Pastora Calinawagan is one of our CSM workers. Each weekday she takes the word of God literally to the streets. Some of her target areas are the public markets throughout General Santos City. She pulls up in a vehicle with a second pastor, Pastor Teddy, and a couple parents of NHM sponsored children who will help with the feeding. She has a sound system that runs off a car battery and a pot of Lugaw. Pastor Teddy has a guitar.
Once the sound system is set up, Pastora begins speaking into the microphone to a parking area full of tricycles and motorcycles. The drivers are standing around in groups, waiting for people who need rides, chatting about the day, visiting with friends. People wander through the parked vehicles. People walk past the vehicle and Pastora. People are shopping, moving from booth to booth. Children are sitting or walking throughout the area or are being dragged by the hand from shop to shop. Some people turn to see who is speaking. Others just keep moving. Pastora does not care. She has come with the purpose of sharing her love for the Lord and sharing His love for the lost.
Pastora sings a song accompanied by guitar. Her voice fills the air. Some will stop and listen. Some know the song and sing along. Most continue whatever they are doing. When she finishes singing, she introduces herself and tells that she is from Naomi’s Heart Mission. She tells a little about the mission and its ministries. Then she begins to share.
Pastora tells about the love of God. She shares John 3:16 and preaches about how much God loves each of us. She teaches that God loved us so much that he sent his son, Jesus, as a sacrifice so that we could have forgiveness. The crowd continues their activities, but some are listening. You can tell. You can see heads turn. You can see the children stop their talk to each other and focus on Pastora. And there are some drivers that have paused and are thinking on what is being said. Even those who do not stop to really listen are hearing enough to know that Pastora has a passion for the Lord. Later they will reflect back on that. Later they will remember this woman and the words she shared. Seeds are planted. Children will ask questions. The word of God never returns empty. It always accomplishes what God desires and achieves the purpose for which it was sent (Isaiah 55:11).
At the end of her message, Pastora gives a general invitation for anyone interested to come forward and be prayed for. She encourages the people to accept Jesus as Lord and Savior – to begin a new life walking with Jesus. She says, “Come and I will pray for you.” And people respond. On this particular day, four drivers have been listening. One is the husband of a woman who attends a church nearby but he himself has never felt drawn there. Pastora’s words have now moved him and he comes forward and prays with Pastora. At the end, she gives him a bible.
Three other drivers have been watching. They also decide to come forward and pray with Pastora. They have read Bibles before but do not have any in their homes. They ask if she has bibles for them. Sadly, she does not. Our mission does what it can to give out Bibles in the hospitals and at other outreaches, but our supply is limited due to funds. However, Pastora tells them she will return the next Monday and try to bring Bibles for each of them.
As Pastora finishes, the pot of lugaw is opened and cups are distributed by the parents who have come along to help. Anyone who comes to the vehicle is fed – the drivers, the shoppers, the shopkeepers, and especially the children. We see elderly and pregnant women. We see mothers busy with small children. We see tough construction workers. We see “cool” teens who don’t want to look like they are taking a cup, but do anyway. People are thankful. People are hungry. People know the mission is handing out love in a real and practical way. Jesus is reaching down and touching each person who receives a cup. More seeds are being planted.
When the pot is empty and the sound system is stowed away, Pastora and the others head back to the mission. Today, four men came forward and accepted Jesus as their Savior. Only God know the others who made quiet, personal commitments. Only God knows those who heard the Word and tucked it away for later contemplation. Only God knows what harvest will truly come of Pastora’s time and energy. Pastora is OK with that. She has done what she was called to do…and God is smiling.