THERE IS HOPE

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Bro. Eddie C. Villanueva’s Message on Super Typhoon Yolanda
 

My heart aches with grief as news of the Super Typhoon Yolanda overwhelm us with shocking images of devastation – towns with nothing but rubbles and ruins… infrastructures wrecked beyond repair… dead bodies lying cold in the streets… fathers, mothers, and siblings mourning the loss of one or all of their loved ones… survivors of the storm now clueless on surviving the next couple of days.

With this great damage that has beset our country by the “strongest storm ever known to make landfall and the fourth strongest storm ever recorded in the world” according to Weather Underground co-founder Dr. Jeff Masters, this is not the time to blame anybody. This is the time to CONNECT –

To one’s self. My beloved Filipinos who were gravely affected by this storm, this might have been your toughest battle yet. But I urge you, get back up again. Fight on. Despite the seeming helplessness and hopelessness surrounding you, this battle can be won. For we are a people in whose veins run the blood of heroes. We are fighters. We are victors. And as we have done so many times before, I know that you WILL win this fight. Just don’t give up.

To others. Now to us who were unscathed by Super Typhoon Yolanda, let us not only link our hearts in sympathizing with them. Let us link our hands in service to them. Yes, Filipinos are fighters. Our kababayans in Visayas will surely come out of this storm strong. But they need help… our help. Let us not fail them. Let us join them in this fight. Let us win this fight together.

To God. Brothers and sisters, may we not forget that while staying strong and helping one another are important, these could only do so much. This storm is far beyond sheer human strength. WE NEED GOD. With one voice, as a nation, let us cry out to Him. For He is the God who hears AND answers. He will surely come to our aid and lift us out of this situation.

The whole Philippines – even the world – is in great mourning. We have barely escaped an earthquake. We are not even recovering. And then this storm hit us. We are broken, even crushed. But one thing we know: More than any of us, the God of love – the God who IS love – cries the loudest. Seeing us in such a devastated situation as this, His heart bleeds for us. He could never delight seeing us in shambles. Because two thousand years ago, that same God bled on the Cross for each of us. To save us. Will He not save us now?

My beloved countrymen, God is for us. THIS IS OUR HOPE.

BE SAFE, IN HIS PRESENCE

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Bro. Eddie C. Villanueva: Personal message on the tragic earthquake in Visayas

 

We share in the sorrow of our fellow citizens – our fellow men, women and children – who now grieve for the loss of their mothers, fathers, wives, husbands, children and loved ones. We share in the horrors that the tragic earthquake has brought in its wake: children buried alive inside buildings, historic landscapes and cherished places of worship razed to the ground, homes and workplaces shattered… everywhere chaos as people run in fear and panic and deaths continue to toll with every aftershock. A trauma meant for a dozen lifetimes condensed in a few minutes of unforgettable terror.

The earthquake that hit Bohol, Cebu, Siquijor and its neighboring islands recently has hit our country hard, once again. Many local and international experts are describing the strength of the earthquake as being ‘like 32 Hiroshima atom bombs.’ As of the most recent count by the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (NDRRMC), the death toll has already surpassed 150 and is still counting, with more than 3 million people in more than 1,000 villages affected by the initial tremor and its equally deadly aftershocks.

Needless to say, cost-wise, damages are in the millions. Heritage-wise, priceless. Security and relationship-wise, devastatingly irreplaceable.

Now, more than ever, is when we need God.

Today, more than ever, is when we should set our differences aside – of whatever nature they may be – and come together as a united people before His throne of grace.

This is the moment, more than ever, when our prayers should be heard, when our hands should be linked in solidarity and our hearts should be beating as one, for the sake of our suffering countrymen.

This is the time when the Body of Christ and all genuine lovers of our God and nation should labor side-by-side that our beloved country may rise again from the depths that this earthquake has dragged us.

For this is the truth of the matter: there is no specific place in this world that is truly safe. We will all be ultimately hurt. And we will all, in at least one point in our lives, hit our rock bottom in complete helplessness.

Be safe, in God’s Presence. It is only in His arms that we can find true refuge.

It is only in the arms of Him who looked at man’s sinfulness and, instead of wiping them out and creating a new race, He left His majesty, was born flesh and blood and suffered among His creation that He may die for them and save them.

It is only in the arms of Him who sees injustice where the law is blind, who sees oppression where society has grown numb and who sees worth in the lowliest castoffs of civilized man.

It is only in the arms of Him who knows us better than ourselves – our secret hurts, our most shameful thoughts and most disgraceful deeds, our little hopes, forgotten acts of kindness and fondest dreams – that we can entrust the full weight of our souls, knowing that He is both able and willing to hold us, regardless.

Of course, there is no harm in taking safety precautions; it is the smart thing to do. It is what any sane person would do. But even as we enforce precautionary measures upon precautionary measures, we must remember that they are just that – calculated actions for caution. They are never really guarantees. We can as easily get hurt by an enemy as by a friend that we trust with our lives; or devastated by an illness caused by existing vices like smoking or drinking, as by cancer that came out of nowhere despite a lifetime of healthy living; or even wounded by standing in a corner as by daring death in extreme sports.

Thus, instead of searching for what, let us search for Who. Let us search for the Loving God who is knocking at our doors as He calls out––

Come to me, all of you who are weary and carry heavy burdens, and I will give you rest.” (Matthew 11:28)

Stop holding tight to the burdens that life has thrown your way, He is inviting us to come to Him and––

“Give all your worries and cares to God, for he cares about you.” (1 Peter 5:7)

There is no one – no matter how greatly burdened – that He will turn away!

