GREATER KNOWLEDGE | Taipei, Taiwan | Executive News
My 24 hours are divided into attending classes, doing some research about our experiment. I go to our laboratory to work even on weekends. I was only granted three years of scholarship.
I want to finish my studies within that timeframe. After the three years, I will no longer receive grants for tuition fees and allowance. -Hello mom. How are you doing? -I’m doing alright here. How are you? -I’m doing well. Busy as usual. On my break-time, that’s what I do. I would call my mom as well as my dad. At times, they would also call me. My mother is currently in Abu Dhabi.
She works as a domestic helper. She started working abroad
when I reached fourth grade. Despite working abroad, what my mom would earn was still not enough to support our family. Sometimes, my parents would have to borrow money from other people to provide for our daily needs. Now that I am here in Taiwan, what little money I could save, I send back home. I dream of improving my family’s life. -I miss you, mom. -Please take care, always. -Bye. -I love you too. We are three siblings. I am the youngest. Our father is a farmer. What he earns is not enough for our daily needs. At the time, all three of us were studying. There was a time when I was in college,
I didn’t have my allowance. I was already dressed for school. I couldn’t go because our school was two hours away from our house. Since I was young, we were living in poverty.
That’s what inspired me to do well in my studies. That way, I can repay my parents for their sacrifices.
Hopefully, one day, I would be the one supporting them. As I was entering my third year in college,
I met a few professors who were sent to study abroad. Some were sent here in Taiwan
while some, to the United States. I am Isagani Angeles Jr. a professor
from Isabela State University. We look for students to send here
at National Taiwan Ocean University to pursue their Master of Science
in Fisheries course. Back in 2012, we met a few students
who have the potential and could be sent here at
the National Taiwan Ocean University. They are Ms. Laila Gallego, Marites Castro,
Mark Alvin Navarro, and Mary Joy Libatique. Mary Joy Libatique is among
my most diligent students. I saw in her the persistence needed to succeed.
I saw the ambition in her. After recommending the students
to be sent here in Taiwan, I endorsed them to someone whom I consider
as my second mother, Sister Susan de Mesa. She is such a jolly person. She and Sir Gani were the first to invite me to attend an
Iglesia Ni Cristo (Church Of Christ) Evangelical Mission. At the time, I was having
second thoughts about going. In fact, I only accepted the invitation
because my professor said so. I told myself to just try going. There’s nothing for me
to lose if I try to attend the Evangelical Mission. She would always message us. She would always inform us whenever there are Evangelical
Missions. This led to us enlisting as bible instructees. As I was listening to the teachings upheld
in the Church Of Christ, I was offended at first. The teachings are very different
from the ones I grew up with. But later on, I became open-minded. I learned to accept
and embrace the truth, which is based on the Bible. Ever since I became a member of the Church Of Christ, God has given me what I ask for in my prayers. The homesickness and loneliness that I feel
because of being far from my family, I can express them to God
when I’m in the worship services. Attending worship services
is what strengthens me. When I was taking up my Master’s degree, we would attend
worship service in the Local Congregation of Taipei City. I would have to travel for 3 hours;
coming from our school to the place of worship. There were times when I’d miss the last bus
going back to school after the worship service. The only available option for me
to get back to school is to ride a taxi. For my situation, riding a taxi is very expensive. The scholarship allowance that I receive isn’t that big. But not once did I think that I was losing out
however much I had to pay for the taxi. For me, my duty to worship God
is way more valuable. Our experiments would often finish late at night. We’d often get back home early
in the morning of the next day– that is our life as graduate students.
Of course, it is exhausting. One unforgettable experience I had
here in Taiwan happened when we were two months away
from finishing our Master’s degree. We had to work quickly. Because of how busy we were in school,
I would sleep for four hours or even less. In the beginning, I started having a fever;
then, my back started hurting. My whole body started shivering. [The doctors] tested me many times. They told me that I was having congestive heart failure. My heart wasn’t pumping blood properly,
resulting in poor blood flow. I cried during those times because
I was worried about my family. I came here to Taiwan to fulfill my dreams
in life and to support my family; primarily my parents. But I ended up being sick. When it was time for me to eat, even though
my mind would tell my body to lift the spoon, my body wouldn’t do so. I couldn’t even do
simple tasks like brushing my hair. During that time, I was already
a member of the Church Of Christ. Nanay Susan would always tell me, “You are a Church Of Christ member.
You have the privilege of praying to God.” There was no one I could lean on at the time;
being far away from my family. All I could do was to rely on prayers. After one month of being in bed rest,
God granted my prayer to restore my health. I went back to school, and I graduated on time.
I was also able to fulfill my Church duties. When I attended the worship services,
I would cry because of what I experienced. I thought it was the end of me. But because of God’s love, He gave me
another chance to fulfill my goals in life, and most of all, continue serving Him. I admire the dedication of Brother Eduardo Manalo. Despite facing dangers, he fulfills his duty, to lead
the entire Church Of Christ, wholeheartedly. For me it’s a great blessing. This here is Ate Marites, and this is Ate Laila. We were together when we were
taking up our Master’s degree and we are all still together while we are taking up
our Ph.D., which started in 2017. We also got baptized at the same time
and are now members of the Church Of Christ. It gives me joy when I realize that in my aim to get a better education here in Taiwan, I acquired something far greater: the knowledge
of the truth through my membership in the Church Of Christ. Now, my priority is to serve God.
So whatever happens, I will never let go of my Church duty. The reward waiting for me is everlasting.
Material things of this world don’t even compare.