By: Bong Florendo – CFC FFL Cagayan de Oro
It has been many Sundays ago when a message came to me via SMS with an invite to join up and play music for a household meeting for servant leaders at the Balangaw sa Kalinaw (relocation site for sendong victims), CFC FFL’s Work with the Poor Ministry here in our place. Am so glad to have acceded to the invite because of the many wonderful things I came to experience with brethren and how I fell in love with the place but that’s getting ahead of the story.
I have been away for a few months from the community after being “detached” as SvFL and SFL coordinator. Thought the Lord was calling me for other things and concentrated instead on work and decided to take the extra time to take stock and pray for some things as regards to my service when the call came. At first, I was hesitant to go as I know of no one among the victims except for the local WWP coordinator here. But the Lord always has His way in my life and I found myself trekking the not so good foot trail leading to the relocation site which was hidden among trees and medium thick foliage. What I came to see coming out of the rough and nestled among hills, were beautiful rows of houses and having a majestic view of the uptown part of our city and its mighty river. I call it such as the river can really look deceiving and it was the reason why this place came to be in the first place. Looking around, I was teary eyed and marveled at how the mighty hand of God worked to make all these happen. A clear manifestation of God’s great love for His people. So serene was the place, I felt God’s awesome presence right there and then.
The village is still under construction with about 30 houses completely built up and about 4 more soon to be built. I think 70 houses will be constructed eventually. Roads are still in its raw form, dusty and stony but the promise and possibilities of the place were all there. I can only imagine as to how beautiful this place will be in probably a year or two. Brethren were very accommodating and warm. I went on to play for them during the worship and felt God’s great love envelope my whole being. It’s as if I was being wrapped in a shroud of warm light which made me sweat profusely on a windy Sunday afternoon. Truly, our God can really work miracles. Nothing is ever impossible as long as it is the will of the Father.
I have been coming back since that fateful Sunday. Been teaching brethren some new songs and playing for them during their regular once a week upper household meeting. I have committed likewise to play for them in their regular lower household meetings. The Lord has laid out the work before us. Much has to be done and by the Lord’s grace, I pray that I can share my own 5 cents worth of the work that He has laid out for us here at Balangaw sa Kalinaw.
I still am in awe every time I come here. I feel the Lord working His miracles in this place and in the lives of brethren. I can see hope in their eyes, dignity in their every step, the love and warmth of their smiles and the thirst for the Gospel in their day to day lives. I remember in Ecclesiastes 3: 1-3 it says: “There is a given time for everything and a time for every happening under heaven; a time for giving birth, a time for dying: a time for planting, a time for uprooting. A time for killing, a time for healing; a time for knocking down, a time for building.”