Chalk it up as another “pangit” (ugly) point for the Philippines. By now, I assume you already read about the untimely death of Julia Campbell, a US Peace Corps volunteer who served in Donsol, Sorsogon.

Julia was reported missing on April 8 while hiking to see the Banaue rice terraces in Ifugao province. Last Wednesday, the PNP announced that they found her body, partially buried with a foot sticking out in a shallow grave. She is the first tourist to die in that tourist spot known also as a UNESCO World Heritage site and dubbed as one of the eight wonders of the world.

To chronicle her stay in our country, Julia wrote a blog (http://juliainthephilippines.blogspot.com/). In her blog, Julia shared how she learned to cope with our way of life here (like using a “tabo” or water dipper). When she got infected with roundworms, she even jokingly named one of her parasites “Fred.” She also challenged people to contribute books and other resource materials for a local library and worked to establish a Marine Ecology Learning Center. It’s eerie but her last entry was titled “Buhay Pa Tayo” (We are still alive).

In her blog she wrote, “Mabuhay! (Welcome) For those of you who could not be convinced to follow me into the Peace Corps, this is for you! …At the age of 38, I decided to step out of the rat race of New York, join the Peace Corps and board a plane for Manila. This blog is dedicated to my adventures in the Philippines for the next two years.” What a sad ending to a person who just wanted to make an impact. But I am sure her life will be an inspiration to many.

What about you? Have you found a cause to give your life? It may not be something like joining an organization like the Peace Corps. But we can make an impact where we are right now, in our spheres of influence. 1 Corinthians 15:58 exhorts us, “My dear friends, stand firm and don’t be shaken. Always keep busy working for the Lord. You know that everything you do for him is worthwhile.” (Contemporary English Version) It can be as simple as finding a need and fulfilling it.

Brethren, let us be God’s Peace Corps!


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