The Cure for Anxiety

by Justine Ghay Evangelio (29th Batch)

Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus.  Philippians 4:6-7 

Anxieties are everywhere. Life can never be free of worries in this chaotic world. It is a series of problem-solving opportunities. It just depends on how you handle and deal with them. But as human beings, we tend to be anxious all the time. The question is, How has your Christian experience grown since you committed your life to Him or Have you grown spiritually if you always seem to worry?

Missionary work is not an easy life. It is full of different adversities. If you only depend on yourself, there is nothing you can do but worry about your future and complain about everything. And sometimes, if things get complicated, you tend to give up because you don’t know how to respond and deal with the different situations.

Back then, I used to worry and complain during my first missionary term. It was an adjustment stage for me. I would always seem worried about many things in life while serving God–from financial, emotional to my spiritual aspect. Life seemed unpeaceful and difficult. I experienced being in this predicament for many times. I even asked God, “Am I learning of You and growing spiritually?”

I was hopeless and helpless for I just clung on my own ways and worried about something. But I found out that leaning on Jesus, our Master, makes a difference in my life, my priorities and actions. It affects me and helps me in what I am doing.

Now, I love missionary work more for it changed me to be more prayerful and more spiritual. Through prayers, petitions and making requests to God, changes just came naturally. For me, it turns the negative thoughts into positive; the difficult situations became easy; and, the impossible was made possible.

I’m enjoying my work now. I love to challenge myself in God’s work despite of the difficulties. Yes! There’s a cure for anxiety. If you are willing to submit yourself to God completely. And once you submit your life to Him through His ministry, you could say, “Missionary work is an easy one–no worries at all if you can pray to God for He is in control of everything if you also give Him full control of your life.” He is always at work in you and all things just work out for good. (Rom. 8:28)

My friends, Jesus said to His disciples: “Therefore I tell you do not worry about your life, what you will eat; or about your body; what you will wear. Life is more than food, and the body more than clothes. Consider the ravens: They do not sow or reap, they have no storeroom or barn; yet God feeds them. And how much more valuable you are than birds! Who of you by worrying can add a single hour to his life? Since you can do this very little thing, why do you worry about the rest? Consider how the lilies grow. They do not labor or spin.” (Luke 12:22-27).

Tempering Your Temper

by Esel Mae Hilongo (34th Batch)

 Love is not rude, it is not self seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs.  1 Cor. 13: 4, 5 NIV

My experience as a missionary English teacher here in South Korea convinced me that the things you hate doing is given to you most of the time.

Teaching children is not an easy task and it is harder if you don’t have any background about teaching at all. Your patience will be tested many times. As a teacher, I taught them not only English grammar and so on, but I also taught them religious songs and introduced them to Jesus. My first week was full of challenges and it took me several months before I could adjust to my role.

I had this one student whose behavior I couldn’t quite understand. He is totally different from the other students. Once when I was discussing our lesson for the day, this naughty student interrupted the class by making trouble and hitting his seat mate. I managed to calm myself and warned him to stop doing it before I could do something we would both regret. But he didn’t listen to me and just went on doing it until the other one got hurt and fought back. And so the situation got worst. While they were fighting, I wasn’t able to control my temper any longer and I shouted at them. I pointed my finger at them and said, “Both of you are not allowed to go out! You would stay here as long as I want! That is your punishment!”

I let the other students go out and eat their dinner and so only the two of them were left. As I looked at them, I saw the other boy on his bowed head, looking regretful of what he did. But the very naughty student just looked at me and laughed. It seemed as though the punishment was nothing to him. I was really upset but before I could explode again, I paused and decided to let them out. I then prayed, “Lord, help me. I don’t want to be rude to this student. I don’t want my light to be put out by just my uncontrolled temper. Help me to be more patient with them and help me to understand them.”

After that incident, every time I had a class with them, I would pause first and whisper a prayer to God to help me manage my temper and not take things personally. From that time on, slowly, I was able to control my temper. Whenever this naughty student does another mischief, I would just close my eyes and ignore him.

Thank you Lord for this memory text that reminds us that love is not easily angered and is not rude…and that my students are precious in Your sight.

Student Teacher

by Jephone Alum (34th Batch)

 Pray without ceasing. – 1 Thessalonians 5:17

One of my many experiences here in South Korea was when a little child reminded me of a lesson, a wonderful lesson. This story happened one day when I forgot to pray. It was one very busy day for me and I really forgot to pray. When I woke up in the morning, I just got up from my bed and started doing my routines. I went to my class and started teaching the students without even praying. Then at noontime, my co-teacher and I served lunch to the students and after we were done serving their food, I just told them, “Okay, let’s eat.”

But one of my students, Jack, was amazed why we started eating without praying. During every lunch we pray, but at that time we completely forgot our mealtime prayer. And this kid told me, “Teacher pray. Jesus angry.”

I’ve seen in that incident that God is so good. He used a young child as an instrument to remind me that I was not able to pray that day. He reminded me that I need to pray. And also, I realized that it was not only me who can give lessons to my students, but my students could also become such incredible teachers to me.

Prayer is a very simple thing that you and I can do but it matters the most. Sometimes we are so busy of our daily activities, but we need to pray even how busy we are. We need to give Him thanks for our everyday blessings and the blessing of a new life each morning.

