God Never Failed Me
By: Rey A. Casurao
My name is Rey A. Casurao, 22 years of age. I was born on the 19th of June 1988, in my hometown, Calbayog City.
At the ripe age of seven, I began my first year of elementary education. With persistence and determination, I excelled in class and was a consistent honor student. Having been a recipient of the “AY Foundation National Discipline Award” way back in 2015, I received a sum of P7,500 – a great blessing for a family like ours. Alas, due to financial issues, my parents could not send me to college. My father was a farmer and my mom, a housewife. None of my siblings went to college and being the 5th child of a family of seven, we didn’t have much to work with. They were forced to find jobs right after graduating from high school. Nevertheless, I took the college entrance examination – not knowing where or how to make ends meet. Thankfully, my cousin referred me to the “Emmanuel and Ofelia Tuazon David Foundation Scholarship.” The private institution provided me with a full scholarship inclusive of monthly allowance. Hence, I began my journey at Northwest Samar State University with the hopes of becoming a Bachelor of Secondary Education Major in Biological Science. This had always been my lifelong dream ever since first grade.
I was in the 2nd year of college when I started to know more about God. The said family that took me into their home was an instrument for bringing me closer to Him. But it took time before I had made a conscious decision to serve the Lord. From then on, I dedicated my time and effort to the children’s ministry in Evangel Family Church of Calbayog City, the church which nurtured me and enabled me to grow spiritually.
A year later, I became a scholar of the Department of Science and Technology (DOST) and was subsidized by the Commission on Higher Education (CHED). By God’s grace, I was given the chance to bask in the privilege of being a scholar of three institutions all at the same time. I can truly say that it was more than I could’ve ever wished for. Not only did God take the burden of my monetary concerns off my shoulders; He also gave me the means to provide for my family.
But life is not a bed of roses. Amidst the blessings that I had received, there is this one unexpected thing that happened in my life that I will never forget. I consider it to be the most heartbreaking moment of my life. On January 19, 2019, my father was innocently killed. A few months before my graduation, he was mistakenly shot by an unidentified person together with his companion on their way home from making copra. That was the saddest day of my life.
I didn’t have any choice at that time but to accept my father’s fate and face reality – to be strong and move forward. On May 2019, I graduated. I had previously intended to invite my father to the graduation ceremony. I wanted to show him that even though he didn’t fully support me in my studies, at least he could be proud that for the first time, he had a child who finished college. Unfortunately, things don’t always go as planned. In the end, only my mother came.
But if there was at least one thing I learned from my father; it would be “Independence.” It is the main reason I finished my college degree. It is something worth my appreciation. God didn’t fail me then. He sent those scholarships to help me finish what I had started. “God helps those who also help themselves”.
The board examination was held on September 29, 2019, and the results were out by December. By God’s favor, in just one take, I was able to pass the board examination. I applied for a job in the Department of Education (DepEd) but due to COVID-19, applications were postponed for a few months. We were only able to complete the DepEd ranking and hiring process last August. Again, by God’s favor, I was able to get 70+ points which are the required score for you to be in the Registry of Qualified Applicants (RQA).
When you have the right mindset, faith in God, courage and determination, nothing is impossible. For me, these are the three key ingredients of success. And I am already a Licensed Professional Teacher (LPT) and soon to be an official DepEd employee. Finally, all the hard work, suffering, and trials are now slowly getting paid off.
Now I want to end this with one of the bible verses I continuously hold on to. Even though there were ups and downs in my life, still God has never failed to give me hope in my worst moments. He somehow compels me to entrust myself more to his plans in the future. The bible says in Jeremiah 29:11, “‘For I Know the Plans I Have for You’ Declares the Lord, ‘Plans to Prosper You and Not to Harm You, Plans to Give You Hope and a Future. ‘”
Once again, this is Rey A. Casurao, and this is my short life story and testimony.