Sunday, May 14, 2017

2017-05-14 None of Us Can Do It Without "Helpers"

Every day, across the Philippines, workers crowd into jeepneys, squished in an open air extra long jeep so they can get places without having to walk for miles in the heat.  They squish in until there IS NO room, then they hang onto the back. (Hanging onto the back is "bawal" or forbidden for missionaries.)    They ride for a long time to get where they need to work.  Often they have to change jeepneys or take a train or trike...and then they walk to wherever they work.  It is not uncommon for people to travel 1-2 or more hours daily to get to their work.  Then, at the end of the day, they return home.  Because so many people are doing that, the transportation is very slow and crowded. A job is a precious possession.  They sacrifice a lot to work.

Last night, we had all the "helpers" and their families over for dinner.  Each of these people have served us and served the missionaries.  They have sacrificed in order to provide for their families.  Their job has not just been a job, it has been a sacred service because they have been serving their God through serving us and the missionaries.  They have been such a blessing to us!

   Lumen, in the center, has been helping by cleaning house and ironing twice a week for the past year.  She is a humble, single sister who smiles and tells me each morning how grateful she is and how happy she is to be working at the mission home.  She brought Sister Veni and the bishop and his wife because they are "her family".

 Caleb sang a song for all of them.  It brought a beautiful spirit. He's a good sport to sing whenever his dad asks him to.

  Michael on the left is our gardener.  He and his sons dressed up for the dinner so they would be appropriate.  His family traveled over 2 hours to come to the dinner and did the same on the way home.  He works two half days a week on our yard and keeps it immaculate.  He trims the grass with hand shears.  Everything is done by hand.  He works the other 1/2 days at another mission home about an hour away.  He spends half his day traveling to and from.  Yet he is very cheerful and grateful for his work.  He had the chance to move and go work taking care of a rich family's home, but he chose to stay here.  He is a person who loves his work and his stewardship.

 Nenita, in the middle, has been working cleaning the house and doing laundry twice a week. When I interviewed her for the job, she found out I was also interviewing Lumen who happened to be a friend of hers.  She would not accept the job because she wanted Lumen to work.  Lumen said the same thing when she found that Nenita was being interviewed.  They are both so selfless and kind.  As you can see, we ended up hiring both of them, and they are a wonderful team.

Angel, in the center, was our househelper for the first two years.  She and her husband have raised some very successful children as well as several nieces. Now she has two grandchildren, so she stays home and helps care for them.  But she still comes and cooks her delicious food when we have MLC, Departing Missionaries and Transfer Day.  She was there for us in the very beginning when we knew nothing.  She has been through the ups and downs with us. We are so grateful for her.

Nancy is our caterer.  She and her husband provide all the food for our zone conferences.  She and her daughters brought the food for our "helper's dinner" and it was really appreciated, especially by all the Filipinos!

Michaels' sons will grow up to be great missionaries.  The shorter one is Caleb's age.  Maybe they will serve together on their missions!

What a wonderful group of wonderful people who love to serve the missionaries!