Honey Dianne Angeles
CALLED TO SERVE
Divine Grace Reyes
A DIVINE TRANSFORMATION
Do you believe that God can create something beautiful out of your most painful experiences?
Divine Reyes is a witness to this miracle.
Growing up, Divine or “Grace” would always feel that something is missing in her life, perhaps the same feeling we get when someone leaves us or someone breaks our heart. Even if her parents were around, she didn’t get to spend enough time with her father who eventually failed to fulfill his responsibilities to her and her mom. Divine felt incomplete and this forced her to search for that missing piece.
But where should she begin the search?
Like most of us who felt a ‘hole’ in our hearts at one point in our lives, Divine thought that she would find what she’s looking for from the guys she dated. Some of them were nice, but most of them were not. All these guys failed her and Divine was left in pain still feeling empty. Until one day, the truth hit her: She’s searching for that missing piece –for love–at the wrong places. “I cried to the Lord and asked him what I should do.”
God’s answer to Divine’s prayer came through a message she heard at 700 Club Asia and through an interview that featured True Love Waits. “Nakita ko ang isang interview kay Leslie (a former TLW staff) at sinasabi nya nga dito ang about sa True Love Waits, its mission na tulungan ang mga tulad ko na di alam kung anu talaga ang true love.” After that interview, she browsed www.wagmuna.com, True Love Waits’ official website until she finally met the whole TLW staff who introduced her to the Word of God that gave her hope and redemption. July 30, 2010, Divine officially became a TLW volunteer.
She felt ready to begin anew with a new found love in her heart: the Love of God that is unconditional, forgiving, and pure.
Divine recalls being nervous the first time she volunteered for TLW. But she went for it anyway and shared the Word of God to the students of San Beda High School Alabang. “God gave me courage and strength to share His Word. Isa sa students na nahawakan ko, umiyak sya, at di man nagsalita, I believe tulad ko din sya na through me, God is talking to her. So I prayed for her, and shared some verses na makakapagbigay ng hope sa kanya.”
That was the start of a divine transformation: Divine’s emotional scars from the past turned into beautiful opportunities to reach out to those who are hurting. The pain she felt before is now the strength she uses to serve the Lord.
Through TLW, Divine also found a family and yes, she found love — the real deal.
“We are created to love the Lord and our neighbors, at dapat magsimula sa ating sarili yung love na meron tayo. Natutunan ko sa TLW na mahalin at kilalanin yung pagmamahal ng Diyos at dapat lang na i-share natin ito sa iba.”
Indeed, the journey of Divine reminds us that our painful experiences are never in vain when we allow God’s love to heal us.
It has been almost six months since I decided to volunteer for this ministry. The experience, I would say, has exceeded my expectations. I realized that the heartbreaks people face—especially young people—are often brought about by a wrong concept of love, relationships, and sex. I feel so blessed to know that I can act on this problem.
There is an overwhelming and urgent need to be met for the young and the young-at-heart to experience a love that frees. A love that will bring repentance and empower you to live a pure and holy life for God. This is what True Love Waits is all about. It is about knowing that we can never find true love unless we find the real source of it: Jesus. He is the only person who will complete us and will fulfill our desires to be loved, valued and honored. This is what we want to impart as volunteers for True Love Waits.
And this has given me the most exhilarating feeling in the world because I believe that Love is about waiting for the right time, in God’s perfect time, in any and every given situation or circumstance in life—especially in falling in love. As the Scripture says in Songs 3:5, “I adjure you, O daughters of Jerusalem, by the gazelles or the does of the field, that you not stir up or awaken love until it pleases.” There is a time for romantic love. No need to rush. I am so in love with Jesus and I’m sure this ministry can help you grow and fall in love with Him over and over again. And the best part of all is, we share this amazing love by serving the next generation of leaders.
They say TLW is only for singles, but I beg to disagree on that. I am married and I want to make a difference in the lives of the youth. If you are a youth or a single, all the more that I encourage you to be a part of this ministry because it will surely change your life and your life for God. Indeed, true love means, True Love Waits! He will come and He will not delay. Just right on time.
NO BOYFRIEND SINCE FETUS
Before I found my One True Love, I thought I was a worthless person and an ugly girl kasi my mindset before was: if you’re not pursued, you are not loveable. But after I found Jesus and surrendered my life to Him, I found my true worth and for the first time in my life, I felt so secured and loved. I am meant to live for so much more. I am meant to glorify God. I am meant to be satisfied in Him.
