by Kristine Funtanilla (37th Batch)
The spirit of the Lord God is upon me, because the Lord has anointed me; he has sent me to bring good news to the oppressed, to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives, and release to the prisoners; to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor, and the day of vengeance of our God; to comfort all who mourn; to provide for those who mourn in Zion—to give them a garland instead of ashes, the oil of gladness instead of mourning, the mantle of praise instead of a faint spirit. They will be called oaks of righteousness, the planting of the Lord, to display his glory. Isaiah 61:1-3
I think the first few weeks in a foreign country are probably the most dreadful days of a missionary. But various verses from the Bible continually revive the missionary spirit of the people called by God here in South Korea.
The spiritual retreat was what I needed after feeling like an alien in a new country. Meeting my fellow missionaries was a relief from all the frustrations of not knowing almost anything here.
During the sharing time, I was also inspired with their experiences, encouragements, warm smiles and most especially on how Jesus has been working in their lives.
In my mission field, distributing tracts would always make me feel like a missionary again! Walking to Cheongnyangni Station (our assigned area) one time made me reminisce the work we did in the Philippines–walking under the scorching sun for visitations and Bible studies. How I miss those!
And while doing the distributions, most of the people just simply ignore us or the pamphlets and some just snubbed us. But some took the tracts with smiles and look at them for a second or two. This made me pray, “Jesus, just a soul will do–just a willing soul, just for this day, who will recognize You.”
That is my usual reaction for I saw that most of the people here desperately need God and His salvation. In their eyes, there’s nothing else except the world.
The tracts in my hand are almost gone but, Yes! There was a middle-aged man who, after receiving the reading material, stopped, scanned the paper, examined me from head to toe and told me, “You’re not Korean! From what place??!”
I then introduced myself as a Filipino and a missionary. Surprisingly, it made him smile saying, “I have also been to the Philippines! In Makati! I like Philippines!” with such enthusiasm!
Thanking him for the nice words about my country, he looked at the paper again and said that Cheongnyangni Church is just near and he will visit some time.
Wonderful! I don’t know how I looked on the way back to our meeting area but I am quite sure I was wearing a huge smile!
Then we visited two elderly homes. They loved the song and they tried their best to sing with us! And even though we couldn’t fit in their tiny homes, they made us feel at home and accepted us with huge hearts full of enthusiasm and joy! We can sense that they thirsted for God’s love but it was filled with the Word from the Bible offering them healing and peace.
No world can offer peace, love and happiness–only God can! And He can do it through us, the beacons of light and channels for the Holy Spirit to reach unto these people, this city, one person at a time. With hearts filled with God’s words and love, we can share salvation wherein peace, love and happiness come together. And doing this is–priceless!