I am the only girl among our siblings and the youngest among the three. With this, I never had an experience having a younger brother or sister. At times, I get curious on how it feels to have a younger sibling. Sometimes, I also daydream and question, what if I have a younger brother or sister? How I wish I had one so I would have a bestfriend for life. I even get jealous on people I know who have siblings that are close to their heart. I never had that kind of experience with my two brothers because we have a huge age gap. The eldest one is 13 years while the other one is 8 years. Really, there is a gap in terms of the generation that one has molded. Because of this, whenever I have close girlfriends, most especially the younger ones, I really take the time to always look after them and guide them in their way as I consider them as my siblings and sisters.
I have a friend named Jamila. She is turning 17 years old this August. Actually, I met her a decade ago when I was still in the CFC-Kids For Christ Community. I just knew her by face during that time because I was a silent kid to strangers. We live in the same vicinity here in Aluba. I have also known her because my parents and her parents are involved in the Couples For Christ Community. However, years after, her parents went inactive in the community. My parents, who had been in the CFC Community for almost 20 years, really did their best to persuade her parents to stand firm on their faith and to stay in the CFC Community, despite the family problems they were facing. Conversely, her parents did not get back even up to this moment. I also lot contact with Jamila after that time.
On the other hand, I got invited by a tito from CFC to join the Youth Camp, an entry point to become a Youth For Christ. I joined the YFC-Youth Camp last May 2010 when I was still 15 years old. I’ve served with the community for the succeeding 2 years after I had the camp. Sadly, I went inactive as my college education became my priority. At the same time, I also have the hesitation to join again because of deeper reasons such as distractions, trials, and other members in YFC. I had a prejudice mentality before.
During 2012, when I was still active in the community, I became involved during the summer’s Youth Camp. During that time, I had contact with Jamila on Facebook. Eventually, I invited her for the summer’s youth camp. She was still turning 13 years old during that time while I was 17. Knowing her, she was still childish and immature. I was judgmental that she just joined the camp because of boys. Yet, I realize that I should not entertain such thoughts because I have not even known her. Ultimately, I got to know her more. Our friendship deepened. I began to consider her as my sister.
At present, I went back to the YFC-Gawad Kalinga Community to offer myself to Our Almighty Father by serving my fellow Filipino youth. My mom even teased me that I should already enter the Singles For Christ Community because I will be turning 21 this May. Yet, for me, I still consider myself as a youth because my heart is still young. I also yearn to be of service to my fellow Filipino youth especially right now that I desire to impart the God-given knowledge and wisdom I have received for the past 4 years that I went inactive. Because of this, my friendship with Jamila also went back.
My friendship with Jamila reignited after several years because of YFC. This summer, I got to know her more because we usually bond every morning when we jog here in our place. My eyes opened when I realized that she is one of the Filipino youth who is starting to get lost in her path. I realized that I have the responsibility to keep her away from the darkness. I need to light her path. She has problems in her family. Her parents are usually in conflict. Her parents are also strict to her because she is an only child. With that, I felt that she was seeking love and belongingness from other people. I then knew that she already had several boyfriends before. Just this afternoon, during our Youth Camp Training, she had an eyeball with her male textmate whom she had just known on Facebook. As an adult, I accompanied her. Honestly, I don’t like the guy because he only finished high school. Jeez. That’s not the only one. She also had other male textmates that she met on Facebook. What concerned me most is her attachment to guys especially when she would already be engaged in relationships, in this wrong time. I am afraid that she would be pulled into the darkness especially in this crucial time that she is still a 2nd year BSEd Student at a reputable state university here in Cagayan de Oro.
In my experiences before when I longed for love and belongingness at the wrong places and at the wrong people, I never had someone who had guided me through the right path. It was only Jesus Christ’s love and comfort which I felt through my rants and emotional pour down in my prayers. I constantly closed myself and built walls from other people because of my vulnerability. Yet, at present, I believed that God resurrected me and made me a new person. I am not anymore a zombie, a living body with a dead spirit. Indeed, God made amazing works within me. Through that, I felt that I have the responsibility to impart myself to the Filipino youth, especially young women today, like my friend and sister Jamila, to bring light to their path by showing to them the love I have experienced with the Lord. I strive to convey to them the value of prioritizing education among all things, the importance of being a gift to one’s family, and most importantly, the essence of our role as a modern Filipina, who is facing the constantly changing, challenging, dynamic, and transient world. Truly, God has brought Jamila (and my other friends) in my life to continually support her and to be her friend, not only in blissful times and but also in her days of desolation.
I pray that Our Almighty Father would also continue to guide me as I would bring light to someone’s path, just as His son, Jesus Christ, continues to bring light in this world.