by: Keith Cueto
It’s always fascinating why there are a lot of words in the English language with silent letters. Words like “doubt”, “knickers” and “tsunami” exist in every day conversations yet most of the times it’s easier to read them with the mind than with the tongue. And while words with silent letters actually comprise a whopping 60% of the total words in English, more often than not we are still at lost as to why past linguists even bothered to add silent consonants into words that are generally okay without them. Take a look at the “L” in “PSALM” – Another word that is perhaps popularly known for having a silent letter is the word “psalm” and its campus ministry counterpart, PSALM. The silent “L” in PSALM stands for the Lay, which simply means PSALMistas who are academic graduates and already moving inside the professional world. However, because PSALM is basically a ministry that focuses mainly on reaching out to students in the campuses, like the silent letter that represents them, most of the lay meanwhile have turned “okay” enough to watch on the backstage while the campus missionaries do the job.
The New Sleeping Giant
Yet unlike silent consonants in the English language, the “L” in PSALM was not place there just to offer confusion to first time readers of the word. In fact, at the present time, no longer are the students considered as the Sleeping Giant, but the Lay. Full of unlimited and hitherto untapped potential to reach out to others and disciple them for Christ, the number of PSALM Lay has grown tremendously high enough that if all of them will only lend their hands to the ministry, campus missionaries and student leaders alike will no longer have to solely depend upon those who are not even PSALMistas for support. Unfortunately, true to their new epithet, most of them really fell into deep slumber a little while later after their graduation.
If one comes to think of it, all these simply go down to enduring commitment and passion. More often than not, those Lay who have stayed connected with PSALM even after so many years are those who fully see how the Lord works in their lives and continue to be hopeful of His works in the future. One such person is Mr. Ray J. Estrella who, with a burning commitment to match that of Cardo Dalisay’s, took the fruitful journey from being a student leader to a campus missionary to a PSALM-CDO Lay Core, and eventually one of its Board of Directors—all the while continuing his service as a servant of the Lord in the ministry of PSALM. When asked to describe each stage of his journey in terms of purpose and the joy that he felt, he answered “As a student leader, the examples of my Ates and Kuyas moved me to commit; as a campus missionary, the burden of sharing the Gospel to the young people and the passion to experience it myself; as a Lay-Core, the understanding that our ministry never stops after college; and as a BOD, the acceptance of the call of being used by the Lord in a wider scale.”
Truly, one’s journey only ends when one decides to stop. While it’s easy for the PSALM Lay to feel like they’ve just transferred to another planet after graduation, let us not forget our joyful beginnings. And as we celebrate our PSALM family’s 50th anniversary, let us all remember those days when PSALM helped us fall in love with our ever-loving and ever-living God.