My Love Affair with School of Tomorrow System

by Nora R. Zarate

My love affair with the School of Tomorrow System started when I was 16 years old. I was in my third year of college at the University of the Philippines College Manila, taking up BS Social Sciences major in Economics and Political Science. My sister, Mrs. Ruth Bolano, expecting her second child, asked me to pitch in for her as a monitor in the Learning- to- Read Center. Mrs. Jeannette Reunilla was the supervisor and Pastor Loral Douglas Woosley was the pastor. I love children and it was a breeze for me to work with them. I had fun learning the phonetic sounds. I was rather fresh from the province and being exposed to American missionaries helped me a lot.

After seven years as a monitor, I became a supervisor. I journeyed through all the different learning centers from the Primaries, the Juniors, the Seniors, then back to Learning- to- Read and even Preschool. Same basics, just different students. I became more adept with goal- setting and checking, balancing demerits and motivation, encouraging students to make it to the Honor Roll, and getting the whole learning center to go, glow and grow.

Even past the learning center experience is all the preparation for Junior Student Convention, the National Student Convention and the International Student Convention. Much can be said about these. No dull moments. All are memorable, unforgettable and plenty of experiences for the books. Training in self-confidence, sportsmanship, camaraderie and total reliance upon God — blessed opportunity for all of us mentors. So I would like to say I praise God for counting me worthy to be placed in this ministry. To see our graduates become missionaries, pastors, teachers, doctors, attorneys, chefs, etc., is a great reward. I’ve been in this system for 38 years now, and the love affair continues to thrive, praise God!!

“Always Seek the Perfect Will of God”

by Jeremy and Iya Lo

We were from different ACE schools and introduced by common friends. We first met at Iya’s school’s, Phil. Christian School of Tomorrow, “Foundation Day”. She was carrying a tray of cupcakes and I was talking with her classmate, who happened to be my classmate in earlier elementary school days. He called her over and introduced us. I never forgot that day. I code named her “Cupcake” after that but only kept it between my friends. We met again at the National Student Convention but didn’t really get the opportunity to know each other well. We got to know each other more when we both competed at the International Student Convention (ISC) last 2004 at Flagstaff, Arizona, while having meals with our friends and celebrating wins at rally nights. However, it really wasn’t the convention that got us closer together, but the flight back home. Unlike most participants who prefer to stay in the US after the convention to visit relatives and make the most of their time and maximize their visas, our moms both decided to head home after a 2-week stay. We boarded the same flight, but were not seated together. In fact, I ended up sitting beside Iya’s older brother, Mino Pe, instead. It was indeed a short but memorable trip, and we never had to chance to see or talk to each other for years after that trip.

In a span of ten years, we had both headed towards our own separate directions. We never really interacted with each other and never even dreamt of what God was preparing for us. We went through college, experienced hardships, suffered heartaches, committed mistakes, learned from the mistakes, and went on with life.

After graduation, we both had good careers, being a doctor and an architect, with a somewhat clear path ahead. However, something was missing. Both of us carried doubts and worries in our minds regarding God’s direction towards love and a future family life. We were led into believing that this were something that you needed to consciously direct or force. We were calling the shots and getting frustrated with our relationships. The common teaching we had learned as children, “God has prepared someone especially right for you,” seemed to be slowly turning into a myth or a feel-good-fairy-tale that would never really happen in real life.

But we were wrong.

One important lesson that we both learned, especially during the hardships, was to wait and always seek the perfect ‘will of God. How did we know if it was the perfect will of God? Well based on our experience.

God put everything into place as if it were puzzle pieces fitting together perfectly. It started happening when, in our separate ways, we prayed, gave God our frustrations and asked Him to take over our love life.

Ten years forward from the flight, we had a chance to talk to each other again online about Hong Kong travel tips when Iya was on a trip with her dad. It led from one conversation to another and a desire to rekindle the old friendship. I asked Iya out when she returned to the Philippines. Our discussions drifted back to ISC days, 10 years before, and we realized we actually liked each other back then but never really entertain having a relationship, since we were both really focused on school. We realized that we were starting to fall in love with each other. We wished that we had already been together years before to possibly avoid some of the heartaches experienced, but we realized later that we actually preferred it this way, the way God planned it for us.

Our relationship brought many good things to both our lives. I brought Iya to my church, Shield of Faith Bible Baptist Tabernacle and she became a member there. Iya’s dad had an impact on my decision in taking my current residency, Radiation Oncology, as he had hospital connections in that field of medicine. There were no barriers in meeting each other’s friends and families and the direction of our relationship was smoother than we could’ve hope for.

To cut the long story short, we got married on May 6, 2017 at Narra Hill, Tagaytay. It was Pastor Erich Santos who officiated our wedding. We had fellowshipped with him and known him well from our days at the National and International Student Conventions we had attended.

We still keep God at the center of our married life. We make mistakes, but we always make sure that we put love above pride. We both continue to serve the Lord through our church ministries. And as we look back to where God has brought us. We know deep in our hearts that it was all through God’s perfect will and plan. And if we had failed to wait and seek it and tried to do things according to our own selfish wills, we wouldn’t be able to enjoy that ‘’happily ever after ending’ written by the greatest love story writer of all.

“And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.”
-Romans 12:2

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