A moving experience (of providence) from the family of Joey and Vicky Mojica, as they embraced family trials together…
Joey and Vicky Mojica, married for 31 years, have been blessed with ﬁve children, the three elder ones are boys while the younger two are girls. The boys have already ﬁnished their college degrees. The third one just got his master’s degree in Creative Writing, graduating last June 10. Their fourth child will ﬁnish her degree in Arts Management at the end of this year and their youngest daughter is still in Grade 7.
Since 1984, they have both been working in St. Gregory Academy, a Catholic School in Indang, Cavite. Joey is in the Administration as school principal and Vicky is in the ﬁnance ofﬁce.
Joey got to know about the Focolare through his parents. His father was one of the ﬁrst Focolare volunteers in Cavite, introduced him to the Focolare in the late 80’s while Vicky understood this Focolare life of unity much later in 1997 through Joey. Since then she has been living this life that she learned from Chiara Lubich. Vicky shares, “One of the most important things that I learned was to recognize and welcome Jesus Forsaken and Abandoned on the cross, the key to Unity, as our only Spouse.
Eventually, Joey and I each felt in our hearts the desire to choose Him as our one and only Spouse. This is an individual choice that we made and we are grateful to God that he gave us the courage to make this choice.”
Joey tells, “As spouses we are asked to be faithful to one another until the end. On so many occasions, this ﬁdelity comes to be tested through big or small events in our life.
Last December 2016, their eldest son suffered a stroke at the early age of thirty, a massive stroke that paralyzed half of his body right away. The doctor informed them that their son should be brought to a stroke unit or to an Intensive Care Unit (ICU) for closer monitoring. Vicky shares, “In that moment, we could only entrust him to Jesus and Mary. We were also informed that he needed to undergo brain craniectomy where part of his skull would have to be removed to relieve the pressure in the brain.
If they were not to carry out this procedure, it could lead to coma or worse, even death. Seeing our son helpless, complaining of a headache and asking about his baby son who was then two months old, I felt a great suffering within me. But after a while, I recalled Mary. What are my sufferings compared to hers, of losing her own son? She remained ﬁrm, standing at the foot of the Cross, believing only in God’s great love. I should be like her. I had to be strong.
In the silence of my heart, I kept the pain inside, entrusting everything to God.” Joey adds, “All my worries, fears, anxieties… these were the mixed emotions that I felt. I asked God, “Why is this happening?” “What are you telling me?”
Then recognizing this as a face of Jesus Forsaken, I entrusted my son to God, asking him to help us be strong. I was telling Him that I really love my son and I wanted him to survive this trial…” Vicky recalls: “After our son got settled down in the Intensive Care Unit (ICU), we informed our other children about their brother’s situation. We told them that he had to undergo a brain operation which entailed a big amount of money. Together as a family we entrusted our son to Jesus and Mary and prayed for providence. Embracing this cross tightly with gratitude to God, believing and hoping in miracles through his divine providence, we were able to reacquire some peace.”
Embracing trials together
Joey continues: “The following day our children got an idea on how to raise funds for their elder brother. They contacted their friends who are band members, singers and artists.
So they planned a beneﬁt gig with art exhibits. They would sell tickets, postcards and artworks. Truly the Holy Spirit was guiding them. These band members and singers then agreed to offer their services for free, the artists also offered their artworks for free and the venue charged a very minimal cost, to cover only the cost of electricity. The venue was an open area, only the space for the art exhibits had a roof. Hours before the show, it rained very hard, but just a few minutes before they started, the rain stopped, the people came and the venue was full.”
Vicky tells: “In short, it was a successful event. They were able to raise funds and we were really touched when they told us how much they were able to raise. Joey was not able to hold back his tears in front of our school registrar whom he was talking with when he received the update from our children.
Joey shares: “It was really a very strong moment for us, especially for me. I felt how our children loved their brother and it touched us even more to see how they were so united in moments like this. Our four children were there, our daughter-in-law, our son’s girlfriend, one of our son’s students, their cousins and their friends all helped out.
An experience of God’s providence
Vicky conﬁrms, “Truly this is an experience of God. Providence came to meet us, and we were able to pay all the hospital bills and other expenses. Until now our son has to take maintenance medicines. He is now recovering and can take small steps with a walking cane. He has not fully recovered, but we believe that in God’s time He will grant our son his complete healing. For all these graces, we thank God for His great love. What truly remains in our hearts is gratitude – gratitude for letting us experience even a bit of Mary’s suffering which has rendered us stronger and closer to God.