All in God’s Hand

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“Tita Nene” or Lorenza Espiritusanto Rivera,

All in God’s Hand

She enthralled the Christmas party crowd in December 2018 with her solo ‘you light up my life’ dance performance.  So graceful and cool was her movement that even the young kids and the youth were in awe and surprised, just like the adults, that its a dance rendition coming from someone who is turning 90 this year. Yet even at her septuagenarian age, she is still able to put together an organization of overseas workers group in Hong Kong, the Zamboanga Hermosa association which she founded in 2017. More so, during her younger days, when her family first came to HK almost 60 years ago, she founded and chaired  the Philippine Hong Kong Association from the few Filipinos working in the former British-territory then, the same group that is now known as PAHK, the Philippine Association of Hong Kong. 

“Tita Nene” or Lorenza Espiritusanto Rivera, a Chavacano-speaking Zamboangenia, is a long time Filipino resident who has been a church servant at the Muiwo Epiphany Church for more than 20 years, a multi-tasking servant of faith, –  leading the rosary prayers and bible studies, assisting the priest during communions,   preparing the altar, helping in the planning of church feast day activities and other related duties. At her age, she does not mind taking frequent  bus trips from her home in Pui O to Muiwo, including early morning  and late night trips on weekday services, oftentimes accompanied by her son Sonny, who lives with her and who himself is a member and a guitarist in the church choir.

When she and husband ( the late Roque A. Rivera ) first came to live in Lantau, it was in a Muiwo flat near the chapel. She narrated  , “ the first time I looked at the flat and opened the window, it was the chapel and its prominent cross that I saw. I felt differently. I said to myself ‘ we are directed to live here all in God’s hand and we shall serve Him well “. Hence, this was the start of them becoming active in the church work, helping inspired since the community of brotherhood and sisterhood in the parish. Its a fulfilling responsibility, a faithful service and a source of strength which is all in God’s hand. In fact, her daily dose of motivational  strength is ‘ get up, dress up and go’ wherever God wants her to go.

What is the secret for her longevity ? ‘God is my secret. He is my light, my Savior, my Shepherd who takes care of me from birth till now.  It is all in God’s hand that I continue to do what He wants me to do. With God, all is well’, she says.

Any word of wisdom to the younger generation in an ever fast changing world ? The good tita says “they should spend more time listening sincerely to others and pray together in the spirit of God”. This is one trait that is inherent  in her. She always listen to people who come to her for their stories and fervently prays with them that God’s gracious love be upon them.

Indeed, tita Nene is a woman of faith, blessed with a holy name (‘Espiritusanto’) who will always say to God ‘ you light up of my life’  as she continues to dance the remaining many steps of her spiritually-filled life.