by Ateht Sambitan
CFC SFL, District of Naval, Biliran
We were pretty getting by as a family. My siblings went to school, some of us worked and we were serving the Lord through the community. Our family is one of those religious families in our town and you can imagine how people would react if some of us would, let’s say do something out of the standards of the church.
It was 2010 when we were tested, I was then a Mission Volunteer for SFL and some of my brothers and sisters were serving in YFL. November or 2010 we learned that my sister is 7 months pregnant with her first child. We had no idea about because she hid it from us plus she and her boyfriend have not done any move on how they would do about the baby. When we learned about it we were so worried because during the past months she had been doing strenuous activities, like cheerdancing, playing softball, dancing on heels. We worried about the baby’s condition because she had not done any checkup during the 7-month period she hid her pregnancy. My sister’s boyfriend came to the house with his parents and opted for civil marriage for his son and my sister, but we never agreed to it because first: the father of the baby had not finished school yet and if they live together then the chances for him to finish it will no longer be possible and Second: marriage is a sacred thing and for us it has to be done in front of God, witnessed by people of the same faith.
Our first blessing came on January 20, 2011, caesarian delivery. By then we were not financially prepared for it so is the father of the child. So I and my parents will have to use our resources to provide. Through God’s grace we were able to find the money for such delivery and we were just glad my sister’s health is good and the baby was born, a healthy baby girl. She brought happiness to all of us, though we were hurt by what my sister did and somehow she takes everything away.
But the story did not end there after niece’s first birthday; we learned again that my sister is three months pregnant, with the same guy though. But It hurt me that it made me say “Di ko pa nga tapos bayaran ang utang ko sa first baby mo, eto na naman?” Again no checkup, no care from a physician, we decided to have my sister leave the province and have her delivery in Manila. Why? Because, my parents could not bear the thought of people talking badly against her. It was then I really heard my mother said this “Kung hindi lang tayo nagseserve kay God ang daling sabihin na ipalaglag na lang yan 3-months pa lang naman yan eh”. But it was also the year where the community’s theme was CHOOSE LIFE. It made me realize that in life including me, my siblings and my parents we have made decisions that led to sin or something that is not pleasing to God but this time God wanted us to CHOOSE LIFE, no matter what the cost is, be it pain, be it financial distress, LIFE IS MORE IMPORTANT.
Our baby boy was born on June 11, 2012. A very healthy baby boy, at that moment we saw him were no longer thinking of how we are going to pay our financial debt, but a promise that God will take care of everything including our finances because we chose to save our little angels.
To summarize, first, it is easy to say that I don’t care because it is my sister’s life anyway but it is not easy to say I don’t love her. She is who she is, as a family we would love her despite the mistakes but on the back of that we would not stop until she is the best person in the eyes of God, no judgments. She may have hurt us but it is the essence of how a family becomes strong, on acceptance.
Second, I am thankful that despite the pain we went through we experience some peace and piece of heaven of having those little angels. By the way their names are : Bernadeth Sayaka and Leonard Santino. I myself want to be part of them growing up and I will in my lifetime make them feel how God have been good to them and our family because of them.
Third, in life we make choices that are sometimes against what’s normal in the world, and sometimes would help us be labeled as deviant but I don’t care God’s ways are still the best. May not be easy but if you look back, you are the strongest you let God train you, whether it is a decision for yourself, or a decision you made as a family. And that’s what true courage is. #CHOOSETOBEBRAVE.
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