Three years ago you could not even expect me to pray for you. It would solicit an awkward and noteworthy cringe.
I was a third year medical proper student when I joined Christ’s Youth in Action. At that time I was struggling in the pit of disillusionment as the leader for the outreach arm of my sorority. Seemingly all my efforts to build projects and galvanize the sorority to social action were futile and fruitless. I felt like a failure as the head. With this mindset, I thought that the causes we spearheaded at that time were small, fleeting and disjointed bursts of inspiration that tickled but did not really last.
My core passion is service. Are you familiar with the typical questions junkies for life philosophy ask about finding meaning in what we do? Particularly about what makes you get up in the morning with that unmistakable fire in your belly? It’s service for me. Always been service for me. I would do anything to just go out there and serve. That’s part of the reason why I am a doctor in the first place. Serving the sick and the poor is God’s gift to me, and as a student leader at that time, I take that fervor to heart.
So I found myself on bent knees. Day in and day out, the prayers I uttered in the pews of the Philippine General Hospital Chapel were strewn with tears of frustration and ended with a tough grit to not give up despite my heart growing tired in serving. Little did I know that my saving grace would come at last.
It was Father Chester Yacub, the jolly, eternally smiling priest with that calm, therapeutic aura exuding from him, who told me to join his org back when he was a UP Diliman student. In dire and dying need of spiritual support, I attended my first prayer meeting with CYA the next day. A week after that, I joined the Christian Life Series where I was baptized in the Holy Spirit and came to know God in a deeper and more personal way.
Who would’ve thought that three years after that fateful encounter, I would make radical choices the old Gela wouldn’t even dare try? After finishing med school and passing the September 2016 medical board exam, I chose to set aside a year to volunteer as a youth missionary proclaiming God’s work to students. I even approach random strangers and ask them what I can pray for them. As for the disillusioned student leader three years ago, it is really gratitude to God that my sorority has been hailed as one of the Ten Accomplished Youth Organizations in the Philippines, and our service project for sick babies has been receiving national and international awards for its efforts to serve the underserved and in inspiring the youth to do more for the country.
Looking back at those three wonderful years of journeying with the Lord, I can only say that in God, all things work out beautifully for those who believe Him.