Fulfillment /

Life Purpose

“The purpose of life is not to be happy. It is to be useful, to be honorable, to be compassionate, to have it make some difference that you have lived and lived well.”

Teaching people the importance of giving to others, whether time, money or energy, is one of the most valuable character traits in a child of God. It doesn’t matter if you have a lot to give or a little, it’s the heart that matters!

Finding one’s life purpose can be confusing. At first, I thought that the purpose of life was simply to be happy. We only live once and we should live life to the fullest, they said. And so I did everything I could do to make me happy, but I still felt something was missing and my heart sought for a different kind of happiness. One day, I saw this beautiful quote from Parker Palmer that said “Before I can tell my life what I want to do with it, I need to listen to my life to tell me who I am,” and that’s what made me realize that my life purpose was to be useful in any way I can.

I started supporting some charities in Cebu City like the “Kumiko Lyca Charity” where they helped children from very remote places in Cebu by supplying them with food, clothes and school materials every start of the school year. I continue my sponsorship up to this day. I believe that children are our future; we cannot always build the future for our youth, but we can always build our youth for the future.

I then started distributing relief goods during Christmas to chosen remote places near my town – items like rice, canned goods, noodles, biscuits- food enough to save them from three days of spending what they had. In a country where most make just enough money for daily survival, this means being spared a day or two of not worrying what to eat in the next coming days.

In times of calamities, I always get myself ready so that I can do something to help people who are affected. I offer my hands in making sure that the goods are well distributed to people affected (like in the photo when a Tremendous Fire burned hundreds of houses in Pagadian City, Philippines).

Seeing hope in people’s eyes gives me so much joy in life. This is exactly the kind of happiness I was looking for.

The most unforgettable and most heart breaking calamity I witnessed in my life is when Typhoon Yolanda hit Tacloban. Killed thousands of people, destroyed hundreds of houses and buildings. I traveled over a day just to get to Tacloban and hand over the relief goods myself. My heart was broken. I didn’t have enough for everybody, but I knew that saving at least hundreds of people will already make a big difference. All of them were hungry and some were still looking for their lost family members, hoping to see them alive. It was so heart breaking. Just thinking about it brings me back to that moment and it still aches my heart. I will forever be grateful to the Lord for giving me the heart of generosity, offering help to people who are in need. I will do this for as long as I can; I will always will.

I came from a poor family, and so I help not because I have, but because I know how it feels to not have. Right now, I have thirteen students that I am supporting with their  tuition fees and allowances. Some are my family members and some are friends, neighbors and workers. I built houses for my siblings and parents, gave them their own source of income, making sure that even if one day the sun refuses to shine in my eyes, I know my family will be okay and that gives me so much happiness inside. I  love my purpose in life. I love the feeling of being thanked. I love having the thought of knowing that I will die with a purpose.

I don’t want to live in the kind of world where we don’t look out for each other. Not just the people that are close to us, but anybody who needs a helping hand. I cant change the way anybody else thinks, or what they choose to do, but I can do my bit.

Always remember, “No one has ever become poor by giving.” We only have what we give.

Thank you for reading and I hope you too find your purpose in life.

Janine

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