“Farming and woodcarving are our sources of livelihood here in Ifugao. But these have been greatly affected by the pandemic crisis. We could hardly find buyers of our products,” lamented Luisa Padua, a resident of Lamut.
Their plight has persisted as this Northern Luzon province was recently placed under Modified Enhanced Community Quarantine (MECQ), the next strictest quarantine classification in the Philippines, due to rise in local Covid-19 cases.
To help alleviate the burdens of the Ifugao residents, Iglesia Ni Cristo (Church Of Christ) members from the Ecclesiastical District of Nueva Vizcaya conducted Lingap Sa Mamamayan (Aid to Humanity) in three of the province’s northern towns on July 2, 2021.
Nueva Vizcaya province is to the south of Ifugao, and local congregations in the latter are under the Church’s district in the former.
From Bayombong, Nueva Vizcaya where the district office is situated, the humanitarian mission, led by Brother Fermin Paquiao, district supervising minister, traveled to Ifugao to give relief packages to fellow members and nonmembers.
The Lingap took place at the compound of the houses of worship of the local congregations of Lamut, Lagawe (both in the towns of the same names), Hucab, and Umilag (both in barangays of the same names in Kiangan town).
“Many of us here lost our livelihood,” said Krisha Mae Guingayan, one of the beneficiaries from Lagawe. “But this [humanitarian] activity inspired us with God’s words. I thank the Church for reaching out to us and, most especially, uplifting us spiritually.”
The Church members took the opportunity of introducing the true Christian faith to many nonmembers who were Lingap beneficiaries.
“This Church’s aid is not a new thing. This is our obedience to the commandment of the Lord Jesus Christ that we should love our fellowmen. But the most important aid we provide is their spiritual needs,” Brother Paquiao explained. — With reports from INC News Section