Honoring Brother Jimmy Sarte

I may not know bro Jimmy that much. I don’t remember if we ever talked during the Bond of Brothers and I guess the closest I could get to him was during the communion at the Mass where he was next to me — a photo I saw in the slideshow last Monday. Nevertheless, it wasn’t hard to recognize his presence, his contagious smile during that men’s camp and, learning from the sharing in the honoring session, his deep devotion to God and his intelligent views of faith. 

I feel a bit sad I didn’t get to know him that much but that doesn’t matter much. What matters more is that he delivered an impact to many of us. Through his curiosity, he helped us find answers on questions we dare not ask. In asserting on his personal convictions — just like his choice of song, while not familiar to many of us, is truly meaningful to him — he taught us various ways in connecting to the Lord.

Just as soldiers honor a fallen comrade, we honor brother Jimmy as a brother, friend and fellow soldier of Christ. Just like the ‘Iwo Jima’ symbol featured in our Bond of Brothers shirt, he is one of us carrying the flag of Christ, united with us. His time with us is over and by receiving a ‘honorable discharge’ of his call of duty here on earth, we claim that he is now with the Father, receiving his due reward.

His death reminds us of how fragile and uncertain life can be; it can be taken away at any time. But his death also manifested to us that we at the community belong to one big family, ready to serve one another in good times (organizing the Christmas party) and in bad times (grieving for the loss of a brother). By being accountable to one another I fervently hope that one day, when it is our time to go, we all will reunite in the Father’s Heavenly Kingdom.

Elmer W. Cagape
SFL HK Coordinator

Harnessing technology to do good work

It was amazing to observe the past 48 hours. It started when I read the Facebook post of Bro Joel Ramos that Jimmy Sarte was confined in ICU and in coma. I couldn’t believe my eyes after reading it. Here I was getting ready to sleep after a long day in the CFC Christmas party, and tired and looking forward to go to bed early. It was 8:30pm.

I posted in our Whatsapp chat group to ask did you guys know about this? Everyone was shocked and had no idea as well. Not knowing Jimmy’s wife number, I just tried to call his mobile even though I didn’t expect anyone to answer. It was almost 9:00 pm. Fortunately Victoria answered. I introduced myself as we didn’t know each other well, and it’s good she recognized me as Miriam’s husband. She told me the sad news about Jimmy… that indeed he is in Yan Chai Hospital ICU. I said a short prayer for him and planned to just send a normal email to our Yahoo! Groups in the morning.

jimmy_sarte_bob3

Monday morning I was planning to go to pay a visit to the hospital with Miriam but didn’t know where or who was there. I sent a text to Victoria but I knew she was too busy to answer. Luckily MJ posted that Sis Carmelli was planning to visit the hospital. I asked her number and sent her a text to say we would like to come together. After a little while I received a text back.

Namatay na daw si Jimmy“. What? I almost jumped out of my seat. So I called her back and got and confirmed directly.

I posted in our group Whatsapp “sad news.. Jimmy passed away na“. This is where the power of Whatsapp came to life. Almost immediately a deluge of messages after messages came to ask, to confirm, to organize..

The whole community mobilized in a matter of hours to come to the support for Jimmy’s wife and family. Masses were organized, PowerPoint presentations of Jimmy’s photos, support for his family in the consulate, Facebook posts to inform his friend about the mass, and many many more. In less than 48 hours we were able to organize two masses for him and invited many many of his friends to come and join.

I was able to observe all of this as I was in many Whatsapp groups and discussions and am so amazed that by the power of technology and community, that we were able to do so much in such a short time.

Imagine what else we can do with such power and community involvement. We can definitely mobilize quickly our resources to support activities of the church, community and our Christian faith.

I think we will learn more in the coming months and years about how technology can be harnessed to do good work for the Lord. Lets keep abreast of technology and always in the lookout how to use this as new media of evangelization. And we pray for wisdom and talent to use this for His glory.

Brod Jimmy, there’s no Whatsapp group in Heaven but we you are always in our group ‘prayerapp’. Rest in peace brother!

Noel Soliva
Household Servant, Family Ministry

[colored_box color=”yellow”]Imagine what else we can do with such power and community involvement. We can definitely mobilize quickly our resources to support activities of the church, community and our Christian faith. – Noel Soliva, on the role of technology in empowering evangelization. [/colored_box]

I would like to take this opportunity to honor and share my personal experience with Bro. Jimmy. He is truly a God’s gift to the community, especially to me. I am very thankful to God for giving me an opportunity to know bro. Jimmy in a short period of time. As I was reflecting last night after attending the Requiem Mass for him, I’ve realized that God used him to become Jesus to my life and to the community. All the events that Bro Jimmy was involved relate to some event in the Bible as bro Sonny (Manuel) was sharing during bro. Jimmy’s honoring.

