Time is 7:21 p.m.
“Hi Sonia, please come in.”
As Lisa opened the door and greeted her new friend who’s a single mother of two children.
“How are you and your kids?” asked Lisa.
“A little bit busy and fussy.” Sonia answered with a meek voice. “This older one,” [scratching her son’s head] “is ready to go to school but my other boy will continue his medication to minimize convulsion.”
Sonia’s husband has just died in an accident, they have two children, the younger had an epilepsy so when Lisa heard what had happened she began to be friend her and invited her for dinner.
It was Sunday when a couple of Christian friends decided to bring their own food and have dinner in the house of Brother Molong. They agreed also to bring some of their colleagues and neighbors and friends. First who showed up in the meeting was Sonia, she is uninformed about the said eating but was invited by Lisa after knowing her urgent need of comfort.
Beside them, a sister in the Lord named Nikki came with her Christian friend Sister Wilsa. They worked in one of the big companies in the city of Lapu-lapu.
A friend Brother Darbie soon arrived with a bag of food in his hand; with him were two street people, Richard and Michael. He will pass them by when there is meeting in any house. They have these kinds of meeting everyday, anywhere at anytime with different people and from house to house.
Seconds passed, Brother Gary came with Sister Maricar. With them is a street couple, Jocelyn and Ken with their baby. Along with their families – Tatay Gamay and Nanay Celia, Jocelyn’s parents and her two brothers, Roel and Weng-weng.
And lastly, came Sister Christine straight from her work. She brought with her toys and foods for kids, and clothing’s to be given away.
All in all the people having a sort of a party is 20. Three couples, eleven singles – men and women, one widow, and three children. And by the way, there’s one more, a 6-month old baby inside Jocelyn’s womb.
“Okay, everyone can take their seats in the table now.” As Brother Molong the host announces.
As they all sat, Brother Darbie presented himself to give thanks for the food and later on announces that he is already engaged. They all rejoiced and congratulate him.
“Soon he will become a ‘good’ man.” Molong said.
“Good because the Bible says that, ‘It is not good for man to be alone.’” Everyone laughed as they nodded their heads hearing Molong’s words.
“Marriage day is the day you’ll going to be with someone you love forever. And how happy it is to marry someone you love” Molong shared and continue. “And marriage too is God’s expression of His gift that is given to you through her.”
“Tell me Brother, how is it like being married?” Brother Darbie asks Molong.
“We’ll, they say marriage is a mystery and will always be like that.”
“That’s weird, that means I’ll be living with someone who’s completely strange?” Brother Darbie laughs as he comments.
“Maybe,” Molong says, “but I think if communication lines are open and secrets revealed it’s not anymore a mystery but ecstasy. Let me share to you what Mr. Harold Sala, an expert in marriage said, ‘Communication is vital in any relationship especially between spouses. It is the most difficult quality to develop and therefore must be given time and space between husband and wife.”
“But most,” he continued “If we follow the ‘rules’ of a Christian home in Paul’s letter to the Ephesians and Colossians we will have a better family in the coming years.”
Brother Darbie listened intently as Brother Molong shared some verses with him from the Bible.
In the opposite end of the table was Sister Wilsa ministering to Sister Jocelyn and Sonia. They talked and shared each other’s feelings especially their present situation and then prayed for both of them.
“What?” Nikki’s eyes opened wide while conversing with Ken. “You just killed three people at the age of sixteen?”
“Yes,” answered Ken. “And I just spent three years in prison.”
Ken is a silent type of person. He just nods his head whatsoever you share with him but now he talks. They continued discussing about what happened to Ken those years.
“So, how did you changed?” Nikki asked.
Ken replied that ever since he joined in gatherings such as this, his life was changed.
In the middle of the conversation of Brother Gary, Richard and Michael, Sister Maricar interrupted and asked, “How did you guys met?” Where do you come from? Do you have families?”
“Yes, we have families,” Richard replied in anger, “but they’ve abandoned us! And I always blamed God for it!”
“Is that good?” Gary questioned.
“Well, I know it’s not good but I always will.” He said.
“Why, what has happened to your family?” Maricar asked Richard.
“My mom and dad left me. My Dad died when I was eight, I am 25 now, and my Mom left me to find another man to be with. I am their only child.” And he began cursing his Mom and praised his Dad’s goodness in the past.
“You know what? God has a planned for you because despite everything that happened, you’re still here and alive.”
“Yah, that’s true.” Michael agrees.
“The Bible says,” Maricar added, ‘Though my father and my mother forsake me the Lord will receive me.’”
“Why don’t you guys consider us as your new friends? Come and join us here in Brother Molong’s house. Brother Darbie will also be happy to have you.” Gary excitingly said.
They all enjoyed eating and sharing, and getting to know each other. Some laughed on jokes, some cried while they get prayed and some expressed their hatred and anger as they shared their burdens with their parents, brothers and friends. What a fellowship there was, shame was gone, transparency was present, behavior exposed and intimacy was shared. And suddenly…
Screaming and shouting from the kids. They ran to their mothers except one. A boy struggling to breathe and bubbles came out from his mouth. It’s Sonia’s epileptic child.
Brother Molong and some of the brethren got up rebuke and prayed for the boy while others are praying in their seats. And after a few seconds the boy got back to normal. They returned to their seats and Sister Christine brought some toys and began to distribute it to the children. She joined with them too in sharing stories.
“Before we go to the distribution of gifts,” As Brother Molong announced, “let us have Tatay Gamay share to us what he noticed in our fellowship.”
“Since I joined eating here,” Tatay says while every one laughs, “I collected more cartoons to be sold.”
Selling cartoons is their way of living. At this time he accepts that he needs to change. Brother Gary leads him in a sinner’s prayer at the corner. After that, Wengweng asked if he could sing the song that he just made. It’s a Tagalog song, and while he sang everyone listens. Brother Molong and Sister Nikki were crying while listening. If you knew him, you would have cried also for he is a drug addict and got overdose. The experience made him unable to speak clearly. But now despite of this, he sings with all confidence in front of them.
These all happened in the table while enjoying their meal. They ended up praying for each other and distributing some clothing’s especially for those who are in need. And they encourage financial offerings to be made and gave some to Sonia to help her buy some food and medicines for her child since she’s still recovering from her husband’s death.
And one by one as they felt the need to go home said ‘goodbyes and goodnights.’
The next meeting will be in the house of Brother Gary just right in the next Barangay. And the time of their ‘meating’, that means they meet to eat is at lunch time, the next day.
Time is 9:46 p.m.