After graduating from college and passing the board exam, I decided to become a GT Volunteer for a year as a way of expressing my gratitude to God for all He has done to me. Yes, I did it. During that span of time, I was just amazed how God worked in my life. It was a joy for me to be used for his glory. What I really like the most was the opportunity to minister to the students and my fellow young graduates. Journeying with them was something worthwhile.

Josie (3rd from the left) with some of the Young Graduates in GenSan.

After that, I worked to pursue my profession and to financially help my parents. I praise and thank God for it did not take me too long to find a job. I was employed in a poultry company and assigned as Production Admin Assistant Officer. At first, I was very happy and excited that I could finally experience what it is like to work in a corporate world. I was grateful to have a very nice workplace. My workload was light and my weekend was free. I promised to utilize my weekends to continue meeting the students as a GT Volunteer. Sadly, that didn’t work. Not long, I decided to resign because I was no longer happy with my job. I tried to love it and again it didn’t work.

Eventually I became so stressed and tired. I became unproductive and my spiritual life was also affected. So, I quit. My initial plan after my resignation is to have a long break, maybe a month, before jumping into another employment. I thought for myself that I needed some time to think and pray. However, things did not go the way I planned it. The very next day after my last day of work, I received a call from Kuya Darby. To my surprise, he was asking me if I’m willing to be the region’s next Staff Representative. Without any hesitation I said yes while laughing. He thought I was kidding, but I was serious that time. I laughed because I  remembered the last conversation I have with Efren Rubino (the outgoing Staff Representative) during his last visit. He said that he was about to leave his post. I thought it was a just coincidence because that time I just submitted my resignation letter. Then I told him maybe I could take over. It was a half meant statement. I know it would be impossible since the region would prefer to have a male Staff Representative due to many possible risks and gender-based limitations. A backpacker life for 15 days every month around the region? The leadership dared to give it a try.

Difficult it may seem but not impossible. It was a quick decision I made and I have not thought it well. I have not even thought if it is really God’s will. But I don’t want to back out. I am determined to accept this task because once again I wanted to serve the Lord through this Ministry. Thankfully, my parents are very supportive with my decision so I don’t have any worries at all.

I scanned through the pages of my old journal and I remembered what I really wanted to do. I want  to serve the Lord and do the things I am passionate and that is to journey with His people and minister to them. For me, this opportunity is an answer to my prayers. Being a Staff Representative never crossed my mind; it was out of my plan. But I believe that this is not an accident but part of God’s plan. I am  looking forward to how He will use me again through this ministry.

People may doubt my capabilities but I know that greater is the One who is in me. I pray that God will give me a humble heart of service and He will use me to serve the people around me with love and selflessness.

By: Ms. Josie M. Artos, the new and the first female Regional Staff Representative

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