Through the Vision of Nipa Huts

“Everytime I prayed, I saw a blissful image of nipa huts on a top of a hill. Again and again it appeared in my mind. I’d never thought that would be the same exact place where I am now, serving God and the needy”, said Teresita Deong, 53 years old or Ate Baby as people in Anawim call her. She was once a housemaid of a well-off family in Las Piñas City before she discovered her calling to serve.

The parents of the family whom Ate Baby was serving, were active attendees of Light of Jesus’ monthly Victory Celebrations (now The Feast) and their Bible study sessions in St. Francis of Assisi Parish in Mandaluyong. She and her fellow housemaids became regular attendees too as the couple would always invite to join with them. The couple also owned a canteen, where Ate Baby also assisted in the daily operations. Part of their merchandise was Kerygma magazines, when at the time can be bought for just P10.

A devoted daily prayer time was one of the habits Ate Baby developed as a part of her spiritual deepening. Until one time, during her moment with the Lord, an image instilled in her mind. It was an image of a row of nipa huts standing on a top of a hill. “The scene is very serene and peaceful. There were luscious greens all over the place”, she recalled.

Her experience became too frequent and thus, she felt strange about it. She thought God was calling her for something she couldn’t figure out. When she talked it over to her master, she opted to do soul searching and discernment. With her master being supportive, she was allowed to go back to her hometown in Agusan del Sur. Not too long, she came back to her master after having conflicts with her mother.

At that point of time, Bro. Bo Sanchez in their prayer meetings was rigidly promoting the Anawim LAnawim Lay Missions Foundation which was over a year old from its humble beginnings. He opened its doors for those who are wholeheartedly wanted to serve (much better if they would stay there for good).

Having noticed Bro. Bo’s frequent promotion of Anawim, Ate Baby felt God is inviting her to serve and stay there. She contemplated it during her prayer time. She didn’t know what to do. It’s was an easy decision since there was no assurance of just compensation. But then after some time, she became ready to surrender everything for the Lord, saying “yes” to serve.

On November 1997, guided along by her master, she came for the very first time in Anawim. To her amazement, there it was! The nipa hut image that bothers her all time, was just right there. Then with peace and joy she felt relieved from all her uncertainties. It was a day of liberation, seeing the revelation of God’s calling right in front of her.
During these 18 years Ate Baby served the foundation, she had tried different roles – from being a kitchen assistant, a caregiver and now as a stock custodian. God has also blessed her a love of her life, a co-servant in Anawim, who became her husband, eventually. And just recently, her dedication to serve was recognized as being a Service Awardee in the 21 st anniversary celebration of Anawim.

With all the things she had done for service she is very grateful to the Lord who led her to the right people. And these people had a big role to where she is right now. “If not for my masters, who helped me nourish my spiritual health, I would not be here. To serve is my calling. To serve God through serving other people here made my joy complete”, she ended.

by : Franz Emmanuel Reyes

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