Therefore if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creature; the old things passed away; behold, new things have come.” – 2 Corinthians 5:17 On March 8, 2018, Anawim Home for the Abandoned Elderly had a Lenten recollection for the staff and volunteers with the theme “Transformation.” The recollection was held in the beautiful Anawim chapel with the green mountain of Montalban, Rizal in the background. The main goal of the recollection was to equip the staff and volunteers with the Holy Spirit. The management and personnel believe that to better serve in Anawim, the servants need a break to reflect and connect with God. And Lent was the perfect season for a recollection.

A Dream Come True

Ben Salvedia, Anawim’s personin-charge for formation, hosted the day’s event, while Babes Zambrano, Anawim spiritual adviser, shared how God blessed her through her service in Anawim. She felt God’s embrace in all the trials she had been through. She believed that God would do the same to all the participants. Babes led everyone to a heartfelt worship to officially open the recollection. Caloy Dimson, Anawim center director, shared that he was grateful that God allowed the recollection to happen in Anawim. “This is one of my answered prayers,” he said. Caloy then introduced the first speaker as someone who was also enthusiastic to make the recollection happen. It was no other than the president of Shepherd’s Voice Publications and one of Anawim’s board of trustees, Hermie Morelos. He said, “I know how difficult your work really is. But I want to honor all your hardwork. I admire your patience and love for all our lolos and lolas. I am happy to be here with all of you. I am happy that we have this recollection. Because I know this will help you serve our lolos and lolas more.”

Overcoming the Storms

Hermie opened the topic about facing the storms in our life. Storms may be problems and challenges. He emphasized that no matter how strong the storm, God will never leave us. He added that through the storm, God remains with us. Hermie reminded all the participants that a storm is an instrument to transform us—from weak to strong, from failure to triumph. After his talk, every one was encouraged to spend time alone and reflect. Volunteers and staff went to different corners of the Anawim chapel. Ben instructed the participants to write down their sins, burdens, and concerns on pieces of paper. These were collected and nailed on a cross as a sign of surrendering everything to God and accepting His grace and forgiveness. The recollection ended with a smile on the faces of the servants, and hearts full of love and grace. Truly, God can transform anyone. The old things have passed away and new hope is coming for Anawim volunteers and staff.

Source: Kerigma Magazine  May 2018

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