By Cristina Mejos
“Little Tondo”. This is how people call this place in Barangay Nazareth, Cagayan de Oro City. Dilapidated “barong- barong” houses with barely enough space for families to huddle in to sleep at night, many without electricity, are a replica of the shackled poverty in Tondo slum.
Little Tondo caught the attention of Sister Malou S. Dunatchik a faithful member of EFC-CDO who is now living in the United States. She has been away for thirteen years, and she came home last December to spend Christmas with her family.
She came home not just to bless her family and the church but also the people in that depressed area. On a rainy afternoon last January 8, 2017 EFC-CDO distributed the rice and grocery packs donated by Sister Malou for Little Tondo. The surprised residents were overjoyed with their new year gifts! One mother told the EFC-CDO team that this act of kindness is very similar to what one church also did for them. She explained that she can still remember that a particular church gave grocery packs and five kilos of rice to each family in their place. She was referring to a Christmas outreach EFC-CDO conducted about four years ago. As she was talking, she turned to Pastor Rowena Kwong. Immediately, she recognized her as the leader of that team who came to bless them some years ago. She hugged Pastor Rowena. With grateful tears streaming down her cheeks, she thanked the group again for their perfect timing because her family do not really have food that day. The team prayed for her, and her face just glowed with the grace.
The next Sunday afternoon, the church once again returned to Little Tondo for a feeding program for the kids. Hygiene kits and slippers were distributed. More than fifty kids gathered to pray, sang, danced and received Jesus that day. After the Bible study, they all enjoyed the yummy heavy snacks prepared just for them.
While the kids were enjoying, Sister Malou grabbed the chance to share to the adults about hope in the Lord Jesus Christ. Pastor Rowena also encouraged and reminded them of God’s great love – so deep and boundless that He shed his blood on the cross. Many of the people there accepted Jesus as their Lord and personal Savior.
Everyone was receptive to the gospel which inspired EFC-CDO to build an outstation church in Little Tondo. The seed and the love of God was already sown in a Christmas gift-giving a few years ago. Now the church is claiming the harvest.
One doesn’t have to be rich to be a blessing. At times, that little act of kindness and generosity prompted by the Holy Spirit makes a big a difference in the lives of others.