Each morning we drive to where we are holding the lectures. Each morning we pass by people in need. Somedays our route takes us past a garbage dump. It's a large pit and garbage from the surrounding area is dumped over the edge. People live there! It's not the first time I've seen this, a few years back I was in Colombia and saw the same thing. Things are not all that much better as we drive along and look at the places where people live, at least not according to my Canadian culture and way of living.
You want to help and yet it seems somewhat hopeless. Typhoons regularly rip through the area anything built is seemingly a temporary fix. So how do you fix things? Build stronger homes, better sewers and sanitation?
What really is the root cause of our problems in this world, not just here in the Philippines, but the world? The rest of the world has its problems too.
The root cause of our problems is sin, our brokenness. It's a broken relationship with God and this ultimately affects who we are and what we do. We can fix homes, we can build better homes. Will it help? Not really. The answer is Christ, the God-Man, who lived and died to deliver sinners from the curse and misery of sin. He rose and now lives. For those who believe, we have been raised with Christ, our former way of life has died and now our life is hidden with Christ in God. (Col. 3:1-4)
Given that sin is the problem. Initiatives such as TAP which seek to further educate pastors and elders here in the Philippines are critical in restoring this broken relationship. It's critical in bringing hope into the conditions, sometimes appalling conditions we see on our ride.
Please continue to pray for the pastors and elders here. May they be a blessing to the people in bringing hope and reconciliation with a just God.