When we interviewed Teresita (Tita) Maranan, she was 50 years old. Tita, is a widow with eleven children. She is now a full time bracelet maker.
Tita and Paulino Maranan lived together (considered married) for 25 years in the area called Ponderosa. They had a rough marriage. The children were at risk, and Tita was threatened repeatedly. Paulino said he would only let her leave if she found another man to be with. So she did. But it was not a good situation, as he was a married man.
In March of 2008, Tita’s husband Paulino was killed in a motorcycle accident. Tita continued living with this other man.
About that time, Tita’s 16 year old son, Roderick, started attending Aninuan Chrisitan Church. She was against it because she was angry about how much he had to pay for transportation to get there and felt that he was wasting money to go. But Roderick continued to go. In the spring of 2014, one Sunday morning, Tita suddenly felt like going to church, also. She asked a friend if she could go with her group to the church. No one had asked her that day to go, she just felt like going. When arriving at the church, she wondered why the people from her group were sitting at the back. She decided to sit alone at the front.
Tita was hearing the word of God preached by Pastor Al and continued to come to church. One of her daughters, who lived in another city, wrote a letter to Pastor Al saying she was starting to see changes in her mom from going to the church. Their family already had good relationships, and did not fight like a lot of families, but the change in her mother was that she had been against the son going to church before, but now was encouraging everyone to go.
Tita started helping the widows who were sweeping the ministry center before and after church. She helped with setting up and taking down the chairs, also. She always came dressed modestly and dressed well.
Tita became a Christian soon after she had started attending, in April 2014. She also was baptized to publicly declare that she was now a believer in Jesus. When being interviewed for the baptism by Pastor Al, she realized that as a follower of Christ, she wanted to show it, so decided to leave the man she was living with and moved to another village, Balatero.
On Wednesday nights at Bible study, the pastor encourages people to share their praises and prayer requests. Tita often stood up and gave thanks. The other people from her group asked her “Why are you always doing that? How come we don’t feel it like you do? We don’t get it.” You can see Tita’s faith is real.
Tita had previously been a food vendor (selling home made snacks to people); she would prepare it, and then walk around the villages and beaches trying to sell her food. She could not be at home with her children. Now that she is home doing bracelets, she can spend more time with her kids. Six children still live with her.
The Sunday before we interviewed Tita, when the leaders were given an opportunity to share in church their memory verse they had learned, she was the only one to stand up and do it. Tita is now able to provide for her family through making bracelets and is proud to be called a follower of Jesus.