LIGHT OF JESUS DISASTER RECOVERY MINISTRY
On to New Hope
By MARVIN MICHAEL TAN
THE Light of Jesus Disaster Recovery Ministry started as naturally as natural disasters. Every time there was a calamity— typhoon, earthquake, fire, deadly disease— invariably, the ill effects hit members of our Feast, our faith gathering in that community.
Feasters promptly donated relief goods and immediately brought them to the victims.
Our Feast team, with my ever-supportive wife Liza and kind volunteers, has anchored our mission on the Lord’s two-pronged Commandment Love God and Love Others—as our founder, Bro. Bo Sanchez, has often reminded us at The Feast.
Thus, we have made sure to share relief goods as well to residents around the area also affected by the disaster. Above, our team directing to evacuation center the displaced residents following the Taal Volcano eruption in 2020.
Before long, the responding teams have shaped into the Light of Jesus Disaster Recovery Ministry, now under the umbrella of the Light of Jesus Mercy Ministries led by Bro. Hermie Morelos (right) as chairman.
By God’s Mercy, I now serve as head of the Light of Jesus Disaster Recovery Ministry.
Thing is, I didn’t plan, never expected to be a leader of anything. I used to be just your ordinary guy— elementary at the Mababang Paaralan ng Aurora, Quezon; high school at the Philippine Cultural High School, Manila, college at the University of the East, Recto, Manila, where I earned a Bachelor of Science degree major in Business Administration (BSBA). Okay, I did toy with the idea of being a leader, an administrator of some business company.
Little did I know, God’s plan was I would be an administrator of His business here, in my little corner of this world.
On to Victory
Way back in February 1988, Liza and I were quietly living our simple life when a friend invited us to attend the Victory Celebration with Jesus, a general assembly of the Light of Jesus Family (LOJ) held at St. Paul College Auditorium. Curious, we attended the event, and since then, life has never been a more exciting, rewarding journey for us.
A year after the Victory, in August 1989, LOJ held its first Dakilang Pagibig ng Diyos seminar or the Christian Life Series (CLS) held in Monumento, Caloocan the first formal step into life in the faith community. Liza and I attended. Unlike ordinary seminars, the Dakilang Pagibig ng Diyos turned out to be an 18-week event that included a Growth series. And indeed, by God’s grace, we started to grow in our faith— and in this passion to serve God. So, after the seminar, we accepted this invitation to serve as facilitators for the next batch of CLS attendees in LOJ Cubao.
Since then, there’s no more turning back to our old life. We persistently attended LOJ prayer meetings which eventually transitioned into The Feast.
And before long, I have become the builder of The Feast Bulacan District, which includes Feast Marilao, Feast Meycauayan, Feast Baliuag, and Feast Malolos.
LOJ has also appointed me as our faith community’s representative to the Federation of Transparochial Charismatic Communities (FTCC) where I am blessed to be part now of its Board of Trustees.
On to Blessings
My humble service is an itty-bitty pittance as against God’s countless blessings Liza and I receive.
Here we are with our big, one and only child, Paul– our biggest blessing, now a teacher.
Plus, countless more blessings at The Feast.
The Feast fills our hunger for the word of God. It feeds our soul and meets our practical daily needs.
The Feast provides a small group for intimate friendship where we can share our joys and struggles in life.
Since I’ve been hearing the inspiring talks at The Feast, Faith has become real to me. During the Mass, Jesus becomes real. Attending the Mass becomes an experience of Jesus’ merciful and compassionate love for me.
My image of God has changed. My image of Christianity has changed. Christianity becomes a joy. Serving God becomes sharing of my inner joy. Christianity becomes a relationship with God and His people.
Like all Feast builders, I just naturally form a recovery team to help victims of disasters. We visit the affected place and attend to the needs of our members and other victims in the area— just to let them know that God has sent a team to help them overcome their ordeal.
On to Defying COVID
Before the onslaught of the Coronavirus Disease (C0VID), we gathered our beneficiaries for spiritual nourishment, praying over them as integral part of our Light of Jesus Family core mission to go and make disciples of all men —Matthew 28:19.
But since the COVID Pandemic hit us, we have been following Quarantine protocols to arrest the spread of this horrible disease. We could no longer have the live Feast, so we have gone online in what we now call The Feast-at-Home.
Before, most of our donors were those who attended our live Feasts. But since we’ve not had the live gatherings for more than a year now, the donations are naturally dwindling.
COVID is an unimaginably expensive disease to treat. So, aside from the relief goods, as much as we can, we provide cash assistance to the patients.
Problem is, as the days wear on, we’re now facing this problem called donor fatigue. The Quarantine has plunged businesses to a standstill, resulting in this long economic crisis we’re suffering. Because of the crisis, not a few of our supporters are now reeling under financial disasters too!
Our hope is for more participants attending our Feast-at-Home to contribute to our Ministry. We send them solicitation letters wrapped with fervent prayers that they will respond to our pleas.
If you feel the Lord is calling you to be part of our Light of Jesus Disaster Recovery Ministry, please get in touch through my mobile phone, 09494022250, or email email@example.com
Let us do this as a testimony that God exists, He is alive, and through our humble ministry, He reaches out to His people, especially those in utmost need for Him.
Our Lord Jesus has only one coin of the Commandments with two sides: Love God and Love others.
Our Ministry is Loving God by Loving His people.
To God alone be the glory!