He Sees Those Little Things

by Geraldine Gregorio (34th Batch)

Each time we have vacant hours, my students and I would play soccer. Soccer is one of their favorite sports. I do have fun with them and I have also seen that they enjoy it.

Not only do they play, they also learn. I gave them a rule that they have to speak English during the games. It was fine with them. Through this, they would be motivated to speak English. Playing together also helped us become much closer to each other.

Unfortunately, one of my students kicked the soccer ball so hard one time that he hit the neighbor’s glass window. We felt a bit scared! On the other hand, we were grateful that despite the strong impact, the window was still intact. I waited should our neighbor would complain, but he didn’t. I warned my students not to kick the ball that hard next time.

But for the second time and the third time, the ball hit the neighbor’s window again! Still, there wasn’t any complaints so we just ignored what had happened .

Unexpectedly one afternoon, our neighbor came to the academy and was looking for my pastor. I told him that my pastor wasn’t around. I called my Korean partner to help me understand what my neighbor was saying. I found out that he was complaining about what happened the previous day and he forbade us to play soccer anymore.

We asked for an apology and he accepted it. I felt so sad and thought about ways on how to explain the situation to my dear students.

The next day, some of my students came early and they were so eager to play, but I told them that they couldn’t play soccer anymore. I told them of our neighbor’s prohibition. Their eager expressions just turned into such grave disappointment. Some even got mad; some were murmuring.

Hearing their sentiments, I felt really bad. My heart bled. I was once a kid, too. I really do understand them.

From that time on, I hid the soccer ball so that they would not be reminded of playing. But one time, one of my students brought his soccer ball with him. I just pretended I was mad, but deep within me I felt sorry for them. I wanted them to play soccer but I just couldn’t allow them to. I just included them in my sincere prayers.

God answered my prayers! He gave me a better way on how to motivate them. English would still be interesting and fun! Once a week, I hold my class outside.

“You are a good teacher,” they were grateful. I told them that I wanted them to be happy and God wants us to be happy.

With God nothing is really impossible. He has a thousand ways to make us happy.

(Not) Alone

by Julita Domagtoy (34th Batch)

I believe that at some point of our lives we have experienced feeling so alone.

I am happy working for God but there are times when I would ask myself why my experiences are very similar–in different field assignments, my partners had left me behind (not because of negative reasons though).

This led me to ask why God wants me to be alone in my mission field. Personally, I don’t like the absence of people around me especially in this foreign land.

Working with God for three years now, it is only this time that I’ve understood why God has permitted me to be alone. He wants me to be stronger and to stand firm all by myself through His guidance in every circumstance.

Loneliness and homesickness might be our worst trials as missionaries here, but our wise God uses them as a way for us to grow spiritually and be closer to Him. God wants us to walk with Him daily and make Him our source of strength, echoing what Paul says in  Philippians 4:13

 I can do everything through Him who gives me strength.

Some of us may be all alone physically, but it is comforting to know that God is our powerful Companion and great Partner.

That Awesome Power of Prayer

by Julius Francis Requina (36th Batch)

This is a story about a student and a teacher’s prayer.

She said that she was tired of studying and she doesn’t want to study English anymore. She told me that I should leave her alone.

I agreed.

It might sound simple, but things didn’t turn out quite simple as that.

I consented her request of not bothering her with English lessons, but the thing is, she’s bothering my class. She would turn on her phone sometimes, playing loud music even if we were in the middle of our class activities. There were times when she would shout just to get the attention of her classmates. In short, she was a trouble maker and she didn’t respect anybody, especially me as her teacher.

I told this problem to my co-teacher, hoping that she could help but she just said, “Teacher, please have more patience with her because I know her family–her parents are very busy and they don’t have time for her and I think she just wants some attention.”

She added that the girl is now in her puberty period and has hormonal changes that also affect her current disposition.

Well, that made sense to me for I also passed this experience of having an identity crisis. Most of all, I remembered that I’m here to help them. After all, I’m a missionary teacher.

As I observed the girl, I noticed that she is smart and that she just needs some guidance from someone whom she trusts.

As time passed, the problem got worse. She became noisier and destructive that the whole class was affected. She is the kind of girl who takes what she wants and if she can’t have it, she is willing to shake the earth just to get the world’s attention.

I turned her over to my co-teacher because I couldn’t handle her attitude any longer. But after a week, my co-teacher also gave up on her. The problem got so bad that there came a point when we decided to let go of her that she may attend another children center. But after some consideration, we concluded that the idea of letting her go wasn’t good. So, we had a heart to heart talk with the girl and prayed with her at once.

At that moment, I remembered that Jesus has promised us something about prayer. Matthew 21:22 says,

And whatever you ask in prayer, you will receive, if you have faith.

And from that moment on, I would always include her in my prayers. To my surprise, we noticed some changes in her attitude after a few days. She became more courteous and kind. Not only that, but for the first time she came to me and said, “Teacher, I want to study with you and I’m sorry.”

She added that she would be a good girl from that day on.

I then realized that it was the power of prayer! Moreover, things are really getting better for she’s now one of the sweetest students I’ve ever had.

God really does what He promised to us. Now, I’m more convinced of the line, “More prayer more power.”

Prayer is the most powerful thing in this world. So, whatever problem that bothers you right now, just take it to the Lord in prayer and you will surely experience His power!

Getting Involved

by Jennifer Darling Dupit (36th Batch)

We should all be workers of God. No idlers are acknowledged as His servants. ~Ellen G. White, Christian Service

I’ve always thought that reading good books and listening to sermons would be enough for a person to be called a good Christian. My teaching experiences helped me realized the importance of active participation in the learning process. In a classroom setting, a student may learn from what he hears and sees, but will completely learn if he will be able to put these things into action.

