And the King will answer them, ‘Truly, I say to you, as you did it to one of the least of these my brothers, you did it to me.’ – Matthew 25:40 (ESV)
“Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in[a] the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit.” – Matthew 28:19 (ESV)
With 41 volunteers, mostly women and only 10 are men, our group met at Ministop, Robinsons Galleria at 5:00 am last November 25, 2017 despite the looming bad weather and some of us are coming straight from night shift work.
With the generosity of sponsors, we rented four vans and hauled big heavy bags and boxes of goods with a mission to minister to 30 Aeta families with group activities and provide feeding and hygiene program in Sitio Ariada, Brgy. Alangan, Limay, Bataan.
Upon arriving to the end of asphalt road, we walked for about an hour. And because the men are outnumbered, even our women both young and old also carried these heavy items. Our hearts as volunteers are just overwhelming with gratefulness for God’s blessings in our lives and we all went there to serve for God’s glory.
The big smiles on the faces of Aeta kids as they welcome us were just priceless. We opened the program with a prayer, sang songs of praise on top of a hill under the heat of the noonday sun.
Afterwards, we segregated them into groups as we shared with them the Good News through the Gospel bracelet.
Because both the volunteers and donors have given more than enough, we were able to bless 34 families with solar lamps, 4 kilos of uncooked rice, blanket, coffee, sugar, salt, detergent bar, 3 pairs of slippers, 7 canned goods, 5 noodles, and 54 kids with 2 loot bags each (with candies and chocolates), 2 big Fuji apples, 1 big milk, 3 packs of wafers and biscuits, toothpaste, toy bubbles, gelatin, toys, coloring books, crayons, pad paper, and pencils and pens.
After we served them with chicken pork Adobo and pansit for lunch, we enjoyed ourselves with this “Adobo fiesta.” Because we’re all tired and hungry, Adobo never tasted this good!
When we’re about to finish the distribution of these lifestyle goods, it rained so hard. And for us who were busy outside, we had to take shelter under a big tarpaulin which used to be the wall of our makeshift comfort room.
We finished at past 3:30 pm, but had to wait for the rain to stop before we could pack-up and leave. As the sun was setting, we closed in prayer and took more group photos. Because of that heavy rain, the fertile soil of the hills became a muddy threat to our safety as many of us have slipped and hurt ourselves in the process of going down the hills.
Our Aeta brothers, grateful for the blessings we shared with them, helped us solved this problem by carving out our pathway with pick-axe and shovel so that we don’t slip in the mud anymore. We felt so special and cared for. This was our version of “red carpet exit.”
Upon reaching the vans, we had to clean-up our heavily muddied shoes. One volunteer even just left her pair of shoes behind because it had become so unusably dirty.
It was already evening when we were welcomed back by the heavy traffic of Manila. We brought home a mixture of exhaustion and inspiration brought about by this successful #smsPanginoon Aeta Gospel Outreach.
With very tired bodies but still with grateful hearts, our lives were used fruitfully in service of our Aeta brothers and sisters in the mountains of Limay, Bataan. And I’m pretty sure we’ve left them with really fun and wonderful memories of this eventful day…to God be the glory!
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All photos by Jun Alcazar.
Watch this video with the slideshow of photos…