on tuesday afternoon, i was faced with the motivation to discover more of my mission field here in baguio. after my first couple of visits to the baguio city jail, it was apparent to me that i thoroughly felt drawn to that community, and i wanted to pursue my discovery of that field. well, i never really looked into it more, other than, well, i go to the jail every week to visit with the CICL – but still, i wanted to go more.
well later that afternoon, i asked sr. romy, sr., would you go with me to the jail tomorrow morning? so that we can see if there are other opportunities for me to volunteer? though it was super short notice, she agreed! woohoo! it was then, wednesday morning, 9am, and sr. romy was all ready to go! the night prior, i discovered a book written by sr. josephine migliore, MSC, “and i loved them…voices from a prison ministry.” it was so amazing and refreshing to read, and every story she shared, every word i read, was very inspirational, and i was like, YES. the need she saw for “tough love” in her prison ministry experience? YES. i felt very connected to sr. josephine and mother cabrini in their ministries in the prisons, and i took that as such a sign, that yes, maybe i should indeed continue my exploration of the jail community here. clearly, i enjoyed the book, as i finished the book in less than a day! i don’t think i’ve ever read a book that fast in my life. haha!
as we left SOSCFI that morning, we said bye, and sr. romy said, “we’ll be back. we just need to discover something.” and so we did. hopped on the jeepney, walked to the jail, and as we approached the entrance, i said, “ok, sister, so we’ll look for who we need to talk to, and then see if there are any faith opportunities here. and i figure, if we don’t get the answers, or we’re not allowed in, then we will just come back again?” so clearly, i was thinking way too ahead of myself and freaking myself out, preparing myself for the worst, and thinking of alternatives, should this random visit end up becoming a fail. but then again, it was like, this could not be a failure! cause i’m trying, and i felt God would bless that, regardless. it reminded me of how prior to going on a sales call, i would run through everything in my head, make sure i have the proper introduction, said the right things, blah blah blah…and sr. romy remained her peaceful calm self, and said, “yes, we’re just here to see if we can get a schedule or something.” haha!
so then, i was like, if sister is calm, i can be calm too. so then we head down the steps, ask to speak to the person we needed to talk to, they got him out, and we ended up talking for like an hour or so about the different opportunities they had for me to get involved, and it was great! such a blessed meeting it was, and passing by, i saw some of the CICL, and they greeted me with warm smiles and waves! that was nice. it was especially surprising to be affirmed by this man, in that he explained how he feels they need some innovation, some creativity in the way that they pray, and he believes in me. he said he could see the passion in me, and that i have this aura, this different energy about me, which makes him believe that i can do it. he was like, “crystal, you can do this! i believe in you. we’re happy you’re here and that you will join us here. ” i told the officers i would see them soon – haha, like 3 days later, soon.
the man wrote the dates and times in my journal, we said our goodbyes, sr. romy and i left, and as soon as we got to the top, we both expressed to each other, “WOW! that’s a lot! we did it!” i think we were both in awe about how wonderful that super spontaneous meeting went. granted, we didn’t even tell him we were coming, the officers were able to bring him out, even though it wasn’t even visiting hours, and we had the freedom to talk in full length about the in’s and out’s of the programming. it was really perfect – definitely unexpected! reflecting on that random visit, i thought to myself, wow. did he really affirm me? did he really use the words, “yes, you are needed here.” like, it was pretty remarkable. and i took it all. scoop it all up, and see where this takes me.
to unwind, sr. romy and i took a stroll to the city hall, walked through the park, shared some time together, just walking, and talking, and enjoying each others’ company. i saw a group of kids with a guitar, and had them sing a song for us. haha, and so they did. 🙂 thank you, teenagers.
it was a perfect end, to celebrate God’s divine work that morning. i thanked sr. romy, and we were all smiles.