I often tell myself not to take any responsibility like leading a group of people or participating in social and any other church activities. I just love to listen and follow what is being asked. But it leads me to idleness and dependence on others that I could hardly reach an average spiritual maturity. The more that I become inactive, the lesser the time I spend with God. If I keep on doing this, would I be able to meet my Lord’s expectations? Absolutely not! Jesus, as our Great Teacher, willingly gives us knowledge and wisdom on how to live our lives according to His will and He wants us to be actively involved in His work.

Though sometimes I feel unready to take part in God’s work and think that someone else can do a better job, God would always remind me that I am special and I can do special things for Him in my own special way.

Now I am giving my best for God to please Him and give Him back the glory. Despite my weaknesses, His wonderful promise keeps me stronger–But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me. 2 Corinthians 12:9

Spiritual excellence would surely be achieved through reading His word, listening to the Still small voice and actively doing His work. And as the Holy Spirit leads us, our skills, experiences and services offered to Him increases. God doesn’t ask for our ability but our availability. Once we submit ourselves to God, He will give us a willing heart to serve Him. We must learn to empty ourselves in order to be filled spiritually.

Let us always do something in order to deepen our spiritual condition, for what use is our knowledge and skills if we are not making use of it for our God’s glory? God expects personal service from everyone to whom He has entrusted a knowledge of the truth.

Beautiful Feet

by Genalyn Tonacao (37th Batch)

And how shall they preach, except they be sent? As it is written, How beautiful are the feet of them that preach the gospel of peace, and bring glad tidings of good things! Romans 10:15

South Korea has one of the most organized and systematic way of transportation. It is one of the reasons why life here is easier.

It was during winter when I first stepped on this land. I was quite afraid on how to get around. I am given only a little money to spend and if I would take a bus everyday from my home to the church, I won’t have anything left for my other needs. I then decided to walk, enduring the freezing weather for around 30-45 minutes daily.

I have a long walk to make every day, but it is what makes me happy and satisfied. It makes me feel that I am really doing my mission here in this foreign land. As I walk each day, I often pass people along the way and I would always give them my sweetest smile whenever I can. It is by walking that I bring the good news to those who haven’t known it yet. It is where I could make myself common to the eyes of others.

Quite recently, on my way home, an elderly man asked why he keeps on seeing me walk by every time. Once on my way to church, I have talked with a high school foreign teacher and a group of young ladies as well. They asked me of my work and my life. I just responded with a smile and told them that I’m a missionary here in Korea.

By means of walking, I bear the mark of being a missionary. Though I had a recent operation because of the lump that had grown on the sole of my foot, I’m still happy walking for the Lord. For it is then that I could share the gospel, making myself an open Bible for them to read.

Lord, help me to become an open Bible for others as I walk each day.

A Countenance that Shines

by Ermy Opon (36th Batch)

“Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven.” Matt. 5:14–16.

As we were waiting for the bus heading to our mission fields, an old frail woman approached us and spoke to us in Hangeul. She was carrying two plastic bags of kimchi. I didn’t expect that she would sell it to us (me and another missionary).

At first I hesitated to buy, but she insisted. I was moved by her words when she said, “Haraboji appuh…” (grandpa is sick) and pleaded that we buy her kimchi. We then made up our minds to help her. She was so thrilled when we bought her kimchi. She then hurriedly bought a ticket going to her home.

I was so astonished that she came to us for help when in fact there were other passengers sitting around. We are the only ones she approached! It might be that she thought, “These ladies could really help me.”

And how right she was!

Through our countenance others can see goodness and Christ. If we are bearing the face of Jesus, it automatically shines out and radiates to others.

As Salt

by Abegail Flores (36th Batch)

Our attitudes and actions can cleanse and season and purify our surroundings. When we respond graciously to someone who is ungracious, we season our world with salt. When we treat an irritable child with kindness, we season our homes with salt. When we comfort the hurt, console the lonely, encourage the discouraged or calm the unsettled, we season our world with salt. As followers of Christ, we are salt shakers, busy sprinkling our world with the salt that flavors life.  — Women of the Bible, p.43. Ann Sprangler and Jean E. Syswerd

In the Gospel books, Jesus told us to remember that as believers, we are the salt of the earth.

Working for the Lord as a missionary in this foreign land is one of my greatest achievements. Isn’t it wonderful? Thanks be to our mighty, loving God for this chance to be a salt shaker in my daily interactions with the people around me.

Praying is the first thing I do as I rise up each morning. Then I spend an hour studying God’s word. Knowing that God is with me throughout the day somehow eases my working days. After I’m done with my early Godly time, I would hurry to assist the students in the school cafeteria for our breakfast meals. Even though I don’t know how to cook their meals, I still want to help and learn the Korean way of cooking. It’s very interesting! After our meals, I would prepare myself and my lessons in class. I also usually read informative books every day.

During my classes, I really enjoy studying with my students. I appreciate their effort in doing their best to learn English. They always try to speak out during our conversation classes and lead out in praying. They are shy and would often laugh at the way they speak, but I always encourage them. I have observed that my students are challenged to learn more, happy, and progressing each day. Praise be to God!

My teaching experiences have blessed me in many ways. I learned to be firm in giving instructions to my students. I learned patience. I learned how to manage my students’ various behaviors in class. Also, I gained more knowledge through our activities.

With my daily experiences so far, I can see that Jesus wants me to experience even a bit of the way He taught while He was here on earth before.

As the salt of the earth, let’s go about enriching the lives of the people around us, thereby letting them see Jesus through our actions.

Be a salt shaker–always busy sprinkling!