Say Hello to Zoilo Balbarino

From the Philippines to Chicago

There’s a rather diminutive man who stops by our Cornerstone Food Pantry on a fairly regular basis. I’d seen him many times before, but I did not know his name or his country of origin. So last week I approached him and asked him to tell me a little about himself, and how long had he been in Chicago.

The man sat down and smiled and excitedly showed me his ID, which read Zoilo Balbarino. Then, in very broken English, he attempted to communicate with me. He told that he’d came to Chicago from the Philippines back in 2006. He also was proud to announce that he was now an American citizen.

He went on to tell me that he believed in a “God up in heaven,” and that he went to church on Sundays.

But what struck me in particular at first—was how he was carrying his food home. He had a large bag, and a 5-gal pail that were nearly full. So this 75-years-young man walked out our front door with a few of his “needs” met for the week in a manner that I would “speculate” that he brought from his homeland. Now I don’t know how far he had to go, but I know that he had to be strong, not only physically, but also mentally.

I’d say that he was “the least” in so many folks eyes… but I could tell by his smile that he didn’t view himself that way.

Please pray for Zoilo.

Thanks, Chris.

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By |2018-03-29T21:43:34+00:00March 29th, 2018|General|0 Comments

About the Author:

Chris Ramsey has been a member of the Jesus People U.S.A. community in Chicago since 1975. Throughout those 40 years, Ramsey has been involved in evangelism, writing, interviewing, and serving the poor. He’s also a kind of “crazy” character who’s constantly asking himself, “Where do I fit in”? For the past 25 years, Chris has discovered that his role in serving the homeless and the poor at Cornerstone Community Outreach (CCO), seems to fit him quite nicely. He is happily married to Sandy Ramsey, the executive director of CCO, and has two adult sons, Christopher and Jonathan.