The Art of Surrender

At 46, Edgardo “Eddie” Trasporte laughs at his receding hairline. His face reveals a life filled with smiles and hearty laughter. His life, more importantly, proves how an extraordinary artist can let go of his paint brush so he can pick up his cross.
       Trasporte discovered his abilities at a very young age. Until he could actually read and write, scribbling figures on walls in an attempt to form sentences became a hobby for the young artist.
       Teachers praised Trasporte’s amazing talent. From participating in regional art contests to having his high school projects hung on the walls of his alma mater, Trasporte showed a promising future with his hands.
       Trasporte’s big break came when he joined a Japanese animation company where he was eventually promoted to animation supervisor. His ingenious works were well compensated by his salary and achievements.
       Trasporte said, “In my five years in the animation industry, I did a lot of Japanese cartoons which [had] difficult titles I mostly couldn’t remember. Some cartoon flicks that reached the Philippine tubes were: Megaman, Street Fighter, Slam Dunk, Gundam, Batman, The Little Mermaid, The Goof Troop, some Warner Brothers and Walt Disney titles, to name a few. It was a great experience.”
       If there was one word to highlight what Trasporte’s life is all about, one would immediately think “color,” “fame” or “talent.” But, anyone who knows Trasporte’s experiences would say “surrender.”
       In 1999, Trasporte left his animation career and with his supportive wife, Elsa, started Young Life in Iloilo City, a 13-hour move from Cebu where they had settled. Young Life is the same ministry that led the artist into God’s saving arms back in 1982 and the one ministry the couple has been passionately involved in for years. Trasporte and his wife gave it a go.       
       “God’s calling has been with me for many years,” Trasporte said, “but I just kept on ignoring it because of reasons I thought were more important. I had needs and big dreams and plans and I thought serving Him would mean giving them up altogether. But God, in His own mysterious way, slowly and patiently made me realize I don’t have to worry about them for He is taking care of all my needs, and all I have to do is trust the One who I claim to be my Shepherd.”
       “The fear of facing the uncertainties was never absent,” Trasporte said. “But He promised in Isaiah 58:11, ‘I will guide you and satisfy you with good things. I will keep you strong and well. You will be like a garden that has plenty of water that never runs dry.’”
       Trasporte now works with Young Life Iloilo as a full-time volunteer under the area director (his wife, Elsa). A week in his life today means holding club meetings, leading Bible studies, and giving free guitar and art lessons to interested kids.
       Every year, Trasporte shares with kids his life-changing experience during that 1982 Young Life camp. He serves on the program staff in at least three weeklong camps with Young Life Philippines. He uses his creativity to decorate the camp, set the mood of the environment and paint huge canvases of realistic scenery as backdrops to match the camp themes. While these canvases are worth thousands of pesos, Trasporte creates them for free. In Trasporte’s life, his works of art will never measure up to the eternal worth of his works of heart.
       Trasporte said, “But there’s more beyond all these [works of art] that makes everything worthwhile — it is watching firsthand God’s miracle unfold as teens are slowly changed before your eyes. What did I sacrifice? I could hardly remember if I did.”
       Karen Grace Yasi and her family have served faithfully in the Philippines for many years. “I was practically born a Young Lifer!” Yasi said. Her father, Wilbert, has served on staff for 26 years and is the executive director of Young Life Philippines, while her mother, Becky, on staff for 12 years, is an area director. Yasi, her sister and two brothers are all leaders in the Philippines.