and opportunity to pray for and possibly support ABS during this, the worst Typhoon hitting Aparri Bible Seminary in anyone’s memory.

The eye appeared to be right over Aparri Bible Seminary this morning on CNN, as if it was ground zero.

Aparri is about 2′ below sea level, so there will be flooding, besides the damage to wooden structures.

The new building that is approx. ⅓ complete is VERY sturdy, but does not yet have windows over gaping window holes.

ABS and the related Aparri Christian Hospital hopefully will be a lifeline to the poor shanty-hut people that line parts of their seashore.
Esp. pray for the safety of the students and staff as they are continuing to experience the worst of the near 100 mph sustained winds right now.

Please pray that the shelter they chose (whichever it was) will hold up to this storm and keep them from harm

Pray that they got the generator going which supplies the local Aparri Christian Hospital.

Pray that they were able to accumulate enough food and water to last until more help can arrive, and that they won’t be spoiled by flood.
They are entering into their Saturday night : 10:30 Sat am here is 11:30 Sat pm there.

Thus they are getting this continued blast through the night.
Thank you so much for your prayers. Please pass this on to those you consider prayer warriors.

If anyone feels led to contribute monetarily, I would be happy to make sure it gets to ABS to help them with immediate humanitarian aid and to begin to recover.
Reply to this email and I will do what it takes to get this coordinated.

For more info about Aparri Bible Seminary, please look at : Aparri Bible Seminary

Typhoon Parma slams into Philippines – CNN.com

VOA News – 3 Dead as Typhoon Parma Hits Philippines

The Chosun Ilbo (English Edition): Daily News from Korea – Typhoon Parma Hits Philippines

Typhoon Parma Hits Northern Philippines, on Course for Taiwan – Bloomberg.com

Typhoon Parma changes direction

Typhoon Parma hits Philippine coast, bringing down trees, power poles; no deaths reported

NEWS REPORT :: August-September 2009

Dear Brethren,

With stretched arms to heaven, we praise and thank the Lord so much for the joy we have here at ABS.

Everyone was overwhelmed with the Homecoming of Aparri Bible Seminary Alumni last August 21. It was a very great day full of fun and merriment with nostalgia feelings. There were one hundred twenty (120) alumni and forty-seven (47) students who attended. As they came on Friday morning, August 20, they filled the seminary atmosphere with laughters as they’ve seen each other anew after many years – a reminiscence of the past flooded their recollections with warm embraces. What wonderful feelings again! Praise the Lord!

The two-day celebration was really full of mixed feelings – with joy because of the opportunity to have seen each other; with sadness because of the absence of some.

The program was opened with the cutting of ribbon by Mrs. Esperanza Peneyra Aguas, the oldest ABSAA member, one the first four graduates of the seminary and a faithful benefactor of the seminary. A prayer of the simple ceremony was led by Bro. Henry Turda with the group around who sang praises of songs to grace the ceremony. Hurray to our ABS Alma Mater! All for the Lord!

Working for the Lord is really enjoyable. It’s something all of us are experiencing. Nevertheless, at the highest peak of our enjoyment might be intervened with other situations in life.

Following the Alumni Homecoming was the Deeper Life Week which was slated on September 14-18. This is an annual activity of the seminary aimed at renewing and deepening the spiritual lives, as well as promoting the commitment and diligence of everyone to the Lord’s work and calling.

To promote awareness and appreciation to this five-day undertaking, related activities such as poster and slogan making, essay writing, scripture recitation, group discussions, singspiration and series of worship services that expounded the theme: “Becoming An Instrument of God”, had been conducted. Likewise, an off-campus Group-In-Action activity was also held at the Cornerstone Christian Home, a ministry for the orphans at Lallo, Cagayan, and a sister ministry of ABS. Seminary staff and students volunteered to clean the compound of the orphanage and planted coconut trees. We had a very memorable fellowship with the children and entire personnel of the orphanage.

At the retreat that culminated the DPL activity, two students received the Lord Jesus Christ and were subsequently baptized. Praise the Lord!

On the other hand, we were saddened by the passing away of Sir Amador Gamboa Aguas. He’d been serving the PMCC-ABS for a long time and pioneered in the establishment of two Christian high schools in Isabela province – Northern Isabela Academy & Southern Isabela Academy. His family has been a supporter of the ABS ministry. He was ninety four (four) when he went home with the Lord. What a fruitful life Sir Amador has spent. He left Ma’am Esperanza, his wife, four daughters – Daisy, Dehlia, Maria Victoria and Ruth with his grandchildren. Our love and condolences!

Also, we sympathize with the family of Alex A. Agresor, one of our faculty, whose father passed away too just recently. We give you our love and prayers.

Meanwhile, the Rhetorical Literary Society (RLS) students are very busy working on their annual program – a special program for the display of their talents.

Also, final examination for first semester is fast approaching. We all look forward to these activities.

To all our sponsors, we thank you again. The seminary’s initially erected instruction building has been painted, though windows and door panels have not been installed. Please join us as we pray for the provision of windows and doors that students may be able to use it the soonest. Regards and God bless to you all…

In His service,