A Purpose-Filled Life In Dumaguete
I had a wonderful life; full of happiness, work success, and purpose. When it was time for my husband and me to retire, I was ready to quit the “rat race” and start a new adventure in a tropical paradise. I loved the thought of leisurely days by the beach; meeting new friends and exploring a whole new area of the world. But would I find purpose in my life again?
My life in Canada had a perfect balance of family, work and volunteerism. My husband and I raised 3 wonderful children who are now pursuing lives of their own. I loved my job as high school English teacher, taking great pride in the success of my students. Church was an important part of my life, singing in the choir and teaching youth group. I was active in the community; working at the soup kitchen, organizing blood drives, and teaching adults how to read. But I was ready to leave all that behind and start a new chapter in my life.
We moved to the Philippines in a small city called Dumaguete. Our house was walking distance to the beach and most of our neighbors were retirees from abroad as well. I met wonderful friends and I was busier than I ever had been; playing lots of tennis and golf, singing at church, and of course swimming and snorkeling at the local resorts. My husband I went on a weekly dates; dining at restaurants or taking in a show at one of the cultural arts programs in the city. But I felt a sense that something was missing.
One day I arrived late to church, and by the time I had put on by choir robe and snuck in to join the rest of the choir members sitting in the choir loft, a video was playing on the screens with pictures of missionaries working within at risk communities. I immediately thought, “Oh this must be one of those outreach videos that I used to see in Canada asking for donations to help fund their work around the world.” As I watched the video, I saw places that could have easily been locations right here in Dumaguete! Then I recognized several people in the pictures. I realized that this wasn’t an international mission, this was a video of the many opportunities right here in my community that I could become involved. An answer to my prayers!
Today I am fully engaged in many community activities, knowing that I am making a positive difference in people’s lives every day! Even my husband has discovered ways to channel his passion for running as he is working with a sports development non-profit group in the city. Many of our friends are involved in diverse community outreach programs, enabling them to maximize their skills and passions.