On December 8, 2016 – the Solemnity of the Immaculate Conception, the Ministry Office started the commitment to sponsor a Feeding Program in Happy Land, Tondo Manila every quarter. The hope is that this will be done four times a year: on December 8, Solemnity of the Immaculate Conception, March 25, Feast of the Annunciation, June 27, Feast of the Perpetual Help, and September 8, the Birthday of the Blessed Virgin.
Good Shepherd Sisters in the Philippines are members of the Association of Major Religious Superiors in the Philippines (AMRSP). In 1974 the TFUC (Task Force on Urban Concientization) was created as one of AMRSP’s Mission Partners. Its Mission is to provide support services to the urban poor towards their total development and empowerment, and to involve the religious and lay professionals in the struggles, aspirations and needs of the urban poor.
The TFUC helped the sisters in coordinating with the families of Happy Land in order to determine who can benefit the first feeding activity. The community has four barangays and the 100 children from 5 to 10 years old were chosen from these four barangays to equally give a chance to every child who are most in need.
Through the help of our lay mission partners, Ditas, Sen and Pacita Panopio, the menu was decided on, composed of packed rice with pork adobo and boiled egg on top of it. Tita Ditas together with Nanay Grace, our House Parent from Ruhama, cooked the adobo and boiled the eggs. Chocolates and candies were given as dessert which the children enjoyed so much. As expected the portion was more than enough for the children, so they happily took the left-overs home to share it with their siblings.
One of the challenges faced by the group was how to get to the multi – purpose hall where the children would be fed. The road is muddy and narrow because of tons and tons of garbage in the area. Since our service could not go through the area, despite the skilful driving ability of Ka Itong, the group managed by hiring a man with his TRICYKAD and the help of some parents in carrying the food.
For this first activity of feeding the children, we are truly grateful to generous benefactors especially to our faithful lay partner in mission, Tess Barzaga who helped raising funds to make this possible. We are equally thankful to the women from San Andres Bukid who helped in cooking rice early morning of December 8 and packing food together with our Ruhama girls and Staff.
We know that Mama Mary is smiling as she looks at the children enjoying the food on her feast. At the same time, we were able to once more prove that the invitation to do a mission is happily accomplished when efforts are put together for the glory of God and for the sake of God’s people.
Submitted by Sr. Ananita Borbon