From the Philippines comes the story of Lourdes Buya, a cancer survivor with whom SEED is partnering to open a siomai (food) cart. She calls it “Where are My Friends?”
“I grew up in a family that is considered rich by Philippine standards. My father is a doctor and my mother is a businesswoman who ran our own school. My life was easy and had so many friends because I was so kind to them and invited them to parties, outings and assisted in their needs.
“My life took a sudden twist when my parents arranged my marriage. My life became miserable. They chose a man with good standing in the community and has money too. However, it did not last long when problems came as the relationship was not based on love but convenience.”
After that marriage ended, Lourdes married a man who “loves me not because of family money but just accepts me for who I am. We started our own school; unfortunately, the school was closed and we lost our all savings and position, now we live in a shanty on borrowed land.
“I thought I would start contacting my friends because I thought they would help me, but I was mistaken. All my friends, they didn’t want to help me and they will not pay their debts [to us]. My parents will take me back under their condition that I leave my husband.
“Then I found out that I have breast cancer. My breast grew three times its size and burst. Our neighbor who is a member of the Free Methodist church always came to my house and she always prayed for me and shared God’s love and forgiveness. My heart was filled with anger and bitterness. It’s hard to forgive the people whom I helped that will not help me now. My Free Methodist friends helped me buy some food.
“After her prayer we found out that I do not have malignant cancer. Even though I lost my friends before, God has given me new life and hope.”
To support Lourdes and others like her, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org or call 800.342.5531, ext 249. Soon the online store will be live and you’ll be able to donate online for these and other efforts!