Last 2010, pumunta ako sa office ng TLW kasama ang kaibigan kong si Sarah para sa purity ring. Nung time na ‘yon, I can say na medyo shallow pa ang understanding ko about love, relationships and purity. For a year, pavisit-visit lang ako sa office until one day, the TLW staff challenged me to be a volunteer and God also convicted me to be one. So I joined TLW last 2011 and it made a great impact on my life. I learned so many things about waiting, about love, life, relationships, purity, and about God’s purpose on these things.
Everyday, I see different sorts of people. I see young people finding their worth and happiness in relationships, clothes, gadgets, money, smoking, drugs, premarital sex, homosexuality, bisexuality, social networks, and other worldly things. Their lives are all about fleeting pleasures. They think fitting in will make them feel most accepted. They seem so happy but at the end of the day, there is still emptiness in their eyes. The truth is, THEY NEED HELP.
Sanctus Real’s song entitled “I’ll Show You How to Live” says:
Come with Me, I’ll show you life even better than this
Come with Me, I’ll show you love you didn’t know could exist
Better than your first crush, better than your first kiss
I’ll show you how to live
It’s all about Jesus. Only Jesus can satisfy our hearts’ longing. Only Jesus can show us how to live. He deserves our lives. And as a TLW volunteer, my task is more than cutting papers, facilitating trainings and workshops, cleaning the office, attending get-together nights, distributing “www.wagmuna.com” stickers, and etc. My task is to share and testify to the lost that Jesus is the only One who can satisfy their emptiness, that the love they’ve been searching for is found in Him, and He can save souls from hell. My task also is to be a living proof that holiness and purity is possible because of Jesus Christ.
Grace ni God sa ’kin ang pagiging TLW volunteer though maraming persecutions and temptations sa paligid. May mga times people laugh at me because I believe that True Love Waits. But “those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength.” Whatever happens, God’s sovereignty never changes. And that truth is more than enough for me to continue.
IN LOVE NA PALA AKO
Akala ko hindi ako mapapabilang sa “in love” group, but suddenly I realized in love na pala ako. January 2008, I started falling in love with Jesus. Hindi sumagi sa isip ko before na mararamdaman ko ang silakbo ng damdamin (Tagalog ng ‘Passion’ ayon kay bestfriend Google) para sa Kanya. By God’s grace, this passion later on had ignited. Sobrang in love ako sa Kanya dahil minamahal Niya ako kahit na makasalanan ako, kahit na marami akong pagkukulang. His love for me (and for all of us) is so amazing. Dumating ako sa point na Siya na lang lagi ang nasa isip ko, yung lahat gagawin ko para sa Kanya, para mapasaya ko Siya. Akala ko Christian life will be easy, hindi pala. The more na napapalapit tayo kay God, the more trials will come our way.
I had a girlfriend and I thought this will help me grow in faith, but as teenagers, we tend to undervalue important things. Hindi namin namalayan, na may mga maling bagay na pala kaming ginagawa. God convicted me and made me realize, na hindi pa talaga namin alam kung paano mag handle ng relationship. After 2 years we broke up. Main reason of break-up: there was no strong foundation and clear direction.
Last year, I joined True Love Waits and became a volunteer; this ministry changed my perspective about love and relationship. It also caused my relationship with God to be deeper. Namulat din ako sa katotohanan na marami sa mga kabataan ngayon ang “in love.” Si “girl” in love kay “boy” at si “boy” in love kay “girl.” Kung minsan pa nga, si “boy” in love sa kapwa “boy.” They are entering one relationship to another without the right view of love. Kung sa panahon ni Kopong-Kopong lalaki ang lumalapit to court the girl, ngayon babae na ang gumagawa ng first move. Kung edad naman ang pag-uusapan, karamihan ng involved sa boy-girl relationship are teenagers na wala naman kamuwang muwang kung ano ba talaga ang love. Patunay ito na malala ang kalagayan ng mga kabataang Pinoy pagdating sa pag-ibig at pakikipagrelasyon.
When I became a TLW advocate, akala ko hindi na ko tatablan ng feelings ko, I thought I had Captain America’s shield that will block any feeling na mararamdaman ko for a girl. At “ETO NA!!!” (favourite expression ng mga volunteers), may dumating ulit. I had this MU (Malabong Ugnayan) relationship na I anticipated na madedevelop into a real commitment. I prayed and ask God if she’s the one, but God reminded me that He is THE ONE, that He is the strong foundation of any relationship. Once I focus my heart on Him, He will give me the right person, in the right place, and at the right time.
Now, I’m praying that God will continue to stir up the passion He has put in me for the Filipino Youth, because they really need help. And so as volunteers, show some love to other people and pursue purity. There are many reasons to wait, but the Ultimate Reason for waiting is motivated by God’s love. Sabi nga ng isang kanta “While I’m waiting, I will serve You”, while we are waiting, let us serve God with our best through this God given ministry, True Love Waits.
