In the third Missions in Action episode we get to visit with our Special Olympics Bronze Medalist, Emilda Soriano.
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Just last week we heard that Emilda and her entire family got baptized on Nov. 13. Here are some excerpts from an email we received from Emilda’s pastor on that day.
In all 19 got baptized, some mothers, some fathers, and many youth. But the Soriano family decided to all become born-again Christians today.
When Emilda was preparing to go to Greece, and Vilma was also processing her papers – going to Manila to the Embassy, and taking care of Emilda’s needs, Vilma – who is the primary breadwinner of the family, started losing her regular laundry clients. Most of her clients are college students who decided to look for another laundry woman because Vilma was not available.
Now, the family had to depend on Reynaldo’s irregular income as a tomb maker. There were several days when they had no money at all, even to buy food.
My Bible text for the morning service was James 1:12, “Blessed is the man who perseveres under trial, because when he has stood the test, he will receive the crown of life that God has promised to those who love him.”
I told Reynaldo, that text was so applicable to his family. It would be so easy for other families to lash out at God and lose trust when neighbors started to make fun of you because your situation went from bad to worse, and they were telling you, “Your blessing will never come.” (In our dialect, “Wala Tupa.” Wala means “No” Tupa means “Drop or Happen”. So, wala tupa literally means No Drop or No Happen. It applies to failed promises.)
But in their suffering, instead of letting go, they cried out to God even more. Vilma and Reynaldo told me, when they went hungry and had no food on the table, they prayed — God we put our trust in you. And they were so happy to be baptized as a family today.
Reynaldo is still struggling with his alcohol and cigarette, but he is fighting hard to free himself of these long addictions.
Also, Emilda’s family is hosting the life group (cell group) meetings and bible study in their home.