Why Are You Working Now?

If you are working now, this article is written for you.

Let me just ask you this question;

Why are you working now?

Surely, you have a lot of reasons to share. Below might include some of them;

  • Because you need to provide for your family
  • Because you need to support your siblings in their studies
  • Because you want to have enough money for retirement
  • Because you want to have money for travel with your loved ones
  • Because you have to support someone for his or her medical needs
  • Because you have to invest in the stock market
  • Because you have to build and start your own business
  • Because you want to help the poor
  • Because you want to give more to the church and other ministries
  • Because you want to have a better life in the future
  • Because you want to buy your favourite things
  • Because you want to practice your profession and expertise
  • Because you want to build your connection and gain new friends
  • Because you want to know yourself more and build self-confidence
  • Because you need to escape boredom at home

 

These are only some of the reasons I have in mind but it doesn’t end here. I believe all of them are valid reasons why you and I are working and why most of us are employed. Bottom line is we want to feel secure and prepare for the future. We want to make sure that we are an asset and not a liability. We are working because we have dreams and we want to achieve them as much as we can.

On top of these, let us remind ourselves that there should be a bigger reason why we are working. We are working not just for us and our immediate family and of course helping others. The most important is that we are working for the kingdom of the Lord, to please Him and fulfill our mission.

Our work shouldn’t be a justification that we are already good citizens though. We need to take care of our integrity and reputation especially when dealing with others.

Our work should have no conflict with the way we treat our God. It should rather make us closer to Him. Our respective job is an opportunity to share more about our Lord and how he has been so gracious to us.

Most of the times, the Lord has put us in a certain position in a certain period of time for a specific purpose. There are times that we don’t know what’s happening but just keep the faith that one day the Lord will reveal His reasons why we are here or there in the first place.

Again, let us always remind ourselves that we are not working just for us. We are working under the pleasure of our Lord. Whatever is your work now, be grateful for it even though it’s stressful sometimes. Believe that your past and current experiences are all preparations for the great plan of the Lord ahead of you. Be excited and have faith.

God bless you, my friend!

 

 

Betrayed and Restored: From Almost Ending His Life to Living the Life Fully With God

What is the most painful experience you have in life? How did you handle it? What happens after?

To give you an idea, read this inspiring story;

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Hi I’m Joanner,

I’m the 3rd from the youngest of our family. My mother is a plain housewife while my father is a tailor at the same time a farmer.

Originally, I dreamed of becoming a priest simply because I wanted to help uplift the morale and life of the people in our community. Of course, one of my dreams is to provide a better life for my family and future family.

I also dreamed of having my own business and comfortable house living with my own happy family. I took up Engineering in college for a year before I shifted to Computer Course because of my friends’ and cousins’ influences.

Struggles and Challenges

During my grade school days, all of the things I used in school were those previously used by my sister and my bag back then was only given by my cousin because my father only went home on weekends. Usually, I was the one requested by my grandfather and grandmother in taking care of their carabao, while planting vegetables and helping them on the farm.

I remembered one day I fell from the carabao and my face hit the ground. The day after, my face was swollen which became the reason I was bullied in school. Yes, it was really a struggle for me.

I thought the struggle would stop once I enter high school. I was wrong because, for the 1st and 2nd year, I went to school using a bicycle just to save money. Our school is very far from our place that’s why I need to travel 4 times just to reach the place. Hence, it’s impossible for me to walk. There were times when I went home in the middle of the night and the worst experience I had was when it rains. I also had a funny experience when I was followed by a dog.

The good thing happened in my 3rd year when my father bought a tricycle. At least, this time, I am comfortable and I didn’t need to worry about the darkness, the rain, and the dogs. I endured all these hardships because I really wanted to finish my studies.

The sense of comfort continued when I entered college because my father’s share of my grandparents land was finally sold. We had the money.  But still, I felt the loneliness and disappointment when every time my aunts were going to a vacation, dinner or to a place away from our home. They never invited my parents to join with them.

We likewise never received any gift from them even when there were family occasions. It hurts us more when we found out that our other cousins received gifts from them. In other words, they treated us differently.