To all who come to Him in complete surrender, His loving arms are ever open, for the Lord our God declares––

“God showed how much he loved us by sending his one and only Son into the world so that we might have eternal life through him.” (1 John 4:9)

As a people, let us all work together to rise above the horrors of the past few days.

As men and women and children who yearn to run to a safe refuge, let us all run to Him, our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.

Let us all BE SAFE, IN HIS PRESENCE.

 

Bro. Eddie: be a hero on National Heroes Day, join Million March to pray

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Official Statement

Bro. Eddie C. Villanueva

                                                                24 August 2013

Bro. Eddie: be a hero on National Heroes Day, join Million March to pray

 

Be a hero on National Heroes Day by standing up for the nation through prayers.

This was the call issued by Bro. Eddie Villanueva even as he asked participants in Monday’s Million March to declare the day as National Day of Prayer for Repentance and Humility.

“We are calling on all leaders of various pillars of society to do the most heroic act — lead their respective sectors in heeding God’s admonition for His people to seek His face,

humble ourselves and pray and turn from our wicked ways. Let us go out to Luneta not only to register our indignation to corruption but also to do the most important thing — pray,” Villanueva said in a statement.

He said the expose of the P10 billion pork barrel scam could be God’s way of revealing the extent of corruption in different government agencies.

But he also reminded Filipinos not to prejudge people merely on the basis of unverified reports.

“Everyone has to be given opportunity to air their side and prove their innocence.

But we need to be vigilant and continue registering our protest against abuses in the disbursement of public funds,” Villanueva, leader of Bangon Pilipinas and chairman emeritus of Philippines for Jesus Movement, said.

He said even the recent floods could be a message both to the authorities and the citizens.

“Parang wala nang katapusan ang vicious cycle ng pagbisita ng kalamidad sa ating Bayan…ang pagkasawi ng buhay at pagkawasak ng bilyon-bilyong kabuhayan ng bansa. Ang paggastos ng bilyong budget na pantapal lang sa emergency needs ng bayan dapat nagamit sa tuloy-tuloy na economic development and long-term flood control ng bansa,” (There seems to be no end to the vicious cycle of calamities in our country…the lives and the billions worth of livelihood lost.

The billions used for emergency needs could have been used instead for continuous economic development and long-term flood control all over the country),” Villanueva said.

Villanueva lauded President Aquino for abolishing the pork barrel and for committing to impose measures to ensure proper disbursements.

He said that while he is not personally against the release of development funds, a mechanism to protect it from unscrupulous individuals whether in the legislative or executive branch should be put in place.

“It is not realistic to say that development funds or pork barrel be completely abolished. Even if you abolish the release of pork barrel in legislative, the executive will still need to release it to fund infrastructure and other projects. If it is abolished completely, what will happen to the urgent infrastructure projects especially in far flung provinces?

We need to give the President the opportunity to prove his seriousness in implementing stricter measures for disbursements of these funds,” Villanueva added.

Bro. Eddie seeks full investigation of JIL leaders’ double murder

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                      Official Statement

                                                                   Bro. Eddie C. Villanueva

                                                                            14 August 2013

Jesus Is Lord (JIL) Movement founder Bro. Eddie Villanueva condemned the killing of two lady cell group leaders of JIL Batangas allegedly perpetrated by two police officers even as he called on the Department of Justice and the Philippine National Police not to leave any stone unturned in investigating the twin murders.

“The leadership of JIL condemns in the strongest terms this dastardly act against two humble servants of God. We appeal to our authorities especially Justice Secretary Leila de Lima and PNP Chief Alan Purisima to please let justice prevail and order the immediate prosecution of the perpetrators,” Villanueva said in a statement.

Adelaida Fabricante, 46, and Leonila Cafe, 48, both active church leaders of JIL in Balete, Batangas were found dead in the middle of a road in Barangay Makina last Aug. 6.

Witnesses said they were last seen hitching a police car with Police Officer (PO) 3 Jose Rico Benitez and PO2 Mhelven Pagkaliwangan, both members of the Balete police.

Fabricante and Cape were laid to rest last Sunday which was attended by thousands of Balete residents.

Villanueva, who founded what is now one of the largest Christian movements in the world, expressed deep sadness over the attacks on the two women.

Fabricante and Cape came from a Bible study and decided to hitch-ride in the police patrol car on their way back to their respective barangays.

Earlier police reports indicated that the two were victims of “hit-and-run” but Balete Mayor Jovencio Hidalgo ordered a reinvestigation after thousands of residents trooped to the municipal hall condemning their deaths.

Hidalgo said several witnesses volunteered to give their statements linking the two cops to the deaths of the two female preachers.

“Maraming mga miyembro ng JIL na nagpapatunay na nakisabay ang dalawang biktima sa mobile ng dalawang pulis bago sila natagpuang patay,” the Mayor said.

Last Saturday, Hidalgo sought the assistance of Public Attorney’s Office (PAO) chief Persida Rueda-Acosta, who in turn, made a separate investigation on the case along with her team of lawyers and medico-legal doctors.

Based on medico-legal reports, the two were brutally beaten by hard objects and had bruises all over their bodies.

Hidalgo said another witness surfaced and narrated how he personally saw the police car as the bodies of the two victims were being dumped on the middle of the road.

The JIL Movement had also sent a legal team to work together with PAO lawyers in assisting the families of the victims.

Villanueva said JIL is grateful to Hidalgo and Acosta for their quick response but issued an appeal to the DOJ and PNP “to use the full force of the law for our brutally murdered lady pastors to get justice.”

http://www.philstar.com/probinsiya/2013/08/13/1083741/2-jil-preachers-pinatay-ng-2-pulis