A FATHER to orphans and an advocate for widows is God in his holy dwelling place. (Psalms 68:5)
Day after Christmas, me, my husband, my brother Andrew and some cousins went home to Besao to stand witness to the wedding of our kaanakan Winsky married to Elvee on our mother side and two more wedding on my father side. After the wedding Andrew and I proceeded to Panabungen to visit the only living sibling of my father, Mary Balaki. It was fun time for we joined in the reunion and taking part eating the cow that was butchered and the linapet that was prepared. We even had some to bring home. We also visited our dad’s ancestral home and will eventually have to fixed it up to be the center of gathering for the Weygan family.
The first week of the year, my husband and I, were again called to Besao for the wedding of Lingling and Jojo Takahashi to be officiated by Mayor Johnson Bantog II. The wedding was on a Sunday January 8 so we travelled late the day before. We left Baguio after the BSBT 45th foundation celebration and the First death Anniversary of dad. We arrived in Sagada late in the evening and we decided to stay in St Joseph lodging house. Over dinner, I shared to my husband the summer times from 1989 to 1995 where we conducted seminars and skills training in Sagada. We were the first to teach computer operations (word Star) and bookkeeping in St Mary’s School summer of 1989. During those summers we were housed in various locations like the Principal’s office, the Girl’s dorm and the school itself.
However, I also shared that the during those times there were still orphans being taken care off by the nuns of the Sisters of St Mary the Virgin. That some of the buildings of St Joseph lodging were actually orphanages. This led to a fruitful discussion on why orphans became a ministry of the Anglican Church in Sagada. I remember the stories of people in some Bontok villages that when the mother dies while giving birth, they will bury the baby with the mother. My husband says that most villages in the mountains do not have twins because they will purposely kill the weakling so that the other child will survive. The village folks will decide which of the babies will live and which one to go. So instead of having those babies die, they were adopted. I remember my cousin Luke, was taken cared off by the nuns because their mother died when he and his sister Lucia were still kids. Penny, the past registrar of UB was one of the orphans as well as twins Martha and Mary. How they have become successful after they left the orphanage was a great accomplishment of the ministry. But I am not familiar when they stopped because by 1989 we met some of the children from several Bontoc villages who were still staying in the orphanage.
There are still several churches that have ministry to orphans. When I was handling Sunday school in turn of the century, we usually go to orphanages to share joy and time. The kids enjoyed those times and the parents support their children during these outreaches.
At these present times, where the President pursue his promise to rid of the drug users, drug pushers and all involved with illegal drugs there will be more orphans. Comes now the question, who will take care of them? Who will send them to school? Who will teach them the right way so that they too will not go wayward from good morals and the law? Who will reach out to our orphans? The answer is God. Many who were killed are no longer homeless, they are found in eternity. But still who will take the ministry to the orphans and the command of God seriously, and be bold to help those who were murdered for being a user and a drug pusher. At the same time, we wait and see the big fishes be caught and punished. We wait for a time when others will be vindicated. We wait for a time when peace will again be in our land!