Sundays are the best at the Peninsula 3 branch. The sisters, with their cheerful faces and vibrant smiles always lift me up. This past Sunday after the meetings, we had a celebration. Mhean Pangan prepared a simple "break-fast" meal for all of us to celebrate that after 19 years as a domestic worker in Hong Kong, she is finally returning home to the Philippines. This is always a great cause for a celebration among the domestic workers.
While they sign two year contracts here, many renew those contracts over and over again, just to have enough money for their families back home. They visit home only occasionally during holidays. Jobs are extremely hard to find in the Philippines and these women bear the burden of helping to provide for their families over 1000 kilometers away. But Mhean is finally going home - home to her husband and her 8 year old daughter. Mhean joined the church while in Hong Kong. Her daughter is awaiting her return back home, where the two of them will begin attending church together for the first time. No wonder it is a cause for celebration!
Philippine-style homemade soup and typical Philippine-style homemade ice cream sandwiches for a hungry crowd. ("What? Sister Coffey, you've never had ice cream this way before?????")
|Photo time is happy time. (Elder Coffey, not pictured, was attending to branch presidency duties)|
|The clean up crew - the "Abinadi Group"|
The women in these Philippine branches are the salt of the earth. Faithful, humble, often treading through severe mistreatment and heavy challenges from employers and family stresses, they remain true to their testimonies and to their faith in Jesus Christ. They know that He is the great Comforter and He brings them peace. I am uplifted in their presence every week.