“There was a point during my first few months in the US when I struggled so hard to move forward with my life. I remember praying so hard to God, promising that when He blesses me with a stable job/source of income, I will not stop helping the less fortunate families back home (in the Philippines). In a matter of weeks, I was able to get my sweet surprise: a job offer that is way beyond what I have been hoping for.
By then I started to look for a charitable organization I can support to help me fulfil my promise. Through the help of Joana and Janina, I discovered Saving Grace and Joseph Feeding Mission. These 2 organizations have been a real blessing to me. Last month, I finally had the opportunity to reach out fire surviving families in Malabon. All I can say is that I felt humbled with the experience, to actually be there in person. Many thanks to Janina, Janis, Jam and the rest of the JFM group for making this experience possible. I know my support in the past years are not left in vain, and I promise to continue with any assistance that I can.”
This was what Warren emailed me when I asked him to write a short paragraph about his thoughts when we went to the feeding site of Joseph Feeding Mission (JFM) in Malabon. He was on a short vacation and insisted that we participate in one of JFM’s feedings. He said it was humbling, and it showed him where his monthly help has been reaching.
One very early, humid April morning, Warren and I went to Catmon, Malabon, with the JFM team. There were 200 families who survived the fire last Holy Week. “Survivors, not victims”, as rightfully mentioned by our head, Sis. Gem. The group’s message was loud and clear: we were there that morning, not just to give food for the body, but also food for the soul. At the end of the day, the porridge that was consumed by the kids and their parents, and the giveaways may fade, but the spiritual nourishment knowing that God loves them and God will be with them to see them through the tough situation, will remain in their hearts.
Aside from the ones who lined up under the sun for some food, rice, clothes and Bibles, what amazed me that day were the volunteers of JFM. Always smiling, and talking to them, asking how they are and giving encouraging words. Simply listening to those conversations uplifted me, so I can just imagine what it did to these families.
It was almost lunch time when we started packing up. The clothes, Bibles, and packed rice that we brought, and the porridge that was served are all gone, they were all shared with the families. But for me and Warren, we are bringing home a remarkable experience—I think that the survivors touched our hearts more than we touched theirs!
Anywhere we go, I know that we will always go back to that day, that moment, to remind us that the reason why we are blessed is to be a blessing to others.
To the admin and volunteers of JFM, I know Warren’s words are priceless. Being able to bridge the benefactors to beneficiaries is a gruelling yet fulfilling task, and recognizing that, with a promise that they are not alone in this mission; that there will always be support elsewhere is a great thing to keep in their minds and hearts as they set out on new locations every week.
To know more about the Joseph Feeding Mission, check out: josephfeeding.org
(Photos courtesy of Joseph Feeding Mission and myself)