By: Jeruel B. Ibañez
“He who did not spare his own Son, but gave him up for us all— how will he not also, along with him, graciously give us all things?” Romans 8:32 (NIV)
I stopped asking questions when I read Pastor Martin’s letter. The opening statement stunned me. As if he just saw me this morning and knew my thoughts. The letter read:
Have you been praying to the Lord lately? I guess He has answered your prayer. Please go and see Kuya Ely Ramos and talk to him about a certain family here in Olongapo who wanted to sponsor your studies.”
Without delay, I hurried to our campus church, Philippine International Church (PIC) to search for Kuya Ely. While walking along the bridge from the security Headquarters (HQ)to PIC the song Great is Thy Faithfulness kept ringing, as I smiled with anticipation.
In church, Kuya Ely, whispered that I should go with him the next day back to Olongapo to meet the family and facilitate the sponsorship.
I went home to Olongapo the following weekend and that Sabbath attended church where I finally met the Oseña family and had lunch with them. “What will you say if we tell you to stop working and be a full-time student?” They asked.
“Then, that would be an answered prayer. I’ve been praying for five years,” I replied.
Then they told me to open a bank account where they could send the money for my tuition fees, books, allowance, and other expenses. The kindness and generosity of the family impressed me more when they said, “Even if you forget us later it won’t matter since we are only God’s instruments to help you finish your degree to serve God and His people.” What a Godly family!
Even if it took me seven years to finish, I had two degrees – Bachelor of Arts in History and Philosophy of Religion and Bachelor of Theology – 5 years as a working student and 2 years as a full time sponsored student. During my graduation day in March 1998, the Oseña couple witnessed how I received my diploma and with the greatest surprise my academic honor as Magna Cum Laude, what an amazing God!