I Am Chosen

by Maria Eleofe Magtahas (36th Batch)

Upon coming here in Korea, I really didn’t have any idea what kind of life would I have as a missionary. What I only knew was that I will be a missionary teacher here.

With that description, I was expecting a classroom setting with a group of students. I thought it didn’t matter either one is assigned in a church or in a school as long as he/she must teach in the classroom.

But reality did not happen as what I have thought it would. In my case, being a missionary teacher turned out to be a tutor. I go to my students’ houses by bike.

At first, I was really devastated. I kept asking myself, “Why am I here, biking? Why did I choose this kind of life?” And I started comparing my life before while I was working in an office and now as a missionary teacher here. I was very sad and felt very tired of my work. But amidst of these, I still managed to come to God in prayer. I asked Him to help me discern the reasons why I am here.

Then, God led me to the book of John 14:16 “You did not choose me, but I chose you and appointed you to go and bear–fruit that will last. Then the Father will give you whatever you ask in my name.”

This made me realize that, “Oh, yes! I am one of the vessels chosen by God. A vessel that will be an instrument to carry my students to God’s feet.”

Now, I am enjoying my life as a Chosen Vessel. I enjoy biking, teaching, and playing with my students. I already learned to forget who I was before and learned to love who I am now. For as Ellen White says, “Whatever may have been past experiences, however discouraging your present if you will come to Jesus just as you are, weak, helpless, and despairing, our compassionate Savior will meet you a great way off. And will throw about you His arms of love and His robe of righteousness.” (The Mount of Blessings p.16)

God is always willing to embrace us with His unchanging love. Pray and have faith.

Steadily Carrying On

by Rachel Aguilo (33rd Batch)

“If any of you lacks wisdom, he should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to him.” James 1:5

Being a missionary and a teacher is not easy when it comes to dealing with children and also communicating with the people around you. I recently experienced being compared to other missionaries who had served before me. I was sad to hear those words and thought that maybe I should just go home. I even told my pastor that I have to go home. I am not that talented like the other missionaries who came before me. I also heard that some parents said I am not close to my students and that my students don’t enjoy studying English because they are bored. I tried to listen to some of the advices from friends and then I turned to read the Bible and prayed sincerely to my Saviour. He comforted me. I sought the Lord earnestly in my trouble and received consolation for I believe that Jesus loves even me.

My heart seemed to be completely shattered–I don’t have my laptop anymore and I don’t have people to talk to instantly at home because I live alone now. I don’t go online a lot these days. Having no Internet connection seemed to bother me at first but now I just tell myself to carry on. While I struggled with the decision whether to continue or not, I kept praying to our Lord to lead me in doing the things I have to do. God told me to sacrifice things that I don’t really need during my work and I did. I begged God to give me patience and wisdom for the betterment of my work in this place.

I try talking to my students more often now than before and now I make it a habit to play with them during class to keep them interested. I join them in watching English movies, playing word collapse, hangman, or anything they feel like playing so they won’t feel bored. I just make sure they get a good laugh. Now I am having a great time with my students and I hope to have a fun time with them everyday until I finish my second term, by God’s grace.

Giving Our All for His Service

by Celle Bagnol (27th Batch)

  “The Lord is my strength and my shield; my heart trusts in Him, and I am helped. My heart leaps for joy and I will give thanks to Him in song.” Psalm 28:7

It was really my dream to be employed and have a successful career right after my graduation, but sometimes our plans fail in order for God’s plans to succeed. We have our own plans and desires yet God knows exactly what He wants us to do so that we can be of great help in His ministry. Though I failed in my own plans, I just let Him lead me and I left everything in His care.

 
It was last 2006 when I found myself in the quiet campus of the 1000 Missionary Movement, wondering what on earth was I doing there when I never even thought of becoming a missionary. During my missionary training, I realized that the prayers I had were answered in a different way to fulfill the task He had given me.
 
I then learned that I have a great responsibility with the light He has shown me. I learned that I have a task that taught me to come out of my shell and tell the world about the wonderful love He has for me and the people around me. I need to tell them the joy of knowing and having Him.
 
Upon learning that I would be assigned in South Korea, I was filled with fear because I know I wasn’t good enough. I didn’t know how to preach, didn’t have the ability to give Bible studies nor even sing. But I entrusted everything to God, knowing that He placed me in my mission field because He wanted me to be there and that He would equip me in order to accomplish what He wants me to do.
 
I’m in my third mission field now and about to go home soon. All these years of serving God here in Korea has been so fulfilling and rewarding though it isn’t perfect and smooth as I would like it to be. I have experienced a lot of ups and downs. However, through those thorns, I learned to trust in God in everything and be fully dependent on Him.
 
My dear fellow missionaries, as we trudge along this path towards our heavenly destination, let us always ask for God’s power to be our armor as we press forward in our service for Him. He never promised us a wide and easy way, but instead assured us His faithfulness and loving-kindness.
 
Whatever circumstances you are facing now, be reminded that He has a great purpose for you to fulfill His work right where you are. Let’s keep on praying, being firm in our belief that His magnificent power and ever abiding presence are with us. Let’s believe that we can be living examples for the people we meet everyday.
 
