by Jaclyn Gay Agum
Proverbs 3:5-6 “Trust in the LORD with all your heart, and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge Him, and He shall direct your paths.” (NKJV)
Have you asked yourself, “Why am I here?”
“I’m not an English teacher. I’m not even good at English but why am I here?”
“How could I be a missionary if I were to do the mission which I’m not good at?”
These are my questions before I was sent to this foreign land. Each day of my stay here was a stressor. I would always wake up with the questions, “What will I teach today?” “How will I make them listen?” “Will they enjoy it?” “How will I make my class interesting?” These are questions of an unexperienced teacher
I tried to remember how my teachers taught me before. I wasn’t a good student. Thus, frankly speaking, I couldn’t remember their techniques. So I told God, “I don’t know why You sent me here but it’s all up to You.”
My constant prayer was, “Lord, please teach them through me because I don’t know how to do it.”
I also prayed, “Teach me how to teach so that they will learn from me.” It’s hard to be an English teacher in this place.
As days passed, I got used to everything I was doing, even to the point of not being satisfied with my performance every time I finished my classes. But I would always tell God, “I’ve done my best and I know You’ll do the rest.”
When my term ended, I didn’t extend for another year even if my church wanted me to. I was exhausted with the experiences I had and said I will never go back. I’m glad I survived.
For nine months I worked happily in the Philippines in my own profession. But God kept calling me back. For many times I asked Him why I should go back. I’m not a teacher and there’s a lot of available missionaries out there. Why me? I need to work for my family and I’m also doing missionary work while working in my country. So what is He calling me for? But in the end I gave up and said, “Okay, I’m going back!” I got tired of being stubborn so I quit my job and went back to South Korea.
My second mission field was one of the best! The place was so peaceful and relaxing, and I had such a great partner. God used her to answer all my questions. She said I wasn’t sent here only to teach English but for God to teach me how to trust Him fully at the same time. Like what Paul says in 1 Thessalonians 5:24,
“The one who calls you is faithful and he will do it.” (NIV)
God did everything for me at my first mission field but He isn’t done with me yet. My partner once told me that God isolated her in that mission field for six years to make her a better child of God, a better missionary with faith as strong as iron molded in fire! Wow! That was pleasing to my ears. Who wouldn’t want to be like that? She didn’t finish college but she wasn’t worried. She said, “I’ll finish my schooling later after God is finished with what He wants to accomplish in me.” She had let God take charge of everything. I realized I still lack that kind of faith.
When my term ended at my second mission field, I didn’t go home. I decided to accept the extension offer. I asked to be transferred to another place because I want to test my faith and trust in God. I was transferred to Seoul where I didn’t want to go because I know temptations would always be knocking at my door there. But as what Paul said in Romans 8: 31, “…if God is for us, who can be against us?” I don’t want to be stubborn this time. I feel the changes each day as I stay here and I know God will do more things to me and prepare me for my future adventures with Him.
Our trust in God is the only weapon we have in this foreign land and in any place He wants to send us. I never wished to stay here for six years like my former partner, but if God would mold me within those years then I’m going to trust in the Lord with all my heart for He said in Jeremiah 29:11,
“For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.”
He takes charge of my life as well as my family back home.
Let us give all our plans to God and wholeheartedly trust in Him. Let us not lean on our own understanding of what is happening around us. We have a lot of worries but we also have a great God who takes good care of everything for us. He even makes us do things that we never thought we could do–like teaching English!