LABOR TO LEARN

By: Ely Lagajino

For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope. Jeremiah 29:11 (ESV)

Life suddenly changed during my second year of high school.  A very strong Typhoon hit the Bicol region damaging farms, crops, and plantations which were all livelihood sources.  Weekly typhoons entered the Philippine area of responsibility for almost a month preventing fishermen from catching fish in the open seas. 

For two months payment for my board and lodging in the “eat all you can” restaurant was delayed. I went to school without allowance.  The situation became worse as months passed by and no money came.

​I applied as a “boy” (helper) in the restaurant to pay my dues. Washing the dishes, fetching water, and helping cook meals were among my duties. Breakfast and dinner were busy hours in the restaurant. “Eat all you can” was replaced with “work all you can” and “fewer studies all I can” I was always late for my first subjects in the morning and afternoon because I had to finish my restaurant duties.

Later, my teachers gave me several verbal warnings due to my absences and tardiness. If I continued with this strategy to cope with my studies, I said to myself, “I’m sure I will fail in two subjects, which will make me repeat the second year high school”. I thought of another solution to continue my studies without damage.

Yes, I remembered my distant relatives who were fishermen in that town. Praise, God, they allowed me to stay with them and join them in fishing during weekends. Staying with my fishermen relatives enabled me to attend my classes regularly.

Let us not lose hope in times of crisis, God has a thousand ways to provide for our needs, we just need to persevere and trust that He will make ways.  

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