Wonder of Prayer

by Geraldine Gregorio (34th Batch)

 A few months ago, I had an experience in my teaching that drew me closer to God.

I had these two students: Ivy and Ally. They were late one time in my class but they never asked for an apology unlike what other students usually do. So I told them to take their seats and open their books. They just took off their bags as if they didn’t hear me. Moreover, they distracted the whole class by creating some noise and by moving around the classroom. I started to get angry at them and warned them of their actions. But they still wouldn’t behave. Due to my anger, I opened the door for them to get out of my class. They were silent for a few moments but after a while, they did the same irritating things again. At that very hour I couldn’t control myself anymore. I really wanted to kick them out of the room.

I paused for a while. I sat down and kept myself still. I prayed within my heart for guidance and strength while they kept on saying insulting words to me.

After the class, I went directly to my room. I almost forgot that it was my pay day. The money that I received that day couldn’t ease the pain and cover the insults that I got from my students. At that moment, I wished that my parents were there to comfort me.

Tears were rolling down my face. I couldn’t help but cry. I just found consolation and peace when I prayed to our Heavenly Father. He is really my Source of strength in this foreign land.

The next day, my Korean partner and I swapped teaching schedules. The same thing happened to her. But this time, she let them go home.

I love teaching my students. I want them to be good not only in their language skills but also as persons. So I never stop praying for them.

One day, I noticed some changes in their behavior. They now greet me! They even told me, “We love you, Teacher.” I was so overwhelmed by their actions.

This experience taught me more that nothing is impossible with the Almighty. Our deepest and sincere prayers will surely be answered.

Whoever is Thirsty…

by Michelle Bellezas (34th Batch)

 “Come, whoever is thirsty, accept the water of life as a gift, whoever wants it.” Revelation 22:17

Certain times would call our attention to God’s overflowing goodness. Perhaps these happen to remind us that He cares even about those little things that we often overlook. Or it could be that He wants to reaffirm His invitation to come to Him anytime for help and blessings from His abundant resources.

Last January thick snow covered the environment. Water froze and faucets clogged. During those freezing days, tap water was badly needed in my place. I saw one dripping faucet and placed a basin under it. I then prayed to God to let it continue dripping. God answered my prayer. I had enough water to use from that one faucet until the tap water finally flowed back to normal.

That situation was like reliving Prophet Elijah’s experience during the years of drought in Israel. He took refuge in the Brook Cherith where God was his personal Provider. God’s promise in Isaiah 44:3 says, “I will give water to the thirsty land and make streams flow on the dry ground. Those who are hungry and thirsty, for God’s righteousness will be filled.”

Let’s claim God’s promises, believe and willingly receive His answers to our prayers! It could be in a form of slow but constant drops of water or it could be a life changing miracle. We could never limit what God can do for us as long as we come to Him.

Press On

by Christine Joy Flores (34th Batch)

A few months ago, I have been into a controversial issue where blames were put on me. At that time, I felt so hopeless. I did not know what to do anymore. My mind was empty and I couldn’t think well. While I was facing this kind of situation, the thought of going home was my only resort to escape from it. I did not want to stay in this place any longer nor finish my task here. I was totally discouraged.

After crying myself to sleep one night, I was awakened by a thought God has sent me. I was really struggling at that time whether to follow His will or to follow my own. God told me not to give up. “Be strong and just keep going. Just press on and know that I am always with you, to help you stand every time you fall,” He said.

It took me a few weeks to decide about it. Facing my students and church members, pretending that nothing had happened was really a big struggle for me. Finally, God helped me to decide according to His will.

Life here on earth is like a race. We are the runners and God is our Coach. As we run this race, the Christian race, we may meet obstacles–big or small. These are the problems, fears, and worries that test how determined are we. They would sometimes bring us to the point of giving up. There are times when we fall and stumble along the way and feel too tired to continue. But God reminds us to just keep going. God tells us through Apostle Paul in Galatians 3:12-14, “…but I press on to take hold of that for which Christ Jesus took hold of me…forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead. I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus.”

Let us keep going. Let us press on to finish this race. And upon reaching the finish line, there is the prize–the prize that lasts–awaiting us. And most especially, our Coach, our loving Father awaits us to give His most comforting hug and everlasting care.

Steadily Carrying On

by Rachel Aguilo (33rd Batch)

“If any of you lacks wisdom, he should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to him.” James 1:5

Being a missionary and a teacher is not easy when it comes to dealing with children and also communicating with the people around you. I recently experienced being compared to other missionaries who had served before me. I was sad to hear those words and thought that maybe I should just go home. I even told my pastor that I have to go home. I am not that talented like the other missionaries who came before me. I also heard that some parents said I am not close to my students and that my students don’t enjoy studying English because they are bored. I tried to listen to some of the advices from friends and then I turned to read the Bible and prayed sincerely to my Saviour. He comforted me. I sought the Lord earnestly in my trouble and received consolation for I believe that Jesus loves even me.

My heart seemed to be completely shattered–I don’t have my laptop anymore and I don’t have people to talk to instantly at home because I live alone now. I don’t go online a lot these days. Having no Internet connection seemed to bother me at first but now I just tell myself to carry on. While I struggled with the decision whether to continue or not, I kept praying to our Lord to lead me in doing the things I have to do. God told me to sacrifice things that I don’t really need during my work and I did. I begged God to give me patience and wisdom for the betterment of my work in this place.

I try talking to my students more often now than before and now I make it a habit to play with them during class to keep them interested. I join them in watching English movies, playing word collapse, hangman, or anything they feel like playing so they won’t feel bored. I just make sure they get a good laugh. Now I am having a great time with my students and I hope to have a fun time with them everyday until I finish my second term, by God’s grace.

