Jane Ibay did what she could with the little she had—but God had so much more for her. Read her story of faith and perseverance!
I grew up in a family of four siblings. My mother was a seamstress and my father, a construction worker. Because of their combined meager earnings, three of us were scholars when we set foot in college.
I considered it a blessing that I had a government scholarship in my first two years of college. However, only my tuition fees were subsidized. I still had to rely on my parents for other expenses.
My mother would give me a PHP 250-a-week allowance when I attended school. Because my daily fare cost PHP 30, I was left with PHP 20 for everything else—food, projects, photocopying expense, and other things. I did not want to ask any more money from my parents because of all the other needs our family had.
To make ends meet, I decided to earn from my meager resources. I started to sell small food items and paper to my classmates. Thankfully, they became loyal customers! My earnings helped me pay for the other expenses I needed—and I was amazed that I had more to give back to God through my tithes!
Meanwhile, my older and younger sisters’ college educations were greatly assisted by the Real LIFE Foundation’s scholarship program. I didn’t know much about Real LIFE or its scholarship program; I had an idea of what Real LIFE was doing, but I was afraid of becoming too dependent on Real LIFE to provide for my education and other needs.
Eventually, after seeing the changes in my sisters’ lives, I ended up desiring to be part of Real LIFE. I knew in my heart this was what God wanted for me, and how He wanted to provide for my future. When I joined my church’s Prayer and Fasting activity, I included securing a Real LIFE scholarship in my list of faith goals.
On the third day of the fast, my Victory group leader informed me that I made it to the Real LIFE Foundation’s initial scholarship screening for the next school year. I was stunned; I did not tell anyone about my desire to join Real LIFE!
What happened after that is a blur. As they say, the rest is history.
“Never doubt God’s faithfulness”
I learned a lot of things while part of Real LIFE’s scholarship program. I’d say the most important lesson I learned would be having faith in God—which means, I must never, never doubt the faithfulness of God. In my season as a Real LIFE scholar, I consistently saw that He did what He said He would. In every season of our lives, we need to fix our eyes on Him.
God taught me to be faithful in the small things. Because He blessed me abundantly, I learned to be a blessing to others as well. Every time I stepped out in faith, God would return it in greater measure!
I did not just learn how to be a blessing through God’s resources; I also learned how to be a steward of His blessings. God gave each of us talents and skills, and we must maximize everything given to us. I realized that my underprivileged background did not entitle me to anything—and I don’t have to feel sorry for myself. God created me for a purpose, and I want to share the same truth to others.
I am thankful that I was given this privilege, not just to study or receive allowances, but to also be empowered to live to my fullest potential. Real LIFE helped me to have faith—not in my circumstances, but in God, my Provider and Father.
In 2011, Jane Ibay graduated with a degree in Banking and Finance from the Polytechnic University of the Philippines-Sta. Mesa. She is currently one of the administrative staff of Every Nation Ministries, and an active member and Victory group leader at Victory Pasig.