Thursday, January 14, 2010

Seeing the Face of Jesus

Last Thursday, Millard Villaverde came with us to QC jail because he was convicted by the Gospel reading that morning during his prayer time, "...he has sent me to proclaim liberty to the captives." When would he go, he thought, he had a lot to do. But when he continued reading, the Word continued, "Today this Scripture has been fulfilled..." (Luke 4) so he obeyed God's marching orders and was blessed. Truly with obedience comes blessing! He was rewarded right away! One of the things he had to do was arrange a schedule with a priest he usually has to run after, but this time was different! The priest called him up while he was on his way to the jail! God took care of his work, just as He promised to take care of ours when we go serve in the prison!

After Luigi gave a detailed bible study about the first chapter of Genesis, Charlie asked questions about the lesson and it was a lot of fun seeing how eager the inmates were to answer (and receive the prizes that Flora Tecson provided). Then Millard gave an inspired sharing which was applauded several times. Truly he was sent by God to minister to our "captive audience"! He shared eloquently how he used weapons of goodness and humility in his fight against an injustice done to him. We ended with Danny Carreon enthusiastically asking our brothers in the prison to list all the verses in the old and new testament about "Do not fear." He said there were more than 350 verses and he would give a prize to the winner who found the most!

This Thursday, Millard texted asking me who would give the talk and what was the topic. I responded that I didn't know, the Holy Spirit would lead as He usually does! True enough, our meeting was very charismatic! Ben started off with a teaching about obedience to God. Then Judith Alpay shared tearfully and earnestly about God's message to her for this year about obedience, "Whatever He says to you, do it." (John 2:5) She ended with a song about obedience. Millard was inspired to share too and ended with singing, "Hindi Kita Malilimutan." Charlie joked that he would have to practice singing as the bar has been raised higher for the sharers!

We were surprised at how many took Danny Carreon's challenge seriously and listed bible verses about "Do not fear". The winner listed 250 verses. We gave him and the other brothers who painstakingly listed verses, t- shirts from the donations during our Christmas Eve mass.

It is indeed inspiring to see God's hand. When we obey Him, He more than meets us half way. We do not need to fear. He sends many companions on our journey. Today we also had Dory Concepcion, Lily Innumerable, Jenny Maniego and Malou Bautista from North-E.

Malou shares, "Nakita ko ang mukha ni Jesus sa mga prisoner, wala kang makikita sa mukha nila kung di ngiti at wala kang maririnig sa bibig nila kung di maraming salamat at ramdam ko galing sa puso nila. Si Jesus ang nangusap sa akin nung oras nayon nagpapasalamat at ngumiti sa pagdalaw natin sa kanya sa kulungan." (I saw the face of Jesus in the prisoners. You can't see anything in their faces but smiles, and you can't hear anything but gratitude that I feel comes from their hearts. It was Jesus who spoke to me at that time, who thanked and smiled at me during our visit with him in jail.)

December 18, 2009

I am so proud of my community! Because of their generosity, we were able to collect P41,500.00 in cash and so much in kind and quantity from our sector and the central sector, for QC Jail.

Yesterday, we heard
mass with Fr. Noel in the jail and his homily was brilliant. He said that at first he was kind of scared but when he saw the eyes of the inmates, he wasn't scared anymore and he thanked us for inviting him. We were so touched during mass, with the fervency of the singing and how everyone participated. It was quite an experience seeing the inmates all raise their hands during the Lualhati sa Diyos, hold hands during the Ama Namin (Our Father), and show the peace sign to everyone during the peace be with you!

We provided hotdog sandwiches, fruit salad, pancit and water for merienda afterwards. Our gift packs for 260 inmates included a pair of shorts, a bar of detergent, a towel, soap, toothpaste, shampoo, crackers, cookies, 3 packs of noodles, a chocolate bar, coffee, and a gospel tract. One inmate said that our gift packs were good enough for two! They were as happy as children to receive it and we could see them looking through their loot and waving to us and saying thank you. We were also able to give token gift packs to the guards and rehab office workers which included gospel tracts also.

We gave Jopet one of the really nice beach shorts that Toby E. gave and when we saw him, he was wearing it already! He liked it! He has testified twice already and will be cross examined on January 19. Please pray for that as that is important for his case.

Let us continue to pray for conversion of hearts and minds. We plan on conducting an LSS there next year. Our next meeting will be on Thursday, January 7, 2010. Please also pray for more workers as the harvest is PLENTY!

Thank you to Vic Vianzon for helping us find Fr. Noel. He did such a good job with the homily, the prisoners were inviting him to have a regular 'slot' ! Thank you to Lily who volunteered to help us pack the gifts for the inmates! I didn't realize we needed help actually, but it was a lot of work! Thank you to Ben, Dory, Lily, Vic and Clair who joined us for the mass.

Thank you, THANK YOU! for all for your prayers, cash donations and contributions. May God, the Giver of every good gift, bring the gifts that the world cannot give to your doorstep this Holy Season and the coming year.