S.Y. 2016-2017, BS Business Management - Financial Management
I am Joel Pereyra, the second of four children. My siblings and I had a comfortable childhood in General Santos City in Mindanao. Our father, who had a car repair shop, was able to provide well for the family. Sadly, my parents fought and my father eventually left the house, staying instead at his shop. Despite our situation, I continued to regularly meet with my father who did not stop supporting me.
One night, when I was in my first year in high school, my mother received a call informing us that my father got shot. We immediately rushed to the hospital, and I found my father lying on a bed, fighting for his life.
Our family had to choose if we wanted to continue or give up his life support. Trying to keep him alive would require the family to pay thousands each day—money we didn’t have.
Because of lack, we had to give up his life support. I vividly remember how the apparatus, which my father’s life depended upon, was removed as he gasped for air.
Our family was left without a provider because my mother was a housewife and she had no income. We struggled to face life without our dad and even received death threats due to my father’s previous involvements. This prompted our family to temporarily move to Davao City for our safety.
I was sent to live with my uncle, which deeply hurt me. I would often hide in the privacy of the comfort room to cry out and release the pain bottled up inside of me.
After a year, my family and I went back to General Santos, but I already lost my confidence at that point, affecting my performance in school and causing my grades to go down. I admit that my identity was founded on my father being able to provide well.
This insecurity caused me to become troublesome. I was ready to hit anyone who would offend me. The situation at home was no better. Our family often fought, shouting at one another and sometimes even getting quite physical.
Years later, I was invited to Victory and found people who would listen to me. I was able to express how hopeless I felt and how I saw no point in studying and living. I wanted to give up, but I was open to whatever I would hear and learn in church. I eventually encountered Jesus and someone helped me in my walk with him through ONE 2 ONE. Since then, my life has never been the same.
I first took a job at a fast food restaurant before I was invited to apply for a scholarship with Real LIFE. I am grateful for how Real LIFE has helped me grow in my relationship with God, allowing me to truly grasp what it means to have Jesus as my Lord and Savior.
I served as a campus coordinator for Every Nation Campus in General Santos. Today, I volunteer in the discipleship team at Victory General Santos. I graduated from the General Santos Foundation College, Inc. with a Bachelor’s degree in Business Management – Financial Management.
My heart’s desire is to help change more lives with the gospel and ultimately enter full-time campus ministry. I received a confirmation of this calling during our annual Prayer and Fasting in January this year.
I plan to move to Davao City for a time to share Christ to my sisters and get a job before entering the School of Campus Ministry.
As I look back at all that happened to my father, I hold nothing against whoever took his life. By the grace of God, I have already forgiven wholeheartedly.
God is dealing with all areas of my life. I understand that following Christ isn’t just surrendering your vices, but your all—your source of joy and identity. I don’t want to stop God from what He is doing. I am nothing and I need His grace.