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our young leaders
Today I thought I would like to introduce my friends, Chomrong, Sinam and Diane (l to r). Just this pass week we were sharing about our lives and jobs and school, family and relationships and I'm so happy to know that each of them are doing well and in their best season yet. They are about to graduate university, found amazing employers willing to teach them skills and provide a good work environment and they have all risen to leadership positions where they take responsibility for their world and want to make a difference and help their communities, its no longer living for self but thinking about others.
They've come a long way since their difficult childhood, struggling with poverty, broken families, absence of parental love, no dreams and no goals and questioning their values and self-worth. Growing up in a home offered physical protection and security but not necessarily life skills to overcome obstacles and emotional hurts, to know that their lives are precious and to make it count. Culture just cements every negative thought.Chomrong is a brilliant young man, who is kind and generous and this sometimes lands him in unfavourable positions. He worked in a company where he was cheated by a stranger and ended up having to compensate the company monetarily. Another employer paid him little for what he brought to the business, works long hours on shift and never gave him opportunities to learn and grow. There are days where he does virtually nothing. Through it all, he keeps quiet and takes it all in. After months of searching, he finally found a job where his employer appreciates his talent, gives him opportunity to learn new skills by moving laterally in the company and he works regular hours, allowing him recreation time and time to go to church. He is so happy with this job.
Sinam used to do retail although she is a Banking and Finance student. She stands for long hours and experiences back pain. She gets half hour break everyday and is not allowed to sit even though there are no customers in the store. Her commission is little and she has to deal with nasty customers who are rude. Her supervisor scolds her in front of everyone, with no regard for her feelings. Two weeks ago, she started work as a Customer Service personnel in a micro-finance company. It's an office job and she's graretful for the opportunity to use computers and to learn more. She now has time to learn English, for recreation and can go to church because she gets 2 days off a week. She is thinking and planning to start her own business in her hometown where she will also provide free english lessons to the children.Diane is such a talented designer, enjoys drawing and is very thoughtful and aware of the needs of the people around her. She is always ready wth hugs to comfort people and jokes to make people happy. She does design jobs for individuals and companies during throughout her 4 year degree but many don't pay her fairly and even more ask for pro bono work. She used to live in a dormitory and it was difficult to concentate and be inspired because of the constant noise and disturbance. A couple of people have offered her a room in their house, with cheap rent but there were always strings attached and she ends up running errands for them, taking care of their children and even being the "middle-man" in negotiations. Two weeks ago, she started work as a designer in a non-governmental organization and her skills and gifts are recognized and she has the opportunity to art direct projects. Her employer loves her personality and leadership skills. She sees needs and gaps and is like an older sister to many people. She now has the financial capability to live on her own. She has grown to be independent at work, initiated and very responsible.
I look at their lives and try to find the common denominators - a never-give-up attitude and courage to forget their past and step into the destiny that God has for them. Sometimes, it's easier to blame everyone else for the situation we are in, but once we own our feelings and thoughts and know that God is good and His plan is to prosper us, we know that this current battle is nothing compared to the blessings. I'm overjoyed to witness their testimonies!