“If we surrender our lives to His service, we can never be placed in a position for which God has not made provision. Whatever may be our situation, we have a Guide to direct our way; whatever our perplexities, we have a sure Counselor; whatever our sorrow, bereavement, or loneliness, we have a sympathizing Friend. if in ignorance we make missteps, Christ does not leave us. His voice, clear and distinct, is heard saying, ‘I am the Way, the Truth, and the Life.” – EGW, COL p. 173

Servant

by Margie Mae U. Pomoy (36th Batch)

 “Serve wholeheartedly, as if you were serving the Lord, not men, because you know that the Lord will reward everyone for whatever good he does.” Ephesians 6:7, 8

Upon coming to Korea, I didn’t know what else would I be doing aside from being a missionary English teacher. My partner just brought me to the school we are assigned and oriented me of what I need to do each morning when I arrive and every evening before I leave. I found out that aside from teaching, I had to wipe shelves and students’ desks, vacuum and mop the floor, wash dishes and watch over the kids from the moment they enter the school premises.

It is really hard work and one may think it isn’t missionary work. So I’m really impressed with those missionaries who had extended their terms here in Korea. What keeps them going? It is even hard to baptize a single soul here or to preach. Then I asked myself, too. What keeps me going as a teacher or missionary?

By reading the Bible and Steps to Christ each day, I’ve found answers to everything that I’ve been doing here. It is God who works in us according to His purpose. And so, we must do everything without complaining (Phil. 2:13, 14) but with a loving spirit let us perform life’s humblest duties or lowliest positions (SC pp. 82, 83) as working for the Lord (Col. 3:23), not just for our students or co-teachers or pastors.

So whether I mop the floor or wash dishes or run errands, I do it with a joyful heart because I’m working for the Lord who wills in me. Let us then engage in helping those who need our help to the extent of our abilities (SC p. 80)–teaching English, looking over our students, cleaning classrooms, etc.

Whatever we do, let’s do it wholeheartedly. Let us not wait for great occasions or expect extraordinary abilities or jobs relating to missionary work before we give our best to the Lord (SC p. 83), for God rewards His faithful servant. Trust me, He just did!

When God Establishes

by Jovet Ballescas

“Then He said, ‘Behold, I have come to do Your will, O God.’ He takes away the first that He may establish the second.” Heb. 10:9

Have you lost something or someone dearest to you? Have you asked God WHY these things are happening to His people?

There is a missionary assigned in one of the most challenging mission fields in South Korea. He was living alone in a quiet, Eden-like country church that is surrounded by trees, hills and wild animals. But everything changed one day when one of his students gave him a pair of chicks to care for. This missionary found a company in his new pets. So he took care of those tiny and noisy yet cute creatures until they become mature roosters–ready for chicken adobo.

However, this missionary was shocked to see the feathers and heads of his pets left in their cages one morning. He asked God why He took away his partners in his mission field. So this missionary investigated and discovered that the dogs from the nearby factory were guilty of the crime. Out of his anger, he tried to seek revenge and justice.

The following night he made what was left of his pets as bait for the dogs to come back. His hours of waiting paid off. Out of the dark grassy area, the hungry dogs excitedly came back to finish their leftovers. With gnashing teeth and a baseball bat held tightly, this missionary was ready to strike the dogs down but his angels whispered to him not to do so. He lowered his bat and sought for God’s guidance.

The following day, a church elder came and the missionary told him what happened. So they approached the owner of those dogs. Upon hearing about it, the manager of that certain factory apologized for the damage and offered 150, 000 won for it. The church members and the missionary were happy and they purchased ten hens out of that amount. Because of that incident, this missionary learned how to completely trust God. He is also thankful for God established in him full dependence upon His plan.

This missionary is happy serving God in the same mission field. He is staying in a different building now but before he left his old place, he made friends with the factory manager and workers. He would also play and feed those dogs whenever they would come to visit his place.

That missionary is your humble servant, Jovet Ballescas from the 29th batch. My fellow workers of God, allow Him to take our priorities and let Him establish His will in us. Let’s thank Him for every circumstance that may come and trust Him of our futures, careers, partners in life. Let us let Him direct our course for He knows what’s best for you and me.

Resurgence

by Lovrell Blanco

“This is what the high and lofty One says he who lives forever, whose name is holy: “I live in a high and holy place, to revive the spirit of the lowly and to revive the heart of the contrite.” Isaiah 57:15

 Resurgence. “What does this word mean?” I once asked when I first heard of it. Our representative answered, “It is a revival.”

“Revival of what?” I continued.

Most of the missionaries assigned here in South Korea are alone in their respective mission fields. Missionaries by two’s are just too few that you could just count them with your fingers. Working alone in a world wherein you cannot communicate well weakens your interests, vigor, and I could say, spirit. You long to see your friends and batch mates, but unfortunately they are hundreds of kilometers away from you. Visiting them is also not an option since you have a lot of things to do every day. You could not just drop your tasks and go. Some missionaries are already counting down their remaining days of stay, even when it has been only a few months since they arrived in their mission fields.

“I want to go home now,” some of us would exclaim. More grumbles would go like these: “I have no one to talk to; I cannot understand the sermon every Sabbath.”

We have a lot of complaints and longings. However, after six months of seclusion, we could say at last, “I can see my friends; I can laugh out loud; My heart can enjoy to the fullest. I can do a lot of things that I cannot do in my mission field alone.”

Yes, that’s resurgence! You are bringing back the ones who were asleep into activity and prominence. The ones who seem like prisoners bound by chains are now alive and very active. Yes, you are socially revived but are you spiritually renewed?

“If any man would come after me, he must take up his cross daily and follow me.” (Luke 9:23) This is daily renewal, daily revival. Do not just wait for that meeting after every six months and depend on it to be revived, but instead, with patience and humility, endure without complaints the loneliness and the culture differences. Continually act as one who is being “sent” to represent Him in your mission field. Pray, for God Himself promised that He will revive your lowly spirit and your contrite heart. God alone can fill the emptiness of your heart. “Renew and be revived daily and follow Me,” Christ bade you.