BY CHERRYLYN SOMCIO
My Lord is my strength and my shield, my heart trust in him and I am helped. I’ve reached rock bottom of my life and I looking back I do not know where did I get the strength. I cannot boost its all God; whatever I accomplished is by God’s grace and mercy.” -Psalm 28:7
In December 22, 2019, I was watching The Feast in YouTube. It was a Christmas episode where they introduced cancer patients from Jesus Cares for Cancer (JCCFC). At that time, I was really moved; I was crying just looking at them, I remembered my father who had passed away from cancer.
I searched for JCCFC in Facebook and messaged them. Even though I was under huge financial debt, I can still pay my obligation. But in my mind, I was worried about the cancer patients in JCCFC. Providing food for the table is already a struggle for them. What more for their medicines and chemotherapy? At that moment I remembered my father who, when he was still alive, was a very generous man. I am sure he would do want to, like me, extend help to them, too. So I committed to send a small amount every month to JCCFC.
My friend and I had started a small business so I could pay off the debts I incurred right after my father died, and I had just enough to be able to pay these off and share to JCCFC. Our business was thriving anyway. But then suddenly, the pandemic came. Like many people, we thought the lockdown will only last for a week or, the longest would be a month. Well, that did not happen.
After a few months, I was really struggling to pay off all my obligations. I was only relying on my salary. There was a time that I want to stop sending money to JCCFC. I was anxious. What will happen if Pohnpei will go under lockdown? But, thanks to the Holy Spirit, I was guided and discovered what I can do in the midst of this crisis. I started to learn how to bake and do gardening.
The first three tries I made were failures. And then my friend introduced me to a YouTube channel that had easy-to-follow instructions. Now, I am able to bake 2-3 times a month on average (depending on my time). And this helped me to be able to continue sending help to JCCFC.
Before the depression and pandemic, I always had this desire to help people. But in my mind, I felt that I can only help them if I am already successful. But through JCCFC, I learned how even small things can have a huge impact on the lives of other people. At this time, through Ms. Maritess Cordero from JCCFC, I also learned about Feast Bible Study (FBS) where I found out more about Catholic faith. Before, my mindset was – going to church and serving God is only an obligation that I need to do so God would be happy. But through the Feast and FBS, I learned that God already loves me – whether or not I do good things. And even though I did bad things in the past, He still loves me. He still accepts me.
I am not yet financially debt-free. But God gives me a lot of opportunities through our small business. And I will use that opportunity to be a blessing to others. God has always loved me and He always meet me where I am. As the famous quote said: “The day you planted seed is not the day you eat the fruit.” Good things take time. I know I am in the season of harvest and I want to use the fruits I harvest for the good of others. I now know that I can serve people through the natural gifts given to me by God. And I want to imitate Saint Joseph who does not have any words in the Bible but he shows what obedience to God is. I want to serve others in silence.
In the eyes of the world (and even myself), it’s already impossible to me to have a family. But I have learned to trust Him more. It is always my dream to have a family of own. But I already surrenderred my life to Him. I am precious to Him. I know He only wants the best for me.
God will never abandon you. He knows what is the best for you. Sometimes we think there is no hope but, as cliché as it sounds, God has a divine purpose for all of you. You might inspire other people by not giving up. As I mentioned earlier, my father died of cancer. And I know he fought a good fight. This has inspired me, especially during the times when I felt like giving up. But you inspire me to fight also – to strive to reach my goals, to accomplish my mission to give hope to others. I have been in the dark of depression for a long time. But God rescued me by introducing the Feast to me and gave me the purpose to go on. It is not an accident that I came to know JCCFC. It’s all part of God’s divine purpose. The greatest pain I experienced is when cancer took my father away. But it is this pain that was used by God to teach me and learn more about Him. And that pain is what I am now using to serve others.