Equipping empowered, inspired, and spiritually-driven Online Missionaries through digital and creative trainings

She is a teacher, author, artist, speaker, daughter, sister and a missionary. This young woman plays a lot of roles in her life with so much grace and passion. Nica loves the movie frozen and is currently working towards fulfilling her ultimate dream – to go to Heaven and Be a Saint!

Tell us about yourself and your journey of knowing Christ

I am Nica! I’m a preschool teacher at an international school in Makati. When I’m not teaching in my classroom, I give talks to different parishes, schools, and communities on Pope John Paul II’s Theology of the Body.

I grew up in a Catholic family. At a young age, my parents really taught us the importance of building a relationship with Christ and the importance of serving others. I also got to know Christ more as I participated and served in Couples for Christ’s kids and youth ministry, and now in their Singles ministry. Here, my relationship with Jesus evolved from just being someone to pray to, to becoming one of my closest friends.

What or who made you decide to be a missionary?
Can you share to us your journey of becoming a missionary?

My parents played a big role in my decision to become a missionary. Growing up, I always saw how my parents would take time out of their day to serve others; whether it was packing bags of relief goods for typhoon victims or giving talks to different communities and telling them about the beauty of God’s plan for them. I saw the joy it brought other people when they’d hear these words or receive these gifts. I guess something in you really changes when you learn more about Him.

As for my story, I’d often tag along with my parents when they have these different talks. Not only did the things they say touch the audience, but it inspired me as well. They mostly speak on Saint Pope John Paul II’s Theology of Body which is a series of reflections on love, identity, marriage, and sexuality. I loved everything that I was hearing and I decided that I wanted to do what I could to spread this message as well. Since then, I’ve been giving talks, workshops, and even some camps (with our TOB Team!) trying to teach parents, kids, youth, and teachers about their identity as beloved sons and daughters of God and how to live a life of authentic love.

What makes you feel like a child?

My job as a preschool teacher, my natural curiosity towards anything and everything, and my love for the movie Frozen.

What are your simple joys?

My simple joys are spaghetti for lunch, bonding time with my family, video call hangouts with my friends, and cookies for merienda.

In your missionary adventure, what were your joys, struggles, challenges and even difficulties?

One struggle I have is the initial fear of going in front of a crowd. I get nervous to speak, I worry about how the audience will take in the message or if I will be able to get the teachings across. The joy in this adventure comes when you know that you were able to be God’s instrument as you interact with others, despite all the nerves. Joy also comes when you can have meaningful conversations with these people and learn more about them. You get to hear so many inspiring stories and meet so many different people.

How do you define joy?

My life motto comes from Gaudium et Spes 24 or GS24 and it goes “Man cannot fully find himself except through a sincere gift of self.” This reminds us that true joy and happiness come from making a gift of ourselves to others and living a life of service. So what is joy? It’s GS24 or simply: making a Gift of Self 24/7.

 In who and what you are now, what are your other dreams or do you still have anything you want to achieve?

Ever since I was younger, I’ve only ever had 2 dreams in my life: to meet my favorite band, and to go to heaven and be a saint. I’ve already met my favorite band, twice in fact! So now I’m just working on the second one. It sounds a bit cheesy, but, that’s really just what I’m working towards. I strive to be a good sister, daughter, teacher, and friend. I try to make the right decisions every day and live a life that will make Him happy.

For what else I want to achieve, in the future, I’d love to be a mom! As a Teacher now I have so much fun teaching and molding these little minds and little hearts for 6 hours a day. Part of me is really excited to have my own kids where I can do the “molding” and taking care of for a longer period of time.

What is your message to young people who are now feeling lost, who are still finding their purpose, who doesn’t know what to do with their lives?

JPII reminds us that our identity lies in the fact that we are beloved sons and daughters of God. Our identity is something that will never change. So no matter what, YOU ARE LOVED.

Since you are loved by God, we can be sure that He will take care of you. As you try and discover this more, continue being a gift! Be a gift to your families, to your friends, to your communities. Serve, be there for others and help in whatever way you can. Who knows, in that service, you may discover your purpose and calling in life.

What is your message to young people who wanted to serve but do not know how?

Start at home! The heart of service is all about being able to give some part of yourself to help and make a gift of yourself to others. Especially now during this pandemic, we’re all stuck at home so we have a ready set of people there who we can help. Clear the table and wash the dishes without being asked, sweep your parent’s room when they’re not there, prepare a fun dinner for your family, or help your siblings with their Math homework. Service doesn’t always have to be so grand or so far away.

If you want to branch out a little bit after, think about what talents you have, and try and find a way you can use that to help others. Are you good at drawing? You can hold a drawing class for kids who have nothing to do and who may have busy parents. Are you good at singing or with musical instruments? Offer to sing or play in your church’s choir. Are you good at creating art or cooking? You can start a mini small business and have some proceeds go out for a specific cause. Play to your strengths and see how your gifts can be used to make a gift to others.

If you have a favorite Bible verse,  what is it and why.

Let the children come to me, and do not hinder them, for to such belongs the kingdom of God

Luke 18:16