Yesterday, my students in Social Studies had a “Flea Market.” They sold stuffs like pen, pencils, erasers, crayons, ruler, stickers, key holders, post it, and a lot more. They sold it inside the classroom and in the office. My co-teachers and I bought. Of course they also gave us free stuffs (good students. Hehehe! ) And most of the things I bought were on bargain.
As I looked at these things here on my table, I was thinking, what is their significance in my life? (Nagdrama na naman ang bida…)
The Pen. I am the one who’s writing stories in my life. Like a book, I am the author and nobody is responsible in everything that will happen except me. People can only have influence in my life but the pen is mine. I am in control.
Pencils and Erasers. The good thing about pencil is, if you have mistakes, they can be erased. There are things in my life that needs to be erased. But is it possible to erase those mistakes? Or I’d rather say regrets. We’ll even if I use eraser to correct the things that needs to be corrected, it will still leave a mark. Well, at least nai-correct ko ‘di ba? J
Crayons. If only my life can be drawn, I’ll buy the most wonderful (not expensive kasi I have nothing) crayons in the whole world. I will use it to draw my life. I always want to have a colorful life. I always say that my life is full of colors, yet blurred. Hahahaha! No, that was before.
Ruler. Can faith be measured? I wonder how long or narrow my faith is. I always want to have a good relationship with God but faith without action is dead. Like what Paul said in Romans 7, “The things he wants to do, he can’t do. But the things that he don’t want to do, he does.” (paraphrased). I’m still struggling.
Stickers. What are stickers for? For me, it’s for decorations. I need stickers to enhance the simple things. What are the “stickers” in my life? Yes, you got it, cosmetics. Hahahaha! I love cosmetics.
Post it. My post it are used for Bible verses. I also use them to remind me of my tasks. There are times I forgot about things and my friends are there to remind me.
She’s babyMizrhain Corbito, born with hydrocephalus.
The doctors said that it too was hard for her to have an operation because the head was too big already. According to tita Eva (the mother), she was too scared then when the doctor said that the baby needs a surgery. When she decided to pursue the operation, the doctors declined because of the size of the head. The doctors also said that she won’t live long. She might not reach 1 year old.
The Corbito family was not Adventists before. The constant visitation and prayer of the first missionaries (Gladies and Amy from the 31st batch) in Agoncillio, Batangas touched their hearts and decided to know God more by studying the Bible. The mother, father, brother and her 2 sisters were baptized.
Soon, we took care of the baby by cleaning the wounds (she has 3 wounds, both sides and at the back of her head), bringing her to the hospital and bringing her some stuffs. We are not nurses but God used our hands. Some of us, while we’re cleaning the wounds (we’re 6 missionaries then) encouraged the family to continue serving God because sometimes they feel like God forgot them and that God is not helping them. We made them realized that it was because of the baby that they became closer to God, that they knew God more.
While crying on my shoulder, Tita Eva said “Pagod na pagod na ako…Buong magdamag akong walang tulog…Alam ko pagod na pagod na rin si baby…” I can feel the pain in her heart and how tired she was.
Baby Mizrhain died last Saturday (September 3, 2010). I felt so sad for the family because they lost their little angel but I know they will see their little angel in heaven. The baby who made then cry, smile, laugh, and made them closer to God.
It was March, 2009 after the missionary training when God assigned me together with my partner, Bella Marie Pesanos, in our mission field in Ilocos Sur. It took us more than a day to reach there. First, we went to the Mountain Province Mission in Baguio and met the Mission Youth Director, then we traveled going to the small city named Candon.
Let me tell the about G. del Ilocos Sur. It was named after the Filipino hero Gregorio del Pilar who died in the battle in Tirad Pass. The place is surrounded by mountain. Anywhere you’ll see mountains, rice fields and tobacco (in the flats areas) and green trees. Water is not a problem, there’s big river called Quinibor that supplies all the water needs in that place. I’ve witnessed the abundance of fresh nature that God created. Woaahhh! It was so wonderful!
We stayed together with the family of Auntie Mary in a certain village (I forgot the name of the village. There are only about 20 houses). They have no TV, no refrigerator, no washing machine, electric fan or any appliances except for the old radio. Auntie Mary is the only Seventh-day Adventist in her family. Soon, after our crusade, her daughter and the husband of her daughter got baptized. We’re so happy then because every Sabbath, we’re not only 3 who will walk 30 minutes going to the church.
