Not so Typical

e receive many emails from Theology students who are asking for financial help. Often, I just send replies, and when there’s extra money, I send the college a small amount to help them. But not often. Then a nicely-written email comes and as I read it, I feel a “prick” in my heart, and the best I could do is forward it to you, my family and friends. Here’s one of those emails. A monthly donation $50 or $75 (or whatever amount) will truly help this student finish theology so he doesn’t have to work full time for a year to be able to go to school the following year. Please find time to read his letter (BELOW) and pray to God to send you the extra means so you could help him. Thank you! Reva

Subject: Christian Greeting!!!

Dear Ma’am Reva

Christian Greeting! I’m Cesar Zabala, 23 years of age and a first year student taking bachelor of Theology. My mother passed away last year at the age of 47 due to cardiac arrest, leaving my father and 8 siblings of which I’m the second from the oldest. My father is a plain jeepney driver and the demands of the family oftentimes overwhelm him.

My life was a waste before I came in this college. After finishing my high school, I was considered an outcast in the society, a drug dependent, a drunkard and disrespectful to my parents. My unfavorable life caused me to leave home and to venture in manila. I thought life would be better but all my expectations proved to be wrong. The more I was driven to darkness and hopelessness. I started working as a promodiser and stock houseman in one of the known establishments but I ended up in bar houses and engaged in promiscuous relationship with many ladies. I was involved in stealing just for me to make things as I wish them to be.

Brokenhearted I went home unchanged and in despair. Life was meaningless until my mother who was living at that time with tears confronted me and pleaded for me to change. She told me to study at Central Philippines Adventist College. Her example and prayers persuaded me to go even without financial help. I thought to myself maybe it’s time for me to change.

The first time I live in this campus was agonizing. I hate reading Bible much more I don’t know how to pray. But little by little I found Christ and decided to accept him in my life and gradually he changed me. He healed my soul and made me whole again. I give praise to him for giving me this life I don’t deserve. I worked full time in the maintenance department for one year, which enabled me to finance my schooling this semester as my parents have no other means to support my studies. Now that I have Christ, I am determined to finish my course and by His grace be His instrument to help others change their lives who are like me before.

I ventured in the canvassing work last summer and for the first time I felt wonderful privilege of living a life that I considered a miracle. His grace is sufficient and His great faithfulness is true everyday. My labor last year and my canvassing scholarship caused me to enjoy my 20 units again this semester. I don’t know what lies ahead next semester for I don’t have money anymore but I know God will sustain me for I believe in his wonderful promises. You may not realize but your prayers for me (as you’ve said in your previous emails) had created such a great impact in my life, giving me enormous encouragement, strength and courage to go on with my walk with Christ. This is why I am writing my letter to you again, for you to share with others. I am greatly blessed and I wonderfully praise God. I thank Him so much!

Ma’am, this letter was written out of faith from the heart that believes and trusts in God. If somehow someday you know of somebody who wishes to help unfortunate students, I pray please remember my name. I will keep on praying for you, Please pray for me also. It would be a great comfort for me even just by knowing that someone is praying on my behalf.

Thank you very much for taking your time in reading this letter. I pray that God who is the source of all blessings will richly bless you out from His great riches in heaven. The Lord be with you and Godspeed!


Cesar Zabala

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