Seeing God in our differences
When she was five years old, Maimai would travel with her parents to deliver corn crops to their local market in the Philippines. One day she was riding in the back of the truck when she fell. The young girl went underneath the truck. Her left arm was crushed, and it’s never grown since that day.
Now 37, the happily married mom still remembers the pain she felt as a young child dealing with the physical and emotional aspects of being different.
“I grew up with depression,” she says. “I experienced bullying at school.”
She had attended church since she was a young girl, but at 16 years old, Maimai surrendered her life and her pain to Jesus. “I was feeling so upset about my situation, so I came to Jesus to ask for comfort,” she says. She was working as a house maid for a Christian family who helped her grow in her faith.
Today, she is an active member of her local church and community. Farming is the main source of income in this community, but because of her arm, Maimai is not able to farm. “I embroider recycled textiles and turn them into something useful like a hat, bags, or even door mats as my primary source of livelihood,” she says. “While doing so, I listen to Christian music and preaching.”
She loves to worship the Lord and uses her beautiful singing voice on the worship team. She also studies God’s Word in small group Bible studies alongside her Bible study leader, Lorijane, who is also differently abled.
“Pastor Lorijane inspires me because, despite her condition, I can see that she has a happy heart; she is very friendly, and her personality is easy to be with,” Maimai says. “She is always there to pray for me, especially when experiencing family problems.”
Lorijane was born without a right leg. Despite her circumstances, she hosts more than 50 small group Bible studies in houses across her community in the Philippines. The Word of God is spreading here thanks to their dedicated service.
“The way I see it, born-again Christians are growing in my community because of the active ministers of the Lord like our head pastor, Pastor Gloria, and the resident missionary, Pastor Lorijane,” Maimai says.
Every Saturday, Maimai gathers with others from the area in a local home to study God’s Word and worship. She is grateful for Lorijane and sees her as a source of inspiration. “Just like Lorijane, I became a victim of bullying at school. Now, I sing to the Lord whenever I’m feeling sad,” Maimai emotionally shared.
“Continue to pray for my spiritual strength, pray for my family; I want to see my family serving the Lord in the coming days. I also pray for my business to grow to support others.”