Fr. Chito Suganob. Photo from His Facebook page.
By Pastor Glem Melo
Marawi City attacked by suspected ISIS inspired militants belonging to the Maute group on May 23, 2017. Photo by Chico Dimaro Usman
A Catholic priest and more than a dozen have been abducted by ISIS-linked terrorists in Marawi, southern Philippines.
“Father Chito Suganob and others were in the Cathedral of Our Lady Help of Christians when members of the Maute fighting group forced their way into the Cathedral, taking with them Fr. Chito and others as hostages. They have threatened to kill the hostages if the government forces unleashed against them are not recalled.” – Archbishop Socrates Villegas, President of the Catholic Bishops Conference of the Philippines (CBCP)
Marawi Bishop Edwin dela Peña identified some of the other hostages as Wendelyn Mayormita, the parish secretary, and professor Maria Luisa “Nicnic” Colina, the parish council president. With them, he said, are two working students and at least 10 other parishioners.
There are reports that some people have already been decapitated, but those still need to be verified.
Yanan Melo’s post on Facebook:
Please pray for the Philippines. I was chatting with some friends and family in Manila, Marawi City, and my very own Cagayan de Oro City. ISIS flags are being raised in Marawi City, and they have been burning hospitals and schools. There is a lot of pain, anxiety, and fear. President Duterte has declared martial law in Mindanao, and many of my dear friends have become even more anxious because of this news. In all of these bad news, may God have mercy and shed the light of his good news in Christ to the Philippines.
“So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.”
– Isaiah 41:10
The following is from Haron Ar-Rashid S. Dima:
THEY DIMMED THE LIGHTS TO BURN US DOWN
I was told my school is being burned to the ground. I was informed the city jail is on fire. I was messaged the local hospital is taken over by these men in black hoods.
Roads were blocked, fire trucks were seized, and everyone is questioned of religion. If you can’t prove you are a Muslim, you are “taken care” of.
I have received a message that my high school principal is taken as hostage. Along with her are many non-Muslims who strive to give education to young minds of Marawi. My sisters’ classmates and their families are on their way to our house; they are running away from the threat of fire and bullets.
Black flags are raised to claim dominion of the city.
Hope is frail as of the moment.
I haven’t heard from the local government since the mayor’s interview with CNN where he is still yet to validate and collate information. “No casualties reported” he said.
Churches are torched. This ignorance of religious respect is on an all time high. This is taking away the culture and the history of Marawi, or my memory of it at least.
I grew up with non-Muslim friends and educators. I am where I am right now because of them. All the people who grew up from where I did are successful because of the community we were raised in.
Instead of our homes, our schools, our hospital, and our jails, burn your ignorant and false extremist beliefs.
We are being burned down. Help us.
I stand with Marawi City and all of the people therein. Please stay strong. Lend a prayer if you can. Open your homes to those in need if you can.
Religious leaders, Ulamas, and people of high regard and influence, step in and negotiate!
Lock your doors. Keep your windows low. Stay strong.
In the name of Allah, the Most Merciful, and the Most Beneficent, light a candle and pray.
By Glem Melo
Aymi and her mom Lilia were able to visit and worship with our brothers and sisters in Christ at our mission congregation in Iligan, southern Philippines. And it was mother’s day!
What a blessing to see all those happy faces!
Praise the Lord!
By Pastor Glem Melo
Thankful for the opportunity that the Lord has given me to share our vision to the pastors and elders of the Presbyterian Church in America (www.PCAnet.org) in Michigan and Eastern Indiana (Great Lakes Presbytery).
Please pray for these faithful brothers’ evangelism and church planting work in the Metro Detroit area. Lord willing, my family and I will visit the PCA Mission to North America (PCAMNA.org) teams there this month. Our goal is to learn more about the existing work there as well as plans to reach the multi-ethnic families and communities in the area.
By Pastor Glem Melo
Last Wednesday, April 19, 2017, the pastors and elders of the Presbyterian Church in America (PCA) Chicago Metro Presbytery formally accepted me as a candidate for Gospel and pastoral ministry. Previously, I was under the Potomac Prebytery (Washington DC area).
Next step: licensure.
I rejoice in the Lord’s mercy, grace and hand upon me, my family, and our vision for the 10/40 Window. And I continue to rest in Christ’s Person, life, death, resurrection, kingdom rule and intercession for us. Relying on His Holy Spirit’s grace and power alone, we press on.
Please continue to remember to pray for me, my family and the pastors and elders who are supervising, counseling and mentoring me.
By Pastor Glem Melo
This is my video interview at Mid-America Reformed Seminary, where I am a Master of Divinity (M.Div.) student and scholar. In it, I share about my family’s reformed journey, need for theological training and practical mentoring, and vision for cross-cultural evangelism and church planting.
May the Lord to guide and direct me, my family and Open Eyes Mission to the city/country where he wants us to serve and glorify Him through the proclamation of Christ and the establishment of His church among unreached people groups worldwide.
Credit: The video was produced and directed by Jared Luttjeboer for Mid-America Reformed Seminary.