From Laundry to Ministry

IT’s such a great honor for me to be sharing my life story.

In the Anawim Home for Abandoned Elderly, I am employed as a laundry staff.

I collect and wash the clothes of the elderly and the linens they use. The tricky, challenging part of the job is making sure the clothes and linens are folded properly and returned to the lolo or lola to whom they belong.

An additional duty is washing the plates, utensils, glasses, and other items after meals for the elderly.

I feel so blessed I am doing all these for our elderly. And I am beyond grateful that I’ve found this job which is not work, but more like a ministry, a service for our lolos and lolas with no family, no one to take care of them– so that I’ve been called to be among their servants.

And to think I did not plan to be serving in Anawim.

Birthday Gift!

Let me tell you my story…

I was born on April 17, 1962, so I will be 62 this April 17, 2024.

I guess this is God’s birthday gift to me! I am so blessed!

But I am thinking this is my birthday giveaway to readers, especially those who I pray will be inspired by God’s Grace for someone like me who didn’t have much in life.

I mean, my family is of modest means… So, in the interview questionnaire asking for “Education,” I simply put “Grade 3– 1972.” That’s because

I can’t remember anymore the elementary school I went to, and I did not reach high school or college.

We lived on a farm near the Anawim Home in Montalban (now Rodriguez), Rizal. And we were nakikiani.

That means the farm was owned by a well-off family. Enduring long hours under the heat of the sun, we helped in harvesting the palay (rice grain) the farm produce, and we received just a portion of the harvest.

In 1979, I met the love of my life at the farm, Domingo Yumul.

We’re blessed with four children, now all adults, from extreme left: Bernie, 43; Maria Teresa, 39; Juan Paulo, 37; and Mary Grace, 34

In 1994, Domingo suffered pneumonia, and he passed away in the same year.

Hence, with my children, then barely in their teens, I struggled to make do with what we received as farmhands.

Divine Design

What I have much to say about is how God designed to turn my plight around for a better life for us.

I happened to have a friend, Lolita San Jose, who happened to live near the Anawim Home. There, early on, Bro. Bo Sanchez was living for some time, and he led a regular prayer meeting. And Lolita attended the meetings.

One day in 1996, Lolita invited me to attend the prayer meeting. And with my four children, I attended.

One month later, on the fourth time that we were attending the meeting, Bro. Bo (left) announced that Anawim needed an employee to help take care of the lolos and lolas.

And Anawim offered me the job!

Although I didn’t know much about taking care of the elderly, I promptly accepted the offer.

Eventually, I got the hang of the service procedures. Today, my children and I live in Southville 8B, San

Isidro, Rodriguez, Rizal–no longer under the punishing conditions we struggled through on the farm.

Over and above the material provision, we are ever grateful for the spiritual nourishment we’ve been blessed with. Because here, we have the Anawim Feast Light with builder Bro. Hermie

Morelos, chairman of our Light of Jesus Mercy Ministry (left, with ever-supportive wife, Sis. Reng) and co-builder Sis. Babes Zambrano (right) Anawim’s Spiritual Ministry head.

Held every Wednesday, our Anawim Feast Light blesses us with amazing Worship, life-changing, inspiring talks, and fun fellowship with co-members making us feel so loved.

Yes, I have experienced profound blessings in my life.

The sense of belonging to a supportive Community has brought me comfort and strength during challenging times.

What God Calls Me

As I write this, I realize that God has well designed a good life for me– since way back in the day, beginning with my name. It is said that it is not an accident that you get the name you have. I mean, there’s a reason for your name and you become what your name means. True.

With the help of Anawim Herald editors, I found out the origin and the meaning of my name.

Consuelo is of Latin or Spanish origin, meaning consolation, comfort. Indeed, God has well consoled me and provided the comfort my children and I now enjoy. Consuelo also is short for the Marian name

Emocling, my middle name, represents compassion, creativity, reliability, generosity, loyalty. Now, those are what I’ve become as I serve my Anawim lolos and lolas.

Also, emocling is said to mean love for domestic life. Isn’t that my life now as a laundry staff of Anawim?

Now, about my surname, Reyes. It is a Spanish name derived from the Latin regis meaning kings. In the Bible, the name De los Reyes, means of the kings, referring to the Magi, the three kings who visited the newly-born King of the World: Jesus Christ.

I love that my name is connected with Mama Mary and our Lord Jesus.

For indeed, they have always been with me– directing me to God’s call for me to serve Him and His people most in need.

As I said, with my humble beginnings, I did not imagine or plan to transition from farmhand to laundry staff which is really now my Anawim Ministry.

But now, what I say about that is what I learned in the Anawim Feast Light– the Bible verse Luke 1:37 that now I live by:

For nothing will be impossible with God.

All Glory to God!

This story was first published in the Feast Family Online News Magazine.

Published by THE FEAST MERCY MINSTRY (April 28 , 2024)