by Jesselyn Anchorez
It was almost a year since my uncontrolled tears fell while I was delivering my testimony at Yangpyeong English Village in Gyeonggi-do, South Korea during the 24th Missionary Retreat Program. It was an unexpected experience to release my emotions in front of my co-missionaries and pastors, sharing my first year of missionary experience in this country. I was relieved and felt better after that.
After those tears, I didn’t expect that God would give me a great responsibility with the Chosen Vessels. At first, I was hesitant to accept the challenge for I knew that I was not really worthy to do that kind of major responsibility. I’m the type of person who just likes to participate, cooperate, appreciate and follow leaders. I just want to do things behind the scene and not be the major character. And besides, I have difficulty in communicating with people. Many questions came to my mind. How could I do these things? After many encouragements from my co-missionaries, I was convinced that God had chosen me and so I accepted the challenge.
My major assignment was to collect and compile the 25th Bible Writing Project within six months. This project should be presented for the next missionary retreat. I was happy because the missionaries would share their penmanship by writing the whole Bible with their own hands. But reminding the missionaries about their respective assignments was not an easy task. I prayed so hard and even fasted that God would help me complete the project on time. Months passed but there were still many who didn’t submit their assignments. I kept on praying and hoped that it would be accomplished soon.
The most unforgettable experience was when we attended the Chosen Vessel’s official meeting in Seoul. It was about two weeks before the retreat. I was expecting that all assignments would be collected during the meeting so we could bind it but I was mistaken. All conference representatives also tried their best to encourage the missionaries in their respective conferences but still many failed to write. During that meeting, the officers tried to help in writing the needed chapters but we couldn’t make it. It was late and we needed to go back to our respective mission fields. To make things worse, my partner and I had to borrow money for bus fare because we got caught up in a heavy traffic jam and missed our train. Thank God our school supervisor reimbursed us the amount when he later learned of our predicament.
But the challenge was not over yet. There was only a week left but the project was not yet done. I found out that many didn’t follow the instructions, and so we had to make many corrections and it seemed impossible to finish the whole thing within a week. I slept late during those nights. I cried a lot and was about to lose hope but I kept on praying. At that time, I had this prayer on the board of my classroom: “Lord, this is up to You. You put me in this position. You know that I don’t have the resources within me to handle this job as it should be handled. I can’t try any harder. I am going to try less, help me make do with what I have, and I rely on You for the rest. In order to fulfill this responsibility, I need a greater measure of GRACE from You. Amen.”
Then God provided me missionaries to complete the unfinished tasks. A day before the retreat, we completed the Bible Writing Project and it was ready for binding. On that Friday morning, before we left for An-Myeondo, we were able to have the book ready for dedication.
I realized then that when God calls us to do a special task for Him, even though we could not see and understand His purpose at the beginning, if we just follow and obey, He will never fail us for He will also provide somebody to help us accomplish it. God wants us to realize that whatever task we have completed are done not by our own might nor strength but by the power and grace of God so that we may not boast before Him.
I would like to share the verse from the Bible which was the prayer of the prophet Jeremiah: “O Sovereign Lord! You made the heavens and the earth by your strong hand and powerful arm. Nothing is too hard for you! You have all wisdom and do great and mighty miracles. You see the conduct of all people, and you give them what they deserve.” (Jeremiah 32:17, 19)