I also struggled when my mother died. I went home from abroad. Actually, it’s my first ever vacation. I’m so sad because I never fulfilled my promise to her. I lost hope and found life meaningless that time.

This was maybe the biggest heartbreak I experienced so far. When the one I truly love and spent most of my time with got married to another man. We’re in a relationship for 5 years until one day she went for a vacation only to find out from his father that she was busy preparing for a wedding with another man. My world crumbled and I almost couldn’t endure the pain I felt.

I even came to a point of ending my life because the pain was just too much to bear.

But then the Lord is so faithful. He sent people to comfort me in this trying time. I can really feel His love and compassion.

Before her wedding, I sent her a message saying I already forgave her for what she has done. I also requested her to talk with me personally once she comes back to formally close our relationship. This was so because I didn’t want to feel the pain anymore. I wanted to forget about her.

I thought it would be that easy to move on but with the grace of the Lord I was able to accept all of those things for over a year. Though the most difficult thing was that until now she didn’t tell me the real reason for her unexpected decision.

Successes and Wins

Let’s go back to my education stories. Yes, despite all the challenges I faced every day, I rewarded my parents with my medals and certificates in elementary and high school years. I even became one of the most outstanding students in college. Because I knew deep in myself about their sacrifices, I made them as my inspiration to study hard and be successful in life and to fulfill my dreams for my family.

After college, I went overseas with the help of my uncle. He’s very supportive though we’re not so close that time. I stayed with him. Even though I’m not used to doing household chores, I volunteered to cook, wash the laundries, iron the clothes and help in other chores. That time, it’s hard for me to find a job because the country where I worked at was affected by the bombing of the WTC in the US. However, I was blessed to be hired by one of the prestigious group of companies in their retail division.

I worked as Counter Sales Person for almost 6 months and I proved to my manager that I can do more that’s why I was promoted and was transferred to the Head Office as purchaser and inventory in-charge of all our shops. But I never stopped dreaming BIG, and after almost 5yrs, I transferred to a local insurance company and happily working for so many years now.

The Lessons Learned

I learned a lot from my experiences. I learned to love all the people, especially those, are chasing success but the success is always running away from them. I remind them to remain strong and motivated. I tell them to never give up on their dreams.

Poverty is not an excuse to success. Instead, poverty is a motivation for success. Trust God in all the decisions you do. Believe that He has a great plan for you.

Remember my original dream? Becoming a priest? Yes, it was.

Though I’m not able to fulfill this dream, still, the Lord is faithful. Because now I’m very happy serving Him in a charismatic Catholic community of Single Young Professionals based in UAE. While serving, I also regularly send money to my family and relatives. I also have my own savings and real estate investments.

My Piece of Advice

Make your past as your inspiration and don’t keep grudge from the people who mistreat you before. Instead of hating them, you should love them and thank God for sending them to your life. Because without them, you might not end up strong. They are your motivation to strive for your dreams in life.

Just hold on to God for He is the Author of your life and only in Him can we find all the things we need in this life.

Thank you for reading,

Joanner

 

 

What Kish Island in Iran Taught Me About Life: A Moving Story of an OFW Who Stayed In Kish for Almost 3 Months

Who would you call out for help when you’re trapped in a foreign land? What should be the things you need to do to survive and hope for a better day? Would you trust God?

Find out on this so touching story of Mr. Aveve Luzon, RN

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Personal Background

I am Aveve Luzon, a registered nurse from Zamboanga City, Philippines. I am currently engaged with a beautiful lady sent by God to complete my incomplete life. I’m the youngest of the 3 siblings. I have one elder brother and one elder sister. We’re not a rich family.

Both my parents started from scratch because they were both working students before so they were able to finish their studies. I graduated Bachelor of Science in Nursing at Ateneo de Zamboanga University. I worked as a nurse in our province for 5 years before I went abroad. I have one simple dream in life. That is to help my family financially and to become a successful businessman someday.

Actually, I have a lot of experiences in life but for this article’s sake, I’d like to focus on my experiences as an Overseas Filipino Worker (OFW) particularly on my turning point where I met the Lord of my life.

