You have read that right.
I am scheduled to give a talk tomorrow to a public school with him. A lenten recollection to the graduating students to be exact.
But this morning, he texted me:
Kapatid, baka hindi ako makababa at makapunta diyan. May death threat na naman ako. Tatambangan daw ako kung sa daan ko pauwi. Ipagdasal mo ako.
He is a religious missionary in the mountainous region of Sierra Madre, part of Bulacan. And he has been of service to the Dumagats and other poor and uneducated people up there. He builds a community, a cooperative, and a school for our poor and uneducated countrymen.
And now, a local politician and his cohorts are angry.
Why? Here’s a nerve-wracking story according to my Missionary friend:
Ang mga Dumagat ay may subsidy na isanlibong piso mula sa lokal na gobyerno. Ngunit dahil sila nga ay hindi mga edukado, inuuto sila ng gobyerno. Pinapapirma sila sa voucher na nakasulat ay isanlibong piso, ngunit isandaang piso lamang ang ibibigay sa kanila. Nakakagalit ng laman ano?
At kinuwestyon iyon ng kaibigan ko. Sinugod niya ang opisina ng nasa posisyon na iyon. Nabuksan ang katotoihanan.
At simula noon, nakakatanggap na siya ng mga death threats. Binabato ang kumbento at ang kanyang kuwarto. At nakakatanggap ng sulat na “Nakatulog ka na ba sa gitna ng kalsada habang nasusunog ang kuwarto mo” at “Huwag kang maglalakad ng mag-isa sa kalsada at baka ma-hit and run ka.”
That is a sad reality. That is a nerve-wracking story of my friend. akala ko sa pelikula lang nangyayari, meron din pala sa tunay na buhay.
I admire his courage to stay there in the service of the people. He could have just give up and live a normal and peaceful life. But no, he chose to stay.
The last time I saw him was last week, before he came back to the mountains. He told me that he is ready to die and his death would not be in vain since he is fighting for the truth, since he is fighting for of our Lord.
What I have there in front of me was a martyr-in-process.
Sometimes, I ask myself, can i die for our Lord? Can I die for my faith? I think, I do not have that enough courage and strength to be a martyr. I just don’t know yet.
How about you? Can you die for your faith? Can you stand and fight for the truth until the end?
I will leave this as a challenge for each and everyone of us.
And please, pray for my comrade. His name is Christian.