|She with her parish priest Fr. alvin and the Columban Fathers|
At home, I am Che-Che but most of my friends call me She (pronounced 'Sheh'). I am the eldest among three. I had a different plan for my life before. When my father passed away when I was very young, I made sure to do my best in school so I could get high grades. I was thinking that the medals would be my ticket to get a nice job with a high pay so I could help my mother in sending my younger brothers to school. I was struggling to get better jobs as I tried one after the other. As a Mass Communication graduate, I dreamed of working for the giant television networks, film outfits, and famous charitable institutions. All these came true. I was also given an opportunity to teach on a part-time basis to college students while I was pursuing my graduate studies and working at ABS-CBN Foundation, all at the same time. Aside from these, I was also dreaming of traveling and doing some volunteer work and a short term exposure in Rwanda and in other challenging places where I could possibly do a video documentary film. At that time, I was not even familiar with the term “missionary.”
|She delivering her thanksgiving speech|
|With She's family|
I never thought that it would be possible for my case to leave a wonderful job and the benefits I was receiving. I was anxious about so many things before I have finally felt the courage to just let go and trust in God’s plans. I felt at peace with the idea that I won’t be having an income and I had to redefine my role in the family. I came to that point when I was craving for this quest on what God has for me by living and sharing with people of another culture, creed, and race. I was excited to learn through them and see how God loves them and is present in them. Detaching from what I used to do, what I had, my comfort zones, and the people dear to me was difficult but realizing what the 9-month orientation program is about made me look forward to the brighter side of this new path.
|Teaching at Malate pre-school|
In a very candid conversation that I had with a group of friends several years ago about our plans, dreams, and goals I said, “I want to be very rich so I could give to many people in need.” Now, I discovered that I have been very wealthy since the day I was borne. That by being rich, I refer to having a very supportive family who is understanding enough to let me go and live in another country to share in Jesus’ mission; that my treasures are not the material things I have but my friends, co-workers, teachers, community, and other people who have been part of my joys and pains as well as my successes and failures; that I have wonderful gifts and talents from God that I can share and an open and humble heart to learn from others too; that I am extremely wealthy to the extent that I am drowning in God’s love and graces.
|At Hangop Kabataan, a school for children with special needs|
|Attempting to create a dream catcher necklace at the Subanen Crafts, Ozamiz City|