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Filipino-led church gives care packs to over 200 quarantined migrant workers

19 January 2022

By Daisy CL Mandap 

Bishop Gerry Vallo with wife Edelyn after delivering goods at Regala Skycity Hotel

It began as a quiet operation to show a bit of care and compassion to Filipino migrant workers in distress, or were stuck in a quarantine hotel for 21 days, lonely and afraid of catching the virus, while barely subsisting on the food supplied to them.

It was also a time of sadness for many of the workers, as they were forced to spend Christmas and the New Year cooped inside a tiny room with only the faltering internet signal serving as their connection to the outside world.

Thus, when word got out that Bishop Gerry Vallo and his Jesus the Living God church was delivering care packs to newly arrived workers spending their compulsory quarantine in government-designated facilities, the requests came flooding in.

Bishop Gerry said he understood exactly how the quarantined workers felt, as he had to undergo mandatory quarantine himself when he returned to Hong Kong after a trip to the Philippines last year. While he spent only 14 days in a quarantine facility and the next 7 days in home quarantine, he still felt tremendous stress.


Sadyang napakahirap ang lagay sa loob kahit anong sipag mong mag aral, magbasa, manalangin ay so stressful iyon, mentally and emotionally. Kaya nagsimula kami ng 5, 10, 15 na assorted packages. Subalit lalong umigting ang panawagan ng ating mga kababayan na maabot sila nang magka flash report sa The SUN tungkol sa pagbibigay namin ng ayuda. Mahigit 200 ang humingi ng tulong,” he recalled.

(It is really so difficult to be cooped up in a room, no matter how much effort you put into studying, reading and praying – that was really so stressful, mentally and emotionally. So we started giving 5, 10, 15 assorted packages. But the clamor for help intensified after The SUN published a flash report about our gift-giving. More than 200 reached out to us for help).

The long line of gift packs JLG gave to workers at Penny's Bay just before Christmas

Although strapped for resources, JLGC Worldwide could not turn a blind eye to the workers’ appeals for help, many of whom only asked for the most basic needs like fruits, biscuits, juice, 3-in-1 coffee mix, and with the onset of winter, ginger, lemon and salt.

Bishop Gerry said he began to pray, then explained to his congregation why there was a need to help the workers. Soon, the donations started coming in, with people giving $20, $30, $100 until some would hand in $1,000.

Narinig ng Diyos ang aming dalangin at nakita niya ang aming motibo kaya may mga pastor mula Amerika na sumuporta, at may isa ding local Chinese pastor na tumulong kaya’t mahigit 200 na assorted packs of goods and food ang naipamigay namin noong 2021,” he related.

Pindutin para sa detalye

(God heard our prayers and saw our good intention so there were pastors in the United States who supported us, apart from a local Chinese pastor who also helped so we managed to give away more than 200 assorted packs of goods and food in 2021).

In addition, some of his Filipino pastor-friends would sometimes hand over goods for distribution or even money for transportation. Some of his church’s local partners also donated high-class toiletries to be included in the care packs.

But soliciting donations was just half of the effort. The hard work came with collecting the heavy goods, then taking them to the quarantine facilities which are located in far-off places like Tsing Yi, Shatin and Tung Chung.

Often, when nobody could lend a hand in transporting the goods to their intended recipients, Bishop Gerry would turn to his own family for help, particularly his wife, Pastora Edelyn.

A grateful worker sends a selfie with her gifts from JLG

Until early this month, their itinerary included Penny’s Bay, where one had to make a prior appointment with all the goods to be handed over listed individually. Alternatively, donors could walk in but must be prepared for a longer wait for the goods to be cleared.

But after a couple of trips to the government-run facility, the guards became less strict, even praising the bishop for his charity.

It was during this time that Bishop Gerry realized how hard it must be for some of those who did not know anyone in Hong Kong to reach out to, or whose friends are not inclined to go out of their way to travel far and be subject to strict scrutiny just to hand over some food.


Kawawa iyong walang koneksyon o kaibigan dahil bago, kasi hindi nila alam kung paano makakakuha ng tulong samantalang yung iba ay tatlo-tatlo ang natatanggap mula sa iba-ibang grupo,” he said.

(I pitied those who did not have connections or friends because they’re new here and did not know how to get help while others got help from various groups).

One other thing that struck him was the unreasonable fear shown by some people in the community towards people who they thought were likely carriers of the coronavirus.

One time, a GoGo van they booked scampered away after learning they were going to a quarantine hotel. They were left scrambling to find a taxi that would take them, while their care packs were strewn all around them.

On Christmas day, more gift-giving by JLG members led by Bishop Gerry

But all these hurdles pale in comparison to the satisfaction Bishop Gerry gets from fulfilling a mission that perfectly aligns with JLGC’s motto, which is Minister to the needy, Evangelize the lost, Equip the saints, and Keep the faith (MEEK).

In fact, now that the arrival of Filipino migrants has slowed down because of the flight ban imposed by Hong Kong on the Philippines, he is thinking of extending help to those on the other side of the fence, or those who are stranded here because of frequent flight cancellations.

He is also looking out to help more of  those who are undergoing emotional and mental distress from the twin challenges of a long confinement and the fear of getting sick and losing the job they badly need.

“Some of our compatriots are so troubled that you cannot help them by merely giving stuff but through prayers and counseling which we are already doing now, even in the wee hours,” he said.


Asked why he keeps doing what to many would seem like a huge undertaking, Bishop Gerry quoted Matthew 25:42-45:

“For I was hungry and you gave me nothing to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me nothing to drink, 43 I was a stranger and you did not invite me in, I needed clothes and you did not clothe me, I was sick and in prison and you did not look after me.’

“They also will answer, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry or thirsty or a stranger or needing clothes or sick or in prison, and did not help you?’

“He will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did not do for one of the least of these, you did not do for me.’”

(Those who wish to contact Bishop Gerry for counseling and other help may call or text him at 6051 7967)

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