March 22, 2014

Ireland: Adventists in Belfast Receive Thanks From Philippines

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.”