When our team arrived in the Philippines, one of our first prayer intentions was for friendship - that we would become real friends with the people we served. It only took a few weeks for God to answer that prayer. We quickly met Reymond, Reyvise, and Richard - three of the young adults working on the Holy Rosary parish staff and living at the convento or rectory. All three boys are originally from a tribe located in the mountain villages of Magsaysay, Mindanao, but when they were young Fr. Joe adopted them into his household. Living with Father provided them with adequate food and shelter, a good home environment, and a better opportunity for high school and college education.
|Reymond, Reyvise, and Breana enjoy singing and playing music together|
Over the past four months, we have grown to truly love these remarkable young men who inspire us with their devotion to Christ and to the Catholic faith despite difficult life circumstances. They were among our first Bible study attendees and loved singing both English and Visayan praise songs with us. They taught us how to cook Filipino dishes, which were at first so foreign to us. They were patient with us as we began learning our first Visayan words and phrases.
|Richard joins us for a picture in our faculty robes at Holy Rosary's high school graduation|
This week we said a tearful goodbye to the boys. They made the decision to return home to the mountain to find work, ideally in their field of study (electrical engineering), to provide financial support for their families. We can’t know God’s plan - if or when our paths will cross again - but we do know that He placed them in our lives at the perfect time to bring us the joy of true friendship during our first months in a new home.
Thank you, Vise, for your kind and generous heart and for sharing with us your gift of music on the guitar.
Thank you, Richard, for your untiring work for the church and your great knowledge of both English and Visayan.
Thank you, Mae, for your humor, your words of wisdom, and your love for little children.
We love you and miss you guys! God bless you on your newest adventure!