Let me start it this way;

First Month In Kish

When I arrived in United Arab Emirates with a tourist visa, I thought that I could find a job and would easily help my family particularly financially. But I never imagined how difficult life in abroad could be. After 3 weeks of applying in Abu Dhabi, UAE, I was able to find a company and promised me that they would provide a working visa after a month. I exited UAE and stayed in Kish Island, Iran while waiting for my working visa. But the one month period has already passed when my employer informed me that my visa was denied because the scanned documents were not clear. It affected me not only financially but also emotionally and spiritually especially when I saw a lot of fellow Filipinos who were able to come back to UAE with a working visa. I felt so frustrated.

Second Month In Kish

Knowing that I’m running out or money, I looked for fellow Filipinos in Kish that could help me lessen my expenses for food and find leisure in any way. There were times that I would just eat one meal a day to save money in order to pay for my hotel accommodation. My father would also get angry at me because it was not part of his expectation that’s why I decided to not communicate with my parents for some time. I instead diverted my attention to my goals. I waited for another 1 month only to find out that my visa was again denied. My employer didn’t even bother to inform me about my visa status. Though I’m losing hope each passing day, I still held on to my employer’s assurance that I need not worry because they would definitely process my visa since they already spent a certain amount for its processing.

Jesus Face

It was also during my second month in Kish when my girlfriend (now my fiancée) brought me a daily gospel book for me to read every day while waiting for my working visa. She also showed me a picture of Jesus that when I close my eyes I could still see his face and this made me realized that I am not alone in my struggles and that He is watching me all the way. It gave me a sense of hope and faith to pursue my plans and purpose here abroad.

Third Month In Kish

Meanwhile, on my 75th day in Kish Island, I was brought to the police authorities and they told me that if I stay more than 3 months, they will deport me back to the Philippines.

Days went on and passed by, I still found myself inside the room praying and waiting for my working visa to be released. Though I found hope in and with God, my human nature still persisted. I began to worry and doubt again. Unfortunately, there was no update from my employer about my visa status. What we did was to apply for a tourist visa instead. So we applied.

I thought, this time, the situation may be better. As much as I wanted the situation to be as smooth as it should be, at exactly on my 80th day at Kish, the travel agency informed me that they had difficulty releasing the tourist visa and said that it was already 5 days and that there was no chance my visa will be released. It’s like the world is falling down on me that time. I didn’t give up even if the agency told me that there was no chance at all. I prayed to God and believed in His plans for me. I am likewise willing and ready to accept whatever His plans for me in Kish.

Miracles Do Happen

And right after my prayer time, unexpectedly my tourist visa was released at 7pm the evening. It’s a kind of miracle because usually, visa processing would close at 5pm. Indeed, God saved me that time. His plans prevailed.

When I came back to UAE after my 84 days in Kish, I took the HAAD exam and passed. At that time, a lot of companies were trying to contact me waiting for my decision to sign their offer letters. Currently, I’m working as a home care nurse in Abu Dhabi for more than 2 years now.

I’m  Now Serving The Lord

And because of my life’s turning point, I sought God and looked for a community that will help me grow my faith and love and strengthen my relationship with God. I then became a committed member of Ang Lingkod ng Panginoon – Abu Dhabi Chapter where my fiancée also serves. I’m serving at the Music Ministry and the Intercessory Prayer Team (IPT).  This is the same community where I was invited years ago but I always declined. If I could just turn back time, I would be the first one to volunteer myself to serve God through Lingkod. Now, I have a strong relationship with God and every time I’m down, I always find support from my brothers and sisters in the community.

I have also fulfilled part of my goals. My mother dreamed of having a business of her own in Manila and I helped her invest and paid some expenses in her new business. At the same time, we are busy planning and preparing for our wedding which will happen soon.

Final Note

Indeed, struggles are always present in our lives but we can handle it well if we believe and have faith in God. Whatever plans you have now, surrender them to Him because at the end of the day, His plans prevail as he said in Proverbs 16:9 – “A person plans his course but the Lord directs his steps.”

God bless you!

Praying for you with faith and hope,

Brother Ave

Are you inspired? Please type your comments below and don’t forget to share this story with your friends. Let’s spread the good news!