Updated: Oct 27, 2019
// Transcript of Anj's sharing at Glasgow, Scotland, UK during CFC Singles For Christ UK, National Conference 2019 //
My name is Anj and I have been part of the SFC community since 2017 and what a transformative experience it’s been — to be surrounded by people who are as equally passionate about serving the Lord and spreading His Word.
But, that’s not always been the case for me particularly when I was young. Today, I narrate my story of abuse from my distant past and how the compassion from someone rescued me from the pains.
Back when I was around 6 years old, my parents were too busy working in Manila that it left them with no choice but to leave me with my grandmother who was then, living in the province. Under her care, I was abused.
She chained me up using dog chain that was strapped in a table, so I could not escape whenever she left for town.
She thought it would stop me from doing silly things and that it was for my own safety.
She would also feed me with just coffee or milk mixed with rice or with veggies harvested from our backyard. Food was scarce that I became so malnourished.
She would also bite me, spanked, pinched and worst, burnt me using cigarette. Whenever I cried, it would irritate her that she’d put chilli / sili labuyo on my mouth to shut me up.
At that time, I was mentally, physically and emotionally exhausted that I tried to escape. I managed to remove the chains and escaped hoping someone would find and save me. Unfortunately, my lola’s friend saw me and took me home to my lola. When her friend left, physical abuse resumed and got worse. My lola had a piggery, so it gave her the idea to place me in the same cage as the pigs. She told me that if I was hungry, I was to eat “kanin baboy” or leftovers. I was in the cage for 2 days until my lola’s caretaker saw me sleeping there with bruises all over my body. She immediately called DSWD (Department of Social Welfare & Development) and Bantay Bata (Save the Children). A social worker came to my rescue and took me to an orphanage while investigation was on going. The incident was in our local tabloid newspaper. I was then returned to my parents and we moved to Subic.
If I am to look back at the incident, it’s amazing how one stranger felt compassionate about my situation, more compassionate than my own blood. If it wasn’t for her goodness, would I have made it through? Would I be standing here in front of you?
As the parable of the Good Samaritan, I felt that I could relate to the traveller who was robbed, left helpless from the abuser, worse from my own lola. My other relatives chose to remain blinded by the situation. I felt betrayed. I trusted them to protect me, but just like the Priest in the parable, they crossed the road, walked past and acted like they neither saw me nor heard my cry for help. Then, when I managed to escape, I was returned to my lola by her friend, again choosing to disregard my cries, just like the Levite, instead of bringing me to safety; I was punished. Until someone, not of my own blood, someone I least expected, came to my rescue. A good Samaritan who was compassionate towards me saved me from my lola and contacted DSWD. As she was working as a carateker, she was willing to risk her job, her only source of income, to protect someone like me, who was not even her family.
Now, brothers and sisters, who could you relate to the most in the parable?
Are you like the Priest or the Levite who knows the teachings of Jesus but not act on it? Or, do you practise compassion and selfless love; who sees beyond boundaries just like the Samaritan?
I think, brothers and sisters, we should aim to be just like the good Samaritan, to be more like Jesus in everything that we do. To be His hands, feet and mouth on Earth. To represent Him in the best way we can. As someone who has experienced love and security from a stranger, instead of feeling fear, it’s placed me in a humble position, wanting to do the same in my future encounters, desiring to return the love and to protect the vulnerable.
And, as Jesus said at the end of the parable of the Good Samaritan,
“Go and do likewise..”
Brothers and sisters, Jesus placed this challenge before us. Let’s embrace it, equipped with what we learned from this year’s conference and together, let us represent Jesus well.
And, for that, may God be praised.
// Anj //