I remember growing up in the province with yayas that grew old in our family. They were literally “family” to us. I have always treated them special and because I grew up in an environment where we treat our house help with dignity and love, I have carried that forward to my present family.
Here in Manila, house helps are so different from where I was brought up. They come in for work for usually the wrong motives. 80% of the time, they are poorly educated and choose to take the job to help their families make ends meet. They also live out the soap opera dramas. They seek temporary pleasures hoping that it can bring them happiness. Happiness if I ask them to say it out would be:
- Any man who can love and take care of them
- Money for the things they want to buy- gadgets: cellphone, tablets, clothes, gimmick money
- A house and lot
- No need to work 🙂
Initially, I was very concerned about their values and outlook in life – how can I entrust my children to them if they are “unqualified” for the work ahead?
Then the Lord rebuked me in his word:
“ for ‘Everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.’ How then, can they call on the one they have not believed in? And how can they believe in the one of whom they have not heard? And how can they hear without someone preaching to them? And how can anyone preach unless they are sent? As it is written: “How beautiful are the feet of those who bring good news!” – Romans 10:13-15
“How will they know ME if its not through your home?” The Lord impressed in my heart that I must be intentional with them. He made it clear every person that comes in my home must get to know HIM. So my adventure began by making it my personal ministry to share Jesus with every kasambahay that enters our home. Each one gets a Bible and we ask them to join us for Sunday service and our big group. But real discipleship happens when I walk with them day by day.
I have wrestled with their wrong thinking. I challenge them to make a positive response out of their circumstances and have led many to surrender their life to Jesus. I also give
them hope that life can be better. I plan out their financial stewardship and teach them about God and relationships.
The work is not easy. Let me tell you how extremely “out-of-this-world” this path is – because when you get inside their world, you will have great compassion for them. Many of them have broken my heart many times because of their stubborn ways. Some of them got pregnant with men who don’t want the responsibility of rearing a child. They are now unwed young moms. Some are in deep debt because even if I don’t allow borrowing, they would borrow from other people and get themselves into deeper debt issues. But despite being hurt, I have learned to love them unconditionally. I have cared for them by taking them to doctor’s check ups and pay for their hospitalizations. I have helped them save money to get out of debt. I have provided added knowledge where I see their gifting can shine. I have shared the love of Jesus to them.
I have seen many of them grow in the Lord over the months or years they are with me. Then as things are in place, the Lord will cause them to leave us for valid reasons like: its time for them to take care of their kids or they’re going home to start a business. I would be in mixed emotions. I am happy because I know wherever they go “God is imprinted in their hearts”. I am sad because that would mean training, bringing new people in our household and start the hard work of mentoring all over again. Sniff. But I have learned to embrace this. God is teaching me to love people and be dependent on Him always as he takes care of our household.
I am again in this season, another time for bidding goodbyes but thinking positively that every person entering our home are Maids for Heaven.