Bishop Efraim Tendero is National Director of the Philippine Council of Evengelical Churches. Christianity Today editorial resident LaTonya Taylor spoke with him this week about how the Abu Sayyaf kidnapping of U.S. missionaries Martin and Gracia Burnham and Philippine nurse Ediborah Yap has affected Filipino Christians.
What should U.S. Christians know about Ediborah Yap and what will become of her family?
Ediborah was a single parent taking care of four children through her profession as a nurse. One of her sons would like to be a soldier someday. All her children's futures are well secured owing to the outpouring of all sorts of help including scholarships until they finish college. Financial support has also been pouring in.
The government, through the Social Work department, has footed the bill for her funeral expenses. The hospital in Lamitan, Basilan, will be named after her as an honor to her heroism.
How have Christians in the Philippines responded to this situation since its earliest stages?
From day one of the captivity, Christians in the Philippines have constantly prayed for the hostages [the Burnhams and Yap] both in local church gatherings and national events. In fact two of these national events held at the Rizal Park in Manila were attended by thousands of people.
National church leaders also connected with people who might be able to help, including Muslim leaders in Mindanao. I have personally talked with President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo on several occasions appealing for help for the Burnhams.
How have local churches and pastors been involved?
It was basically through prayers and looking for ways to help, but the situation was very difficult. E-mails requesting prayers were also sent around the country and the ...1
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