My Personal Encounters that Proved, “God Will Provide”
By Apolinario Villalobos
Though I take pride in my unquestionable faith, there is still a bit of skepticism left in me when it comes to solving personal problems due to my fatalistic attitude at times. Just like the rest of most Filipinos, I always leave the result of my efforts to fate after having done my best. I did not have the heart to depend always on God because my personality is rooted in the principle on personal endeavor without depending on anybody else, thus, the saying that “God will provide” has always been out of my mind. But my attitude changed due to observable “proofs” that indeed, God does not leave us in times of need.
When I was a Boy Scout in Grade 5, I was only using one white collarless t-shirt to go with my also, lone short khaki pants. There was always a problem if scouting activities were done in two or more consecutive days for as soon as I arrive home, I must wash my t-shirt and pants immediately to be hung-dry overnight. I was then, a drummer in our drum and bugle corps. I could not tell my parents about my problem because I might be told by my mother to just leave scouting. Fortunately, one Saturday, our neighbor and playmate gave me two sets of his old scout uniform. Since then, I stood out in the corps due to my loose t-shirt and khaki shorts because the donor was bigger than I.
When I was in high school during which I became a complete orphan due to the death of my mother, eight months after that of my father, I had no polo shirt of my own. For special occasions in school I had to borrow my elder brother’s. I had a problem when my brother’s shirt was not available as he was scheduled to wear it also on the same school occasion. Fortunately, when I accompanied a cousin-in-law to Davao city, she surprised m with a pre-cut polo fabric with just the right color and design that I wanted.
When I was called for a job interview by an airline company, I was caught by surprise…and, worse, I was without extra money for fare. On my way home that afternoon, I met along the way a relative whom I loaned money, but which I forgot in time. She paid me back right there, and then went on her way after profusely thanking me.
When I underwent an operation in a Makati hospital, I was told by a neighbor that our house was burglarized and my son was also almost abducted. It was the day after my operation, and I expected my attending physician not to allow me to go home even for a quick check of our home, especially, because I am a “bleeder”. My fresh wound might give in to the pressure of travel. Fortunately, a colleague in the office, “Ed”, dropped by for a visit. After knowing my problem he immediately persuaded my attending physician and nurse to allow me to go home, but he signed some kind of a guarantee for my immediate return. To make sure that I would do it, I was driven by his driver, while he took a taxi back to the office.
During one of my random sharing sorties in Tondo/Divisoria area, I gave all the remaining cash content of my wallet to a family that lived on the sidewalk. As I was on my way home, I thought that the coins in my purse would be enough for fare all the way to Cavite. I was wrong. As I counted the coins when I took a jeepney, what I had was only enough until Zapote in Las Piἧas which is more than five kilometers from my home. I was resolved to walk my way home from Zapote but when I alighted at the jeepney stop, a neighbor driving his car and who was on his way home, saw me and offered a ride.
One time, when I thought that all plans would push through as regards the sending home of a family to their province in Leyte, my expected “professional fee” as editorial consultant was not remitted in time, and worse, my client texted me to request for an extension of one week. I was crestfallen by the unexpected kink. Meanwhile, the excited family which was among the victims of typhoon Yolanda, was all ready to go home the following day as planned. As a last resort I decided to sell some of my precious collections to cover the cost of the project. Fortunately, just before noon, a follower of my blogs texted me about the money he sent via a remittance center, in reaction to my blog about the victims of Yolanda, temporarily living in Tondo and who collected vegetable trimming in Divisoria to earn a living. What he sent was more than enough to cover the cost for the mentioned family. A significant amount was left for the next family who was scheduled to go home two weeks after. A week later, I received an email from another follower in Canada about her remittance for the same project.
About a month ago, the stock of diapers of a friend whom I, together with the rest of his former colleagues had also been helping, was almost depleted. The supply was bought using the pooled donations from our friends but which was also exhausted. Just then, I received an fb message from another friend, “Manny”, who had been monitoring updates about our ward, telling me that he will call as soon he arrives from the States. He further stated that he will donate to the “diaper fund”. Three days ago, I personally went to see him to receive the money, plus other food items.
I wrote about an elderly couple in Quiapo. The husband had a stroke and the wife was eking out a living out of her small food stall. The husband was sleeping on the cold concrete floor of his former single-chair barber shop, using only a thin mat. They wanted to go home to their town in Antique, as expenses in Manila were mounting especially for the medicines of the husband who was more than eighty years old. However, I felt that the man was dying as he had been refusing to eat solid food for several days. I did not tell them about my plan of raising fund to raise fund for them. An “angel” from California who read my blog about the couple e-mailed me a short message, “….I am remitting $…..for the couple in Quiapo”.
Those mentioned are just a few of the many incidents that point to the veracity of God’s indirect benevolence.