Surrendering to end suffering

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    ‘Feeling sympathetic to victims of calamities and crimes should never be enough.’

    THE beach resort in San Juan, Batangas that openly violated quarantine restrictions may not be the only seaside business that has relaxed its protocols.

    Local officials should come down hard on similar violations and show no special treatment even if those beach resorts and similar destinations are owned by local officials. It will make life easier if the IATF orders the temporary shutdown of all these recreational beachfronts.

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    Nothing else drove Pastor Danny Urquico but his deep gratitude to God to organize and lead relief operations to Bicol, Catanduanes, Isabela and Cagayan. He barely had time for a weekend break after several trips to Batangas distributing food and clothing to hundreds of victims of the Taal volcano eruption when the virus crisis broke out.

    Urquico is the son of one of the members of the criminal syndicate infamously dubbed the Big Four, whose life had been torn apart by drugs, booze and women. The deep and relentless prayers of his wife and her ministry, who didn’t give up on him, ultimately made him turn things around. Urquico became a pastor of the Christ’s Commission Fellowship (CCF), and one of its busiest today, supervising its branches and outreach ministries in Quezon City and Rizal, as well as a large fellowship for drug victims and prison inmates.

    Urquico and his family are no strangers to calamities such as Ondoy and then Ulysses that submerged their house. Feeling sympathetic to victims of calamities and crimes should never be enough. As a Christian who believes completely in his eternal salvation in Christ, he says his “new life” has compelled him to express and show compassion by directly bringing busloads of relief supplies to the people.

    At CCF, everything seems to fall into place – abundant donations from church members, volunteers for repacking, buses and other vehicles for transport and available financial resources.

    Despite the big risk of being infected by COVID-19 because of the big crowds and long hours of travel, Urquico, the volunteers and staff have remained virus-free. Urquico always says, “You take care of the things of God and He takes care of you.”

    He was amazed at how the thousands of people who listened intently as he preached surrendered their lives to Jesus in the midst of their suffering, their loss and pain. The Gospel is called “the good news” indeed because it brings both conversion and deliverance.

    The calamity victims could be compared to others who had reached their wits’ end, overwhelmed and despairing, but had come before God through His Son Jesus.