Jesus started to evangelize and called the two fishermen
I met bro. Jimmy when he attended the Christian Life Seminar last May held at the prayer room of The Annunciation Church in Tsuen Wan. I was part of the service team during that Christian Life Seminar (CLS) led by bro Adhee Daluz.

Nung una ang akala ko is tutulong lang ako sa pagbili ng mga drinks and help prepare the food. Wala akong idea na mag facilitate pala ako ng mga participants. For me this is the time of bro Jimmy to start evangelizing. During the first day when bro Joel Ramos and I were informed by bro Adhee na kami ang mag facilitate sa mga participants ng Servant of the Lord, nakita ko kaagad si bro Jimmy, ninerbyos talaga ako, kasi makikita mo kay bro Jimmy that he is a deep person. Sabi ko sa sarili ko mukhang ako ang I facilitate nito ha.

I remembered bro Joel Ramos and I were pointing to each other who will do the opening prayer, kasi pareho nga kaming dalawa na first time lang mag facilitate sa CLS. When bro Jimmy started to share his reason on why he is attending the CLS it really struck me how humble he is. If you can imagine how well versed he is in the Catholic doctrine and Bible, pati nga Koran binasa nya eh, he manage to listen to me and bro Joel Ramos while we were sharing our stories, mararamdaman mo talaga that he is listening and willing to learn from each other experience.

Last Monday, I just found out during the Requiem Mass held at DPCF center shared by Father Emil na semenarista pala si bro. Jimmy; he really is a man of God. He is a model of having the true servant’s heart. All throughout the CLS Bro Jimmy never asked question he is there with an open heart to listen to us. After the CLS, bro. Jimmy and bro. Joel Ramos became the best of friends.

Jesus preaches to his disciples; dine with the sinners
The Bond of Brothers is really a Bible event to me, when Fr. Emil said it in the homily that the venue is like a situation where Jesus preached while he is in the boat, followed up by Bro Sonny’s sharing of the two groups who had a different agenda that night. The Servants of the Lord household group of bro Attila Meneses — which includes bro. Jimmy — was with Fr. Emil sharing the Catholic faith.

It’s a Bible event the night when Jesus preaches to his disciple, where in the other group is composed of the Gentile, tax collector and other sinners where I belong. That night Jesus was with us, It’s in the image of bro. Jimmy because after their fellowship with Fr. Emil, bro. Jimmy whispered to me asking for a shot of brandy with a special request of no chaser, he manage to spend time with us and talked to some of our brothers before he went to his tent.

[colored_box color=”blue”]If you can imagine how well versed he is in the Catholic doctrine and Bible, pati nga Koran binasa nya eh, he manage to listen to me and bro Joel Ramos while we were sharing our stories, mararamdaman mo talaga that he is listening and willing to learn from each other experience. – Raymund Plastina[/colored_box]

Last Monday and last night, I started to think after the sharing of bro. Sonny Manuel regarding the two groups of people, I started questioning myself if I deserve to serve God? With all the things I’ve done that night? I really felt the guilt inside my heart. Parang hindi yata ako karapat dapat maging coordinator ng KFL. But when I woke up this morning, the first person came into my mind was bro. Jimmy, naalala ko yung umaga na pabalik kami sa camp site galing kami from the other side of the island. Magkasabay kaming naglalakad sa trail when he started thanking me for remembering him. Tinanong ko sya anong remember bro? That night more than 20 brothers ang pinapasahan ko ng tagay and when it’s bro. Jimmy’s turn I still remember his request.

Sabi nya sakin hanga ako sa memory mo Raymund, biruin mo sa dami ng tinatagayan mo naalala mo pa ang preference ko. Sabi ko, “wala yun“. I cannot count how many times he said to me “Raymund, Thank you for remembering me,” while walking. I felt tears flow from my eyes when I realized the true meaning of what he is trying to tell me. It was Jesus who is speaking to me that time saying  “Raymund, if time comes you get tired and down serving, Remember me“.  Brother Jimmy, salamat sa ‘yo. You’ll always be remembered.

It’s exactly one month ago after the Bond of Brothers when Jimmy joined our Creator. I’m pretty sure that I am not the only one who experienced Jesus with Bro Jimmy during that event. God works in mysterious ways. Bro Jimmy’s past may not be perfect but his purpose in life has been made perfect for us to experience Jesus through him.

Bro Jimmy, May you Rest in Peace.

God bless,
Raymund Plastina
Assistant KFL HK Coordinator

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Elmer W. Cagape

Elmer W. Cagape

Proverbs 3:5. From Davao City. Cool Catholic. Seinfeld & Toad the Wet Sprocket. Astronomy and space exploration. Digital marketing. Travel the world.
Elmer W. Cagape

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