They call her their bible

There’s something different about Angelik.

She’s a dedicated student. She ranks among the top Accounting majors in the Far Eastern University in the Philippines. She is the Divine Covenant Student Centre’s first Leadership Development student. With all these demands on her time, Angelik is a very busy young woman.

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But that doesn’t stop her from dedicating her precious spare time to a group of teenage girls at her Compassion centre. Angelik is a small group leader and to the girls she mentors, she’s more than just a positive role model. They call her their Bible.

“Everything that comes out of her mouth is encouraging,” says Allyson, a youth in the small group Angelik leads. “I am amazed that she knows many things about the Bible.”

Allyson’s sister Isabel agrees. “I am happy whenever I hear her name. What she tells us is really inspiring. I can feel her relationship with God is so deep.”

It isn’t always easy to balance schoolwork and volunteer work, but Angelik knows her limits. “I have been offered several leadership roles in school but I refused,” Angelik explains. “I want to focus on my studies while I’m at the university and focus on leadership while I’m here at church.”

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Her mother, Angelina, is also an immense support. “I don’t require her to help out with house chores anymore,” Angelina says. “She is doing a lot of things already.” Angelina is a single parent and has raised two daughters on her own. Her husband left when Angelik was still little.

Angelik’s spiritual growth and desire to lead others is a source of pride for her mother—and an inspiration. “I am personally blessed by my daughter’s spiritual maturity,” Angelina says. “I see her consistently praying and having her personal devotions at home and it challenges me to do those things, too.”

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She’s not the only one Angelik inspires. The university student is well respected by many mothers within the church who view her as a role model for their children. “She is kind, intelligent and an effective teacher for the youth,” says one mother. Pastor Ambion, founding pastor and now senior pastor of the Divine Covenant of Jesus Christ Church, couldn’t agree more.

“I know Angelik very well,” he says. “I saw her grow up here at church and admire her as one of our truly faithful, trustworthy and hard-working youth leaders.” The admiration is mutual. Angelik is quick to point out her pastor’s courage in leading their church despite being nearly blind. She wants to be like her pastor, setting a Christ-like example and serving the church in her own unique way.

Angelik hopes to be a successful accountant someday so she can get a good job at an international firm, and earn a good pay—not for herself, but to help her church finally complete their building. It’s been under construction for ten years.

But until she finishes school, she continues to volunteer her time at her Compassion centre. Every week she gathers her group of youth, opens her Bible and shares the truths written inside.

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As Hazel, another girl privileged to be in Angelik’s small group says, “She is a role model. I always look forward to what she will teach us.

To me, she is a Bible.”

Field reporting and photos by Edwin Estioko

Written by: Aveleen Schinkel

Aveleen is Compassion Canada's Multimedia Storyteller. Her passions include videography and photography, spending time outdoors and sampling tea from every country she travels to.