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Residents in the Philippines have been crowding into shops to buy food supplies ahead of ttyphoon Hagupit’s arrival

The US Navy’s Joint Typhoon Warning Center had classified Hagupit as a super typhoon but downgraded it on Friday morning. It remains the strongest storm to hit the Philippines this year.

Meteorologists had said there was a chance Hagupit could veer north towards Japan and miss the Philippines altogether, but this scenario is increasingly seen as unlikely.

The Philippines gives its own names to typhoons once they move into Philippine waters, rather than using the international storm-naming system.  They are calling it Ruby.  Last year about this time a devastating typhoon struck.  Our LCMS World Relief arm was there and busy with the recovery efforts and actually has been there every since working with the Lutheran Church of the Philippines.

When you work with a relief effort, make a missionary visit, take on a project overseas, serve as a missionary or simply go and visit a partner church several things happen.  The world shrinks rapidly not just because of technology but because of the common cause and fellowship of the Gospel.  You realize that every moment of very day a prayer is ascending to the throne of God and some of those prayers may be for you.  I was told that when my wife was undergoing open heart surgery in Grand Forks, deaconness’ were praying for her in India and Africa.  I have taken to running a world clock on my I Pad so that I can see what time of the day it is in certain places and imagine what my partners and friends may be doing and pray for them as well.  So the world becomes smaller and larger at the same time because you also realize that instantaneous communication still has to cover a long distance gulf.

President Kaye of the LWML recently visited the Philippines and saw first hand the issues facing our brothers and sisters there.  She sent me this email this morning –

Leyte that is mentioned in this news cast is where four of the deaconess students live – they did not tell us many lived in tents. Maybe you’ve seen this today. Hope you feel better. Blessings on your day. tml?iref=allsearch

Lets join with Kaye in prayer for the Philippines and their safety.