Stewardship of Hope
By Marion and Manuel Chan
(10 & 8 years old, respectively)
Sharing of Marion Chan
Even though we are young, we still have many blessings and talents. I consider that having Internet is one of my blessings. I can watch Musicals and use online resources to learn about things of which I am curious. I can also communicate with others using Viber. God gave me the talent to be creative, imaginative, and He made me to be a person who likes reading and writing. I am thankful for these blessings and talents.
We read the story of the Parable of the Talents, wherein the Master scolded the Servant. That servant said, “I was afraid and I went and hid Your talent in the ground.” Because of the Corona Virus, we feel very sad and afraid. Because we cannot go outside, it is like we are in hiding.
Through the Internet, I have been able to make new friends through an Online Camp I joined. I am able to encourage and give words of affirmation to others even when we were not physically together. I help others feel safe and participate in activities.
My Dad, brother and I like fantasy role playing games. My imagination helps them enjoy more. I also read books out loud for my brother. It helps him quiet down during bedtime. Because of COVID-19, we were not able to visit our family in Cebu or go out to be with friends. I missed out on things in school which I was really looking forward to like a Writing and Research Project and also our Annual Fieldtrip.
When our Mom showed us some Bible passages, we chose the one from Jeremiah 29:11 — “For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “Plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope, and a future.”
We don’t want to be stuck at home especially because of a virus that is making people sick and causing businesses to have a difficult time. But being at home has given me a chance to have good habits like making my bed every morning, and cleaning the house especially to disinfect doors, floors and light switches. We have healthy habits also like eating more vegetables (Kimchi is my favorite) and taking walks which my Dad encourages us to do.
Maybe God’s plan is for us to help and support our family and the ones we live with which includes the Ates who live with us.
We have many things to hope for. Hope means being happy even though we do not get our way. It also means that we believe that things will be better. It is important to have hope because Isaiah 40:31 says “But for those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint.”
That means, with hope can we continue to do good things even though we are afraid and sad.
Sharing of Manuel Chan
Some of the blessings that I really appreciate are having Internet and yummy food. The best meal I had was prepared by my Dad. God made me to be cheerful, someone who likes silly things and laughs easily. I am also prayerful. I have been using my blessings to do good. For example, having Internet and being cheerful allowed me to have fun and laugh with friends. I also have e-numan Zoom meetings with family living in different places like Cebu, Davao and New York. I make everyone laugh when I pretend my Yakult has a lot of alcohol to get me drunk.
I’m a prayer warrior. I kneeled down in front of our altar when I was told that my grandaunt was in the hospital. I usually ask Mama Mary for help. I also like asking the help of San Roque. He is the Patron Saint for diseases. My second name is Roque also.
I will also not be able to go back school to be with my classmates. I was also looking forward to learning how to go to Confession and receive Holy Communion. There are many things we cannot do now.
I do not like being the youngest because I think people do not listen to me or I get teased. But, after our family had a discussion about this, I have learned to be less pikon, my Mom listens to me more and my Dad teases me less. My sister is my best friend and we learn to get along and collaborate.
The only Sacrament I have received so far is Baptism. Before, I do not understand what is happening during Mass. I also cannot see what the Priest is doing. But now, I can ask questions during Online Mass and I do not disturb other people. We also attend Online Mass with my friends Javi, Elijah and Noah. We get to talk about the Bible readings, ask questions and learn more from it. Even without school, I am really learning a lot and I want to receive the Sacraments soon.
Someday we will be able to do things again without being afraid of the virus. But for now, we need to have hope so we can keep doing good things even if we have to do it in a different way.
This proposal for a 3-month rainy season push — to refine the “Birdland CARE-Commune” as the First ENYA model of Climate Change Adaptation — is in cooperation with the Ecological Justice Ministry (Eco-Justice) of SSAP; with the understanding that this 3-month operation will also be the training module for the Aeta people who will spearhead the creation of “Bukid ni Tonio CARE-Commune,” a replication of the “Birdland CARE-Commune.”
Over these three months we will refine the “Duck Ecology System” (one of the Nine Systems of Sustainability of all ENYA Communes). This system aims at food production in the ecological way. Fittingly, we shall call the portions of all ENYA communes dedicated for the production of healthy food “Bukid ni Isko” in reference to St. Francis of Assisi whose compassion for the hungry and love for God’s creation inspires our Climate Change Adaptation endeavors.
The extensive research made by ASEAN experts, as well as my own experience, proved that Rice and Duck production is one of the best combinations for successful lowland sustainable farming. Thus, we will focus on the cultivation of Rice by the SRI (System of Rice Intensification) method that a Jesuit from Madagascar invented. We will also demonstrate “Palayisdaan,” the combination of aquaculture and rice culture to maximize land use.
We will also do vegetable gardening of off-season crops to demonstrate that our farming way is rainproof. For this portion we have a total of about 7 hectares which can be divided as follows: 4-hectare rice land, 2-hectare vegetable garden, and 1 hectare for fish and ducks. Most of the infrastructure for the Duck Ecology System, which will be named “Bukid ni Isko” for all ENYA communes, are already in place like the fishponds (with weirs), rice paddies and vegetable gardens.
However, we will need housing for the ducks, raised beds and maybe greenhouses. Finances for this project will come from three sources. The Eco-Justice Ministry of SSAP will contribute P200,000 (c/o SSAP, Fr. Reu, OFM). ENYA will contribute P150,000 (c/o Sarge and Joanna Sarmiento) and P50,000 from Larry Pangan. Should there be more funding during the implementation of this proposal, we will direct it to the refinement of the other eight systems to complete our ENYA model for Climate Change Adaptation.
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