By: Brenda Bantinay
“Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.” Matthew 11: 28
I arrived here in Korea on October 24,2012. It was indeed an unforgettable date! I traveled alone going to my mission field. The pastor of my co-missionary just gave me instructions on how to get to Yocheon where my pastor was waiting. He also got me a ticket and brought me to the bus where I was supposed to ride. Then I asked the driver to drop me in Yocheon. I was worried because he only responded through sign language. But praise God because I was able to get there.
When I got off the bus, I immediately recognized my pastor because he was wearing a uniform with an Adventist logo on it. Then my co-teachers welcomed me when we arrived. After a while the head teacher told me, ”You must teach the students in English fluently.” These words scared me. In addition, she didn’t provide any materials to be used for teaching. At first, I felt so worried and pressured. I didn’t know what to do without a guide. I also struggled with the behavior of the students. Sometimes they even threw papers in front of me and insulted me with harsh words.
After a couple of months since I arrived, my head teacher handed me two books and said, ”Use these and make a one-year lesson plan with each book.” I started to do it but the task was just too heavy for me that it took a toll on my body. Pimples and allergies started to come out. I was so sick so they brought me to the hospital. With God’s ever loving and gracious heart, I got well and was able to finish the task given to me.
One Sabbath afternoon, my Samonim invited me to join a Bible study. While I was there, our head teacher asked me, “ Why are you here? Do you understand Korean?” I felt so embarrassed and hurt. I cried out to the Lord for help. I said, ”Lord I cannot bear this anymore so please help me. Help me to share your love to the people around me and glorify your name.” After that, I felt comforted and I felt that God was just by my side. God helped me to understand everything and He guided my path.
Then I heard a small voice telling me, “Use your talents that I’ve given you.” I was inspired to hear that small voice. So, I started to go around. I started to visit houses. I distributed books and tracts to offices and stores. I also visited my Filipino and Korean friends. I offered a prayer and shared the love of God to them. Even though I was doing it alone, I felt that God was with me. I was also inspired to do my chores like cleaning the classrooms and church and even helping the church members in washing the dishes every Sabbath. I also started to cook for my head teacher. I was surprised when she told me that I was the first missionary to treat her that way. We became closer and she started to open up her personal life to me.
Everything is better now by God’s mercy. Our head teacher became my dearest friend and the students who used to misbehave in class have changed a lot. These experiences have taught me a lot. Indeed, God is powerful to change the life of others and I am so happy because He intervened.
“Everyone has trials, sorrows and temptations. We must not entrust our problems to people but cast everything to God in prayer. We make it a rule never to speak a word of doubt. We can do much to brighten the lives of others. Our words of hope and holy cheer will make them stronger.” (E.G.W. “Step to Christ” English-Korean Edition. Estate, Inc., MD, USA. Korean Publishing House, Seoul, Korea, 2004).
Thinking of God’s love makes us feel very humble. This thought, as shown by Jesus’ death, should bring our minds closer to God–feeling and receiving His mercy, tenderness and forgiveness.