The Philippines in the news: This year’s holiday celebrations in Manila got a little bit out of hand. Between December 21 and January 3, nearly 800 people were injured in accidents related to end-of-the-year festivities. With the exception of 30 injuries caused by indiscriminant firing of guns, most of the injuries were caused by careless use of fireworks. Most of these injuries were serious burns, but 48 of the injuries resulted in the necessity to amputate.

It appears that the Filipinos like New Years celebrations so much that they want to have two separate New Years celebrations each year. Senator Jose Estrada is seeking the immediate passage of a bill declaring the Chinese New Year to be an official national work holiday. The Chinese-Filipino community comprises over 22 percent of the country’s population, one of the largest ethnic Filipino groups in the country. Referring to his bill as a sign of “goodwill and amity,” Estrada points out that the Chinese-Filipino community has impacted the Philippines in innumerable and unquantifiable ways. The bill is likely to pass after the Congress resumes its session on January 17, in time for the upcoming Chinese New Year celebration on February 3.

When I hear news from countries such as the Philippines, I can’t help but think about the pastors whose ministry Praise International supports and facilitates in that country. Praise assists over 50 national pastors the Philippines. Levi and Lilly Adrales are country leaders for Praise International in the Philippines. Would you pray for the Philippines? Please pray for the Filipino pastors as they invest themselves sacrificially for the work of the Lord in the Philippines. Please pray for their families as well and for the people in their communities, who often live under serious poverty circumstances.