I used to believe in coincidences.
I just happened to meet people out of random luck. I work with Disabled people
by chance. I’m writing devotionals at a Church 3,100 miles away because it’s a
Naw, it’s not an accident! It’s God’s Will. If it wasn’t, it wouldn’t be working the
way, it is.
Let me share a story with you. When I was in the Philippines, I met this family in
Manila. Frankly, most of them were fake. I could sense they were being nice to
me because they saw me as a “rich Canadian.” They would talk about their woes
while they are driving a brand-new Hyundai. They would tell me how poor they
were while they were enjoying a large, fresh shrimp cocktail. There was one
member of this family who was a quiet, humble man. He owns nothing and
never complained. When I smoked (I since stopped thanks to the LORD), he
and I would talk about everything but money. He shared what little he had. He
even slaughtered a goat (which was his prize possession) so he could offer me
the best he had. He has five daughters and they share a small family home. The
five daughters share a bedroom that is 12 feet by 12 feet. He goes to the Wet
Market at 2 am in the morning as this is where food prices are the cheapest. He
has to leave at 2 am as food sells fast. I see Bong (that’s his name) as a brother
The family members who whined were passed off by me. However, I had the
urge to help Bong. I knew Bing would not accept anything from me so one day it
dawned on me he rents rooms for $100.00 a month. Bong has 5 of these rooms
and that’s pretty well his sole income. Imagine supporting 5 daughters on
$500.00 a month if they are fully rented and most times they are not. So, one
day I asked Bong if he had any rooms for rent. He asked me why I asked. I told
him I wanted to rent any vacant ones. He had two available so I rented them. I
told him to keep them available so that when I come to Manila I have a place to stay.
To this day, I still rent those rooms. To this day, Bong keeps them solely for me.
Then, just in conversation, he tells me about his youngest daughter and how
proud he is of her. She works at a College and gets free tuition to go to school.
He was so proud, he showed me her marks. She is on the Dean’s list. I was so
impressed, I asked him to move Maria into one of my rented rooms so she can
study better. After all, trying to study in a 12 by 12 room with 4 other girls is
hard. Bong moved her to one of my rented rooms. I asked him what Maria has
to sleep on. He told me not to worry about that. I later found out Maria sleeps
on the floor so I asked Bong when Maria’s birthday is? It so happened her
birthday was the week after I asked so I made arrangements to have an entire
bedroom suite delivered complete with a student’s desk. I asked Bong how
Maria gets to school. She walks for hours one way so I gave her a monthly
allowance. Knowing how proud Bong and Maria are, I told Maria I will give her
allowance as long as she is in school full time and remains on the Dean’s list. Her
allowance happens to cover the balance of her school expenses and a bit of
spending money. Maria proudly shows me her marks through Viber every
semester. Her lowest mark last semester was 94 percent.
Fast forwarding, COVID has made a school for Maria challenging. Again, Bong or
Maria never complains. I asked how Maria is completing her schoolwork. Since
she has no computer, she goes to her College to use the public ones. She uses
her allowance to pay the rental fee. So, guess what Maria is getting this
Christmas? Yes, a MacBook Pro is en route via DHL.
The reason I tell you this story is that my meeting Bong and she is not an
accident. I knew something inside told me to help Bong and her. Yes, it was God.
I know that for a fact. She will succeed and get out of poverty. I know she will
help others because I told her all I want is for her to pay it forward one day and I
know she will.
You know what my makes is all worth it? I never told Bong or Maria about my birthday
but somehow they found out. Here is what Maria wrote me on my last birthday
Hello Tito Kent, this is Maria. Happiest birthday to you, & thank you for
everything. More birthdays to come and stay healthy. Wish you all the best. God
bless and stay safe always love lots (mwah) (heart) (cake).
It’s the God bless that means the most. God bless her too. by Kent Brosh a Kawaiaha’o Blog Contributor