Welcoming the strangers in our hearts

As the Marawi Siege and Martial Law heightened the cracks that had already been spreading in our country – between Muslims and Christians, between ‘Northern’ and ‘South of the Southern’ Philippines – it also showed how the need to help could also transcend geography, religion, and, although only in rare instances, even politics.

Groups and individuals from all over the Philippines have pooled together their resources to respond to the emergency in Marawi. Understanding the need of the displaced, they paid no attention to the hate messages liberally thrown around by the groups.

“Whatever they are saying to prevent us from uniting, these are only their excuses in their decision not to act, not to help,” said April Thessa Diaz, Program Coordinator of the Rural Missionaries of the Philippines – Northern Mindanao Sub-Region (RMP-NMR). “We have challenged these with our ‘Welcoming Strangers’ Program, aimed at addressing the discriminations our society have over the years put up like barriers around us.”

Spontaneous generosities have started to gain media attention. In the mudslinging of opinions on the justifiability or not of Martial Law in Mindanao, acts of kindness have pushed for space. Whether they are for or against the decisions of the government, their primary concern is for the affected citizens. Families in Iligan City and nearby communities have opened their homes to groups and individuals caught in the lockdown. Some have extended their kitchen to motorists delayed by the traffic.

Crisis shows the worst – and also the best of humanity. RMP-NMR reiterates its call that instead of dividing us further, we pray that this incident will be the catalyst that would allow us to bond together as a nation.

Let their stories be our inspiration in doing the same. Mary, when she was about to give birth to our Lord Jesus Christ was turned away several times because of the fear that the emperor had instilled in their hearts. Let us put aside our differences for now, face this situation with braveness and courage. It is not just about the direct victims of the conflict. It is about us as a nation. In this chaos, we know that there is still kindness and love we can share.

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Give to the ‘Welcoming the Strangers’ Program to support those displaced by the Marawi crisis, write us at services@rmp-nmr.org, or send your donations to:

 

(Peso Account)

Account name: Rmp-Nmr, Inc

Account number: 9359-1348-08

Bank name and location:

Bank of the Philippine Islands

Quezon Avenue Branch

Iligan City

SWIFT code: BOPIPHMM

 

(Euro Account)

Account name: Rmp- Nmr, Inc

Account number: 002044- 0298- 74

Bank name and location:

Bank of the Philippine Islands

Main Branch

Cagayan de Oro City

SWIFT code: BOPIPHMM

 

(Dollar Account)

Account name: RMP-NMR, Inc

Account number: 9354-0175-36

Bank name and location:

Bank of the Philippine Islands (BPI)

Quezon Avenue Branch

Iligan City

Swift Code: BOPIPHMM