The Personal Testimony of Bro Lib Madamba, Formation Director, BCBP Southern California, USA
“Great is Your faithfulness” (Lam. 3:23). God is faithful and we can always count on God even if the future looks bleak and the circumstances are impossible.
Last year I had sleepless nights. Our volumes went down, our distribution center capacity utilization was at its lowest and the outlook was not at all good. The recession had hit the company’s profitability considerably. Being in the management team, I carried the burden of managing with very little resources and laying off people who had been part of my team for so long.
In my sharing at the Men’s Breakfast in BCBP SoCal, I talked about contemplating to volunteer to be laid off. I felt that our operation was no longer viable. But BCBP brothers thought, “No.” I was advised to stay on and work on other opportunities while I was employed. I also courageously opened up my thoughts to my boss. He likewise said, “No”, instead he asked me to help him with business development and find ways to turn the business around.
One day, my wife, Farina asked me to attend a meeting in church with our twin daughters who were preparing for their First Eucharist. I preferred to be home earlier that day but Farina had to be home to prepare dinner and help our son with his schoolwork. The organizer gathered the children in one room and brought the parents to church to reflect and lift up their burden to God. The parents were given a pen and a paper to write on. I was tired and worried about the stability of my employment. I turned to my God, the God who promised to be with me and my family against all odds here in America. I know only God can help me with my situation. I wrote down and offered my two-tier petition: first, that God will help me find a business opportunity to increase the capacity utilization of our distribution center and second, that He may bring my way a new job opportunity. With the current economic situation, everything was beyond my control but I am confident my God controls even the impossible. I felt so good after I handed over my letter to Jesus at the altar.
“Knock and the door shall be opened to you, seek and you shall find, ask and you shall receive.” I kind of shuffled the passage a bit but this is how God showed me the way.
“Knock and the door shall be opened to you”. I had the urge to go out and find a client one day. I did not have a clear plan but I suddenly recalled a previous client with whom we almost clinched a deal (a change in business ownership had put our discussions to a halt) years back. My contact person (then) was no longer with the company but I still had the business address. I drove to the place (had to go in circles trying to find the building) and knocked without an appointment. Fortunately, I was willingly accepted in by the Director for Operations. I presented our business profile and that led to further discussions until we eventually won a business contract to bring in their warehouse and distribution operations to our facility. Wow! No doubt I had God, my Mighty Salesman was with me.
“Seek and you shall find.” I posted my resume in the web, got initial phone interviews but all was put on stand-by. I continued to work hard but I was slowly getting tired and consumed with the overwhelming workload. I was getting frustrated, unaware that God wanted me to help in the set-up of the new client while HE was working on my other request for a new job. Then I received an unexpected call from an executive search firm based in Michigan. The headhunter came across my resume in the web and found it be a good match to a job opportunity with a company based in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. (Oops! I live in California, dah!) Later he clarified that the job will be in San Pedro, California and there was no need to relocate. He felt it was a good match and I agreed. The industry was in Metal Packaging where I spent over 10 years back in the Philippines and the function was in Supply Chain Management which is the kind of work I was exposed to as well. It sounds all good until I was told that there were other 7 strong candidates. Will my experience in the Philippines be of any value in America? Will there be a bias for US educated candidates? Will my 5 years of Supply Chain experience in America be adequate for their requirements? (Sorry, Lord, here I go again with my worries!)
“Ask and you shall receive”. Though I had worries, I claimed that this opportunity was from God. If I ask, I shall receive. I went through several individual and panel interviews with the company executives. While I was going through all these interviews, my family prayed everyday. We asked BCBP brothers and sisters to pray for me. Our families in Canada, Dhubai and the Philippines offered daily prayers as well. Fervently we asked and with faith believed that we shall receive.
Each day we prayed the Novena to St. Therese of the Child Jesus. The novena asked St. Therese to pick a rose from the heavenly gardens and intercede for us. St. Therese heard our prayers.
On Feb 12 before leaving for BCBP NorCal (Northern California) on a mission with BCBP President Bro. Larry Veloso and the BCBP SoCal mission team, I bought 3 roses for Farina. We would be back dawn of Valentine’s day and I thought I would have no time to get the roses. I offered to use my van for the NorCal trip as I thanked God for the opportunity of finding this job potential. The trip to NorCal was harassed with two vehicular problems, first the brakes failure and then a bad hit from a huge debris in the freeway. After hearing about these vehicular incidents, Bro. Larry discerned that this was a sign of something good to happen. Bro. Dito (SoCal Chapter Head) interpreted this discernment as something good concerning my job search.
Meanwhile, as our family continued the Novena to St. Therese, my interviews with the potential employer pursued until there were only 3 candidates left. I was finally sent to Pittsburgh, PA for a corporate interview with VPs and the President of the company. As these events unfolded, the 3 roses I gave Farina did not wither. By the time I reported for work to my new employer (over 30 days after I bought the 3 roses) not one petal fell. Clearly, a sign from St. Therese, a miracle indeed.
He raised me up more than I can be. I was down and tired but the Good Lord has raised me up. I feared facing unemployment but God has paved the way for a rewarding job, breaking known barriers of culture and work experience. I faced the tedious recruitment process oftentimes amazed at how I could have done it without God putting words in my mouth. All my fears were wiped out and once again my God, my faithful God, has raised me up to more than I can be.
I continue to ask for prayers from my family and to my BCBP brothers and sisters that God will always guide me as I go through the adjustments in my new company, more so because I am the only Asian Manager at ako lang ang “pango” ang ilong.
Thank you and God Bless Us all.