Stroke survivor exemplifies strong faith of the Filipino, finishes 1.6km Worldwide Walk 2

Stroke survivor exemplified the stronger faith of the Filipino when she finished the 1.6km Worldwide Walk 2 held in Manila at the scenic Roxas Boulevard.

The WorldWide Walk to Fight Poverty, conducted by the Iglesia Ni Cristo (Church of Christ) re-affirmed the stronger faith and grit of Filipinos around the world.

Back in February 15, 2014, Rebecca Nacis who hails from Riverside, Quezon City in Metro Manila was not able to attend the first Worldwide Walk.

Nanay Rebecca prepared to attend the event but due to her sickness and a weak heart, she was advised to rest and was left all one in her house.  She never failed to attend Church activities.  In her younger years, she was president of the Kadiwa organization and Children’s Worship Services.

When her husband Rolando and only daughter arrived after the joining the first Worldwide Walk in 2014, they saw Rebecca lying on the floor and when they talked to her, all they heard was a slurring voice.

She was rushed immediately to the Chinese General Hospital.

There, she was diagnosed with rheumatic heart and was given only five days to live.  She had an enlarged heart which caused the stroke.  It was hard for her heart to pump oxygen to her brain.

In a comatose situation, Rebecca recalled hearing prayers.  She remembered praying for God to heal her and when the prayer that she heard ended, she blurted “Amen” and for the first time, Rebecca opened her eyes and saw her loved ones who were physically there to pray for her.

“Hayag na hayag ang pag-ibig ng Ama,” her voice cracked. [God’s love is very evident.]

At the Worldwide Walk to Fight Poverty conducted yesterday,  March 6, 2018, participants cannot help but look at Rebecca who is now 60 years old.

Wearing the Worldwide Walk white shirt, she was inching her way slowly to the 1.6 kilometer track, just beside the barriers.

She donned the charity walk visor in a loose printed pants.

She is using her right hand to lift the quad cane for her movement while her left hand is safely supported by an arm sling.

Rebecca also carries a black sling bag with an official walk tag in it with a matching flaglet that waves as she slowly walks along with the participants.

On the average, she makes at least one step in every one to two seconds.  Watch her walk in the video below:

Her husband Rolando was behind her, ready to assist for her needs.  Sometimes, Rolando opens his umbrella to protect Rebecca from the morning sun that slowly brightened as the day progressed.  Rolando carried a blue cooler that water, food and maintenance medicines of Rebecca.

“Hindi na nga ako nakasama noon, di pa ba naman ako lalakad ngayon?  Habang naihahakbang ang paa, makikipagkaisa,” Rebecca declared.

She gets a regular check-up from the Heart Center and was advised by her doctor that she can participate in the walk.

“Lagi akong nagpapapahid ng langis at hinihiling ko palagi na makalakad ako para makarating palagi sa pagsamba,” she said. [I always request for the anointment of the sick and always ask Him for me to be able to walk so I can always attend worship services.]

Society for Communicators and Networkers (SCAN) members who were scattered in intervals along the barricades outside the walk area express their awe and support to Nanay Rebecca:

“Kaya mo yan Nay!”

“Kaya mo pa Nay?”

“Kayang-kaya mo yan Nay!”

“Palaban si Nanay!”

These words were spoken by people to her a million times.

It seemed that these gave her more encouragement.  She sometimes uses her mobile phone and flashed smiles to people who greeted her.

Medics in blue approach from time to time and remind them that at any point that she feels uncomfortable, all she had to do was to notify them and she’ll be given assistance as soon as possible.

One one point, photographers and videographers gathered in front of her to document her amazing journey.  She gave a faint smile as she continued walking to finish her race.

Nanay Rebecca is just one of the many stories of Filipinos and non-Filipinos whose faith are unwavering.  Not for themselves but to prove to the world that despite their own problems and challenges, they will give all the strength to others who need help.

Some public officials also joined the charity walk included the following personalities who lauded Iglesia Ni Cristo’s “spectacular, impressive and worth-emulating” programs against poverty: Presidential Communications Secretary Martin Andanar, Senator JV Ejercito and Assistant to the President Bong Go who shared his message on the Presidential Communications FB page.  Watch the video in this link.

The Iglesia Ni Cristo Worldwide walk to Fight Poverty “is such a spectacular program,” Presidential Communications Secretary Martin Andanar said.

Since poverty is a universal problem, Andanar said that “activities that fight poverty all over the world help in inspiring people to join the cause.  When organizations as big as the Iglesia Ni Cristo is active in fighting poverty, it inspires more organizations to follow suit.”

He mentioned that the partnership between the Church and the private sector and the government sector cannot be underestimated.

A noble task

“Iglesia Ni Cristo, I suppose is the only homegrown church of the country spread all over the world with hundreds and hundreds of churches all over the world and it is in the position to do what it is doing right now in ending poverty,” Andanar observed.

“It is such as a noble task,” he said.

“I would like to congratulate Ka Eduardo and the entire Church, the Iglesia ni Cristo, the millions of members, and the more than a million members walking today here in Manila,” he said.

Also for their noble task and faith, the Communications Secretary also congratulated the members of the Church “walking in the countries where they are in right now.”

The Communications Secretary also admired the sustainability project of the Church of Christ.

“Sustainability in the food creation is definitely the way to go.  With our environment experiencing degradation, we should all get into the science of sustainability so I applaud the efforts of the Iglesia Ni Cristo in putting in so much effort and money and investment in sustainable growth, sustainable farming, and sustainable food production,” he declared.

Always a model of unity

Assistant to the President Bong said “nakapakasarap ng pakiramdam.  Makikita mo talaga ang pagkakaisa ng Iglesia para maiahon ang mga kapatid natin sa kahirapan.”  [It feels great.  You will see the unity of the Church to raise our “brethren out of poverty.]

“Hindi lang sa Pilipinas, kahit sa ibang lugar, hindi lang Iglesia, sana maengganyo din ang mga kapatid natin na magkaisa.”  [Not only in the Philippines, even in other places, not only members of the Church are hoped to be inspired to be united.]

“Yung Iglesia kasi ang nagiging ehemplo parati, kung paano sila makikita sa pagkakaisa.  Sama-sama talaga.  Nakakawala ng pagod na kasama sila sa paglalakad kahit na antok na antok ka na,” he added. [The Church is always the example in how they unite.  They really are together.  Even if you are sleepy, you don’t get tired walking with them.]

“Sana ang gobyerno rin matin makatulong dito kasi marami ang ideas ang Iglesia sa pagtulong sa kapwa nila.”  [I hope that the government can help here because the Church has a lot of ideas in helping other people.]

Worth emulating by all

“Very impressive,” Senator JV Ejercito said about the event.

Masarap ang pakiramdam, nakadalawang balik ako, maraming nakangiti, maraming bumabati, di mo maramdaman ang pagod.

However, beyond such feeling of brotherhood, what is important according to the Senator is the message of the event to unite against poverty.

“Ang kapatiran ng Iglesia, kusang lumalabas para tulungan ang kapwa, sana kung ito ay magaya ng lahat,” he said.

“It js about humanity, pag may taong nangangailangan, nagigipit, masarap ang pakiramdam kung alam mong may umaalalay  at tumutulong sa iyo,” he concluded.