Posted in Lessons Learned from Sickness, Sharing and Caring

“What Do You Want to Eat? I’ll Cook It for You”

Lessons Learned from My Sickness Part 16: “What Do You Want to Eat? I’ll Cook It for You”

healing of Ronny Luces
I am glad that this generous practice of food serving is being revived in the life of people in the church.

One good memory I have of childhood in my coastal neighborhood is the picture of people gladly exchanging plates of food.

A neighbor knocking on your door and offering you his freshly cooked ‘ginat-an nga dagmay‘ (taro in coconut milk) was a daily occurrence.

To show him your gratitude, you also put ‘apan-apan‘ (water spinach) in his plate with 3 pieces of ‘bukayo‘ (coconut candy) for his children.

Alas, this healthy exchange of goodwill and foodstuff gradually faded, which the younger generation no longer witnessed.

I am glad that this generous practice of food serving is being revived in the life of people in the church.

During potluck dinners, fellowship gatherings, thanksgiving services, family celebrations, people bringing foodstuff to be shared and enjoyed is a sight to behold.

I believe that this practice is not only a cultural expression to proclaim to all and sundry our Bayanihan identity, but it is to me a manifestation of the nature of our Christian faith and spiritual identity.

In the scriptures, Christ always shared food with the people. He even commanded his disciples who were facing 5000 people, “You give them something to eat” (Luke 9:13).

My long hospital confinement was not all filled with difficult or heavy experiences like pain, boredom, anxiety, stress, but also memorable experiences of joy, sharing and fellowship.

These joyful experiences were usually ushered in by phone calls I frequently receive, “Pastor, what do you want to eat? I’ll cook it for you”.

Posted on FB: 9 March 2015 – 12:44 PM

Jaro Evangelical Church

About the Author

Rev. Ronny Luces is the Minister for Administration and Community Service of Jaro Evangelical Church (JEC), Iloilo City, Philipines. He and wife, Martha have been with JEC’s ministry since 1994.

Pastor Ronny graduated from Central Philippine University College of Theology in 1985 and was pastor of several Baptist churches.

In January 2015, after tests and two long hospital confinements, Pastor Ronny got the word he has lung cancer. He is undergoing chemotherapy.

Praying for healing and going through all the medical processes, Pastor Ronny writes his reflections “Lessons Learned from My Sickness”.

May Pastor Ronny’s series of reflections and meditations strengthen your hope and faith as you go through your own life’s battles. Please pray for Pastor Ronny’s healing.

PHOTO CREDIT: Dennis Miyashiro via Flickr Creative Commons License. The photo has been cropped and re-sized to fit website requirement.

Posted in Living in New Zealand Now, Living in Timaru, Love, Mission

How I Wish Everyone Would Just “Love Your Neighbours as Yourself”

Let each of us please his neighbor for his good, to build him up. Romans 15:2
For the whole law is fulfilled in one word: “You shall love your neighbor as yourself.” Galatians 5:14

Seeing a video on Facebook about how thieves (called ‘sliders’) operate in the US sparked my wishful thinking.

Indeed, when we love our neighbour as we love ourselves, there’s always peace and order in the community.

Committing to this law is much much cheaper than building a fence or installing a state-of-the-art security surveillance system.

Real estate developers in the Philippines try to recreate a neighbourhood and make “peace and order”, “security” and “safety” as their primary selling point. Some would even attach the term “exclusive community”.

A friend in Auckland forgot to close a rear window remained untouched.
A friend in Auckland forgot to close a rear window but his car remained untouched through the night.

We thank the Lord for making it possible for us to live in a community where neighbourhood values are very strong.

A schoolmate who lived in downtown Auckland, parking on the street for the night forgot to close his car window. He was so happy nothing was lost nor his car was ever touched.

Well, we could say he was just lucky.

How about these.

We were living in Forrest Hill, Auckland and we were about to sleep at past 10:00 PM when someone knocked on our door.

It was our Korean neighbour. She apoligised for disturbing us. Then she told us that we left our car door open.

Yes it was wide open because our 7-year-old forgot to close it after getting off the car and we’re just parking on the street.

Living in Timaru now, one of our Kiwi friends noticed how I would unlock and lock the door when he comes to visit.

I told him that it’s been a habit in the Philippines to always keep the door locked even if we’re in the house.

There was a time we get off my car as I parked on the side street. Then I locked the doors. He said out loud, “Oh Jonan, you don’t trust your neighbours?”

I blushed a bit and laughed telling him, “It’s just a hard habit to break, mate.”

Well, these are just bits and pieces of why New Zealand is the safest country in the world.

I do believe when people bind the law “Love your neighbour as yourself” in their hearts there would be much peace and order in the community.

In Timaru, the Presbyterian Home Support provides food delivery and home cleaning for the elderly.
In Timaru, the Presbyterian Home Support provides food delivery and home cleaning for the elderly.