The Street Walkers Will Go Into Heaven Before Us
By Sr. Alma Quisto, OSSR
Almost three years have gone since my passage from the Philippines to Venezuela. Yet, everything that transpired during those first few months of my stay here seemed only as if it happened yesterday.
Being a new comer, I was welcomed at our Provincial house in Caracas where I remained for eight months. Living there was great indeed inspite of the many times that I got homesick and the Spanish language was difficult for me.
The majority of the Venezuelan people are not familiar with Filipinos and for this a number of them would often call me “La China”. It annoyed me at first but later on, I found out that this is how they fondly call all Asians.
Change to Maracaibo
Life in Maracaibo is quite different form that of Caracas. Here I have to cooperate with the sisters in carrying out our difficult mission. Ever since I was told of this assignment, fears and doubts started to invade me. It was hard to imagine myself working directly with the girls who are engaged in prostitution. A lot of silly thoughts occurred in my mind too like, “What if I’ll get sick? Or what will I say to them?” thank God I was able to overcome my fears.
Meeting The Prostitutions
he first I went alone to the ‘sanity center’ where the girls have their monthly check-up, was really unforgettable. They had already finished taking their blood tests and were waiting for the gynecologist when I arrived. As customary. We try to take advantage of this opportunity to converse with them but at that moment I didn’t know how to start. Finally, one girl took notice of me and asked if I had come also for check-up (we don’t use the habit anymore). Her question brought a sudden blush to my face but I immediately dissimulated it with a big smile while shaking my head. It was then that I was able to have the guts to introduce myself. What a pleasure indeed upon seeing them all ears to my broken Spanish. But I was filled with much surprise when they told me that many of their clients are Filipino seamen. In fact, they have spokes some words in Tagalog like: “Mahal, magkano and bayad mo”?
Hey, Nurse, She’s a Sister
Hardly did we finish our conversation when a nurse came to distribute something to the girls, and kept telling them one by one to use it as prevention from all kinds of venereal disease. As she reached towards. As she reached towards my direction, she also gave me three pieces to my surprise, I almost accepted the rubber sheaths; a good thing that one girls interrupted and said, “Hey, nurse! She’s a sister.” Everybody burst out laughing and you can’t imagine how must I blushed.
God is Powerful
Sometimes I ask myself, “Am I really doing something for these unfortunate women?” or I would tell God how unworthy I am. But I believe He’s powerful enough to be able to manifest His goodness and mercy even through a poor instrument liked me and I remember these words in the Gospel when Jesus said that the prostitutes would go into heaven before many others.