All six of us were invited to join her and her two children for a visit in her living room. Brian and I from Canada, Bruce from the U.K. and three others from the Philippines.
Her home is two 8 x 8 rooms on top of each other put together with found materials. The ceiling of the first floor is about 5 feet off the ground.
Her home, surrounded by many other similar homes, is in the middle of the graveyards of Lorega in Cebu, Philippines.
Lorega is where the poorest of the poor in Cebu squat on land among the graveyards. The living room and kitchen of her home are on the main floor, while a ladder leads to the second level containing two bedrooms each 4 x 4. Her two younger children share one room and Lydia and her husband the other.
As we sat in her living room listening to her share her heart for God we were undone and moved. Lydia (as I will call her) hosts a regular "home group" in her home now. About 20 people come to the weekly group for prayer, sharing and community. Each week Lydia has to pray in the rice to feed the group as her husband's income is not enough to feed more than their family.
Lydia is one of the moms who responded to Jesus several years ago and now is on a mission to see her neighborhood changed. Many of the children and teens sniff glue in larger numbers in her neighborhood in the graveyards. There is much work to be done in Lorega and Lydia has caught the generous heart of Jesus and joined him in his mission.
Lydia recently prayed for a child of a mother from the weekly group. The child was very sick and the mom brought Lydia to her home to pray for her child. The child's eyes were rolling back in her head and she was very ill when Lydia arrived. Lydia had felt there was spiritual power at work and curses that needed broken. She began to pray and as she did the child was healed. Simultaneously dozens of cockroaches escaped out of the cracks in the home running for safety. To Lydia this was a sign God's power was at work.
We prayed for Lydia that day and she cried as we did but she blessed us much more than we blessed her. Lydia wants to go to India to be a missionary one day.
I first arrived in Lorega years ago when the Cebu Vineyard was being planted. It was then the young team, mostly from Hong Kong, had just moved into the area to start a mid-wifery clinic among other things, to serve the people of Lorega. I went back several times in those first few years but had not been back since 1999.
What amazed me most this time was to see how many Lydia's have emerged in this vineyard spiritual community. I was also encouraged to see that the team living on the outskirts of Lorega, that regularly goes into Lorega to serve, is mostly made up of young adults who once were the abandoned and neglected children of Lorega in those early years.
Moved and undone