Once Lost, Now Found
Jego Lumbao, a True Love Waits PH volunteer shared how a once sinner and totally undeserving of any love found love and security from something eternal. Read on and be inspired by his story.
Jego’s understanding of love was then rooted from a common belief. He thought that love was all about expressing one’s emotions and that love, like in movies, was something magical. But as he continuously seek and serve the Lord, he came to know the deeper meaning of love, the kind that surpasses our own understanding. A kind of love that is eternal.
Joshua Harris, author of the book, “I Kissed Dating Goodbye”, influenced Jego particularly in the pursuit and understanding of true love. Jego was drawn to the books of Harris which later on revealed his selfish heart. Jego realized that he was so concerned about his own happiness and love was but a need to make himself happy.
The first time he saw the statement “True Love Waits” was in a jurassic-old brochure he found in his church. His eyes were caught by the words pressed on the pages: love, sex and purity. Hearing the name of the organization–True Love Waits Philippines, created an impression on him that the group consists of Christians who are so pure and holy. This did not stop him though from getting into the core of the real meaning of love. He attended TLW’s activity where he met people just like him: not perfect, once sinners, but all share a common denominator which is Jesus Christ and the grace that comes from God.
True Love Waits encouraged him to experience more the grace of God in his life. Now, Jego continues his pursuit of not just happiness, but joy. He keeps a joyful heart with or without a “Rachel” in his life.
“Nothing is more explicitly true or more loving or more patient than what Christ did. Christ is the hope why we wait; He is the reason why we experience true love,” Jego says with so much love in his heart.
TRUE LOVE FOUND
What does true love (and waiting for it) really means? TLW volunteer Nolette Solas shares with us her journey as she searches for the answer. Read on and be blessed! 🙂
Nolette Adrienne Solas, a junior BSE MAPEH major student at FEU, has always been patiently waiting for true love. Just like any young woman of her age, she was exposed to various worldly temptations, peer pressures, and suitors which challenged her personal views on finding true love.
Nolette was hearing about stories of her friends’ relationship failures and heartaches that she began to feel burdened by her own thoughts. It was also through the stories of other people that she realized there is so much more about waiting for true love than what she already knew. These stories were a testament that waiting for true love includes one’s personal relationship with God. Such relationship exude real joy brought by being selflessly obedient to and dependent on God’s will.
Later on, Nolette answered the call of surrendering to God’s plan. In 2010, she attended the TLW workshop at her church in Cavite, armed with a new-found inspiration and desire to share with others what she learned from God’s word and His promise to us.
Nolette was blessed enough to be able to get to know her fellow volunteers through the Volunteers’ Retreat, the first event she has attended. It was an event structured to study the word of God, along with fun games, good food, and hearty bonding moments with her new brothers and sisters in Christ. She felt loved and welcomed by everyone, and was even more encouraged as they prayed for each other. She fondly remembered her prayer requests for her family, her relationship with the Lord and her church fellows.
Now, ask Nolette about true love, and she knows and understands better. By being a volunteer, she learned that one does not simply wait for true love; one has to act on it as well. True love needs to be spread to others by sharing the true source of it, God’s words, by any means. True love is loving others selflessly and serving God wholeheartedly. And these are the things that fire up her volunteering spirit. She uses her TLW volunteering ministry as her platform to share God’s words and serve her brothers and sisters whenever opportunities arise.
“You should volunteer,” Nolette shares when asked about why should one become a TLW volunteer,“because everyone is called to love and serve others, and more importantly, to share God’s Words. And that’s what we do in True Love Waits Philippines.”
Now, volunteer Nolette is still patiently waiting, but this time, not just for that one true love, but for every opportunity to show what true love really means.
WAITING WITH A PURPOSE
I’ve been a TLW advocate since high school. I believe that the right person will come at the right place, time, reason and season—so long as I know how to wait on God’s perfect time. However, being an NBSB myself for 27 years has turned into a roller coaster ride. The art of waiting for me has never been easy. I’ve been through a lot of MUs: Minsang Umasa, Muntikang Umo-o, and most of the time, Mag-isang Umiibig situations that led to a lot of heartbreaks, brokenness, and negative perception on relationships. Hence, the quest for a support group in this area of my life has always been my desire.
Then came the time when one of my friends in Facebook suggested me to join TLW Philippines. Actually, my original plan was just to join the organization because I believe that it’s the answer to my quest. It was on August 20, 2012 when I attended the G.O.D and Wait Training and I can say that the workshop has taught me two major lessons in life: the pursuit of God and absolute purity and the value of volunteering.