Our work in G, del Pilar is not really soul-winning but mostly reviving. There are lots of Seventh-day Adventists there who are getting weaker in thier faith. The Vice Mayor, high school principal and many municipal workers are Adventists but they sometimes go to church and they are also wearing accessories in their bodies.
We transferred from one place to another, visiting churches and house churches. Walking hours just to get there (My big legs are the evidence. hehehe). There are no tricycles, taxis or buses to ride. We need to walk when we visit our brethren.
Serving God is a blessing although sometimes I feel like giving up. It seems like I also needed to be revived. But when God called us, He will make us strong and find ways for us not to faint or to be a failure in doing His Ministry. My partner decided to do another ministry and then I found myself serving the people of Agoncillio, Batangas.
“I can do anything through HIM who gives me strength.”
What do I need that’s HE can’t give?
We all have weaknesses, right? Nobody’s perfect and nobody can do everything. Well, I admit, I do have a lot of that. Before joining the 1000 Missionary Movement and even until now, I still did not know what talent God gave me. I don’t know how to sing and I am not a good speaker. What talent should I use to do His ministry? Then I realized, God is not concern of our weaknesses but he is concern of what is inside our heart and what we can do for Him in the present and in the future.
Moses complained to God that he is slow of speech and tongue. Sometimes, I feel like Moses, specially that I am now here in South Korea, teaching the language which is not my own and am not a teacher by profession. But said to Moses in Exodus 4:11-12,
“Who gave man his mouth?….Is it not I, the Lord?
Now go, I will help you speak and will teach you what to say.”
God has no plan to make us fail in doing His ministry. He will equip us with whatever He asked us to do. God can use ordinary person like me and you if we put our trust in Him. All things are possible.
Now here comes the final issue; Are we willing and teachable like Moses?
God said in Exodus 4:12,
“Now go, I will teach you and help what to say.”
Isn’t it a good promise?
God only need 2 things in us, our willingness to follow through obedience and a teachable spirit.Anyone who has this 2 things can be used by God to do great things.
“Ghing, the federation president asked me your number and I gave it to him,” our pastor said “he saw you the time he visited our church and he keep on asking me about you. “ our pastor added. He was then in our place to get the tithes and offerings from my mom who’s a church treasurer.
“Ows? Who’s that federation president pastor?” I asked him frowning.
This scene happened more than 4 years ago. I was not an active Adventist youth then. I never attended any youth activities in our district or in our federation. I became curious about this guy and the activities they always had in SAYF (Sarangani Adventist Youth Federation). The first time I met him, I wasn’t attracted to him. Months later, the SAYF had a fellowship somewhere at the bottom part of the Mindanao and I joined them. That was the time I started to know about this guy. This was also the time I started to participate in the youth’s programs and activities.
We became friends. I remember every moment this guy and I had. I appreciate his leadership, his relationship to God and to his family and everything in him. He’s an ideal man, good leader, an active church member, a responsible son and a really good person.
We see each other every fellowship, church activities, youth’s programs, meetings and seminars within Southern Mindanao Mission. After a year, I concluded that I am already in love with this guy. Well, I think I was. But I should stop and step back for he already has a girlfriend. His girlfriend was not Adventist and I know he wanted to have an Adventist girlfriend.
I struggled for my feelings for him. For years, I prayed to God to take away my feelings for him. I know him very well; his strengths, weaknesses and even the unacceptable side of him. I can’t forget the time he said that he loves me and if he’s just single and available, he’ll court me even if I will reject him. I also remember the time I asked him to choose between me and his girlfriend, of course, he chose his girlfriend. How foolish of me! He’s actually emotionally abusive! I cried a million times just because of him. The more I tried to stay away from him, the more I think of him! I even accept suitors, dated many men, had boyfriends, but my heart beats only for him. Nobody can replace him.
There were times I questioned God why He let me experienced such pain in my heart. I blamed Him for my heartaches. I can not concentrate in doing His work for we always see each other in every youth’s activities, and my mind only focused on Him. I was mean right? Then I prayed sincerely to God to take away this stupid feelings I have for him. There wasn’t a night I forget to pray about it. The pain in my heart has been eating me and it affected everything. My friends and pastors around us knows about it. I am so ashamed of myself for having that feelings.
One summer night at the Youth Crusade, I saw him with another girl. That girl was not his girlfriend but a close friend who also like him. I don’t like that girl. I super dooper really hated that girl! Why? Maybe because I think, she must also stay away from him the way I do because he has a girlfriend and it seems like we are cheating his girlfriend. To think that she is also a girl like us! But I wanted to be nice to her so I went to the girl, talked to her and we shook hands as if there’s nothing going on between us. (I never hate his girlfriend because she is the original, only that girl because we have the same situaton.)
