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Life's Journey so far

hello friends, just thought I'd share my story since I had not taken the chance to...

When I was five years old, I first became aware of the emptiness inside of me, and I wanted something to cling to, to keep me from being afraid of that emptiness. I felt that if I stopped clinging onto that something, I would be lost forever. That something was my family. I would have done anything to keep my family together even if it meant sacrifice. I had to quit school, couldn’t play with the other kids and didn’t have friends. I had to stay home and take care of my little brothers and sister.

The most important people that I had were my five siblings. They were my number one, the treasure of my heart. I had to repeat 1st grade 3 times, because I needed to take care of my other siblings. My parents fought a lot. I didn’t want my brothers and sister to be frightened, so I would usually shout at them, telling them to quiet down, and they would quiet down and both of them would leave the house in different directions.

 There was one time when neither of them came back for two days. I thought they already left us so I had to work double; I had to find food for my siblings and take care of them at the same time. It wasn’t much of a problem though, because they were very much satisfied eating the food that I cooked, even though I didn’t do a good job with it. I loved those kids and I thought having all five of them was all I needed.

Until one night when I arrived from the market, I realized that my siblings were not in their beds where I had left them, and I could not find them anywhere in the house. Then I saw my mother in the corner, crying hard. When I saw her crying my knees weakened and I fell on them and started crying too. What she was doing made me understand that my father had left us, with my other siblings.

I felt like I had lost everything. I remember feeling hopeless, that nothing could ever revive me again. My mother came to me and hugged me as if she would never let me go. I hugged her back, telling her that I wouldn’t ever leave her.

Several days later I realized that my mother was pregnant. We were so worried about how to feed ourselves and the baby inside her. We wandered around the city for days, sleeping on sidewalks with an empty stomach. Then my mom decided to ask her friends if we could stay with them for a week and they gladly accepted us in their warm house.

One night as I was sleeping, I heard my mother groaning in pain. So I stood up and checked on her. When she fell back to sleep, I went to the window and started looking outside. Then I saw a very bright and beautiful star, shining. It reminded me of the story of a baby boy who was born once upon a time. There was also a bright star that was over him. Somehow that made me pray my first prayer, asking Someone Great, out there to take care of the three of us.

After I prayed I heard my mother crying in pain. She told me that she was about to give birth. So I hurried downstairs to call for help. It took me a while to come back with someone to help us, which made me very scared. After an hour my mother gave birth to a healthy child. Then I felt a gleam of hope starting to come back, because another treasure was given to me. I took the baby boy into my little arms and named him Steven. 

To make the story short, my mother left both of us in an orphanage and I felt betrayed but I still missed her and loved her. That caused me to be very defensive to my brother and to myself, and afraid of the people around us. I also felt hated by them. All kinds of negative thoughts appeared in my mind, like insecurity and being a loser because I failed to hold my family together.

But the Lord Jesus Christ was so good to me that he proved to me that all of the things that I had thought in my mind were wrong. I accepted Him as my Savior at the age of nine, and He released me from those feelings of insecurity and emptiness. He has given me a bright hope, the assurance that He has come into my heart and has promised to live there forever.

Starting then I can visibly see His blessing to me and my brother in that orphanage. The Staff and workers loved us as their own family, provided everything we needed, and protected us from evil. They were dedicated servants of God, and were channels of God’s love to all of us in the orphanage. The orphanage is called Children’s Shelter of Cebu. CSC will always be my home. I have lived there for ten years and all I have ever received from CSC are the visible manifestations of God’s love. I can never deny that I had experienced some struggles in living with CSC, however, just like every family, God uses those struggles to shape each and every member of the family. CSC continues to stand strong because of those struggles; it helps us to realize that we can never be what we are now without God.

God also extended his blessings towards my studies; He gave me wisdom and made me go back to school at the level that was exactly right for my age. It didn’t even seem like I had missed 3 years of schooling. He also blessed my brother and me, when a family adopted Steven in 2004. He is now living in Minnesota. About seven or eight years ago, a very loving couple decided to commit in sponsoring my desire to study in the Western World. In 2005, I came to Canada to study at Trinity Western University. Each day of being here in Canada is a gift from my sponsors (who I also consider as my parents), from my CSC family (who are all over the world) and most especially from God.  Now I am teaching Grade 1 in a small town of Redvers, Saskatchewan and enjoying every minute of it. Each day spent with my students is an encouragement because of the joy that they give me. God has blessed my life so amazingly that if I could share to you all the things He has done for me, I’m sure it would take me a lifetime and I still wouldn’t be finished.

 I even thanked God for taking away my family, even thought it hurt. But I see that if He didn’t take my family away from me I wouldn’t be part of the best family there is in this world, my CSC family. He took what was special to me, but made me part of something so much greater and more special, that nothing and no one in this world could ever give me more.

by Kirk Pilapil

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