An Update From Dr. Linda Balugo

Dear Sister Autumn,
Psalm 46:1 says, “God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble”. The reality is, there will be difficult times, trials, and tribulations. When buildings crumble and our world is shaken, God promises in His word that He will never leave us nor forsake us.  

We thank and praise the Lord for a tremendous response from our friends here in the U.S. for the typhoon victims on the island of Cebu, Philippines. On Saturday, January 15th, PGA team did Relief Operations in the mountain village Maghaway. With time constraints and lack of manpower to clear the way with fallen debris on the way to PGA children’s center,  we decided to have it on the basketball court. PGA provided a tent to serve as a roof for the multipurpose stage. Health protocols were observed – with a mask on and social distancing. But the team could not control the crowd who came with joyful expectations even with the sun’s scorching heat of over a hundred degrees!

Dr. Bads Gestopa, PGA National Director, shared about God’s love before distributing goods. He gave the challenge to draw more to God, who is the only One True Living God, our Hope, Savior, and Redeemer. Three hundred families received a bag of assorted food items and 5 kilos of rice. Each food pack came with two Gospel tracts in the Cebuano dialect and a note with two memory verses, Psalm 62:8 and Matthew 4:4. Three hundred children also received vitamins! Those who were underweight were given two bottles of vitamins. It was the kick-off of PGA’s program – “Operation Timbang, Batang Himsog” (Weight Awareness for A Healthy Kid) for the children in Maghaway this year. The identified malnourished child will undergo Health and Nutrition Rehabilitation.

One of the volunteer team shared, “You can see the unspeakable joy in the faces of the people,  even with the mask on. Everyone was extremely happy and thankful beyond measure.” Some came to James to thank him, but he told them, “Thank God above all because this would not have been possible”. In addition, calamity aid was given to the children’s center caretaker and four PGA volunteers who lost or with severely damaged homes. There were tears of joy with this unexpected financial assistance. It is the first time the village received aid such as this after the typhoon! Everybody sends their love and thanks to all for these untold blessings! All went home praising God for what He has done.

PRAYER REQUESTS:- Pray for strength and good health for PGA teams. After undertaking relief operations in Maghaway, the team was down with fever. Thank God James and the team are feeling a lot better today. In Maghaway, children and adults are getting sick because of the extreme heat, not to mention the rise of positive cases with the Omicron variant. People in the village do not think or care about the virus anymore. They are more concerned about their survival under all circumstances brought about by Typhoon Odette. 

– There’s a shortage of medicines for fever, cough, and colds with the hot and humid weather. James had to go from one pharmacy to another to buy needed medicines. We are praying we can purchase medicines as PGA resumes medical missions. 

– Pray for God’s further provision for relief operations and calamity aid for typhoon victims in other areas in Cebu and Bohol Island. To date, we have identified 12 more families (8 of them are PGA volunteers), and two ministry partner churches that need assistance.

 – Pray for God’s provision to restore PGA Children Ministry Center.

Our heartfelt thanks and appreciation for your generous financial response to this urgent need to help our brethren who have been devastated by the typhoon. As the writer, Anais Nin wrote: “You cannot save people, you can only love them.” Yes, the need is still so great, but through your support and prayers, PGA team can be the hands and feet of Jesus to show His love and bring more souls to His saving grace. 
May the Lord bless you for making a difference. To God be ALL the Glory and Honor!

Together We Serve,
Linda Faith Q. Balugo

International Director

Philippine Gospel AssociationMatthew 25:35-36

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