By: Marisa Avila
I was born in a less fortunate family of 8 siblings. My father is a laborer who finished Grade 3 and my mother didn’t know how to read and write. We do not have our own lot. We are settlers in other’s land. Being the 4 th among siblings, I knew my responsibilities at an early age. We need to learn how to do household chores at seven. Life wasn’t easy at all. Though my parents didn’t have higher education, they taught us how to praise and ask God for his mercy and love. They taught us how to love and respect our family, friends and people around us. My childhood is full of memories of responsibilities and maturity. I never stopped believing that we would enjoy better things and a comfortable life. I do not want poverty to embrace us until the end of our life, so I started working for my dreams. I excel in my high school and college through scholarships. Later, I found a good and higher paid job, which helped solve our financial problems.
Having my own family with two girls was a great gift I treasured. Yet difficulties started to strike our family again. My youngest born was having a heart problem. Money became a problem every day. I needed to do something, I thought. I made a very difficult decision. I left my children and worked as a domestic helper in Hong Kong. It was 1992 when I left the Philippines for greener pastures. I was right, things were better and our financial problems were solved during the first year of my contract. My husband and I invested in properties. There are many opportunities in the 5 year stay abroad as I had other sources of income in HK. I became an insurance agent and a property consultant while doing my domestic job. I studied different courses in YMCA HK during my off days. It helped me improve a lot in advanced learning.It seemed all those good things never end.
The 7 th year was an unexpected twist of life. I discovered that my husband was living with another woman. He left my children to my mother who patiently took care of them. My younger child continued her medication in the Philippine Heart Center. Suddenly my sources of income in HK were affected by the strict rules of HK. I became helpless. I had no money left in my savings as I lent it to a friend. My friend didn’t pay me back. She never contacted me until I learnt that she went to Canada with my money. The sixty thousand Hong Kong Dollars was my savings for good. It was then I realized that I focused most of my time on making money. I forgot to communicate with God as I was very busy with material things and fame. I begged God to forgive me.
I accept all the things that have happened in my life with a grateful heart and live whatever is left to me. I came back talking with my living God again. At the beginning of the 8th year contract, my husband came and begged for forgiveness. He was then living with my two daughters. I thought it was a pretty reunion with my husband as we agreed I would be home on our anniversary, July 2. The biggest thing happened, my husband died in an accident early in the morning of June 29 th , two days before my planned vacation. Things were worse. I don’t know where to start. I was totally lost and afraid of being alone. My faith seemed lessened. But I kept on praying until I regained strength and strong faith.
After the contract, I stayed in the Philippines and took care of my children for a few months. I started to find luck in China where I applied as an English teacher. God is so good that He allowed me to have this great chance again. I started teaching and I will never forget worshiping my Great Living God. My children had finished their studies. They visited China for a few months and studied Language at Shenzhen University. I worked as a teacher in China for twelve years. Love and happiness bound my family again.
Challenges in my life became easier as I have God … a living God with me. He loves us and He will not forsake us. Have faith, live by His calling and all the things will work by His faithful love to us. My heart will not be mistaken in making decisions as long as Great God is the center of my life.