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Thrill of being self-reliant

Siegfred Mejia, a former bishop of the Apas Ward, Cebu City Philippines Stake, who had been a school teacher, bought a modest home just a short time before he left his place of employment. For 12 months, he was unable to find employment to support his wife and three daughters.

Siegfred and Helen Mejia sit with children in their newly opened preschool.
Siegfred and Helen Mejia sit with children in their newly opened preschool.

Despite his work experience, Brother Mejia found that with the number of college graduates who flood the job market each year, it was difficult for those over age 30 to be hired.

Because of his age and work experience, however, he was invited to the Academy for Creating Enterprise as an education coach, rather than a student.

In the 57-day session, he was never late for the early-morning devotional. He often stayed late while studying or working on his business plan, which meant that he occasionally missed the last public transportation for the night, leaving him to walk 10 kilometers (or six miles) to his home, only to arise early the next morning for the devotional.

Following graduation, Brother Mejia started a small preschool with nine children. He found a building owned by a woman who had operated a preschool before retiring. She was eager to sell to someone who could care for her previous students. Brother Mejia and his wife now work together in the preschool and say they have found "the thrill of being completely self-reliant."

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