At 5’3, Sis. Dory is a towering figure in the eyes of the leaders and pastors of the Jesus is Lord (JIL) Church Worldwide. She is looked up to not only because she is the wife of JIL’s Spiritual Director; but more so because she is her own person, one who is effortlessly a mother to all. A mother’s care naturally flows out of her.
In the words of Sis. Menchie Tobias, JIL’s Director for Budget and Management Department, “What does JIL have that other churches do not have? We are grateful to God because we have Ate Dory.”
Sis. Dory cares by being a generous giver. She is widely known in the JIL Church as a generous “mother of pastors.” On occasions where pastors and church workers gather, she is the happiest when she sees the smile of everyone as they all receive tokens from her. She is always prepared with something for everybody.
Whenever she is with Bro. Eddie for out-of-the-country apostolic missionary trips, she always returns to the country with a luggage full of her pasalubong (souvenir-gift).
Sis. Menchie recalls with amusement, “Ang nakakatuwa kay Ate Dory, hindi kayo pare-pareho ng pasalubong, iba-iba ang pasalubong niya sa bawat isa. Talagang pinaglalaanan niya ng panahon ang pamimili niya ng pasalubong para sa bawat isa. Minsan ay pinag-utusan ako na ibigay ang pasalubong niya sa mga pastors. Nasa paper bags, bawat isa para sa pastors. Sabi ni Ate Dory, ‘Menchie, ibigay mo ito sa mga pastors, ito ay para kay Pastor ______, ito naman ay para kay Pastor _____.’ Bawat isa, alam niya kung ano ang ibibigay nya.”
(“What’s nice about Ate Dory is that she gives no similar gifts, everyone has a different present. She really takes time to buy a present for each one. She instructed me once to distribute her souvenir-gifts to pastors. The presents were in paper bags, each one was for a specific pastor. Ate Dory said, ‘Menchie, please give this to Pastor ______, and this one is for Pastor ______. She knew what to give to each one.”)
But more than the material things, she is generous with counsel. In one of the most trying seasons in the family of Ptr. Recilyn Valdoria of JIL Taiwan, Sis. Dory was there to give counsel and encouragement. Her motherly presence during that period kept her and her husband, Ptr. Edgar, uplifted. Ptr. Recilyn said, “Aside from our God, we drew strength from our parents in the JIL Church, Bro. Eddie and Sis. Dory.”
Ptr. Recilyn also said that Sis. Dory’s being a mother to JIL pastors is also strongly felt when she gives counsel on finding and deciding on their life partner. Ptr. Recilyn explained, ”Si Ate Dory ay may gift of discernment. Alam niya kung tama ba ng naging pagpili ng pastor sa kanyang makakasama sa habang buhay.”
(Ate Dory has a gift of discernment. She knows if a pastor has chosen the right person for a husband or wife).
Life lessons teacher
Sis. Dory cares by imparting valuable life lessons. Sis. Menchie recalled that one of the most memorable teachings she heard was from Sis. Dory. And she still knows the title of that particular teaching, “Beyond Reproach”! Sis. Menchie fondly said of the teaching, “Punong-puno ng paalala ng mabuting asal o gawi base sa Salita ng Diyos. Nagturo sa akin na ang pinakamainam ay magbigay ng karangalan sa pangalan ng Diyos sa buhay na ito. Magbigay ng karangalan sa Diyos sa pamamagitan ng mabuting ugali, asal at gawi.”
(“‘Beyond Reproach’ is full of reminders of good morals based on the Word of God. It taught me that the best we could do in this life is to give honor to God. To give honor to God by being good in character, behavior, and actions.”)
Ptr. Recilyn said the same. She remembered that she once went to the JIL office in Ortigas thinking that she would be reprimanded along with others who got entangled in an administrative issue. But instead of being scolded in Sis. Dory’s office, all of them were called in a bigger room where Sis. Dory delivered a teaching. “It was the most powerful message of love and forgiveness I ever heard in my life,” said Ptr. Recilyn. She even ended going home with a lunch box of rellenong bangus which Sis. Dory herself handed her. Sis. Dory taught about love that day, in words and action.
Sis. Dory cares by understanding and protecting. Sis. Menchie is still emotionally stirred as she recalled this instance decades ago. No matter how cliché this may sound, but really, it is the little things that matter. Sis. Menchie was with her husband, Ptr. Dino, as they were travelling to Manila from Bulacan. The car was not in its best shape and the car stalled on then North Expressway. On hindsight, it was probably a careless cruise. But after fixing the car, Ptr. Dino and Sis. Menchie were able to make it to Manila.
In the JIL Manila office, Sis. Dory asked Sis. Menchie if it was their car that stalled along the highway. Upon confirmation from Sis. Menchie, Sis. Dory told her, “Nakita ko kayo, hinarangan ko agad si Kuya Ed mo. Pag nakita kayo, pagagalitan kayo noon.” (“I saw you, I immediately blocked your Kuya Ed’s vision of you. If he sees you, he would chide you [for not being careful.]”)
“Si Ate Dory ay Nanay na nagliligtas sa anak sa galit ng Tatay” (Ate Dory is a mother who protects her children from the anger of their father”), Sis. Menchie lovingly described Sis. Dory.
Sis. Dory, in her own words, was “masungit” (surly) in her younger years. This self-pronounced description must have stuck in the minds of those who heard her. Because it was their impression of her. Or misperception. The truth is Sis. Dory is not surly. She is a strong-willed woman, a character apt for a mother of a worldwide church that is still continuously growing and expanding by the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ. “She is a strong mother with a soft heart and sound wisdom,” described Ptr. Recilyn.
Sis. Menchie could have summarized the thoughts of those who truly know Sis. Dory, “Ang una kong impression kay Ate Dory noon na masunggit, suplada, matapang ay naglaho. Natunaw lahat, wala ng natira nang makilala ko siya, makalapit ng malapit sa kanya, mabigyan ng pagkakataon na maging bahagi si Ate Dory ng aking buhay.”
(“My first impression of Sis. Dory that she was surly, unpleasant, and fierce vanished. That impression melted and was completely gone when I got to know her, got to be very close to her, and was given the opportunity that she become part of my life.”)
In JIL worship services and other gatherings, Sis. Dory is oftentimes seen sitting beside Bro. Eddie. Her presence is commanding, and yet assuring. Just to see her around is a joy to the JIL Family. A known intercessor, Sis. Dory’s presence is assuring of her silent, committed, and powerful prayers.
There are still many unheard anecdotes of how she touched and encouraged people; how she reached out, corrected, and embraced them, and how she generously shared her life with them. Sis. Dory is a “Mother of Faith” for the JIL Family in its purest meaning. Just seeing her around lends an assurance of motherly care expressed in various forms.– Evelyn O. Katigbak