The Stories of the Children of the Hapag
by Joey Velasco
This painting is Filipino-inspired one, depicting Jesus surrounded by poor Filipino kids from the streets. The painter Joey Velasco conveys the message that each of this kid has a unique story to tell to Jesus on the table. Then as he was struggling to look for the appropriate title of the book which tells the story of these poor children, a mentally-deranged woman enlightened him as he showed him this painting. “You know my friend, they are actually not poor…” the woman said to him. “What??? You’re the only one who said that.” Joey remarked. But the woman continued, “because they have Jesus.”
And what a treasure indeed! It is not a wishful thinking, because Jesus is really present in the lives of the poor. In fact he is more real there.
Joey Velasco commented of Jesus in his painting.
“He was dead weary in that painting, that was why he was brought by the kids to sit and eat. He was served the best food and they wanted Him to rest. Who among us approaches Christ with the desire to let Him rest a while? Usually we call on God because we want something. We are the ones who want rest. We are tired. There are pure and innocent people who might think this way. They want to give something to Him. Who among us will go to a church and kneel down and change the God-I-need-something formula of prayer? Can we also say, God do you need something? Even if He doesn’t need anything because He is God. Is there anything I can do? I kneel down. Lord I’m here…[Is there anything I can do for you?] When did you call a friend and say out of the blue. “How are you buddy? Can I do anything for you? You need anything? When was the last time we did that? In the meal, we are the ones served by God. When did we organize a meal that our only motivation was to celebrate it with God and serve God saying, “Lord, what can I do for you?”
Junjun’s review of this book:
This is an amazing book, not a fiction but based on a real story…with the author’s personal interview with each of those kids on the painting. I have read it, and shed not only few drop of tears but many. When I finished reading it….I was really convinced, “They have Jesus.”