Being a part of TLW family made me understand more that being sensitive to the needs of others is the end product of having a personal relationship with God. Developing a selfless attitude is essential to be able to meet those needs: that is, their hunger and thirst for God. Through the activities of TLW, my eyes were opened to the reality that a lot of people need to know that there’s blessed hope in Christ Jesus, regardless of your past.
Moreover, I’ve learned that no task is little or less important as long as you do it for the glory of God. As TLW reaches Filipino youth across the nation, every selfless act contributes in building God’s kingdom. Indeed, my TLW family has helped me a lot to constantly pursue absolute purity. It has encouraged me as well that being single is never a curse, but rather the ideal season to focus on God and to serve others.
I joined TLW last November 2012. As a volunteer I help facilitate workshops with the staff and other volunteers. On my own free time I also facilitate mini workshops with my friends. Soon after I shared God’s love using TLW materials, friends are inviting me to share it with their officemates, friends, and neighbors. It’s so much fun! We volunteers don’t just prepare materials and do errands—WE SHARE OUR LIVES because the ONE who gave us life is the reason we’re all together walking hand-in-hand.
Being a volunteer is one of the most beautiful things that happened to me. Not only did I meet new friends, but I also found my true self. The once man-hater is now a soul-carer. Every TLW volunteers’ equipping time is God’s tool to help me unlearn things and develop my relationship with my first love—GOD.
In our society to be a 28 yrs. old NBSB is still a battle. But knowing that there is a man who loved me at my worst and died for my iniquities is more than a motivation to live a pure life. I’m not saying it’s easy but I can do all things through CHRIST who gives me strength.
My dream is for every Filipino to understand the real meaning of love and for every heart to meet their ultimate TRUE LOVE—JESUS CHRIST. An amazing grace!
I’M 30, SINGLE, MALE.
Sa edad ko parang questionable ang pagiging single lalo na at lalaki ako, pero sa ngayon ito ang direction na ibinibigay sa akin ni God. Mas nanaisin kong magpailalaim sa kalooban ni God kesa magmadali at magkamali. Nagvolunteer ako sa TLW to encourage young people na hindi sakit ang pagiging single kung kaya’t di nila kailangan magmadali at makiuso; and also to encourage yung mga single pa din hanggang ngayon na hindi kahinaan at disadvantage ang pagiging single. Single or not, true happiness comes from God.
“Knowing Christ is the way to experience TRUE LOVE FROM GOD”. Sa kabila ng pressure na nararanasan nila mula sa ibang tao, mahalaga pa ding maunawaan ang sinasabi ni God sa Jeremiah 29:11. True love involves purity of the mind, heart and soul. Waiting, praying and yielding sa will ni God ang most important lesson na na-impart sa akin ng TLW. And now I’m so passionate to share TLW sa iba kasi God has a best plan and perfect plan sa ating lahat ang problem lang marami ang di aware sa mga bagay na iyon kaya dapat ikalat ung mga bagay na natutunan. Being a TLW volunteer is a very life-challenging and rewarding experience. Be a volunteer now and experience what God can do in you and through you.
I’M AN OUT-OF-SCHOOL YOUTH
Meaning I’m not in a formal educational institution anymore. This status in life began three years ago after I graduated from college and after being sixteen years in school I didn’t want to quickly join all other out-of-school fish in the ocean of job hunting. I wanted to take a break and be of use to the society through any non-profit organization that promotes principles I value in life. That’s where True Love Waits Philippines came in.
What I mostly did was to make hundreds of paper cutouts, prepare materials for training workshops, take phone calls, assist in talks, clean the office, write some blogs, and lead some workshops. Since I didn’t have a permanent job that constrained my time, I hung around almost everyday in the office and looked for whatever there is to do to help. I did all this for seven months and then God decided to make me stay and be part of the full time TLW staff.
Many of what I did as a volunteer may seem to be of little use to society compared to writing, teaching workshops, and other “great” voluntary deeds. But if my small deeds can help add up to the impact of True Love Waits then I will be satisfied with anything I can contribute—whether it be small or big. Same goes for you dear volunteer/volunteer-to-be. Sometimes we volunteer for the benefit that it can attach to our names. Of course, doesn’t it look cool to be called a “True Love Waits Volunteer”? But remember as you volunteer that to fail to grasp the meaning of volunteerism—which is love and servanthood—is to fail to volunteer.
The one who can truly satisfy our heart’s desire to be loved is Jesus Christ alone and I surely don’t get to tell that everyday to people around me. But living it out one day at a time, in whatever I do, I know it will bear fruit in the lives of people as they see the value of purity and abstinence in my life. As a volunteer, you can do this too.
“I am only one but still I am one.
I cannot do everything but I can do something
and I will not refuse to do that something I can do.”
-Helen Keller, blind, mute & deaf