By: Elsie Mae Pastrana
For my thoughts are not your thoughts, nor are your ways my ways,” says the Lord. “For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts.” Isaiah 55:8-9
During my previous year as a missionary teacher here in Korea I could say that our God really molded me to grow in spirit. I could feel His presence with me as my Provider and Comforter. When I decided to serve Him for another year, I knew that He would never leave me; I was ready to face the challenge.
March 4, 2013. I had to fly back to Korea after my two-week vacation. As I entered the airport, everything ran smoothly until I reached the tax booth.
The letter that I presented to them and my visa didn’t work; I had to pay the regular tax and my money was not enough. Panicked, I tried to call my aunt but her phone was unattended. The persons in the tax booth felt so sorry for me. I tried to calm myself as I was looking at the clock. I only had one hour and a half left.
I sat at the corner and talked to God. “LORD, you know what’s happening to me right now. The money that I have in my hand is not enough. I really need your help. If it is Your will for me to go back to Korea and if you still have a special purpose for me there, please help me.”
After a few minutes, the supervisor talked to me. He told me to wait for other Filipinos who are also going to Korea and borrow money from them.
My initial silent reaction to his suggestion was, “What?” But it seemed like it was the best, if not the only option I had.
Then I spotted a guy who seemed kind. I came to him and explained to him everything. While I was still talking, a person near us handed me some money. Then the guy whom I was talking to also gave me some money to reach the exact amount I needed.
I really wanted to cry at that moment. I couldn’t stop thanking them for their kindness. I was very happy and thankful to God for touching the hearts of those to individuals.
That experience reminded me of the apostle Paul when he was longing to visit Rome. “In my prayers at all times; and I pray that now at last by God’s will the way may be opened for me to come to you.” (Romans 1:10).
That time, I was longing to go back to Korea even if it meant living far from my family. Because by living as a missionary, you learn how to be content in life; the happiness and the joy that you feel is different. If you are in a mission field, God’s presence seems closer because you depend on nobody else but on Him alone, every minute, every hour and every day.