Written by Pastor David Tietjen of Evangel Baptist Church, Wheaton, Illinois
Rebuilding A Church in Calbayog City
The relationship began with a providential visit by a family to a midweek service at Evangel Baptist Church in Wheaton, Illinois. One summer evening, an incoming graduate student, enrolled in the doctoral program at Wheaton College, attended the Wednesday prayer service with his young family. Enjoying the friendly welcome and the serious intercessory practice of those gathered, the newcomers expressed appreciation at finding such a service that reminded them of their home church in the Philippines. An invitation to attend church the following Sunday led Rev. Nimrod and Vivian Tica and their four daughters to join the church and faithfully serve in several capacities while he works toward completion of his degree in 2017.
Their church in the Philippines was part of a fellowship known as Higher Ground Baptist Mission, led by Nim’s father, Dr. Pio Tica. Over the past two years, Evangel has set aside designated funds to this organization for specified assistance to primarily rural and bi-vocational pastors for medical, facility or resource needs. In November of 2013, Typhoon Haiyan cut a devastating path across the central Philippines. Out of the widespread destruction and loss of life that resulted, Evangel became aware of Higher Ground Baptist Church in Calbayog City, Samar, and their need to rebuild their church after its loss in the storm. Our check for $2,620 – sent in January 2015 – was able to cover almost 20% of the construction cost. Included in the lengthy thank-you note from a grateful Filipino pastor were many handwritten notes from the children of the church, which arrived for display at Evangel on Mother’s Day weekend of 2015. This amount was nearly equaled by a gracious matching grant from Converge Cornerstone Fund in January of this year.
It was a joy to partner with Converge Cornerstone Fund and to extend a helping hand to believers half a world away.