I came to Palau for one main reason: to escape my comfort zone back home. Back in the Philippines, I was becoming so socially attached to people that I began to lose my own way. I wanted to discover what God really had planned for me. I moved to Palau in 2016 in search of something: my purpose in life.
I found it when, while working at Surangel and Sons Co. one day, my supervisor asked me if I’d be interested in teaching. I was working in their Management Information Systems department as an IT support specialist, but my heart’s desire was to teach.
I first discovered my gift for teaching kids when I traveled to Thailand to be a teacher. I was eager to use my Masters in Education when I arrived in Palau, but there were no open positions at the SDA schools. Now, the elementary school was in need of teachers. I didn’t hesitate to apply for the job.
I’ve been teaching 3rd grade for the last three years at Palau Seventh-day Adventist Elementary School and it has been different every year. God has blessed me! During my time here, I have seen the challenges and rewards that missionary teachers experience.
This year has been especially more difficult for our schools, but God has still sustained and kept our ministry moving forward. The lack of staff made it very arduous for us here in Palau. In previous years, I had more time to prepare and do extra school activities, but this year I had to teach all subject areas except for Palauan language classes.
We face other tremendous challenges, especially when it comes to curriculum and instruction. Student missionaries are given an orientation before arriving on the different islands, but to makeup for the minimal training, we need missionaries who have a real passion for teaching and leading kids.
The reward of teaching is seeing the growth and development of each child. I can see that these kids are thirsty and hungry for the truth. This year I especially integrated more time for our worship and Bible classes. I feel the burden of sharing God’s Word more than ever.
This year I made it my goal to be more involved with my students in a deeper personal relationship with them, both inside and outside the classroom. I made sure that they would spend more time in personal devotion and prayer. I can feel the Holy Spirit working in the lives of my students. I pray that God will continue to work with our schools here and through the missionaries that devote and sacrifice their time to work and serve God here in Palau.
Working in our Adventist school system gives me a satisfaction and drive to do more for our kids. Sacrificing your time and effort for them makes life more meaningful and worthwhile. I know that I am serving God and serving man at the same time. I’m so thankful I can use my full capacity and potential in teaching ministry.
My kids and I connect when we play. I always introduce new games to them so they can look forward to coming to school every day. I enjoy playing and having fun with them. I also make sure that they understand what discipline is. Many of the kids in this school comes from broken families. That’s why we really have to show them more love and understanding.
Working and living here has been a blessing for me as well. I was able to have a deeper and closer understanding of the character of Jesus. I learned to think more of others rather than myself. Everything changed when I got to the mission field and found my purpose.
Please continue to pray for our missionaries here, not only in our schools, but also in our churches and clinics.
Whenever God calls someone, you cannot say no to Him. He calls those who are broken and unequipped so that He can mold and equip those who willing to be used for His mission here on earth.