Whew! It has been a couple of months since the last time I posted an entry here. The truth is, this semester’s courses have used up most of my time. Lots of readings and papers are normal I guess for graduate school students but what really stressed me out and stretched me out a little bit more was the comprehensive exam.
Oh yes, I simply cannot believe I came nearly this close to finishing my masters in Pastoral Counseling and it will be earlier than I have set and expected when God brought me in the Bible school two years ago! The exam was held more than three weeks ago and a couple of weeks prior to that were spent reading and studying the eight major counseling courses. With the help of classmates and prayers, I thank God for the wisdom, strength, grace and the opportunity to appreciate more the ministry of helping people through counseling by allowing us to understand more and integrate the skills, theories, techniques and knowledge combined with the personal gifts He has given us, which all helped us to get through and successfully pass this test. And I was so happy to get a high grade for this! It was the grade I aimed and prayed for so thank you Lord Jesus! The hard work of studying and praying truly has paid off.
Another surprising thing that happened just recently was when I have my first experience to deliver God’s message in a Sunday! Two weeks ago I have accepted an invitation from a good friend with the usual mindset each time I receive a request to speak. I thought I said yes to an ordinary gathering in this church just to share God’s goodness and faithfulness into my life but I was astonished to find out few minutes before the event that I will be the main speaker of their evening Sunday service! The challenge came when I realized it was a liturgically formal kind of service and I did not dress up for the occasion! But that did not matter at all for people were so blessed and the elder of the church affirmed it. The service has finished and I still can’t believe that I just have my first experience as a Preacher on a Sunday service! I have enjoyed and kind of like it to my surprise. God got me there!
But somehow it was not all good things. If you can remember, early this year I have posted about a certain author quoted by my professor in this class on homosexuality and sexual ethics in the Bible that has disturbed and got me confused (Blog entry March 26, 2013). Well unfortunately, I have encountered it again this semester with another professor and astoundingly, it has the same impact on me. I have struggled again honestly but this time at least I was able to converse with this teacher, which actually resulted to a term paper that I have finished and submitted just last week. It led me to look deeper with the passages and came up with an honest self-narrative account on how God has really spoken to me and where He called me. I just hope and pray that it will not only get a high grade but whoever who will read it will be blessed too.
Semester break has just begun but I have three more requirements to finish including the real work with my internship. I only have 12 units remaining to graduate but I am still praying for God’s clear direction this coming semester for my savings are not enough to carry me through till the end of the program. My finances are telling me to work again and still unsure where. God wants me to finish my studies as a full time student according to our last conversation and I do not know yet if He wants me to test my faith and depend fully on Him financially until this time. Of course I have got something that I have been and keep on praying for so please do pray for me as well.
As for my health, I have not got sick for quite some time now and I continue to pray that the Lord will keep me healthy and maintain my CD4 count normal and viral load undetectable, and free me from any illnesses or infections. My last CD4 count was last year for I am waiting until this time to have this test for free again through my Philhealth package. It is really a bit tough when you are financially challenged and there are regular laboratory tests that you need to do. But I know God will provide for He is Jehovah Jireh! God bless you all.