Sunday, April 10, 2016

Self-Reliance Services / PEF

Self-Reliance Services / PEF

What does this title mean?  When Cathy and I received our mission call from the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints to the Philippines, Urdaneta Mission we were thrilled.  Our letter from President Thomas S Monson told us that we were assigned to Self-Reliance Services for 18 months. 

Today marks the end of 11 months of service.  It is hard to comprehend how time can go by so fast.  We love the Philippines.  We REALLY LOVE the people here.  We have made so many friends, they are so kind and so teachable.  We love self-reliance services.

Cathy and I were both raised by parents who taught us to work for our maintenance.  There was no allowance in our lives.  If we needed money, we had to find a way to earn it.  I remember helping a neighbor one day with his irrigation.  I did not do it for money, I loved playing in the water and it was fun to help him.  I remember how thrilled i was when we were done and he handed me two shinny quarters and told me thank you.  I was very young and yet my self-worth was increased so much by that 50 cent payment.

Because of the way we were raised by "goodly" parents, when we got married and started our own family we followed the same principles.  We planted and harvested a garden each year.  We canned the tomatoes and other vegetables grown during the summer for use during the winter months.  Cathy sewed for our family so when money was tight our children were still well dressed for church and school.  When something broke, we fixed it ourselves.  

We learned to avoid debt and always paid our tithes and offerings and tried to put a little money away in savings.  These financial principles allowed us to leave our home and business and serve a mission when we received the call.

Many people asked us what we were going to be doing on our mission.  They asked us about self-reliance and we tried our best to explain.  Since being in the Philippines we have found countless opportunities to serve in ways that we had not imagined. Link to News Story about Self-Reliance on KSL TV

This is a news story that aired on KSL in Utah last week.  It tells the remarkable story of the Perpetual Education Fund (PEF) since it's announcement by President Gordon B Hinckley 15 years ago.  It tells where the program is today and how Self-Reliance Services is helping people around the world escape the bonds of poverty.  You will not regret spending 45 minutes watching this.

We pray daily thanking our Father in Heaven for the opportunities he has given us to serve in the Philippines.  As I said, we love the people so much and we know that these principles have blessed many and will continue to bless those who are willing to exercise their Faith through action.  We are blessed to witness miracles daily.  We pray that we might be the answer to someones prayer each day as we serve Him with all our heart, mind and strength.

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