From then, I never care about them. We sometimes see each other but since I asked God for help, and have decided to serve God, I was able to keep my mind (if not my heart) in the right track.
God never failed me. Now, I realized, He uses my painful experiences to mold me into a better person. If I was not tested by my feelings for him, I am not who and what I am now. I will not be in the ministry if not because of him who became my inspiration and who helped me to become closer to God.
I could now say, I’m over him. Thank God for using him.
About 30 minutes ago, while I was reading a book on my bed and was ready to sleep, Jen handed me a piece of paper and asked me to write. I asked her what do I need to write but she said I am free to write anything I want to; about kape and tinapay (coffee and bread), bell pepper (which I really hate!), to counting calories (in which I always do) and love life (because I don’t even have one). When I was closing my eyes and really want to sleep, I was thinking of this piece of paper and what to write. Then I got up and start writing.
I am now thinking about the recent and most popular Ms. Universe contestant of our very own Philippines, Ms. Venus Raj. It’s not that I am fantasizing about the Ms. Universe crown but I am thinking about the controversial question that was asked to her. “What was your greatest mistake and what did you do to correct it?” According to the international news that I’ve seen, this is such a tough but wonderful question. This question is often ask in job interviews. Interviewers said that interviewees found themselves hard to answer the question. Well, it may be because most of us cannot easily accept our mistakes.
For the past days, since I have watched the video of Ms. Venus Raj, I imagined myself being asked the same question. How will I answer it? And since I am not in front of the judges and millions of people, it may be easy for me because I can easily think well about my answer. Like Ms. Venus Raj, I think I have no “major, major” mistakes in life because I am confident of my family and the love and freedom that they gave me. Hehehe! Just today, I have been thinking about it deeply and I already have my answers. Yes, answers. It’s in plural form. I’ll be sharing you the top 3 of it.
I also want to be someone I am not (Well, I could be if I strive hard to be). I have started writing poems and stuffs when I was in high school but when my article wasn’t published, I was discouraged and stop writing. I wrote again when I was in college and pass them to our school publication and luckily, they published it all. I was inspired to write again but since I was then very busy with many responsibilities, including the lakwatsa (strolling) with friends, and I forgot everything.
So what did I do to make it right? Well, I may not be as good as those who are really good, but I am now staring to write. This may be my debut.hehehe I am also writing my sermons so I can use it in the future.
I could have been wise in keeping my heart. It sounds really stupid not to keep my heart in the right track. For years, it seems like I have giving my heart to one person I was crazy about. He was maybe forced to accept it, but he was not able to keep it right. I called our relationship, “more than friends but less than lovers” or we call it pseudo-relationship and it lasted for about 4 years.
He was my motivation in everything I do. He became my idol. I am doing things not to please God but to please him. I strived hard to be like him. I do things which he often do like adventures and in leading people. I became so active in church and in many activities because of him.
I must say, I am aware that I became stupid. I actually tried to get rid of my feelings for him by staying away from him but the more I tried to, the more the feelings grow. Self-denial. I often convinced myself that I no longer have feelings for him. I even cried out loud to God and blamed Him for letting me feel that way. I accepted suitors, dated many men and had many boyfriends (of course one at a time) so this heart may beat for another guy. I know it’s not good. So what did I do to make things right? I joined the 1000 Missionary Movement. It’s like hitting two birds at the same time. I can serve God and at the same time run away from his shadows.
I could have been in the honor’s guild. I had been receiving honors and pinned with ribbons when I was in elementary. I was even at the top 19th out of more than 500 freshmen who passed the entrance test in high school. To my surprised, I was placed in the 2nd section, not in the 1st section which I have expected. From then, I didn’t care for my studies and got really low grades, for the first time. Really low like 78. When I was transferred to an Adventist school in my second year, I still do the same. I got low grades like, 76, 78 and got failed in the 2nd grading in one subject. I even got 4/50 score in math exam. I have no care about my academics even when I was in college. Yes, I became the Department President, Secretary, Marketing Vice President, HR of SIFE and blah! blah! blah! But I never been in the list of honor students that were posted in the school bulletin every semester. As long as I won’t take the subject twice, that’s okay (But I do well in the subjects I like). I continued to be like that until I graduated and have my degree.
Do I still have a chance to correct the things that I have regretted now? Well, unless I will study again but my brain is now full of rust and I think it won’t work well again. Hahaha!