Did you know that you’re a messenger?
You are. In fact, we’re all messengers.
Every day, our lives carry messages. Some of these can be messages of love and hope, and some can be messages of bitterness and anger. The options are endless. Every life tells a different story, and every story is made up of different messages.
Do you know what messages you carry? Are your messages getting to where they need to be?
I’ll help you answer those in a bit, but first, let me put the spotlight on two groups of people who are telling great stories and broadcasting life-changing messages:
True Love Waits
In last Friday’s edition of The Philippine Star, there was an article written by Maria Jorica B. Pamintuan entitled, Love is not that 3-letter word.
It’s a feature on True Love Waits (TLW) Philippines, one of the organizations that I support and volunteer for. As I was reading the article, I was reminded of why I decided to volunteer for them in the first place. Please take the time to read it here.
Team TLW (Photo by Ree Soria)
I am constantly inspired by the team behind True Love Waits Philippines. Their passion to reach and help young people is extraordinary. There’s Derek Ross, the National Director of True Love Waits Philippines, and his wife Amanda, and there’s Ree, Franco, Oda, Leslie, and Christin–the passionate and tireless TLW coordinators. All these people pour their hearts out into the work that they do, so that they can make a difference in the lives of students. These people travel constantly, bringing their love and compassion to young people all over the Philippines. Their schedules are hectic, and they really travel far distances (hello Butuan!), but you’ll never hear them complain. For them, what matters is getting their life-saving and life-changing messages to the people who need them the most.
The Smokey Mountain youth
Smokey Mountain in Tondo, Manila is one of the biggest slum areas in the Philippines. It is, however, a place with lots of hope. And I say that, because I look at the young people there and the groups that have invested in them and I believe that change is coming.
That's my brother, Toby (who is also the current Manila Jaycees president), throwing the ceremonial 1st pitch
Last Saturday, I took a trip to Smokey Mountain to pay a visit to the Young Focus Student Center where I do some volunteer work, but also to witness the turnover of a baseball field–aptly called the Field of Dreams–which was a project of Junior Chamber International-Manila (also known as the Manila Jaycees). It was a BIG day for the kids of Smokey Mountain, because they finally got to have their own field where they could run and play without worrying about potholes, shards of glass, and untrimmed grass.
It was a special day indeed, but what made the day even more awesome was seeing some of my former students from Young Focus covering the event as bloggers! Turns out, the Jaycees had another project together with Young Focus (YF which is a non-profit organization that does a lot of great work for the children and teenagers from Smokey Mountain). The project is called “Buhay Ko sa Smokey Mountain“ (My Life in Smokey Mountain), and it was conceptualized as a way for these young people to tell their stories, and in effect, increase awareness of what they–and others–go through in their part of the city.
I like that it’s such a unique idea. These students have a lot to say and they need outlets for their thoughts. What better way to get their messages out there?
Reading some of the blogs, I experience a wide range of emotions. On the one hand, Rameses wrote a very insightful and patriotic post about President Aquino’s State of the Nation Address, and Glenn shared his phenomenal perspective on life at Smokey Mountain (and where it’s going in the future!) through this post. But then I read a post like this one written by Edmon and I can’t help but be sad, and at the same time, also be in awe of the way he still lives with hope and perseverance (if you’d see his smiling face, you’d know what I mean!)
When you have the time, please drop by their blogs and encourage them with some comments! Most of them are written in Filipino, but they’ve been trained to take photos and videos, so you’ll see a lot of those in their blogs, too :)
I mention all of these people from True Love Waits and Smokey Mountain because they’re examples of extraordinary messengers. They’ve got messages–special, meaningful, uncommon, inspiring messages. But they don’t stop there. They work at delivering their messages. They do what they can to get their messages to where they need to be.
Now back to you and me.
We all carry messages. And I believe each person has at least one special message to share (although I’m sure there’s more)! Inside of each person, there can be a message of hope, acceptance, love, mercy, grace, commitment, passion, loyalty…like I said, the list goes on.
This week, I want to encourage you:
1) Ask yourself these questions: What messages do I carry? What burns in my heart? Who do I want to share these with? Draw those messages out. Some examples:
- I want to help young girls understand what true beauty is.
- I want to give young boys a vision of leading the nation.
- I want to tell orphans that they’re loved and not forgotten.
- I want to tell people struggling with alcoholism that there’s hope.
2) Once you’ve got the idea, do the next thing that will make all the difference: Take your message and deliver it. Don’t let your ideas and thoughts die. Write them down. Map them. Blog about them. Tell your friend about them. Draft that letter. Record that song. Do some research. Start moving. Take those steps, one day at a time.
Don’t know where to start? You can check out some blog posts I wrote a while back about volunteering: part 1 and part 2. Whether or not you’re interested in doing volunteer work, some of the principles might help you in your delivery journey.
Are you already out there, sharing your message to the world? Tell us about it!
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