Cabuyao Unites Under the Light
Last October 27, the Word of God brought together the local government of Cabuyao, Laguna, its people, the Bible Society, and the different local Catholic, and Protestant churches.
Under the Ilaw sa Tahanan (Light to the Home) Bible distribution program the Philippine Bible Society (PBS) partnered with the National Housing Authority (NHA), the Cabuyao for Jesus Movement (CJM), St. Policarp Parish, and the local Homeowners’ Association.
During the distribution, there was no distinction between churches, or between the government and the governed. All were driven by their shared desire of spreading the Good News to the residents of the relocation site.
Volunteers from the different groups began handing out around 4,000 copies of the Bible to the residents of Southville I relocation site after the simple dedication program held at the Southville I Elementary School grounds.
During the program, parish priest Fr. Edgar Consignado dissuaded the residents from making the Bibles that they were receiving mere “displays,” and encouraged them to “take the time to read and understand the Word that it may be reflected in their lives.”
Homeowners’ association Vice President Marissa Santos agreed. “When we first transferred here, there was a consensus that our lives were miserable and that we needed some kind of spiritual support. That’s why we are happy and grateful that a Bible distribution program was done in our community,” she shared.
She also said that while they may be “hungry” for material wealth, she expects all of them to be “filled with spiritual wealth” now that they have their own Bibles.
Rev. Irma Dela Cruz, wife of CJM leader Rev. Galahad Dela Cruz, said the volunteers’ excitement over preparing for the Bible distribution was extraordinary.
“It didn’t matter to them if they got tired or if they don’t have enough money for fare. What was impressed in their hearts was they will give Bibles in Southville and they are glad and excited about it,” Pastora Irma shared, adding that they “praise God for placing this impression upon the hearts of the volunteers.”
The organizers were also able to personalize Bibles after conducting an extensive survey in the relocation site to determine the residents’ interest in owning a copy of the Holy Scripture.
Using data from that survey, Pastora Irma explained, they placed the names of the recipients on each copy of the Bible. “We want the families who would receive these Bibles to treasure them and for them to feel that they are special,” she explained, adding that close to 200 volunteers toiled for four days to label the Bibles.
PBS Board Member Dante Lanorio and NHA Project Manager Engr. Raymund Abad also presented a donation of Bible and other Scripture materials to Southville I Elementary School principal Mrs. Elvira Catangay, who graciously hosted the program.
For her part, PBS Communications and Development Manager Juliet Jimeno expressed joy over the underlying spirit of unity highlighted by the distribution. “It is always delightful to witness people coming together to celebrate and share the Word of the Lord,” she said.
Project Coordinator Nestor Reyes, meanwhile, said that they also plan reach out to more than 8,000 families in Balagtas, Marilao, Meycauayan, and Bocaue in the province of Bulacan before yearend. Presently, he added, the Bible Society and its partners have distributed over 14,600 copies of the Ilaw sa Tahanan Bible for this year alone.