Category Archives: Tribute

Missionartist because of you.

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Daddy, his big hair, and his first, best and loveliest baby: ME.

Dear Daddy,

Can you believe it? You’ve been a dad to me for twenty one years already!

When you looked at me then, fresh from the womb, in mommy’s arms, did you imagine what I’d be like twenty one years later? Did you have any idea who and what I’d become?

When you taught me how to walk, did you know the paths I’d eventually pursue?

When I fell and hurt myself and cried (and from what I remember I fell a lot back then!), did you imagine the kind of hurts I’d eventually have and have to endure?

When you tutored my for my Maths classes in Grade School, did it ever cross your mind that I would grow to loathe the subject? (LOL)

When you made the decision to enter missionary training with me in tow, did you ever think or hope, in your wildest dreams, that I’d be a missionary too?

When you introduced me to and let me play with the students you discipled and mentored, did you pray I’d have the privilege of discipling others too?

When you heard me sing for the first time, what did you think? Did it occur to you that my love for music would grow to such a passion that throbs in my veins and whose very thought would constrict my heart?

When you saw me starting to doodle on every surface I found, and fashion things from scraps I found around the house, did you imagine how my love of creating and producing would grow to such an extent that it would bear such weight in my decision-making now?

What did you think of me back then? What do you think of me now?

What did you think in all those years in between?

I can’t be sure, but… I am sure of what I know.

That it was you who taught me to dream. Remember? I couldn’t be more than 10 years old back then. You tucked me in for the night by telling me about your dreams… for me. How you wanted me to go to this high school because it was the best. How you thought I’d be the best by doing this, doing that. Being this, and being that.

All the while never pushing.

And eventually, when my own dreams took form, grew and blossomed, you were ever supportive, seeking ways to help me pursue it.

Yes, what a great, great gift you’ve given me, Daddy: you taught me to dream. Loftily.

My confidence now comes from the fact that you believed in me.

You taught me to reach for the stars, and reach high.

More than that, you taught me to reach for and know Him who sits behind the stars, in the thrones of heaven.

Thank you, Daddy.

I am a missionartist, a missionary and an artist, because of you.

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Well, since my birth, three more girls came along. With four of us in his life, who needs boys, right?

To all of you who waited.

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“You’re lucky you got to know this stuff before having a boyfriend.”

I have wanted to write about this for a while now. More specifically, since that time when my dgroup planned and hosted a “Love Courtship and Marriage” dinner talk for singles. We prepared for over a month, and part of our prep included watching Andy Stanley’s video series: “The New Rules for Love, Sex and Dating”.

I love that series. Seriously. Andy is super hyper and engaging and so darn convincing, and his message very timely too. Very unforgettable. But not as unforgettable as the discussions we had following every message, nor what my dgroupmates told me after going through the entire series, which could basically be summed up into: “You’re lucky you got to know this stuff before having a boyfriend.”

Lucky Me! (So they say)

See, in a dgroup technically formed for singles, I was the only actual single member. As in unattached, not-in-an-exclusive-relationship, single member.

“You’re so lucky, Sarah.” So I am, I guess. The thing is, after hearing that, I couldn’t help but echo what Andy Stanley kept wondering in his messages: “Didn’t anybody tell them these things? Didn’t anybody ever set an example for them?”

And just as Andy arrived at the conclusion that “No, no one probably told them”, so did I arrive at the (for me, rather amazing) conclusion that perhaps, no one did actually tell them. No one actually set an example for them. No one guided them, told them the truth, warned them.

“So lucky, Sarah. You get to get it right when you finally get into a relationship,” is what they told me. And I thought to myself, yes, how lucky I am. But not just because I heard these messages by Andy. In fact, that was not the first time I’ve heard of these messages.

With ate Flor, one of my awesome "ate"s who modeled to me strength, conviction, and faith. Taken in 2011, at my graduation. She was my mentor for 4 years!

With ate Flor, one of my awesome “ate”s who modeled to me strength, conviction, and faith. Taken in 2011, at my graduation. She was my mentor for 4 years!

They Were that “Ate” to Me

I am so fortunate because I had older, mature people – single and married – who set examples for me. It’s a beautiful thing about our culture, I believe, that gives the older person the responsibility to set an example for the younger, for the panganay, the ate and the kuya to be models to the younger.

I had and have ates who showed me that a woman could be single, happy, dreamy and fulfilled. Ates whose identities are complete and full, even without a man.

Who waited and yes, had their dreams of marital felicity come true.

Who waited, and did not end up married, but still are fulfilled and happy beyond measure (and shows it!).

Who made mistakes, and owned up to their mistakes, finding their identity and meaning in the One.

And I had and have kuyas who showed and continue to show me that godly, wisdom-filled, faithful, gentlemanly, disciplined men do exist. (I was genuinely shocked when my dgroupmates told me emphatically that they had never met true, godly, gentlemen).

It tells a lot about our culture when we have all these messed up relationships and messed up people and no one warns the others. Or they do warn them, but in a poor, unconvincing, judgmental, myopic manner.

So to all of you who waited, thank you. To all the ates and kuyas who told me and who showed me, I am grateful. You inspire me, compel, remind and warn me to be that kind of “ate” too.

To all of you who are waiting

And of course, to all of you sisters and brothers who are in the process of waiting, I extend my (virtual) hand to you in solidarity and encouragement.

You have dreams, I know. Wishes and prayers seemingly endless, at times seemingly impossible. You are not alone.

Thank you for choosing this road. The world is in need of people who can show them that there is an alternative to what the world has to offer.

Again, thank you. 🙂

Tribute: Like life-sustaining rain, like life-giving heart.

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[This is a tribute to you, my dear brother.

And though I intend this to be as flowery/touching/heartfelt as a eulogy (but still honest!), I am by no means pre-empting your passing away. Not at all! See, I am under the impression that compliments are better shared than kept. And what better time to dole out compliments than on your birthday! :D]

 

Remember that sky lantern night during the Staff Conference?

I told you how I watched you help light up every other’s sky lantern. And I told you how I found that so poignant, so stirring – of that image of you helping others light their respective sky lanterns could very well parallel the image of you helping others let their dreams take flight.

But the reason why I found it so moving was because that night, I was so distressed (perhaps too much) about the fact that we couldn’t light our own lantern. It was distressing because our failed sky lantern seemed symbolic of my own dreams not flying. A bit petty, perhaps, but I was depressed watching other sky lanterns soar while ours burned to the ground.

And then there you were, busy with others’ lanterns, unselfishly helping – a very stark contrast to my own self-centered dilemma.

That, brother, was one of the most rebuking to me in the entire conference. That picture of you helping, sharing, encouraging, reaching.

I don’t know if you know it, but you exude such a quiet, calm strength and confidence that is both comforting and challenging.

And of course, your humor is always epic.

Keep on, and be strong!

May you be like your name.

Like rain, which always gives life. Rain – the absence or presence of which is the difference between life and death for many people.

Like a heart, the absence of which will surely mean death.

In other words, may you exude life from within and without.