This is the concluding part of the email I sent to Pastor Gilbert about the ministry in Tacloban City:
Thank you for the opportunity to serve here. It’s difficult but I also see the beauty of doing ministry with only the bare essentials: no fanfare, no floodlights, no modern contraptions, no hype, just the gospel and the people. When I saw the people’s reaction yesterday after the preaching of the Word, I saw the surpassing beauty of the gospel placed side by side with human suffering. It was a glorious ruin, it was beauty rising out of the ashes, it was powerful. Pastor Kix preached “Who Do You Say I Am?” and concluded with these words:
“Maybe you lost a loved one four months ago, God the Father lost His Son too. Maybe you miss your family back in your home country, Jesus missed His home too. Maybe you feel forsaken by the people closest to you, Jesus was forsaken at the cross too. Or maybe you suffer the pain of loneliness, I want you to know that Jesus got lonely too. You see, God isn’t just a spectator of your suffering. He suffers with you. That’s why we have hope. That’s why we cling to Jesus.”
The song “Jesus at the Center” was an apt ministry song. As I saw the tears falling down from the people’s cheeks, I also saw how the gospel is piercing through the brokenness of this city.