WITNESSING GOD’S NEARNESS IN “THESE DAYS OF ISOLATION”
As the world and its habitants are so busy in coping with the challenges of this pandemic, it is still vivid in my mind of our community’s article shared in “United in Hope” on how we in the community have experienced God’s abiding presence during these days.
It has been our daily prayers that our “rice granary” will not run out of stock, our “treasury bag” (purse to pay weekly wages), will sustain the last centavo needed to give the remuneration of our farm workers at the end of each week. These then, were all answered in a very concrete manner, our proven faith and trust in God´s providential care then, is in good soil.
Now on its fifth month of quarantine restrictions, we have more than enough in paying the weekly wages and maintain food on the table in every meal both for our workers family and for us in the community. It is a way to affirm as the gospel of Matthew says, “watch and pray” and keeping St. Paul’s words “faith without action is dead“.
This is what we are doing, while many are adopting the scheme: “working from home“, but for us in this farm, this is not applicable. Instead, some of the workers made our community´s organic farm their home. Four of them decided to stay in the farm for 6 days, going home only on Saturday afternoon and come back Monday morning. With this choice, they increase their working hours and it goes, too, an increase of production. There are other farm products that we are producing. Corn gives a bountiful harvest and we have started with dragon fruits planting. At the moment, when you look at them and the crops, you can say there will be a promising harvest. Mango trees bear numerous fruits and that spells then, we had increased the weight of the “treasury bag”.
God´s providential care is manifested as our joy and hope is strengthened. These days of closed sections for marketing and trading, there are frequent visits of friends, buyers and benefactors who buy vegetables, bananas, etc. We also have production of “bagoong gata” (a filipino food appetizer of coconut and shrimps)) which is highly saleable during this time. The idea one community member to make mango pickles also make a good sale. There are also many orders of vermi cast fertilizer that are sold for 300php per 25kls as many are engaged in home gardening and pass their time in flower gardening due to quarantine. Knowing our condition with these farmers, they pay more than the actual prize tagged on these commodities. Thus, the quarantine days have engaged us not only in working harder but also in being affirmed that God waits on us, sees our pain and anxieties as we care for others and think of their well-being, not only ourselves.
Indeed, it is proven that “these are the new ways” God works in His creation, in sustaining us in our faith and in providing us a hundredfold with an additional income for the farm. We have seen this, too, how near is God to us these days. TO HIM ALL PRAISE AND GLORY!
Sisters Elena Ramirez, Rita Bait Metan, Georgina Locson, Fely Galvez
Ramon Zubieta Community, Culianan, Zamboanga City