God’s new set of blessings are indeed wrapped in various degrees of challenges and seeming disappointments. And God is gracious and merciful! The gifts are being unwrapped before my amazed eyes from fear to courage, from sorrows to joy, from want to abundance, from crises to celebration!
- I was fearful because my field worker, who was serving one of the poorest communities among the Typhoon Pablo devastated areas, was ‘red-tagged’ by an army lieutenant. The army general of the whole division, along with his colonels, came from their headquarters (about two hours drive) to Davao City to listen to my staff and to assure us that they welcome what we’re doing in those critical areas. Early this week, we got confirmation that the general and his staff would talk with us again. We feel encouraged that our non-partisan and active non-violent approach to peacebuilding would continue.
- I was sad that some powerful and corrupt local government officials seem to be jeopardizing our dream of helping a tribal village. But my team and I are now encouraged that a representative of a national agency affirmed their support to Joji’s vision. Yesterday, the senior officials of this national agency accompanied Joji and our field operations leader to the site of the project to continue building the structures based on our vision. Last night, they reported what we felt God is actually doing through honest government officials. We ended the day with so much joy in our hearts!
- Every payday, Joji and I are prompted to pray for funds. Our staff members have to pay their bills and some of them have families to feed. We also have to maintain our peacebuilding operations based on Joji’s financial philosophy: Low cost, high impact. This morning, I got notifications that our partners have deposited some funds in PBCI bank account just in time to continue our operations for this quarter. For us, this is abundance!
- Along with some of my fellow peacebuilders from various civil society organizations, I feel our nation is facing a crisis due to the breakdown of the talks between the Government of the Philippines (GPH) and the National Democratic Front (NDF). Jose Maria Sison, NDF’s chief consultant, already warned of increased attacks from their armed wing, the New People’s Army (NPA). I still hope, by faith, that there will be a peaceful resolution to this protracted political and military conflict between the GPH and the NDF. With many people praying, with many people working together for peace, with God’s grace and mercy on our land, I envision the day when we are celebrating peace and reconciliation between the GPH and the NDF. I envision the day when the so-called left wing of our land, and the right wing of our land, will both realize that they are needed as two wings of the same dove of peace! What a celebration that would be!
Life is really great!