Missionary: A Living Witness

by Benjiaflor Barbon (33rd Batch)

Let no one despise your youth, but be an example to the believers in word, in conduct, in love, in spirit, in faith, in purity. I Timothy 4:12 (NKJV)

Being assigned in a countryside area of South Korea and being given a good partner are God’s answers to my prayer.

God sent us here for a mission. I am the kind of person who loves to talk and listen to other people’s problems. I really want to visit and talk to the people around me and understand them. But how can I do it here? I just can’t understand them and they can’t understand me, either. And so, I just waited for the Lord to help and work within me.

Every moment, my prayer is that God will use me and send me to those whom I could be a witness to. In each of my classes, before I start my lesson, I teach my students Bible songs and I also teach them how to pray. I feel happy whenever I see them singing songs for Jesus. I let them memorize the songs. I integrate faith and learning in my classes. A few months after doing that, I was just surprised to hear from one of our brethren who said, “You know May, you are really an original and true SDA!”

“Really?” I replied. In my heart I am so glad to hear it. What made them say it?

People around us observe the things we do–the way we speak, the way we act, and everything about us. Ellen White said, “Our words and acts carry a powerful influence.” It’s not the way we look that matters but the way we carry ourselves in our daily Christian walk. What kind of person are we trying to portray?

Let us place ourselves in a right relationship with God. We are not striving for what the world would say about us, but our constant prayer should be, “Lord, how shall we please You? How shall we accomplish our mission in this world?”

We could win others to Christ even by not giving a series of Bible studies to them. We could still influence them by what and who we are in Christ.

Let us continue doing good–not to please people but to please God. Let’s not be influenced by the world but let’s be witnesses to the world instead.

God bless us all!

Share Your Faith

by Lizel Valle

 “Whoever acknowledges me before men, I will also acknowledge him before my Father in Heaven. But whoever disown me before men, I will disown him before my Father in Heaven.” Matthew 10:32, 33

I am happy serving God as a missionary for more than four years now. I have English classes with students and I also have a “mothers class” where I teach moms with my pastor’s wife. We usually have an activity for the children during school days as well as every Sabbath. Most of my students come to church with their friends and parents. They learn gospel songs, Bible stories, health improvement tips, different kinds of menu, English conversations, and a lot more.

As missionaries, our purpose is to spread God’s Word and to share our light to others. So every morning during weekdays, my pastor’s wife and I would go to the gym for “friendship ministry.” We meet different kinds of people there. We even met some pastors of the Sunday Church who were playing ping-pong. My pastor’s wife and I made friends with them. We were so glad they welcomed us with no prejudices.

Our main purpose of going to the gym is to do our share of spreading the gospel. We give out Signs of the Times magazines, tracts, etc. Not only at the gym do we give reading materials but we also give them to some of my students’ parents. By the grace of God, some of these parents are now spending their time to worship with us here in my church every Sabbath.

The Bible texts above implies that as Christians, we have to show everyone the love of God by making that love visible in our lives. This must be how Christians should live.

God calls us to live out our lives as examples to others and to spread God`s Word to the unbelievers. Let’s take some time today to pray for souls who are searching for the truth. God is coming very soon. So let’s share our faith to others while there is still time.

Fighting, my dear co-missionaries! GO! GO! GO!

Giving Our All for His Service

by Celle Bagnol (27th Batch)

  “The Lord is my strength and my shield; my heart trusts in Him, and I am helped. My heart leaps for joy and I will give thanks to Him in song.” Psalm 28:7

It was really my dream to be employed and have a successful career right after my graduation, but sometimes our plans fail in order for God’s plans to succeed. We have our own plans and desires yet God knows exactly what He wants us to do so that we can be of great help in His ministry. Though I failed in my own plans, I just let Him lead me and I left everything in His care.

It was last 2006 when I found myself in the quiet campus of the 1000 Missionary Movement, wondering what on earth was I doing there when I never even thought of becoming a missionary. During my missionary training, I realized that the prayers I had were answered in a different way to fulfill the task He had given me.
I then learned that I have a great responsibility with the light He has shown me. I learned that I have a task that taught me to come out of my shell and tell the world about the wonderful love He has for me and the people around me. I need to tell them the joy of knowing and having Him.
Upon learning that I would be assigned in South Korea, I was filled with fear because I know I wasn’t good enough. I didn’t know how to preach, didn’t have the ability to give Bible studies nor even sing. But I entrusted everything to God, knowing that He placed me in my mission field because He wanted me to be there and that He would equip me in order to accomplish what He wants me to do.
I’m in my third mission field now and about to go home soon. All these years of serving God here in Korea has been so fulfilling and rewarding though it isn’t perfect and smooth as I would like it to be. I have experienced a lot of ups and downs. However, through those thorns, I learned to trust in God in everything and be fully dependent on Him.
My dear fellow missionaries, as we trudge along this path towards our heavenly destination, let us always ask for God’s power to be our armor as we press forward in our service for Him. He never promised us a wide and easy way, but instead assured us His faithfulness and loving-kindness.
Whatever circumstances you are facing now, be reminded that He has a great purpose for you to fulfill His work right where you are. Let’s keep on praying, being firm in our belief that His magnificent power and ever abiding presence are with us. Let’s believe that we can be living examples for the people we meet everyday.
“If we surrender our lives to His service, we can never be placed in a position for which God has not made provision. Whatever may be our situation, we have a Guide to direct our way; whatever our perplexities, we have a sure Counselor; whatever our sorrow, bereavement, or loneliness, we have a sympathizing Friend. if in ignorance we make missteps, Christ does not leave us. His voice, clear and distinct, is heard saying, ‘I am the Way, the Truth, and the Life.” – EGW, COL p. 173