Pray with the Philippines Sunday, May 1, 2022

Pray with the Philippines Sunday, May 1, 2022

Lectionary Selection:  Acts 9:1-6

Prayers for the Philippines

Gracious and loving God, your people are, again, raising their anguished cries to the heavens, because they are hurting and in pain. After two years of the coronavirus pandemic, typhoon Odette left a trail of destruction, both in life and property. Why these unyielding destructive pestilence and calamities? Your people are asking. They are distressed and aching for succor.

We pray, make your people see and feel your healing power, and touch the hearts of those who have more resources to extend a helping hand to those affected by the deadly virus and the ferocious typhoon.

We pray, open the minds of your people to see the connection between the coronavirus, typhoon Odette, and its responsibility to care for the earth, its ecosystem, and all its inhabitants. Empower your people not only to be resilient but also to be committed advocates for socio-economic and climate justice.

From the farthest north to the farthest south, visible expressions of physical and social mess are littered across the land and are calling for undivided attention. Yet, this attention has been distracted because of the coming national election, especially as political campaigns intensify, a political exercise that most people are cynical about.  

We pray, guide, and empower your people, that they may have the wisdom and courage to choose what is right and best for the country, and not be swayed by the empty promises of corrupt politicians and be corrupted to exchange their votes for a tiny and short-term gain.

The typhoon, the pandemic, and other forms of calamities are truly devastating. But the pandemic that has continued to ravage the land without mercy is a socio-political one. Rampant graft and corruption as well as impunity have continued to ravage the land and its people. When will your people acquire wisdom and learn the ways of life and justice?

We pray, loving and merciful God, to continue to show your steadfast love and empowering presence, that your people may not lose hope and find the courage to act in hope that another world is still possible!

Thanks be to God. Amen.

Mission Stewardship Moment from the Philippines

Response to the Victims of Typhoon Odette’s Destruction

Limasawa Island

As if the coronavirus were not enough, on December 20, 2021, a category five typhoon named Odette (Rai) made its landfall in the Philippines, leaving a trail of destruction to lives and properties. At least 392 lost their lives and estimated damage to properties of at least 35.7 billion pesos (712 million in US dollars). The places that were badly hit were Surigao, especially the islands of Dinagat and Siargao, and the Visayas, such as Bohol, Cebu, and Southern Leyte, especially the islands of Limasawa and Panaon, and the City of Maasin and neighboring towns. 

In keeping with its own vision and tradition, beyond doing the work of theological education, Union Theological Seminary extended its support to the typhoon victims. UTS President, Rev. Dr. Eleazar S. Fernandez, visited Southern Leyte, particularly the towns of Pintuyan, San Ricardo, San Francisco, and Libagon, and shared some funds to help the people rebuild their devastated abodes.

Opening of Union Theological Seminary Boulevard

Union Theological Seminary Boulevard

With the increasing volume of traffic along Aguinaldo Highway in the past few years, Union Theological Seminary saw the need to help ease the flow of traffic in the area and challenged itself to contribute in whatever ways it can to respond to this pressing and urgent need. In cooperation with the Department of Public Works and Highways, the Department of Trade and Industry, and the City of Dasmarinas, the Board of Trustees of UTS made the historic decision to donate a portion of its property for the construction of a road connecting Aguinaldo Highway and Governor’s Drive. The donation was signed by the President, Rev. Dr. Eleazar S. Fernandez, and by the Chair of the Property Development Committee, Bishop Rodolfo Juan, on July 19, 2018. Finally, on March 22, 2022, this road, named Union Theological Seminary Boulevard, had its formal opening celebration. On March 23, 2022, the road was opened to the public. As it exists today, the Union Theological Seminary Boulevard is a testimony to the magnanimous historic act of generosity of UTS and an embodiment of the seminary’s commitment to contribute to the well-being of the wider society and to our shared flourishing!

Prayer and Mission Moment by Eleazar Fernandez

Mission Partners in the Philippines

More about the Philippines

 Global Mission Co-Worker in the Philippines
Eleazar Fernandez serves with the United Church of Christ in the Philippines. His appointment is made possible by your gifts to Disciples Mission Fund, Our Church’s Wider Mission, and your special gifts.
Make a gift that supports the work of Eleazar Fernandez