Give praise, O heavens and rejoice, O earth…because Yahweh has comforted his people and has shown mercy to his poor ones.—Isaiah 49:13
IN Hebrew, the word for poor ones is anawim.
Last June 1, 2022, a group composed of persons who used to be anawim—poor ones, abandoned by people who should have taken care of them—sang and danced and enjoyed a feast, celebrating with overflowing praise 27 years of the home that welcomed them and has been giving them a comfortable, happy life.
This is the Anawim Home for Abandoned Elderly, the very first Mercy Ministry of our Light of Jesus Family (LOJ).
Bro. Bo and Sis. Pilar Sanchez lead groundbreaking ceremonies for the new Anawim homes. With them are the donors, from left: Bro. Erwin Bulatao, Sis. Aida Dy,
Sis Lynda Reyes, Sis. Donna and Bro. Rolly España
Founded by Bro. Bo Sanchez, with his parents Gene and Pilar, and his five sisters, LOJ started in 1980 , first holding office at the Sanchez home at 56 Chicago Street Cubao, Quezon City, and then renting an apartment at the nearby
60 Chicago. LOJ first held its prayer meetin gs at the garage of the Sanchez home, and then rented function halls to hold its events such as retreats and fund-raising activities for its charities.
A decade plus after— in 1994, to be exact—an LOJ member kindly donated a family property at Sitio Tanag, Barangay San Isidro, Montalban — apparently for LOJ to have a place for its events. But in deep prayer, Bro. Bo realized what we needed was a place where we could build a home for the poor.
In December 1994, Anawim Lay Missions was born. Then, we pegged the official founding anniversary of our Anawim Home for Abandoned Elderly in March 1995—the time we officially registered Anawim Lay Missions Foundation (ALMS) Inc. with the Securities and Exchange Commission as a non-stock, non-profit charitable foundation.
First House Mother
Through the years, we have been celebrating Anawim’s founding anniversary not always exactly in the month of March.
We timed our festivit ies on a day we celebrate other significant events. One of them is the birthday of Sis. Trinidad Mangahas who was born on June 7, 1925.
Tita Neneng, as we lovingly call her, was a neighbor of the Sanchezes. So, she was among the first they invited to join LOJ in 1980.
In an article about Tita Neneng, Bro. Bo recalls: “She was a short, plumpish, silver – haired, never-been-married woman with a contagious laugh and a heart as big as a boat.
For years, she was a very successful businesswoman who owned a gigantic canteen in a hospital. All her life, she cooked and fed people. If she fed a human being and that human being said, ‘Sarap! (Delicious),’ she was in Heaven.
Tita Neneng eventually served as the very first House Mother in Anawim.
Above, Sis. Trinidad Mangahas ( left) with Sis. Julia de Jesus, also a staunch supporter of Anawim.
Bro. Bo continues: “As their leader, people greeted me with respect.
But when Tita Neneng walked into the venue, everyone stood up and adored her. Because each week, without fail, she brought a humongous pot of steaming tinola (chicken soup with papaya and chili leaves) for everyone.
Tita Neneng brought to Anawim not only food for the body but also food for the soul, as she led Worship sessions, and served as well as spiritual adviser to everyone—the elderly, the Anawim leaders, personnel, volunteer servants — inspiring all of us with her steadfast faith in God, manifested in loving us without condition.
Sadly, on November 10, 2008, Tita Neneng died of a massive heart attack. She was 83 years old. So, we fondly remember Tita Neneng whenever we mark our Anawim anniversary, and oftentimes timing our celebration in June, her birthday month.
This year, we held our Anawim Year 27 celebration on June 1, 2022, the day most of our participants could attend our festivities.
Here, enjoy glimpses of our happy day…
Fr. Romeo Nimez presides over Thanksgiving Mass
BRO. HERMIE MORELOS , chairman, LOJ Mercy Ministries :
Visiting our lolos and lolas adds life to them and to us!
BRO. ENG SI : Our lolos and lolas, thank you! Because of your intercessions, the number of our attendees at The Feast are increasing more and more!
BRO. GIL RAMISCAL, member, LOJ Pioneer Council of Elders, with wife Lita: With Bro. Bo Sanchez, we set the foundations of Anawim. Today we honor those who sacrifice to continue our mission : Below, from my left: Bro. Caloy Dimson, Anawim Center director;
Sis. Aida Dy and Sis Lynda Reyes, indefatigable supporter s, donating funds and gathering more contributions. Here, they turn over to Anawim, through
Bro. Hermie, a check amounting to P1 million in celebration of Anawim Year 27.
Thank you to Bro. Caloy, Sis. Babes Zambrano, Anawim spiritual adviser, and all our hardworking servants and supporters!
BRO. JON ESCOTO, head, LOJ Prison Ministry :
Lolos and lolas , you are always in our prayers.
May God bless you more and more with good health.
