Maman Rupid

Bang, bang, bang, scrape, scrape, crack!

The sounds floated up to me as I stood in my house. I went to my kitchen window and peered toward the home of Kildit, my closest neighbor. Though all I could see from my window was jungle and parts of a creek and a rice field, I was sure the sound was coming from there.

In her early twenties, Kildit is unmarried, poor, and in elementary school because she did not start her education until late in life. However, what is most important about Kildit is that she has a heart for sharing Jesus with her family, friends and other Palawano people.

Kildit moved to the house down the hill from me last year. She lives alone, except for when a girlfriend visits overnight. Her sister and brother-in-law had begun construction on the house some time ago but never finished building it. The few walls that the house has are short half-walls, and the roof leaks. When it rains, even without wind, her house and everything inside gets wet.

What were all these sounds coming from her house? I knew she was not home. She had returned to her home village, two hours away, to visit her family during school break. Curious, I wandered down the trail to see what was happening.

As I saw Kildit’s house, new, beautiful, full-height bamboo walls were being erected, with a little bamboo window and trellis on one side. I saw Maman Rupid sitting inside, nailing bamboo together to make another wall. My heart swelled with awe and a thanksgiving prayer. Maman has lived here with the missionaries in Kamantian since they first arrived thirty years ago. Although always friendly and helpful, he had been reluctant to talk about Jesus and other spiritual matters until this last year. He has been attending the small group, church and prayer meetings in his village and wants to learn about Jesus and live a Christian life.
God allowed me to see the Holy Spirit working in Maman’s life. Maman saw a need, knew that he possessed the skills to help lift Kildit’s burden, and set about to help without asking the mission for money, nails or encouragement. Maman Rupid just followed Jesus, going about and doing good.

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