Someone Listened to Me

THE Light of Jesus Pastoral Care is a 24/7 Ministry that provides psycho-spiritual support to the emotionally burdened. As described in an earlier article in The FEAST FAMILY on the Ministry, you may tap its online website and someone is there to attend to you any time of the day, and to provide emotional support amid your difficulties.

I am truly blessed to support this Ministry as a donor.

But the truth is that LOJ Pastoral Care supported me first. In my trying times during the Coronavirus Disease (COVID) Pandemic, someone listened to me. God Pursued Me

Just to backtrack a little, I would say my life was pretty normal.

I’m fortunate to be born into a complete family of five, be educated in good schools, and be given an opportunity to build a career in accounting, auditing, and human resources. I was the youngest in the family and would say I was “trained to follow” what my parents, Andy and Polly, and my siblings,

Leah and Ely, would ask me to do.

Someone Cares

My Nanay Polly is quite a disciplinarian, and when I was growing up, Sunday Mass has always been a part of our “obligation” to follow. She also reads inspirational publications, including the Kerygma magazine founded by Bro. Bo Sanchez, now called The Feast. She used to sell copies to her officemates (she’s now retired) and would also hand us her copy when she was done. My favorite portion was The BOss, the editorial column of Bro. Bo.

In time, I started working and became busy with my career. But we all know how relentless God is when He pursues us.

He would not let you go astray from Him. By His grace, a friend at my workplace was a servant of The Feast Bay Area being held at the Philippine International Convention Center. Around 2012, she invited me, and some others as well, to attend The Feast. When I learned that Bo Sanchez was preaching,

I was happy to join. In 2013, I attended my first Jesus Encounter Seminar—which provided more insights about the Light of Jesus (LOJ) Community and its mission to make disciples.

When I joined the LOJ Community, the good news became more and more clear to me: Christianity is having a close relationship with Jesus and being Jesus to others. Sunday Mass is not an obligation but a great sacrament where

I can receive Jesus. Reading the Bible is not necessarily boring. There are actually exciting stories in the Old Testament! And a lot more.

Journeying with this Community was re-awakening and refreshing.

But we all know that the faith journey will almost always include burdens and challenges that would make you seek and long for pastoral care.

You see, I met the love of my life during this journey. We got married, but issues surfaced during the COVID Pandemic, causing both of us emotional stress leading to separation. I planned to go abroad…

There was one day in March 2021 when I just needed someone to talk to – someone who would not have any bias about my situation and someone who could pray for me. I sent a message to the Ministry through Facebook Messenger– and as promised, a “duty carer” responded to me, listened to my woes, prayed, and cared for me.

Who Takes Care of the Carers?

The problems did not really go away, but I felt the joy and peace of the Holy Spirit. Having experienced this pastoral care, I realized this Ministry is a blessing to people needing relief from their emotional wounds. In one of my prayer times, there was a prompting to support the Ministry. I guess this was because, at the back of my mind, I have been asking – who cares for the duty carers?

So, in October 2021, I did an online fundraising for my birthday which I called #100Kin20days – with LOJ Pastoral Care as one of the two beneficiaries, each to receive P50,000 or more (depending on the amount raised). My tagline was, “Facebook said I have more than 2,000 friends. If each would donate at least P50, I could pull this off.” Miraculously, the funds raised were greater than P100,000!

Time passed by. Faith journey continued. New work opportunities came. And the plan to go abroad materialized. I moved to the United Kingdom. But the call to do regular financial support for this Ministry still popped into my prayer time. And so, beginning May 2023, I pledged to make monthly financial support to the LOJ Pastoral Care.

Around this time, I learned that, Sis. Michele Alignay would be leading this Ministry. It was like a confirmation from Jesus that I was doing the right thing.

Ichel, as I fondly call her, happens to be my sister’s friend who became my doctor-counselor (she turns into a harsh friend as necessary, ha-ha!). Ichel and I would make time to chat about our life updates, and she would provide me counsel, encouragement and suggestions on how I can overcome my situation.

Don’t be blown away with the “monthly” pledge– it’s not really a lot.

But it comes from a willing heart that responded to a call and a heart that seeks to be pure.

Jesus Got My Back

Throughout my faith journey, I learned that while there are big challenges that come my way, there are bigger blessings alongside them. And that these blessings aren’t something we keep to ourselves–rather they are meant to be shared.

And somehow, the blessings keep on coming back. Proverbs 11:25 is so true, after all. It says: “Whoever brings blessing will be enriched, and one who waters will himself be watered.”

Bro. Aga and Sis.Vina Estrada planted The Feast Light Basingstoke years ago, so I can belong to a spiritual family. If you’re in the UK, feel free to come and join us. We meet on Saturdays at St. Bede’s School, 3:00 pm to 5:00 pm.

As I write this, I am still away from home and from my family. Problems still come my way. Difficult situations still arise. I still struggle and will still likely struggle. But one thing’s for sure: Jesus got my back.

And for that, I am truly grateful. To God be the glory!

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

Published by THE FEAST MERCY MINSTRY (April 7 , 2024)