by Roxanne F. Ybanez (37th Batch)
An old woman church member unknowingly made me realize the importance of regular communication with God. This 62-year-old halmoni (grandma), who walks with cane and has difficulty in her vision, makes it a point every day to commune with God. As far as I know, she doesn’t have a family who takes care of her. Though she eats with us everyday, she seldom sleeps in the church. When my partner had left, she would always hug me asking if I was just fine; gave me bread and rice cakes; and, ate with me. And whenever she would see students, she would tell them to look after me. When my friends would come, we also invite her to have fellowship with us–she can even eat bulad (dried fish) and ginisang monggo (sauteed mung beans) and other Filipino dishes I offer. She loves to mingle with missionaries, which makes me feel at home though away from home.
She would cry to God in prayer here in Taebaek Central Church, unconcerned about what others would say. I was moved by her love to Jesus and I’m certain that she’s providing a good testimony before us and especially before Him. After watching her one time, I asked myself, “If she can do it, why can’t I?”
As a result, I started doing the GT (Godly Time) once again.
Instead of becoming enamored by our success today and our plans for tomorrow, we should remember that our task is not to please the people around us. Our purpose is to win the eternal approval of our Lord. Our commitment to Christ will be tested as well. We may falter and need to be restored. Sometimes we will have to pay a price–suffering rejection or lesser than that. But the only way to know the joy of Christ’s approval is to give our lives unreservedly to Him. When we do, He will work through us, as He did through halmoni to encourage others like me!
We find courage to stand when we kneel before the Lord, and we need each other not just for social interaction but for spiritual, too. Whether it’s through a close friendship, church, small groups, or whatever else, we all need to be close to other Christians who will encourage us in the faith and help keep us accountable. We need others to walk with us. In other words, we need people to help us grow spiritually, just exactly like what happened to me here in Korea. Now I can say I’m one step closer to God through my church members and especially through halmoni.
I pray that I can also be a blessing here in my mission field in return to their goodness, while we are continually growing to be like Jesus!