March-April 2000

Miracles In Disguise

By Gee-Gee Torres

Sr. Juana Argota, DC is from Tanauan, Leyte and the youngest of 6 children. She has been a missionary in Thailand for the past 27 years. At present she runs the Community-Based Rehabilitation Programme for the Disabled and the Handicapped in Loei. Our editorial assistant visited her and tells her story.

A Walk For Life

By Sr. Lilia Conol, MMS

My full-time involvement in the AIDS program and Home-Based Care here in Malawi had given me access to people’s homes, mostly the poor and the needy of the nine parishes assigned to me. Orphans continue to increase as a consequence of the AIDS/HIV epidemic and the future for the children looks bleak. My hope is that the prayers of these orphans for a nurturing environment free from physical and emotional hunger be granted.  It is spiritually nurturing for me to spend time with the children as they learn to play with numbers and the alphabet.

A Word From A Boy Aged 9

My name is Vincent Acierto. I am 9 years old, Grade IV, studying at Southville International School. I was born onFebruary 1, 1988 and since birth I cannot walk, the doctors said it was a miracle that I survived. I have had eight major operations since I was born. I have to be always in my wheelchair. I was a sickly boy since birth. I was always in the hospital almost every two months. But for three years now, I don’t get sick anymore. And I thank God and Mama Mary very much for it. All of my pains and sufferings I just offer them to our Lord because it was He who gave me and all of us our lives. Without God we are nothing, we can do nothing in this world without him. When I was 4 years old, I was given Holy Communion and I served the Mass of my priest friend Reverend Fr. Jerry Orbos, and SVD missionary. Do you know what a missionary is? They are those who leave their family, home and country, go out and teach the people how to go to heaven. Sometimes they are killed or get sick in other countries or they die without seeing their family anymore. And we have to pray for them so that they will always be protected by Mama Mary and our Lord.

Follow The Yellow Brick Road

Sister Josefina Santos, spc (extreme left) with her companions in Hong Kong

By Sr. Josefina Santos SPC

I grew up in the lovely island of Culion. One day I strayed and found myself in unfamiliar territory walking along a river bank. Because most of the stones were big and slippery I had to walk slowly and with great difficulty so as not to fall. From time to time there were huge boulders, wild bushes, and twisted branches of trees blocking my way. All these obstacles however did not deter me from pursuing what I had set out for – to find the church.

Refugees On The Run

By Jerry Esplanada

First time to this islet of Malitam Dos, sitting at the mouth of the Calumpang River in Batangas, will be surprised to find its 250 plus residents speaking a strange tongue. Instead of Tagalog, the locals converse in Sinama, the language of the Badjaos, the boat people of Southern Mindanao. Why? Because they are Badjaos. During the past 15 years, hundreds of them have made the difficult voyage from Zamboanga City and the island –province of Basilan, Sulu and Tawi-Tawi to coastal areas in Luzon and the Visayas. Some Badjaos have moved to as far as Cagayan Valley, the Cordillera Administrative region and the local provinces and parts of Central Mindanao and the Caraga region. The government classifies them as internal refugees – people displaced by, among other things, militarization and harassment by pirates and other criminal groups.

Suddenly, A Green Valley A Strange Story Of The Spirit

By Fr. Bart Pastor

Fr. Bart Pastor runs the Family of God Little Children – a charismatic community in Tacloban Leyte (1977). He shares with us the importance of the Holy Spirit in all our, work, especially if we are involved in the Social Gospel. His commitment to social transformation goes way back to the early seventies. But he tells us that along the way back he had much to learn. He went down some dead ends, but in the end the Holy Spirit led him to a more wholistic approach to his priestly vocation.

The Runaway Slaves

By Fr. Aodh O’Halpin, MSSC

Fr. Aodh O’Halpin, Columban chaplain to migrants in London, describes for us the kinds of things that happen in the lives of domestic workers. He has worked in London since the early 1980’s after having been in Mindanao for more than 20 years

We Hear His Call

Traditionally missionaries used to go from west to east. Now they are going from east to west. Six young Filipino women have gone to Ireland to share their faith in a country which is struggling to retain its own faith. This is apart of the Columban Lay Mission Program.

When Will We Ever Learn?

By Dr. Chris Giannou

It’s hard to believe, but women and children are still being torn apart everyday by those evil weapons called landmines. Protest from ordinary human beings like you and me have shamed most governments into signing the agreement against landmines. However some have not signed yet and Dr. Chris Giannou shares with us here a little bit of his worldwide experience in treating the shattered bodies of mine victims.

What Mines Do

After 17 years as war surgeon, I know that war wounds are particularly ugly. But there is something specifically horrific and barbaric about mine injuries, so that even after everything I have seen I am still appalled by them. I don’t think anybody can be hardened enough not to be affected when they see what mines do to a human being.

When God Takes All

By Ed Locsin

Ed Locsin is a well –known evangelizer in Bacolod, Negros. He is much love for his gentle and modest approach. Here he shares with us, at the invitation of the Editor, his life’s journey.

Our father had always encouraged us four boys to be independent and self-sufficient. He did not have an hacienda for us to inherit so he pushed us to work hard for a college education. My three brothers all earned their college degrees and Dad expected me to have one, too. However, unlike my brothers and sisters, I did not have the inclination or drive for study. I was impatient to get on with life. Besides, I knew that I was not cut out to be an employee. I wanted to be an entrepreneur and the sooner I got started, the sooner I could realize my goal. After high school, my father allowed me to go to Honolulu and enroll at the University of Hawaii and take up Agricultural engineering, this because of my love for machines. The plan was for me to get my bachelor’ degree in Hawaii and proceed to the Mainland for my master’s. But I had other plans.

By Fr Joseph Panabang SVD

Airport Time

‘Scientific’ time is always a problem here in Ghana. It is almost next to impossible to start any activity promptly and exactly as it is scheduled . But once in Sogleboi village I was impressed that the people really agreed to have the Mass at 5:30 a.m. sharp which they did. After the Mass the men, excited, were rushing. “Why the rush?” I asked. “Father, they are going hunting,” said the Catechist. “Now I understand why you were early for the Mass,” I murmured to myself.