I was blessed to grow up in a Christian family. My parents are missionaries, and I spent most of my childhood in the mountains of the Philippines. Unlike many individuals, Christianity was what I considered normal. Of course there is an all-powerful being who loves me. At the age of six, I came to the understanding that if I believed this to be true then it would impact how I choose to live my life. I asked to be baptized. I labeled myself a follower of Jesus, and tried to live my life based on this personal belief, rather than just the culture around me. Through humbling experiences, questioning and refining my beliefs, and a whole lot of grace, I made it through high school. After twelve years of growing closer to the God I love, I realized that there was only one thing I truly understood. Despite my uncertainties, on good days and bad, in my happiest of moments, in my sorrow, in my anger, in my rebelliousness, in the dark areas deep inside me that I dare not let anyone see, I am loved. It is because of this that I continue to allow myself to struggle with questions of faith, it is because of this that I have purpose, it is because of this that I have hope.
Shortly after my husband and I married, we got involved with InsideOut Los Angeles (IOLA). I have always felt at home in LA and the people that make up this city. It is a beautiful place filled with diversity and life. I love how IOLA is in the heart of this city, and embraces all of its uniqueness. I love that it strives to overcome prejudice and hate, and instead spread love. Not superficial love. Not love only for select individuals, but love for anyone who walks in its doors. Love for the community around it. Love for everyone in Los Angeles. I think that is why I am drawn to it. IOLA wants everyone to have real life, a full life. How could I not get involved in a place that so readily spreads the kind of life changing love that I have experienced?