The Community in Cebu - Philippines

The community of Cebu is composed of 3 member’s Bernie, Liliana and ‘Ena. This is an international community with multicultural backgrounds and ages. In July 2010 we came to Cebu, to begin a formation community and to collaborate in a mission among the urban poor of the city. In the beginning we were looking for a place and parish to live, to be witnesses of God’s Kingdom through the spirit of our congregation. The need to learn the language (Visayan) was one of our priorities. The community sent me to the Language School in Davao, Mindanao, for a 3 month course while Liliana and Bernie continued to study at home. Today, we see the fruit of that. We have started little by little to communicate in the people’s language.
The reality
The island of Cebu has a population of 5 million, which nearly 2 million living in the city of Cebu. 
We have found a place to live, for now we are renting as we get clearer in where we can ‘pitch our tent’. The difficulty was looking for a mission that fitted our charism and our call. This takes time. Before talking about our mission, let see the reality of the area where we live now. We live beside a parish which is well structured and seems rich. However, there are many poor people living on the same street, sleeping beside the road and youth, children that have no education and scavenge for survival. Poverty is obvious and there are many needs in our mission here in Cebu. The gap between rich and poor is wide and many people are living in grinding poverty. We have seen, witnessed and read about it in the news paper every day and it all becomes acceptable and normal within the society that many people rely on the garbage to live, and beg everyday for a single meal.
We are aware that our call is to collaborate in ministry and to promote vocations to the congregation. There are many congregations (80) in Cebu and each is promoting their own congregation. We, the community participate in vocation activities, meeting young women, accompanying them when they express an interest in searching for and finding meaning for their lives. We do our part to promote and be true witnesses of the Gospel and within that process let the young women make their own choices.
St Arnold Janssen Parish (SVD - Society of Divine Word) is open and welcoming to us as we collaborate with them in serving the people in that area. It is about 20-25 minutes from where we live.
It has B.E.C (Basic Ecclesial Community) structure, with 21 chapels with 21 servant leaders and each B.E.C has a group responsible for Worship, Education, Service, Treasury and Youth. The BEC is a model of Church where the poor are not only evangelized but can become evangelizers themselves. This is a model which encourages the participatory Church.
While writing this, we the community of three sisters already participate in small ways; e.g teaching basic English to some mothers and young people, helping out in a feeding centre and pre-school, attending to mothers and children when needed. Through the intercession of Antoinette and Etienne we prayed to be led where we can ‘do simple acts of service’ among the poor.
We hope that soon we will be part of an educational program, with a feeding program for up to 300 children. The journey continues; we sow one plant at a time! Please continue to pray for us here, that we will have the courage, love and humour necessary to be women of compassion.
Ena, Little Sister of the Assumption, Cebu Community


Save this article in PDF Imprimer l'article Send this article by mail Send
> Tous les articles remonter Remonter