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News – Sorrow for Philippines pastor

June 2009 | by Doug Nichols

Sorrow for Philippines pastor

 

Three children of a pastor were burned to death in an accidental house fire in the Philippines. Pastor Ogie was leading a Bible study one night when his wife, Gina, stepped out of the house to visit a friend, leaving the four children as they slept.

     However, as they have no electricity, a small candle had been left burning, and it caused a blaze that engulfed the house. The door, which was made of galvanized metal over a wood frame, expanded in the frame because of the intense heat inside. This was so tight that it took several minutes for rescuers to break through.

     The two youngest children died in the fire, while the third died the following day from his burns. Only Inok, the eight-year-old, survived. Gina is safe but traumatised.

     An Action International missionary visited the charred stick frame that was once the family’s home. Witnesses pointed out the corner of the bedroom floor where the body of three-year-old Nadine had been found. He said: ‘As I stared at that corner, something caught my eye. On the floor in the very place where the little girl had died, there was a burned and tattered Tagalog Bible.

     ‘It was as if God was reminding me that he was there with Nadine as she huddled in the corner. Even there, even then, he was in control’.

     Miraculously, the parents’ marriage certificate and birth certificates, as well as their oldest son’s birth certificate, were not damaged, although the fire destroyed the birth certificates of the three children who died.

     Action International says that Pastor Ogie’s church is in a small section of the community where there has been an ongoing land dispute. Church members have struggled with unity and showing love. This has been difficult, as church attendance continues to drop. In addition to this tragedy, Pastor Ogie, who has only been a Christian for three years, has TB. Please pray for this devastated family and the church.

Doug Nichols

 

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Obituaries