I’m sharing this story to remember what the Lord has done to us and through us during this time of pandemic. I also want to encourage you. Whatever you have in your hands, God can use this to bless others and yourself, too!
On March 25, my friends Mhai and Aizel, the latter who owns a food concessionaire in a school, cooked whatever was left of her concessionaire’s food stock to give out as snacks to frontliners in hospitals around Marikina. The school had closed down even before the ECQ (Enhanced Community Quarantine) was imposed.
About the same time–and oblivious to what they were doing– the Lord was already speaking to me about doing the same thing, but I didn’t know how to start. I saw a post on Facebook about the difficult condition of the soldiers at a checkpoint along Marcos Highway, and that jolted me to begin the work. I asked Aizel if we could work together on it.
It’s awesome how God provides for something He calls you to do because at that time, I didn’t have the resources to finance our little charitable work. But on March 27, I pitched the idea to very close friends and family, hoping they’d catch the vision and be led to help. Help they did! Pledges poured in real quick, and by March 29, just two days after we started pitching the idea, we raised Php 27,000!
God was specific in His instructions for this work: serve the unseen frontliners (soldiers, policemen, street sweepers, and whoever unseen worker we would encounter), provide home cooked meals, AND pray for them. I was quite nervous because it meant that we would be more exposed to the virus, but we decided to go for it, as long as He had us covered!
My friends and I immediately sat down to do our logistics and meal plan for three days.
Here’s our diary:
MARCH 31, DAY 0:
We went to the Marikina public market to buy everything for our project — ingredients, food containers, etc. Aizel’s suki learned about our initiative and donated vegetables on top of what we bought! God bless them!
APRIL 1, DAY 1:
Itinerary: Checkpoints along Sumulong highway, Marcos highway (both sides), the security and utility group of a private tertiary hospital, and St. Victoria hospital.
Meal for the day: crispy sapsap, sliced tomatoes, scrambled egg, and rice
We weren’t sure how to introduce ourselves and to pray for these frontliners, but their responses were encouraging! They all liked to be prayed for. After every prayer, we reminded them to read the Gospel tracts inserted in the food packages. We also learned about the needs of the security and utility group in the hospital. When we finished food distribution, we bought grocery items for them, knowing that they couldn’t go home and were temporarily housed in the hospital without much provision.
APRIL 2, DAY 2:
Itinerary: Same places plus Marcos highway-Felix Ave checkpoint. We also went to the street sweepers in the checkpoints of Lilac St., Soliven St., Marikina City Health Office.
Meal for the day: Pork Adobo
Some soldiers recognized us already, and they asked what group we belonged to. We just said that we were private citizens that the Lord had instructed. Our last stop was delivering supplies to the hospital security and utility personnel.
APRIL 3, DAY 3:
Itinerary: same checkpoints plus Amang Rodriguez Hospital
Meal- Fried chicken and stir-fried vegetables
We were able to pray for a big troop of 25-27 soldiers! Hooray! One of the troop leaders, Major Go, asked us to pray for them for the third time. He said, “Oo ma’am, sa panahon ngayon mas kailangan talaga namin yung prayers niyo. Ibe-bless kayo talaga ni Lord kasi tumutulong kayo sa mga tulad namin.”
We paused for the weekend to rest and recover.
APRIL 6, 4TH & LAST DAY
Itinerary: same checkpoints plus St. Vincent Hospital ER & St. Anthony Hospital ER
Meal- Purefoods hotdog sandwiches
Overall, this day was physically taxing, but our spirits soared above the clouds! The joy is unique whenever you are able to bless others and point them to the Lord.
All in all, we distributed 543 food packs to our frontliners.
Thank you to everyone who helped make this possible:
Tita Tina and Janina Rivera, my sister Toni Lomague, Kahlil Santiago, Cheryl Houghton-Capili, Louie Landicho, Katherine Fernandez-Asis, and Ate Cecille Nabiula.
May the Lord return the blessings to you a hundredfold!
Thank you, Mommy Christie and Daddy Zardo, for letting us use the kitchen. Thank you, Ate Mary, for helping us with the preparations. Thank you, Marikina Christian Fellowship, and Pastor Migs for your donations and for lending us your big pan and giant rice cookers.Thank you, Ate Beth Mortiz Flores and family, for the Gospel tracts!
To my fellow servants, teammates, and friends–Aizel Eugenio and Mhai Flores– to live is Christ! Thanks, Agnes and Daisy, for the moral support. I’m super blessed to share the same heart with you all!
To our frontliners, may the Lord continue to protect, strengthen, and sustain you as you serve our countrymen. Mabuhay kayo!
And last and greatest of all, Father God. We give You all glory, honor and praise!
Joyce Salvador can be likened to a beautiful, talking sandal in Marikina, the land of shoes! She cares to walk to different places so soldiers and policemen and other unseen heroes won’t go hungry.