Hell, no!

This month is Halloween month. So at Grace Place, we thought of having a series for that. It’s called, “So you’re dead… now what”. It talks about anything about the after life. It’s a very uncomfortable topic, but heck we know we’re all going to die. It’s better to know what’s next than not at all!

This week, we’re talking about Hell. As my wife said, it’s a good topic, no body wants to talk about it, so let’s bring it on. While preparing for my grace group tonight, these thoughts run through my mind.

– We’re all going to die. Oh, yeah, we are. Whatever life altering procedure you do, we’re all going to die.

– There are 2 major views of death. I came from a tradition that says when you die, you sleep (a.k.a the doctrine of “soul sleep”). I changed camp. Most evangelicals believe that when you die, you continue to exist and will either directly go to heaven or hell (a.k.a. the doctrine of “Immortality of the Soul”). I will have a few Adventists on my grace groups, and if this question will be raised, I’m just going to say, “You continue to believe what you know is true, I believe mine, and it’s alright. Because whether the soul sleeps or is awake when you die is not the real issue. The real issue is, what are you doing now that you’re alive so that you’ll know exactly where you’re going in the after life?

– Heaven is real.

– Hell is real. But we don’t want to talk about it. Because we want to live as if it doesn’t exist.

– You won’t see your buddies in hell. You won’t drink beers with them, won’t laugh with them, won’t party with them. In hell, you’re going to be all alone. All by yourself. Nobody to talk to. In utter darkness.

– God doesn’t want us to go to hell. In the first place, hell is created for Satan. But because of our sinfulness and God’s holiness, we’re going there. And if we do, that doesn’t mean God didn’t do anything to save you. He did EVERYTHING you can imagine when he sent Jesus on earth and die a criminal’s death. You just don’t want to do anything with Jesus today. You simply want to do what you want to do with your life. And God will let you. Go. To. Hell.

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DSWD vs NGO : where to send donations?

For the longest time, Filipinos here and around the world are one again. Typhoon Ondoy brought us together through generosity. Churches, NGOs, Media outfits — they all received donations all throughout the country and even from around the world. ABS-CBN, for one reported:

@ANCALERTS: Update on Donations ABS CBN Sagip Kapamilya: P30.2 million cash and P72 million in goods & service

This is just one of the non-government institutions that received and distributed the cash and in-kind donations. I personally gave through Red Cross. Our church collected and gave to VCF Greenhills.

The president, however, delivered this message. Notice how she stresses the words “… sa DSWD”.

I have the impression that the government wants the funds to go through them and not through the NGO. So, when somebody asks you on how and where to give (as a client of mine from the US just asked me), what will you tell them? Are you going to ask them to send your funds to DSWD? Or will you direct them somewhere else?

Let me give my opinion as a citizen of this country under the administration of Gloria Macapagal Arroyo: I will NEVER ask people to give to DSWD for these reasons:

1. Effectiveness – as shown in the past days after the tragedy, the non-government instritutions – Red Cross, media, the church – they are all way more effective in delivering the services and the good to the shelters than the government. They are more organized and have more volunteers. In fact, it even looked like these institutions are our government these past few days!

2. Corruption – no need to explain here. But I can’t help it, can I just say some more? Remember the “Calamity fund” that’s supposed to be used for — well, as the name implies — calamity? It’s been used up for GMA’s travel abroad. This is a verifiable fact. This issue was discussed over and over even before the Saturday flood. You used up the calamity fund now you want to horde the donations to the government? I just wouldn’t trust my money on corrupt hands. I’d rather give my donations to some place where I’m sure it will be directly given to where it is intended to be.

If you’ll ask me, here’s how you can give.

How about you, will you course your donation through DSWD as the president suggests?

My open challenge to Willie Revillame, et. al.

Someone at Facebook has been asking to repost this message:

URGENT REPOST from Monica Payumo: IF ANYONE HAS A MOTORIZED RUBBER BOAT it is needed for ongoing rescue operations led by Red Cross Rizal Chapter. They need to go to Cainta and Manggahan, Pasig, Asap! People are reportedly dying in some areas. The water has not gone down at all. Please contact Cielo @ 0918-8824356

I know it’s wrong to impose. But in times of desperation, you just need to.

Here’s my challenge to Willie Revillame and people like him who have means to be used for rescue mission like this. You see, I highly suspect that his advertised generosity towards the needy is just confined in the 4 corners of his TV show. Then a friend of mine commented:

baka pweding may tumawag kay willie r. i remember meron yung speed boats at yate at helicopters na bagong bili at nang mabinyagan.

I’d like to be proven wrong even humiliated for my wrong perception of him. Show us your advertised generosity and love to the needy. Lend your expensive boats to the rescue teams.

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Update: A friend of mine Gayle replied back.

nag-donate daw 1M si willie, sabi ni gina lopez sa wowowee kanina

That’s great! Sure, we need all the financial help. I guess I have to qualify, though. This challenge is for him to lend his motorized boat(s) as it is what is needed for the rescue and is very scarce. Not to discount financial donations — very important — but if you have millions, you’ve got to give something that will hurt you to really exercise generosity. I maybe asking too much, but hey, this is my way to help.

Compilation: How to donate

Here’s how you can join and help Ondoy’s flood victims: (Disclaimer: most of these information came from my Twitter contacts as I follow those that retweet information. Please don’t take this as my personal endorsement, rather do make your own initial confirmation when giving, especially if it’s financial)

1. RED CROSS – The best and easiest way (in my opinion, since this is the most accessible) is via text donations to Red Cross. You can load up your number then send your donations either 25, 50, 100 or 300.

text RED<space>AMOUNT to 2899 (Globe) or 4483 (Smart)

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(images grabbed from Jannette Toral)

It is also confirmed that they have a Paypal account that you can send funds to: give@redcross.org.ph

2. Victory Christian Fellowship – I heard that they are turning their Ortigas center as a hub for accepting donations. It’s on the 4th floor of Robinson’s Galleria

3. ABS-CBN –  BANCO de Oro account number 56300-20111 account name: ABS-CBN Foundation Incorporation

4. GMA – GMA Kapuso Foundation accepting donations of food, clothes & water pls call 9317013, 9284299 9289351. Website here

5. Gawad Kalinga – Donations for Gawad Kalinga may be brought 2 Cervini Ateneo or GK CENTER profriends

6. World Vision – Worldvision Foundation is accepting donations/volunteers to pack relief goods in QC.For donations, BPI:USD acct #4254-0050-08.

7. Ateneo – Ateneo now accepting donations at Cervini Hall. contact 09176312423 and 09177035357

8. Senators Noynoy Aquino and Mar Roxas – Tulong Bayan hot lines for donations and volunteers are 09086579998, 9137122, 9136254, and 9133306. Drop-off points are at Expo Centro in Cubao in Quezon City and White Space at 2314 Pasong Tamo Extension in Makati,” according to a text of a staff from Aquino’s office.

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