Unceasing PRAYER is the unbroken union of the soul with God, so that life from God flows into our life; and from our life, purity and holiness flow back to God. EGW, SC p. 98

Give It All to Him

by Gene Taniongon (35th Batch)

Every Sabbath at my church, we have potluck for lunch. Every after lunch, I help the deaconesses in cleaning the kitchen. I wipe the tables and they wash the dishes. After lunch one Sabbath in spring, I was standing in front of the kitchen door looking for some messy tables to clean when one of the grandmothers shouted at me. Another grandmother waved her hand to the old lady who shouted and said something. I guessed she said, “Don’t shout at her.”

It hurts when someone shouts at you and you don’t even understand what he or she is saying. I wanted to cry but I didn’t want to embarrass myself in front of the brethren and the children who were still in the kitchen. So I sat at the back of the kitchen door holding my tears. All of a sudden, many things came to my mind–bad things like loneliness, sadness, and heartaches. I wanted to go home. I was mad.

I was in deep thought when my pastor’s wife asked me if I had finished my lunch. I said yes and stood up, got some plates from the tables and rushed out of the kitchen. I was on my way to my room when the tears I was holding back started to fall. In my room, I cried and cried. I talked to Jesus. I told Him everything that was inside my heart and my head. I told Him about my pains, my sadness and I even complained. I poured out everything to Him. After a long time of crying and talking to Him, I felt better. I fixed myself and joined the children in their study room.

 Sometimes in life, we think we are alone and nobody cares. We choose to face life’s tests by ourselves when we can have Someone to lean on. Someone we don’t see but is there Who sees us. We can always come to Him knowing that there will be a response. Let’s remember He is our Lord and Savior. He is in charge of you and me and looks out for you and me. Nothing can separate us from Him.

Sometimes it is hard to understand people. Your friends and other people may do you wrong and you can’t let go of the hurt feelings and anger for a long time. If you ask God to help you, He will gently put His hands in your life. He will help you to obey and you will let go of the hurt that controls your life.

The Bible also gives us a lot of comforting words. In Psalms 34:18, we can find that “The Lord is close to the broken hearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit.” Jesus Christ offers in Matthew 11:28: “Come unto me, all you who are weary and burdened. and I will give you rest.” John 16:20 also says, “I tell you the truth you will weep and mourn while the world rejoices. You will grieve, but your grief will turn to joy.”

An Episode with the Great Provider

by Eljevar Marcia

 Each man should give what he has decided in his heart to give, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver.  2 Corinthians 9:7

Last January, a widow-grandmother church member came to share her life with me for about two weeks. She has five children but each one abandoned her. She found shelter in our church but was not treated with kindness since she hates taking shower and changing her favorite clothes. During her stay, we shared meager supplies available. Both of us had tried to figure out what we wanted to tell each other. Her presence gave me a warm winter.

When the government personnel finally helped her get back to one of her sons after a long process, she gave me a beautiful smile and a tight warm hug.

Throughout the time we shared meals, despite the limited financial resources and food scarcity, I never went dry. A few months later, I was amazed to reap the fruits of what was sown. I had planned to buy a wrist watch and had already picked the kind I liked but I was given one for free–a costly fancy wristwatch instead! I also happened to buy a shockingly cheaper eyewear. There were also other blessings that came my way. All in all, I think she became a big blessing to me!

I Can Do It

by Rose Ann F. Martos (36th Batch)

 I can do all things through Him who strengthens me.  Philippians 4:13

 “I can do it!” is anybody’s creed, (especially us missionaries), which gives a positive outlook towards the challenges in life.

Being a missionary English teacher here in South Korea is indeed different and more challenging. I was so afraid at first and I didn’t know what to do. I would always ask myself, “Can I do it?” It was really hard for me to understand why God sent me here. But through my everyday struggles and challenges, He helped me realize what is the real meaning of being a missionary and what He wants me to learn.

Simple things that are happening everyday and the things I am doing for others and for God give me happiness and satisfaction that this world cannot give.

I thank God for all the trials and challenges that I am facing every day, for they make me more closer and dependent on Him. Hardships, pains and temptations are only God’s tools for us to know Him better and to fully trust His promises.

Wherever God puts me, He will always prove to me again and again how great is His love, mercy and power.

I’m so blessed to know that He loves me so much and He’s always there to say, “You can do it, My child.”

He Sees, He Hears, He Answers

by Ronalyn Cabujat (35th Batch)

 “And it shall come to pass, that before they call, I will answer; and while they are yet speaking, I will hear.” Isaiah 65:24

It was in spring. In my first mission field I experienced one of God’s goodness in my life, a MIRACLE I may say.

Last meal of the day. No more rice. No food stocked in the refrigerator, except for 2 pieces of apple and a slice of bread that was left in my food cabinet. No viand, plus no money to buy food. Nobody whom I could run to for help was around. And worse, I experienced this terrible situation for three days. As I took my last bite of bread one Saturday evening, I sat on my bed thinking of what I would eat the next day because everything was consumed.

The next day, I felt my nerves getting weaker and my stomach kept on growling because I didn’t have breakfast and lunch. I asked the Lord to help me survive. Unexpectedly, my phone rang. A friend on the other line told me that she was on her way to my church to bring me some food that she “reserved” (as what she told me). And the bonus was–it was all-Filipino food!

My heart cried with tears of joy knowing that God already answered my needs before I asked Him. I thanked Him for His infinite kindness in that very moment of my life.

We may face challenges and hardships of any forms in our respective mission fields. We may come to a point when we have nothing left in order to survive; we may have no one to run to, no one to talk to and share our burdens. Remember, there is always a Friend who sticks closer than a brother–a Friend who knows our deepest need, a Friend who will never fail us, and a Friend who could give us everything before we ask, and that is GOD.