United in Prayer: Frena’s Testimony

  • Feb 15, 2024

Frena Joy Gedor, 38, has been working abroad for the past 12 years as a Migrant Domestic Worker (MDW) in countries like Singapore and Brunei.

Since she was 23 years old, Frena took on the responsibility of being the main breadwinner for her family, financially supporting her ageing parents and paying for the university tuition fees of her five siblings. Without the luxury of seeing her loved ones after a long day of work or having friends and family physically around to support her, Frena’s heart often felt heavy – especially in her earlier years of working abroad.

“Technology wasn’t as good as today. We couldn’t video call all the time. I really felt the loneliness and emptiness,” she said, “But I knew that I needed to be strong for my family.”

Acknowledging her need for God

“It is God who arms me with strength and keeps my way secure.” – 2 Samuel 22:33

In these trying times, she turned to prayer as her source of comfort. “When I first came to Singapore, I didn’t have family or friends, so I had to depend on God for strength,” she said.

Through her fervent prayers, Frena was able to persevere on and see life through a lens of hope, fully trusting that the Lord will make a way in the darkness she was feeling. Her prayers to combat loneliness were answered in a very tangible way through her first employers in Singapore.

They were patient in teaching her new things and were willing to guide her in this new environment. As Catholics, they also invited her to accompany the family for Mass on Sundays. While Frena no longer works for her first employers, the family still keeps in contact with her regularly, and even invites her to join them for special occasions.

Till this day, Frena believes that their loving nature helped to reflect God’s very own love for her. Their tangible acts of love and care for her convinced Frena that the Lord was watching out for her, even amidst the darkness of that season in her life.

Finding community to pray with

“Therefore encourage one another and build each other up, just as in fact you are doing.” – 1 Thessalonians 5:11

Back in the Philippines, Frena and her family used to close the night with a family rosary. However, it was difficult to continue this practice with her being overseas. Fortunately, she found a community through the Archdiocesan Commission for the Pastoral Care of Migrants & Itinerant People (ACMI) to help encourage her to keep her faith alive.

She participated in ACMI’s various pastoral and formation initiatives, all of which helped her to keep up with her prayer habits and share her faith and struggles with other like-minded individuals.

Praying not just for ourselves, but for others too

Although Frena and her family may not be able to pray together physically like old times, knowing that they keep each other in prayer gives her great comfort. Interceding for them has also allowed her to express her love and care for them and remain connected to them in a different way.

“Even if we are far from each other, we can pray for each other – no matter the time or place,” she said, “Prayer is the most powerful weapon in this world.”.