July 25, 2014

Ireland: Adventists in Belfast Receive Thanks From Philippines

Posted March 21, 2014

The Belfast Seventh-day Adventist Church received a creative and unexpected e-mail from a sister congregation on the other side of the world that warmed the hearts of the local members. “On March 6 we received an e-mail from the Jayobo Seventh-day Adventist church in the Philippines,” reports Heather Keough. “The e-mail was a response to the actions of our congregation a few months earlier.”

On November 8, 2013 Typhoon Haiyan, known as Typhoon Yolanda in the Philippines, devastated portions of Southeast Asia, particularly the Philippines. “A number of members in Belfast Seventh-day Adventist Church are from the Philippines,” said Keough, “and everyone of them knew someone who had been affected by the powerful tropical cyclone.”

One member, Emerald, knew that the village her parents lived in had been destroyed, and for a number of days she had no contact with them. She did not know if they had survived the cyclone. Prayers were said for Emerald’s family, and for all those affected by this devastating cyclone. Eventually Emerald heard that her family was safe, despite their home being destroyed. Filipino members and others from the community organized two containers to go from Belfast to take essential supplies to the Philippines. The lord mayor of Belfast, Councillor Máirtín Ó Muilleoir, offered to pay for shipping expenses.

Having made these arrangements, the Filipino members spoke with Adam Keough, the church pastor, and an appeal for help was made during a worship service. Church members responded with clothes and essential items, as well as financial assistance. Family, friends, and work colleagues also responded to the appeal.

“Three months later we received a “thank you” from the Jayobo Seventh-day Adventist church,” said Keough. It came in the form of photographs of church members with posters, thanking the Belfast members for their help. “It acted as a reminder that we have a responsibility to help our brothers and sisters in need, and what may seem as a small donation can go a very long way.”

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