Corruption in the Philippines

Lufkin, Texas
July 17, 1998

Dear Brethren,

On June 29th Ron Halbrook, David Theriot and I departed for the Philippine Islands to distribute relief gathered for suffering disciples there. We arrived on the 30th, began our work of distribution on July 1, concluded our final distribution on July 8 and returned to the States on July 9. Our major task is done.

The appeal which I made in May for relief funds for suffering Filipino saints was answered in a way I never dreamed possible - $237,034 from churches and individuals were given to me that I might be a messenger in delivering relief to the brethren there. In addition to these funds given into my hand, another approximate $145,000 was sent to brother Halbrook. The bulk fo that was distributed by us to saints during July 1 - 8. There were seven central points of distribution, Davao City, Mindanao, Cebu City, and Manila, Panaqui, Cordon, Isabela, Tuguegarao, Cagayan and Sinait, Ilocos Sur - The later five all on Luzon. Some cash arrived after my departure. I expect still one or two more checks to arrive. I wait for them to be sent as a final distribution to Mindanaon Brethren, the area which seemed to have experienced the greatest suffering. As the report shows, I have $4987 still in the Lufkin National Bank account which will be sent to Mindanao just as quickly as final arrangements can be made with brethren there.

Included in this report are the names and addresses of everyone who aided Philippine brethren through me, along with a summary of expenses. Also included is a copy of my July "Philippine Report" which tells of that distribution and some of the Attendant problem we faced along the way. I have copies of the wires of the money that was sent to the various brethren ($225,000) and I carried an additional $5,000 in cash and have a diary of the day-by-day expenses, which is a record of food, hotels, and other transportation expenses but also includes some benevolence as well. $3,000 of that $5,000 was from the Midwest City, OK church to be given personally for them. The report shows $4,489 constituted "Expenses". Actually, expenses exceeded that - at least $495 for plane fares in the islands were shouldered by the three of us who went, as well as another $100 for hotel rooms. More will have to be spent for postage that the figure shows. Any other checks which should come after this report is mailed will be sent along with the balance in the LNB and an acknowledgment made to the one who sent that check. I hasten this accounting because I will return to the Philippines in about six weeks and I don't want this accounting to be "hanging over my head" all that time.

Thank you brethren, for your help in this undertaking. The task was tremendous but it is done and I am happy I could help to share in it. May God bless you for your care and your great response to this urgent need of our brethren.

Your fellow-servant of Jesus Christ,

[signature of Jim McDonald]

[Editor's Note: The drought occurred on the island of Mindanao on the south side of the Philippines. The northern island of Luzon was not affected, though there was some flooding just north of Manila. Both Cordon, Isabela and Tuguegarao, Cagayan are far from the affected areas.]