A year and a half after my mission I was married in the temple. At that time I was pursuing my Bachelor of Science degree in education.
Our family finances became really limited, and my mother, who was helping me finance my schooling, lost her job. I started to lose hope that I would ever be able to finish my education and bring my family out of poverty.
Then the Perpetual Education Fund program was introduced in the country. It was an answer to my prayers. The PEF loan I received enabled me to go back to school.
It was difficult to pursue my dream of obtaining an education while providing for the needs of my family. To augment the family income, I transported passengers by tricycle and sometimes by jeep.
After completing my degree, I started to work but couldn't find a steady job, so I took sales and teaching jobs when they were available.
As our family continued to grow, our finances became even more strained. My priesthood leaders' sustaining efforts made a lot of difference. I'm truly grateful for their counsel.
Eventually I obtained a teaching position at a high school. I've been blessed with a good job that is a steady source of income for my family.
The PEF program is inspired and brought us hope; I would not be where I am right now if this inspired program had not been established. The PEF program was a miracle for my family.
I am currently pursuing my master's degree in education. I believe that education is the key to opportunity and progress. The PEF program also prepared me to be a leader in the Church. I have served as a stake Sunday School president, a stake high councilor and a bishop.
Many of the blessings I have received in my life resulted from the PEF program.
— Richard Ocampo Espinosa, Tarlac 1st Ward, Tarlac Philippines Stake