By: Bros. Mecos Pacana and Melvin Libago
Sunday is supposed to be a day of rest and for family. But the Action Group Members of Unit 3, led by its UL Melvin Libago, Brian Inojaldo and Dennis Garces – Head of The Works of Mercy, took time to visit the Home For the Elderly & Differently Abled, located beside J.R. Borja General Hospital, J. Seriῆa Street, Cagayan de Oro City last March 11, 2018. Former Chapter Heads Pepot Fortich, Jolou Miraflor and their wives, respectively, were there too, to lend their support to the group.
These elderly people, along with some mentally challenged persons (victims of rape and abuse) are one of the most neglected sectors in our society. They can’t even avail of the government’s 20% percent discount on their purchases because they have no money to buy. Abandoned by their parents, siblings and relatives, they survived and grew old in such environment they now call their home.
Thanks to the City Social Welfare Development Department headed by a few committed personnel, like Pingkoy Escara and his team, who take care of them and attend to their physical, mental and even spiritual needs. And while there is a plan by the City Government to resettle and build a nice facility for them, their present location, facilities and physical condition are still lacking of the basic amenities in life: a comfortable sleeping quarter, clean and hygienic toilets and bathrooms and a dining quarter where they can eat together and socialize, etc.
You can see the relief and joy in their faces when they saw these BCBP brothers and sisters ministering to them, i.e. distributing food and talking affectionately to them, making them feel that they are not alone, much less, forgotten. During the short program, Chapter Head Bert Acut encouraged the elderly people to pray always and never lose hope. A lady from their group named Patricia, led the opening and closing prayers; others took turns in entertaining the BCBP members with their songs and old antics.
One of the highlights of the program is the formal turn-over of a power spray and two electric wall fans to the representative of the Home of The Elderly Facility. At the sight of this, one elderly woman named Sarah, exclaimed a sigh of relief: “At last, I can now sleep comfortably at night! I couldn’t sleep well at night for a year because there is no ventilation.”
After the works of mercy, all the members of the Action Group Unit gathered and had their lunch together at Jollibee Fastfood, (courtesy of Sis Jojo Sagrado): sharing their experiences, eating with glad and humble hearts, that somehow, they have made those elderly people happy, even for a brief period of time. They remember Mother Theresa of Calcutta’s inspiring words: it is not the amount of donation we give that matters but the love that we put into it. All the brothers and sisters went home happy that day, keenly aware of this passage in the bible: “Whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did it for me” (Matthew 25:40).
Inspired by such enthusiasm of its members, CH Bert is now planning of making this social outreach program, a regular activity of the BCBP CDO West chapter.