Lisa, my maid of honor and my daughter's godmother!
I met LISA DEVOT a few years ago in my hometown in the Philippines. I had the opportunity to work as her interpreter. I've always admired her strong and yet sweet personality and I've also admired her excellent speaking skills and her beautiful heart and mind. We don't talk often but we know that we are always there for each other.
I met Tricia Vogelsang at our new church a few months ago. She's the first lady who I've had the opportunity to be close to at church. She is a mother of 3 and has just graduated from college with a degree in Family Psychology. She is a very godly woman and has shown so much spiritual maturity. It's been great having her as a friend. She is the first person I think and go to when I just want to talk and listen to a woman of godly wisdom and contagious joy. Her sense of humor is refreshing!
From left to right: Lorelei, Maricris, Me and Mitchelle
These are three of the Pinays (Filipino ladies) who the Lord has placed in my life to love and inspire at present. All four of us are married to handsome American men. Being that I am the "Ate" in this group, I feel like God has given me a mission to build their faith and trust in Him and to be a channel of His care to them. In my journey with them, so far, I've learned the true meaning of loving unconditionally and unselfishly. I've learned that when you are out there building other people's lives, you need to be stripped off of your right to be offended. Otherwise, you would give up building them up and start tearing them down. I've started to be concern about them and stopped expecting that they would be concern of me. Pure love. That's what it's called. When I pray for them, I find myself praying earnestly.
I met Maricris when my husband and I went to a Birthing and Parenting Preparation class. Both of us were 8 months pregnant. She caught my attention because she was the only Asian-looking lady in our class besides me. I thought she was from Singapore. But I took a chance to ask her and found out that she was also Filipino. Cris is one of the smartest Pinays I've met. Her life story is phenomenal. I've been praying for her since the time I first met her. Something drew me to her. I didn't realize it was a God-thing. For a year, I always felt like she was hiding burdens behind her laughter. There were times that I thought that we would never pass through superficial friendship and that we would always have shallow conversations. Until one day... She was excitedly announcing to me that her son would have his one-year-old son would have his first Halloween costume. Immediately, I felt like I was being pushed to say that I would never allow my one-year-old baby to partake in any activities organized by the witches. And I went on preaching and confronting sins around us in this culture we are in. Then we got really personal to point of digging in of the issues in her life that she has been battling with and has been trying to win. I became bolder and bolder with love and by the grace of God. She ended up pouring out her burdens away. That was the beginning of our journey together as I help her grow in the Lord.
Ganaa was one of my employers back in Mongolia. She taught me how to live like a Mongolian lady. She never treated me like I was just one of her employees. She showed me a motherly love- Mongolian-style. She wasn't a perfect lady I've known being that she only believed in Jesus Christ after I shared my faith with her, but she left an important mark in my heart by loving me sincerely and helping provide for my needs.