Richelle Verdeprado is a third year social work student at the University of Negros Occidental-Recoletos (UNO-R) and has been working during vacations at the editorial office of Misyon, which I edit on behalf of the Columbans in the Philippines. She has an article in the current issue, November-December, A Missionary from Colombia.
Richelle has just posted a comment on the kidnapping of Fr Michael Sinnott on the Misyon Online Forum and I think it's worth posting here. Thank you, Richelle!
'I can do something . . . something essential and effective . . . I can pray for Fr Michael Sinnott'
When I first heard about Fr. Michael Sinnott's captivity aired in the national television, I remembered making a big sign of the cross. I closed my eyes for a while and said a very short prayer, "Lord, may his captors free him safely...Touch their hearts oh, God..."
When I opened my eyes, I continued watching the news and I remembered how alarmed I became upon knowing his age and medical condition. That night, while I am having my dinner together with some college girls of Holy Family Home, I shared with them what I have found out. In our conversation, we were able to talk about other captivity stories we have heard of and discovered we can remember a lot... from aid workers, missionaries, tourists, teachers and priests. Melanie, who is from Mindanao shared some of the cases she knew. We were really sad that situations such as those were happening. I had to admit that I felt powerless that time. I had thought that I could not do anything. I lost my appetite for food in that particular moment. But I suddenly remembered that there were also news that those who were captured were released and it is not just negotiations which have made their safe release possible...More than anything else, it is prayers which have made all things possible. With God, everything is possible...
So I should not feel hopeless and helpless after all... I can do something...something essential and effective... I can pray for Fr. Michael Sinnott. As they say and as it is proven, prayers can move mountains, prayers can touch hearts...I will be asking more people to pray for Fr. Michael's safety and also for his captors, that their hearts will be touched and they will be able to allow their goodness to rule over them. We pray that the people in charged in negotiation process will be enlightened and strengthened by the Holy Spirit so that they can take the right action. We also pray for the families and friends of Fr. Michael that they will be able to remain strong, hopeful and prayerful. Fr Sinnott's safe return to the Columban house in Gatas District of Pagadian City in the Philippines lies not only upon the delicate negotiating prowess of people in authority but also to the many prayers coming from different places around the world and from different races and ages. We are one no matter who and where we are in praying for Fr. Michael. Together, our prayers can touch hearts...
"For I know the plans I have for you. Plans to prosper you and not to harm you. Plans to give you hope and future." -Jeremiah 29:11-