Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Everyone is A Hero

When I was a kid of six, I learned that Heroes are the ones who offered their lives for their country. In Philippines history, we have Dr. Jose Rizal. He's our National Hero because he fought against the Spaniards with the power of his pen. He expressed his rebellion through his novels and poems. We also have Andres Bonifacio, who fought with all his might using the sword.

There are a lot of heroes but they never knew that they are heroes because they died before they were proclaimed as one.

In this modern times, you don't have to die to be called a hero. Your little acts of kindness, your wit, compassion and generosity can make you a hero because there's Goody Awards.

I never knew about Goody Awards. But because of my friend, Kelly Mayer, whom I met thru Twitter, I got to know about it. Well I don't know Goody Awards that well. All I know is that it's an organization who recognizes people's efforts in making the world a better place to live in. They are selling #HeroGoody necklaces. You can buy the necklace and give it to someone whom you consider a hero. Like the ones we're wearing on the photo above. It's a way of letting that someone know that he/she is appreciated.

I got my #HeroGoody necklace thru Kelly. She recognized my efforts in teaching the children here in the Philippines. Here's the link to the story -

Being recognized and appreciated helps boost our confidence. But we should be very careful that these won't get into our head.

Let me tell you my story.

Since I was a kid, I dreamt of becoming a teacher. Because I wanted to influence other people, specially the children. But as I grew up, my dreams changed. I went to college and took up Office Administration because I wanted to work in a corporate office. Years passed and I finished college, I got a job and enjoyed the corporate world. But God's plans are different from mine.

In 2011, me and my parents started a Saturday Bible Class in a fish port in Manila. The place is dirty. The children are wearing worn-out clothes, they don't go to school and they attend our class because of food. Their parents are unemployed and they are illegal settlers in the community. They are poor and they need help.

I asked God, of all places in Manila, why did He send us in a place like Navotas City. Drug addicts are everywhere, houses are made of light materials and children are disrepectful. I never understood God's reason for sending me there. I dreamed of a life in a Corporate world, me wearing a pair of killer heels and a decent corporate attire. But God sent me in the opposite direction.

I accepted the job. Yes, I considered it as a job. But after several Saturdays of being with the children, my perspective changed. I learned to understand that God wanted to use my life to influence the children and their parents. I started praying for God's provision so we can have the classroom renovated. After a few months, a friend helped us pay for the expenses in having  the classroom renovated. Some member of the church helped as well.

Every Saturday, the number of kids grew bigger. From ten children, they became thirty. After teaching them Bible stories, we feed them. I also asked them if they have school assigments that needs to be done. My love and compassion for them grew bigger, it went beyond my duty of teaching them Bible lessons.

I noticed some changes in myself. I learned to put the children's needs before my own. I became selfless. Our lessons were all about the Bible. Until one day, I got to know the Ian Somerhalder Foundation. I learned about its mission and vision and I noticed that I can help ISF if I would teach the children to take care of the environment.

And so it started. The children were taught to always keep their surroundings clean. They are young and they think that they can't do anything to help. But I made them understand that taking care of the planet is for all, young and old.

I saw myself in them. At first, I feel like I'm useless until I started teaching. The children taught me lessons I never knew before. The smiles they give me everytime the class is over is priceless. From then on, I felt responsible for the children's well being. I need to influence them to become the better person than they were before they attend our class.

I never asked for recognition because I know that my labor is not in vain in the Lord. But Goody Awards and Kelly Mayer called me a Hero. I'm grateful.

(Now, we are praying for sponsors to feed the children.)

You can be a hero too. Everyone of us can be a hero in our own little way.

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