On Saturday, Typhoon Ketsana hit the Philippines, causing the worst flooding in more than 40 years in the capital city Manila and other areas of the northern Philippines. As my readers know, I had the delightful opportunity to visit Manila two years ago to deliver the Beyond Planning Conference. During my stay in the Philippines, I got to know many people and to see first hand the beauty and challenges in this nation. I Skyped my friend, Pastor David Sumrall, of the Cathedral of Praise (COP), and asked how he was doing. he reported that they got 15 inches of rain in just a few hours.Today, 80% of Manila is under water and more rain is on the way. As I have written before, I've grown attached to the people of Manila. As I have written before on this blog, the people I met are resilient and have a strong sense of community and service, even in the midst of trials and storms.  My prayers are with the people of the Philippines and the COP community and those affected by this Typhoon. I'm sure that as things stabilize, Pastor Sumrall and his staff will organize opportunities to minister to those in need and I pray, too, that this will be a time of great testimony as people experience God's love through the service others in the name of Christ.

In the past, having no direct or personal connection to places such as this I would say a prayer and be about my business -- not for lack or concern or compassion, but for lack of connection. Now, with a personal connection to the people of the Philippines, this is more personal, I ask you to consider including them in your prayers and with your financial support. (I believe the Red Cross will take your donations to help survivors.)

Each of us face storms of many kinds and these can test our faith.

I know that God is in charge and our faith remains unshaken even though the storms rage around us -- Life is precious.

How's your faith?

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