The war in Libya has taught me a number of things:
first, that indeed God answers our prayers, second, that with God’s help we can be stronger as individuals, third, that separation can strengthen our relationship because He is there as our support, and...
This is the video presentation of the article 'Asian Youth Day Cross visits the Young People of Bacolod,' by Giovanni A. Solibio featured in Misyon November-December 2009 issue in our regular section Our Hideaway.
The author, a chemical engineer by profession, is currently doing doctoral studies at the Universtiy of the Philippines, Diliman, Quezon City. She is from Ozamiz City and is a member of the Teresian Association.
I am fond of quotes. They are truly, for me, words to live by. Unconsciously, I get to memorize those lines that I like. My all-time favorite is the one on inner joy from St Pedro Poveda, a priest, educator, humanist, and founder of the Teresian Association (now in its 100th year), a Holy Association in the Church.
St Pedro Poveda once wrote: ‘If joy is based on something external, it will come and go according to everyday events. But if joy is rooted in the heart and the heart is well-protected, there is nothing to fear. When events around us make us unhappy, we can turn our gaze inward to the depths of our soul and we will find joy.’
One beautiful morning, while on my daily routine of gardening, a beautiful butterfly with different colors, carried by a cool wind from the east, landed on my shirt. I gazed at this magnificent creature before it flew off, again heading westward. I noticed that it landed on one flower after another. This experience led me to reflect on the CICM missionary presence here in Zambia.
Zambia wasn’t my dream country so why did I end up coming here? It was a blow when I received my letter of assignment asking me to go to Zambia. What I had in mind was the USA or Japan thinking that after nine years of intensive studies, I should be in a first world country. Why suffer in a third world country like Zambia? I almost gave up my dream of becoming a missionary because the things I wanted weren’t granted. God was silent. But a simple prayer inside my room, reflecting on Mt 26:39, ‘My Father . . . not as I will, but as you will’, changed the whole story. I gathered again my shattered self, gaining confidence and hope in trying to see where the wind was leading me. The future in Zambia was unclear because of malaria, the Ebola virus, HIV, and CICM missionaries coming home. Maybe one step forward could make a difference and become a hundred steps of successes. The first step I took was to say with conviction, ‘YES! I go to Zambia’.
The news of civil unrest in Tunisia and Egypt had but started to impinge on our consciousness. My husband and I decided to stock up on rice, supplied mainly by Egypt, as we were sure the price would go up. We bought five sacks, 125 kilos. As a further precaution we bought about 20 dressed chickens, meat and canned goods. The freezer and kitchen shelves were full and we went on with our normal life.
On 17 February the trouble in Libya started, first in Benghazi. We were apprehensive but hoped everything would be fine. Then classes were disrupted with parents taking their children out of school. Our daughter who worked in an international school reported until 27 February but no longer received her salary. Nobody was there to pay it.
It is my brother Jong’s birthday today. As I am getting settled to do Centering Prayer (CP), my second for the day, I am thinking of this morning’s services at St Mary the Virgin Episcopal Church, here in Sagada, Mountain Province
In his homily, the Anglican pastor drew a parallel between the widow Ruth in the first reading who was adopted by Judah, the tribe of Naomi, her mother-in-law, and Gaudan (Jong’s Igorot name) who was adopted as an honorary son by the people of Sagada for his pro bono services to the community as resident theater director, cultural events coordinator, museum curator, occasional village petition writer, teacher, friend, brother.