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The Light

But... how can I be a light? I am alone. Tall weeds towering above some bush was enough to discourage me.

By: Cefriano Julian Jr

SULADS Comprehensive High School for the LUMADS! Who would ever think that a LIGHT would brighten this once dark spot of the forest?

I pioneered this place. The SULADS director assigned me here to clear this estimated 75-hectare forestland. Alone for nine months, save the old widow who cannot leave her husband who was buried near her hut, I just conversed with my GOD through the beauty of HIS handiwork. Clouds like cotton balls displayed a magnificent beauty way down below as I stood on a huge rock in my early morning meditations. My winged friends would wake me up in the morning with their orchestra. Mr. Owl, who is the noisiest fellow in the woods, made my nights interesting. Then a thought came to me. When these creatures can make the forest alive, even in the dark, each playing their specific roles to praise their Creator, I too can do my best to be a light in this forest.

But… how can I be a light? I am alone. Tall weeds towering above some bush was enough to discourage me. Then I said to myself, “Who in this world in his right mind would ever put up a High School way up here touching the clouds in these mountains?” The lowlanders thought that I was there in that unfrequented place because of gold. Because of some deposits of Yamashita’s treasure that the Santo Domingo people learned about, they would say, “Who will that teacher teach in that mountain, the monkeys?”

As I agonized every passing day alone for nearly a year, I was also tempted to say, “Will that High School project ever materialize?”

Then Jerry Belmonte joined me. His assignment was to make the topographical map and drawings of the school site. My courage was revived. But then came another semester and there was no word yet to start the project. We continued to live in the “dark.” First, it was dark because we were in the woods. Second, it was dark because I din’t see a glimpse of assurance that the project would ever start. June came and the public schools started their classes as usual. If we couldn’t start that same month, the people would never believe us anymore and I had no more courage to face them. So I packed my little bundle of things and planned to tell Sir Daryl my plan to enroll in a summer review for CPA.

That day some alumni SULADS missionaries from New York paid us a visit. They too were in a hurry to start the project. Each one pulled their wallets out and we were able to gather enough to buy the GI sheets to make a classroom for the first group of students. Sir Daryl gathered the parents for a meeting and right away a work bee was organized. The people were on the trail just like worker ants carrying a sheet of galvanized iron. Some carried round timbers, others anything needed for the new building.

Students poured in from different mission schools around the mountains. They came through the forests. Each Sabbath organized students visited neighboring churches. They were going around shedding THE LIGHT in that once dark spot of the mountains. We don’t hear the lowlanders anymore with their insulting accusations but rather they are starting to see THE LIGHT. When SULADS Missionaries gather each month for their reporting at the SULADS High School they (the lowlanders) stand amazed seeing THE LIGHT. When visitors from anywhere come to visit this mountain school, they see THE LIGHT. When Government officials learned of this noble service for the under-privileged tribal groups, they glow with smiles seeing THE LIGHT.

Today the once tall-weeded area is planted to corn, upland rice, fruits and vegetables. Beautiful flowers invite the butterflies to enjoy and flutter by. The huge rocks had become places for meditation for both the students and the teachers as they ask for THE LIGHT of love from THE GREATEST LIGHT, Jesus.

One new project we have now is a hydroelectric plant. The students, teachers, parents and especially the lowlanders anticipate the coming of THE LIGHT. The students did overtime in making the dam to gather the water. The parents helped in hauling the heavy materials for the installation of the project. There is no road yet for a truck to transport the materials.

When everything was finished, the children did not sleep that evening waiting for THE LIGHT to come on. And when it did come, everybody clapped their hands, stamped their feet, tapped the walls, clanged the kettles, and shouted for joy because of THE LIGHT. This same joy is felt and shared by everybody today from this “school of the prophets” training these young people to be instruments of LIGHT to their own people and also to be Missionaries anywhere in the world.
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