The Best of 2012Friday, January 04, 2013
|Thank You, 2012!|
Hello! I honestly do not know how to start writing here again since it has been forever since I posted a decent entry here. I have been too overwhelmed with adventures. God wrote and unfolded pages and pages of journey too fast that I could not cope relaying the stories here in my blog.
To start this new year, I express my overflowing gratefulness to Him and to all the people who made my 2012 very wonderful. I may never be able to put into words how faithful He was and is to me all throughout the year, but this post goes to serve as witness and honor Him for what He has done. I do not usually post my pictures here, now here's 2012 captured, one choicest moment of grace at a time.
Last year, when I decided to write down my faith goals I started off asking Him to teach me how to desire for Him more and to grow in my walk with Him. I had been blinded by too many selfish desires, wants, personal ambitions and felt very unsatisfied. I didn't know where to go. (See more here!) But God taught me to seek Him above all things and the rest would be well taken care of.
Whom have I in heaven but you? And earth has nothing I desire besides you. -King David, Ps 73:25
The year started with mini adventures. There is this verse that says, "Delight yourself in the Lord and He will give you the desires of your heart." Before I thought that if I delight myself in Him, God would be my personal genie who would grant all my wishes. But I learned last year that if we delight in Him, he would satisfy us for no matter what and He himself would put specific desires in our hearts and grant them one by one. As for me, I believe it was not merely wanderlust. God initially whispered my calling, I asked him to take me to places for His purpose. Baguio was beautiful, more than enough for me honestly, and yet He did not stop there.
I also had the chance to go to Boracay twice with my friends. I found this very special since I have never gone on trips with my friends. It was a wonderful time strengthening bonds and building deeper relationships with them.
It was not all about fun and pleasures. I also had soulful journeys. They were not so convenient and comfortable, but it was humbling and it taught me millions of lessons helpful for life. I had the privilege to volunteer in a farming community in Negros. I had my loving foster family there for two weeks, and I truly learned a lot from them. I am most thankful to my School's Center for Social Action for equipping and empowering me to do such things.
|Ulingan with Project PEARLS|
|Playing around with my students after class.|
I am also grateful to have experienced an amazing leadership camp with my cousin. I prayed that she would have that encounter with God... and she had, she did! Level Up, held in Laguna, was one of the most unforgettable events this year. And, I also learned to really step out of my comfort zone, that by grace I could do all things even when they seem to be impossible. I am grateful to God for my spiritual family in La Salle Cluster, they have always been the most supportive and encouraging bunch.
|Level Up Camp, May 2012|
|La Salle Cluster's Live, emceeing with my favorit bro Malcolm Ng!|
After some few volunteer programs, the heart for service didn't stop growing, and I even had the chance to do it with 2009 CNN Hero Kuya Efren Penaflorida. He was one of the most inspiring men I know! I learned how he does his part in the community, his heart for service and his love for the people.
It was amazing because God continued to open more doors; and voila, I found myself in India doing the same thing. I had been a part of our school's delegation to the International Youth Peace Festival. That truly confirmed so many things, I got to meet most amazing and inspiring people to ever walk on earth.
Last year, I wanted to step out, appreciate and be sensitive to other people’s beliefs. I uphold and love Christianity and its values more than anything. I wanted to see things through other people’s perspective and to wear their shoes. Surely, it is not about standing firm in my own faith, closing my doors and condemning others, neither suppressing my faith nor leaving it behind just to coexist with them. It’s about the need to think out of the box, embrace and appreciate what they have and respect their belief just as much as I respect mine. Here was a statement I wrote for IYPF and amazing how God fulfilled everything. I had the chance to build relationships with our Muslim brothers and sisters from different parts of the world. I learned how it is to just love one another despite of the differences. To learn their culture, their beliefs and their lives was truly an eye opener for me. I met friends from Afghanistan, India and Indonesia.
|Braving the extreme heat of Agra!|
Of course, I was not just serious, all work and no play last year. I was blessed with the rarest and most thrilling experience: mock wedding in Punjab. I got "married" with this Afghan friend Siam, got to taste Lassi, tried dancing Bhangra and got published in the state's newspaper. It was really priceless!
From the scorching heat of India, another door opened for me to go to feel the warmth of His love in the driest cold season of Mongolia for Ten Days Missions Trip. Well, this surely needs another blog entry. It was really life changing. I really feel so blessed to have been a part of God's plans for Mongolia. I have been a witness to God's BIG heart for the nations.
|Inside the bus around Ulaanbatar, on our way to the campus!|