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The Highlight of My Calling (Identity, Value and Sexual Health)

Posted Mar 30, 2024 in Responses and Feedback
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I woke up at exactly 3:00 in the morning. I had forgotten to turn off the music I was listening to at a low volume last night.

I remembered my dream. In it, I was standing on a rock wearing my old rose windbreaker jacket with a traveling backpack. It was so windy.  Rain began to fall as I was gazing at the most beautiful waterfalls I’d ever seen.

As I pondered about the dream, I remembered the song I was listening to that says:

“Somebody knows all of my fears and all that I have to learn,
but somebody sees the person I'll be when faithfully I return. 
So I bear my witness of His mercy and forgiveness,
safe in His footsteps I'm ready to serve... Here I am send me."


Chin Chin, the writer is on the left, Ella in the middle, and Obadiah on the right
 

November 2022 - 'Called to Teach Children'

Two years have passed and my prayers are now being fulfilled, my dreams are aligning with reality. Our morning family worship has just ended, and as the sun rises Gil told my aunt "Nene" and I that he had just received a call from His friend who is a graduate from the Philippine Amazing Facts Center of Evangelism. He was asking for our assistance to conduct public evangelism in a small countryside community in Surigao Del Sur. 


Gil, is on the left. Jong is next to him, with his hand to his eye.

I was immensely grateful for the opportunity to reach people in a community and see the different situations they are in. Through the experience, I am able to reflect more on life in a way that moves me away from focusing on myself and instead I learn to make contributions to the well-being and happiness of others.

I was with my elder sister Cres, who looked after us as she has experienced public evangelism before. Gil took us to Lingig, Surigao Del Sur where we were fetched by Brother Bench going to the Church he was working with for evangelism. There we met Pastor "Punay" and his wife.

The church was part of the inter-regional conference here in Mindanao and the main church was in Davao. They were planning to build a church and so we were there to assist them for evangelism and medical mission.

There were lots of children at that time, around 40-50 ranging from 3-12 years of age. I was so overwhelmed with the numbers as I was not oriented to teach children using the PAFCOE materials. The materials were organized so that I just had to study it and teach, so I had thought...

It's no easy task to teach children considering the different family backgrounds they were brought up in, the varying attention spans based on their age, and meeting them at their level. If I were to choose, I would rather teach teenagers than children.

But I believe God had something beautiful to teach me with. I was a bit nervous handling the children, knowing the character of God versus the structure that I had to follow – I don't want to force them to do something if they don't want to. I don't want them to follow me because of the reward but because they love to learn!

At first, they will listen, but when we were together for so many days and weeks following the structure on how to teach these children, I noticed that they easily got bored and made things on their own. Others tended to play or run, others cried and sought attention from the teacher, while some others were really attentive and interactive. How did Jesus handle such a situation? What an amazing thought to ponder!

I was tested and tempted to be embarrassed and discouraged. Firsthand, I didn't study and graduate from PAFCOE. I was told by Brother Bench to learn certain teaching techniques, for example the female batchmates he studied with were able to just snap a finger and the children would immediately come in order and behave themselves. I was so shocked and wondered how they did that!

But I praise God that He has always been victorious working in me that I don't have to compare myself. I still have peace and comfort knowing the Father's love and what Jesus did to me. Christ didn't just handle one person but a lot of people, and these were His children. Christ met each one where they were and so He did with me!

Even when I still have difficulty controlling the circumstances and am tempted to think that I am less good than others, it won’t define my value and worth as a teacher. The time I spent with the children built a beautiful lasting relationship that money cannot compensate. 

I’m infinitely grateful and fulfilled being called by God through His Son Jesus, the greatest teacher of us all!
 

March 2024 - ‘Called to Teach Young People'

I am grateful that God called me to be a teacher to the young people through MinPra (Mindanaw Poverty Relief Action), which is a humanitarian movement in partnership with Australia Rotary Club Burwood. MinPra has this advocacy or platform SHEP 2024 (Sexual Health Education by Pictures) wherein it addresses the issue of premarital sex and teenage pregnancy in the whole region of Gingoog, Philippines. 


The team went teaching in many classrooms with the Rotary Members

I am passionate to teach and to open the issue to the community, because I had once been trapped to sexual excess and abuse, but by grace I am freed from it (Read Chin Chin's Testimony). Teaching these young people to say 'No' to sexual engagement outside of marriage means a lot to me, and to tell those who have already been involved in sex that there is 'Hope' despite all the consequences of pain and suffering. God could still accommodate and meet these young people where they were just like what Jesus did for me.


Aeneel teaching the class

Philippines is the only Christian nation in all of Asia, but it is number one in teenage pregnancy. 'Why is that?' I believe that by teaching these young people to say 'No', we could have a big impact that will contribute to decreasing the number of unplanned births not just in the region but in the whole country, which can lead to a generational cycle of less poverty, ill-health and disability. What a special work it is to heal the family and community and make it more heaven-like!


Rotary lady from Australia.
Inspiring to see them spend their time and money to do charity work like this

The most important thing to me that I taught to the students was about the 'Stewardship' of taking care of their bodies and not abusing it. Eating healthy foods would help their minds not be fogged and help them clearly discern what is right and wrong that they may powerfully use the gift of free will. Through the right arm of the gospel I was able to connect them to Christ that they were a beloved son and daughters of God. We believe that establishing them in their true identity and value is the foundation for building a healthy life with healthy relationships (It was such a blessing to see that the students were touched by the song "Belovedness" like we were, as seen for example in this instagram story. And Obadiah even led them in song :).

 

One teacher came and told me that the class I handled was one of the naughtiest classes in that grade level. She was a catholic teacher and was so grateful that her prayer had been answered. Their school was one of the top in teenage pregnancy and she was also passionate to share about the issue. She was amazed and wondered why these students were so focused to listen. I was also impressed by the comments of the other teachers that there had been lots of programs that had tried to make the students more of this in their school, but this time it was more interesting to them. I praise our Father through His Son!

It was a blessing to me personally that by imparting the knowledge to others I was also benefiting from it. 

I am fulfilled and healed! Amen!



Big group outside!


Juve, Jong's wife, and her daughter with some students.
Juve and Jong were the main organizers coordinating with Rotary.


Meetings for those in the local community were also done


Local community in attendance at Pandan Church!
(check out their facebook page where they livestream their services)
(Also check out their vegetarian food store)


Small Meeting Room also Used


Some more of the volunteers

Chin Chin singing/teaching the song 'Belovedness'

For more by Chin Chin see her Camp Meeting Experience.
Read another testimony from one of the lady's at Pandan Church, Nene, and how she became a missionary.
And Brother Gil Castor shared some thoughts also.