Jonalyn sees God’s work in her life
But Jonalyn finds solace in Christ. “Like other youth in my community, I also had my share of problems in the family,. My father left us when I was small, forcing my older siblings to support the family. They experienced scavenging and selling junk. I was born without my father. He only came back to us when I was seven years old.”
Jonalyn is the youngest of the seven brood of children. Only one of them has finished college. Two children, including Jonalyn, are currently in school. Her father works as a port construction worker, earning $320 monthly. Her mother stays home to care for the children’s needs. Jonalyn’s other siblings have their own jobs and families.
“My parents don’t like my new religion. I admit that at first I was not serious. I was just attending church but leaving it with an empty heart and mind. The words never really made an impact to me back then. But there came a point where I began to want more. I don’t want to just attend our church without truly listening to the words of God.”
The decision changed Jonalyn’s perspective of life forever.
“I am really in awe of God’s works. He is so powerful!” Jonalyn said describing the many instances that God proves His presence. “I remember I had a three-day retreat with my church. My family was against it. I was expecting that when I return they would treat me coldly. I cried to the Lord that day to help me make my family understand. When I went home, lo and behold! They smiled and asked me if I was alright, if I’ve already taken dinner. All my negative assumptions vanished. The Lord really works wonders!”
The retreat was where Jonalyn surrendered herself to God and made Him the center of her decisions. She was only in sixth grade then. She’s now in Grade 11.
Knowing God’s immense power, Jonalyn shares this to other youth she meets at World Vision events. “I remember one time there was this girl who opened up to me about her family problem. I prayed to God that night, thanking Him for His trust in me to encourage other people with His words. I know He trusted me to listen to this girl’s problems.”
Instances and activities such as those from World Vision made Jonalyn see the handwork of the Lord. “World Vision taught me to be confident in myself. I used to be shy, doubting what I am capable of. But Ate Jezreel told me to believe in myself. Slowly, I overcame my shyness and now I am a youth teacher in our Sunday school.”
Jonalyn continues to be active in World Vision activities and also in her church’s youth ministry. “I believe God uses me to reach out to the youth, to use His words to change them. I am deeply moved by His spirit. I want other children and youth to feel the same thing before it’s too late.”