JOHN LESTER ARATEA
S.Y. 2016-2017, BS Accountancy
Life used to be well for me and my siblings when we were kids. My father had decent earnings so we had what we needed—until he lost his job. He had a hard time finding a new job because of his age, and because of the lack of savings, my family started to have financial troubles.
At some point, my family had to leave the house we were renting because we were no longer able to pay the rent. My siblings and I would go to school without allowance or food. The financial crisis took a toll on my parents’ relationship. Seeing my parents quarrel often was one of the hardest to bear. I was agonized and frustrated at their situation, questioning why life had to be so hard.
I was brought up to be active in church, but I admit I never truly understood why we had to go to church, read the Bible, and attend Sunday school. I was in high school when I met an Every Nation campus missionary at a LIFE Seminar. The campus missionary preached the gospel to me and I, in turn, surrendered my life to Christ.
I started sharing my new relationship with God to others and I became active at one of Victory Katipunan’s volunteer ministries. I even encouraged my mother to get involved in church.
Then, in 2014, a tragedy struck our family. I lost my father to hypertensive bleeding. Following a stroke, he went into a coma for three days, then passed away. It was hard and heartbreaking, but I was at peace because my father received Jesus’ gift of salvation before he died. He is now in a place where sickness and pain do not exist.
I have recently graduated from the University of the Philippines with a Bachelor of Science degree in Business Administration and Accountancy, Magna Cum Laude.
Without Real LIFE, I don’t think I would have survived.
I appreciate that Real LIFE is not just focused on providing for their scholars’ financial needs, but is also very much concerned about their scholars’ spiritual welfare and relationship with Christ.
I now work as a Junior Manager at BDO Unibank and hope to eventually work in academe as a teacher. I am grateful to Real LIFE and I hope to be able to give back by being a Real LIFE coach someday.