“THAT I MAY BE YOUR HEART TODAY, LORD”
HEALING OF MEMORIES AT HAVEN FOR WOMEN
“Where there is fear I can allay . . . Where there is pain I can heal . . . Where there are wounds I can bind . . .” Putting to heart the lyrics of the song, 13 from Solo Parents, 9 from Singles, 9 from Homestead 2 and 1 from Intercessory, joined the tricords of Institutional Services Ministry, led by Coordinator, Rudy and Ves San Pedro, at Haven for Women last Saturday, March 4, 2017 to share God’s love to the abused and help initiate their recovery through the Healing of Memories.
Some of the victims have been there for years and have chosen to keep a tight lip about their harrowing experience; their ability to trust painfully crushed, especially those whose abuser was a trusted family member or friend. Several were robbed of their innocence at a young age while a number have been beaten by their parents or relatives and forced to flee from home. A few were unwittingly deceived into prostitution which bore them children from different fathers.
In the Opening Prayer, Dodie Tejero’s affirmation of her deliverance from the oppression of painful memories and her moving from being victim to victor, through God’s healing graces, initiated the residents’ confidence in BLD’s sincere efforts to assist them embrace the reality that though they have been abused, the healing power of Jesus can restore their dignity and respect. The opening remarks of Mariecorr Deliverio in her sharing, “Ako ay nilikhang maganda. Ako ay mahalaga. Ako ay mahal ng Diyos.” gave them hope that indeed there is light at the end of the tunnel where they can drink from the Lord’s refreshing springs of love and peace. Baby Delarmente, prayer leader for the Healing of Memories, lovingly expressed her empathy, “Noong nakita ko kayo, nalungkot ako sa kalagayan niyo. Para na rin kayong mga anak ko o mga apo.” Her powerful prayer moved them from being unresponsive and unbending at the start, to surrender to the love of Jesus that paved the way in melting their stony hearts, hardened by years of pent-up anger and pain.
While not all the 45 participants were focused during the healing prayer, with a few murmuring to one another or even giggling, the one-on-one ministering exempted no one from pouring out her emotional burdens that had been weighing her down for years. One heaved a big sigh of relief as she revealed how this was the first time that tears flowed from her eyes. The tender loving care and compassion extended by the healing ministers through their listening ear and intercessory prayers were enough start the healing process. Although our visits are scheduled quarterly, their frequent exposure to the Mass and Word of God through other organizations could hasten their liberation from the shackles of mistrust, indifference, and/or hatred.
During the healing session, members of the Solo Parents Ministry led by their Coordinator, Benny & Badette Nana, attended to 15 babies and kids. Donated toys kept the kids busy at play. 3 sacks of donated unclaimed clothes from a Laundromat through Ton and Ella Flores, LSM Coord., drew the participants to a shopping spree for free with each participant bringing home as much as 6 blouse/shorts/skirt, some of which are even branded. Sincere thanks are likewise in order, for the regular donor of coffee/energen/candies/toiletries through Ada Rodriguez of HS2.
The outreach at Haven for Women was very timely in the light of our Lenten observance of fasting as called for in Isaiah 58: 9-14 which happened to be the 1st reading on that day: “to remove from your midst, oppression . . .and satisfy the afflicted . . .” While reaching the venue was not easy, some having driven kilometers from as far as Quezon City and others commuting, having had to negotiate traffic jams, each volunteer willingly endured the hazards of serving, out of love for the Lord and the desire to share His love “that I may be Your heart today” as the song mentioned in the 1st paragraph ends. Indeed, serving the needs of the less fortunate has its fulfillment as can be seen in the frequent visits of BLD members despite the inconveniences and the fact that they may be wounded as well. Likewise, they may be enjoying the benefits of the promise from Isaiah 58 which motivate them to persevere despite the obstacles, through the power of the Holy Spirit: “Then light shall rise for you in the darkness, and the gloom shall become for you like midday; Then the LORD will guide you always and give you plenty even on the parched land. He will renew your strength, and you shall be like a watered garden, like a spring whose water never fails.”
Ultimately, it will be such a privilege for those who serve wholeheartedly, to enter heaven and hear the words from the lips of Jesus Christ our Lord Himself, “Well done, my good and faithful servant.” (Matthew 25:21)
TO GOD BE THE GLORY!