Interview with the Del Carmen family
The retreat gave us an opportunity to get to know our newest MEANS volunteers who have been volunteering for one and a half years together with their parents: the Del Carmen Family. Edwin and Jerelyn del Carmen, their two children, Elizabeth and Emmanuel and their parents, Boyet and Remy Otinguey Labrador joined the retreat for the first time. Edwin and Jerelyn are registered nurses in the State of Illinois.
Tell us about yourself. What do you do for a living?
Ed and Jerelyn: We are blessed to be RNs, have 2 kids, and new to MEANS.
Remy: I am a stay at home mother all my life, a master in household chores.
How did you come to know about MEANS?
Kuya Rampi (a MEANS volunteer) is a church mate at Willow Creek Huntley. In February 2017, he asked us if we have Filipino friends in the area, since we just moved to Huntley in December 2015 and my parents just arrived in November 2016. He invited us to come to their house every third Saturday of the month as there is an “activity” in their basement. We got curious and first came in March 2017.
Why do you want to volunteer at MEANS?
Good food for good people with good talk/fellowship! As we came month by month, we learned to love the mission and the core values of MEANS. We want to be individuals that spread the Gospel, help the needy, and partner with missionaries. We want to become channels of blessings by contributing our time and skills.
Looking at long-time volunteers, it made us amazed at the commitment they have to the group. Their kids grew up in a community of believers and so we hope the same for our kids too. We long to be surrounded by wise people, who could mold, guide, and encourage us to use the God-given talents that we have. The MEANS Prayer Link helps a lot too, making us confident that a group of people is praying to God on our behalf.
Remy: I contribute a dish each workday. I feel happy whenever the food that I bring is appreciated.
What is your impression on your first workday at MEANS?
Overwhelmed and confused but felt welcomed! Though we did not understand fully the process or system at first, we felt that we belonged and decided to come again to learn more about the group and its projects.
This is your first year with MEANS. What have you learned as a volunteer?
We have learned that there are still selfless people from all walks of life, gifted individuals that come together every month, generous human beings who are willing to share their time, talents and treasures to expand and further God’s kingdom. In addition, we’ve learned that God will pour joy in your heart as you let Him use you as channels of blessings to reach out to people and His ministries.
What is your dream for MEANS?
That God will continue to use MEANS to bless people in East Asia through the many projects, that He will encourage donors to give more and keep their trust in the ministry.