You can help prepare graduates like Dexter Tad-awan to speak the word of God with boldness.
I observed the way the priests sent to our village accompanied the people and supported them in practical ways. I felt drawn to this vocation. However, I was becoming increasingly aloof and insecure. I couldn’t express myself with confidence. People told me that I was strange and weird.
My name is Dexter Tad-awan. My parents are subsistence farmers in Pasnadan, an Igorot village in the Tadian municipality, Mountain Province in the northern Philippines. Like them, I preferred to plough fields rather than study or be with people.
To avoid moving away from my home and family, each day I spent over four hours walking to and from high school. I tried my best to overcome my weakness in dealing with people and eventually made friends. They lived near my school and asked me to live with them. This meant that I wouldn’t have to walk so far. Despite my anxiety, I accepted my friends’ invitation. However, these friends also introduced me to vices such as drinking too much alcohol. I began to lead a double life. By day I was a church man, by night I was a man of vices.
I am thankful that, by God’s grace, people from my church helped me to take a chisel to my life. I chose to serve God and was encouraged to pursue the priestly vocation of which I had once dreamed. Looking back, I realize that life is full of choices. A choice between right and wrong, good and evil, God and the world. Our background and upbringing can affect our choices. But, nothing can overtake the plans God has for us if we work out our faith through his love and grace.
Seminary life has prepared me to make better choices in future. Please pray that, with the help of God, I will also guide others to the way, the truth and the life.
Thank you for the Bible commentary and concordance. These will help me to accurately explain the Scriptures and prepare and deliver better sermons. To God be the glory!
Dexter Tad-awan is a graduate of St Andrew’s Theological Seminary in the Philippines.