Associate Minister's December 2013 Letter

Memories of Cebu City

 

Seeing the tragic pictures of the Philippines following typhoon Haiyan reminded me of when I visited Cebu City, one of the places destroyed by the typhoon. I was a volunteer with the Christian Book Ship, MV Logos, in 1974. We sailed through the beautiful tropical islands of the Philippines and moored in the harbour some distance off shore. For some reason we could not berth at the quayside which would have been easier for everyone but still thousands of people caught the ferries to visit the ship. They were overwhelmed by the selection of books on board. Cookery books were their favourite and we soon ran out of cake recipe books!

 

I searched through all the letters I wrote home but could find none from that particular time. I didn’t even have a camera in those days so have no record of the visit! One thing I do remember is a wonderful Filipino lady who

held an influential position on the town – when she realised we had so many educational books she bought an enormous quantity for the local library. Such vision and generosity!

 

I wonder what has happened to her – if she is still alive she will be one of those whose whole life has been turned upside down. Cebu was a beautiful prosperous island with people full of life and deep Christian faith. It is hard to put ourselves in the shoes of people who have had their lives ripped to pieces by the worst typhoon ever recorded. I don’t think we would cope nearly as well as them with such appalling conditions.

 

As we think of Christmas and the pressure to spend money buying presents for friends and relatives who already have so much it is good to step back and ask what are we doing? The Archbishop of Canterbury, Justin Welby warned that consumerism over the festive period is now so ‘over the top’ couples are left arguing over money and children are shouted at. He said: ‘Share love and affection with reasonable gifts that demonstrate you really care for someone. That makes for the best Christmas you could ever have.'

 

Even more special is to give to those who can never respond. There are so many schemes which can use a gift to make a huge difference to the life of someone who has so little. The hardest part is deciding which of the many charities to channel our gift through. Don’t let that stop us making this a very special Christmas! One thing is for sure: all over the area affected by typhoon Haiyan Christians will gather on Christmas Eve to share their joy at the birth of Jesus.

 

Let us pray for them especially this year.

 

Happy Christmas!

Reverend Christopher Cant


Rector's Pages
Webpage icon Rector's February 2016 Letter
Webpage icon Associate Minister's January 2016 Letter
Webpage icon Rector's December 2015 Letter
Webpage icon Rector's November 2015 Letter
Webpage icon Associate Minister's November 2015 Letter
Webpage icon Rector's September 2015 Letter
Webpage icon Associate Minister's September 2015 Letter
Webpage icon Rector's August 2015 Letter
Webpage icon Rector's July 2015 Letter
Webpage icon Associate Minister's July 2015 Letter
Webpage icon Rector's June 2015 Letter
Webpage icon Rector's May 2015 Letter
Webpage icon Rector's April 2015 Letter
Webpage icon Associate Minister's April 2015 Letter
Webpage icon Rector's 2nd March 2015 Letter
Webpage icon Rector's March 2015 Letter
Webpage icon Rector's February 2015 Letter
Webpage icon Associate Minister's February 2015 Letter
Webpage icon Rector's January 2015 Letter
Webpage icon Rector's December 2014 Letter
Webpage icon Associate Minister's December 2014 Letter
Webpage icon Rector's November 2014 Letter
Webpage icon Rector's October 2014 Letter
Webpage icon Associate Minister's October 2014 Letter
Webpage icon Rector's August 2014 Letter