Below, Bro. Hermie thanks The Feast Builders who make Anawim happy as they relentlessly campaign in their Feast for contributions to sustain our Mercy Ministries, from left: Bro. Adrian Panganiban, Bro. Jon; Bro. Eng Si, Bro. Darwin Zuñiga, and Bo. Bryan Aguilar.
The fun continues as The Feast Builders, led by Bro. Jodi Hizon (right) dance with our happy lolas! Bro. Gil and Sis. Lita reward them with a yummy cake!
Actually, the fun has just begun ! Dementia may plague the elderly. But not our lolas –so thrilled as Feast Builders belt out songs they don’t forget…
VETERAN SINGER-ACTOR BRO. ADRIAN PANGANIBAN:
Kung tayo ay matanda na, sana’y ‘di tayo magbago…—When we’re already old, hope we won’t change…Nagtatanong lang sa ‘yo, ako pa kaya’y ibigin mo.– Just asking if you will still love me Kung maputi na ang buhok ko?–Even when my hair is already gray…–Kahit Maputi Na ang Buhok Ko by Barbie Forteza and Rey Valera.
BRO. RANDEL SERRANO:
Hindi kita malimot I cannot forget you… Isinusumpa ko—I swear Sa’yong kagandahan—over your beauty Na ikaw lamang—That you’re the only one Ang tangi kong minamahal— I ever love Hindi kita malimot —I cannot forget you…— Hindi Kita Malimot by Carol Banawa
Not to be outdone, our lolas and lolos impress with an action song, with the Anawim Music Ministry and coached by Bro. Jonathan Serrano, Music Ministry head.
More, More Dancing
Recently, our Jeremiah 33 Foundation for abused minor girls transferred headquarters to our Anawim property complex. So, our beneficiaries get to participate in Anawim’s exciting events. Here, the girls gamely render a dance number during our Anawim Year 27 feast.
Anawim Ladies— hardworking in their respective office assignments, graceful in their dance presentation for or lolos and lolas.
Male workers, a.k.a Anawim Boys— gyrate with a wacky dance, bringing the house down!
BRO. CARLOS DIMSON, Anawim Center executive director: Thank you, everyone, for celebrating with us Anawim’s 27th Founding Anniversary.
Let us continue taking care of our lolos and lolas .We are here because of them. Let us continue to support our Anawim leaders.
Again thank you all! God bless you!
BRO. HERMIE MORELOS: We may forget Him because we are busy with our work.
But God will never forget us. Because He loves us.
Special Thank You to Shepherd’s Voice Radio and Television
(SVRTV) Fund Raising (for Mercy Ministries) and Human Resources Management team, from left: Ministry Head Ruby Albino, Carmina
Figueroa, Amie Fortaleza, Jing Rangsajo, Kim Alvez, Joya Aduan, Hazel Rimpillo, Arnold Gomez, and Jed Consolacion.
BRO. JON ESCOTO: First, let’s pray for our benefactors. They are the reason we are able
to continue our Ministry:
Father, thank you very much for your good and gracious Hand, for the unending flow of blessings we so feel through the benefactors You send us. Lord, thank You, because You will surely
reward them – whether they like it or not, they will be blessed, because this is Your promise to them.
We thank You because this is not for our own sake, but for us to be able to help and give joy to more persons. Thank You for continuing to give more blessings to the people You love. Grant them good health, strengthen their relationship with their family , and continue to provide for their needs.
Next, let us pray over our lolos and lolas :
Lord, thank You very much for the great blessing You have given us through our lolos and lolas. Continue to remind them that their blessings have just begun, their story has just begun towards higher levels of grace, joy, and well- being. Because Jesus, when You are with us, the best is yet to come always, for all of us. Thank You, Lord.
Let’s pray for the Jeremiah children:
Lord, You have a great dream for these children. You will not allow that this dream will not come true. And this dream will not be changed by poverty, not by evil intentions of others. Your great dream for them will prevail. May You remind this to them, so that they may have hope. Pour out Your love for them and may they feel this love, may they follow You , and may they share this love to others.
Let us not forget to pray for all those helping u s:
Lord, we pray for those who are supporting us – the caregivers, the doctors, the nurses—all of them. Lord, they offered their service , so, return to them this grace many times over. This is what You are doing. And You are the One who will fill them up with their needs. We lift to You their dreams. Listen to the prayers of their heart. Take care of them while they take care of those You love.
Mother Mary, we lift t all of them to your heart . Put them into the loving embrace of Jesus. Amen.
FR.ROMEO NIMEZ : Lord, may our prayers reach your heart—our prayers for our lolos and lolas, our Jeremiah children, our benefactors, and all those helping us, all who offered themselves, their time, at Your service.
Bless them all and be their Light.
Bless the food we shall receive . And may we always remember You are our strength, You are our life, and You give us everything we need.
All these we ask in the Name of Jesus , with the Holy Spirit. Amen.
Anawim Year 27 Photos by Ed L. Santiago Video by John Edward Consolacion