At the Right Time

(This testimony is long overdue… This happened way back 2014.)

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2010 when I received the calling to go for missions. It all started during our short term mission trip to Cambodia during that year. After that, every year, I go out for short term mission trips to other nations.

2011 when I attended a missionary training program to equip myself in cross-cultural missions. I went out for 2 short term mission trips that year even to the point of sacrificing my job (I did not say to leave your job for the sake of missions, ask God and decide according to His will). But still, God did not want me to be jobless and continued working in the same company after these trips.

2012 when I planned to study for world missions but God told me, “Wait patiently”. Okay, I obeyed.

Until Jun 2014, during the worship night of our mid-year prayer and fasting, when God spoke to me, “Go to the nation!”. I thought God is telling me to go for full time missions.

And my immediate response was “Lord, how about my work?” And He replied back, “Trust in God, trust also in Me”.

And I said, “How about my family?”. And again, God answered, “Trust in God, trust also in Me”.

Still wrestling with Him, I whispered, “How about my future family?”. And for the third time, He replied, “Trust in God, trust also in Me”.

I wrestled with God for few days until I surrendered to Him and said, “Ok, Lord, I surrender! Let Your will be done but give me an exact date when!”. And as I read the bible, these verses struck me:

But now be strong, O Zerubbabel’, declares the LORD. ‘Be strong, O Joshua son of Jehozadak, the high priest. Be strong, all you people of the land’, declares the LORD, ‘and work. For I am with you‘, declares the LORD Almighty. – Haggai 2:4 (emphasis added)

Be strong and work. For I am with you. – the words that “rhema” to me and encouraged me.

Moreover, another verse that got my attention is Haggai 2:1:

On the twenty-first day of the seventh month, the word of the LORD came through the prophet Haggai:

Twenty-first day of the seventh month – this date has something that excites me to search what date is this from our current calendar. Converting to Gregorian calendar (the current calendar standard), it is October 17. And I asked God, “Lord, surprise me this October!”

I lived the same way after that. My project at work was supposed to finished in May but unfortunately, we were extended. There were also some internal job offers (as programmer) that I turned down after I prayed for it even though it seemed to be a good opportunity for me.

September came, I was still in the same project. I got a call from our regional office and they are offering me a managerial position. I prayed and accepted that offer. My new manager responded back that I need to go to a different country (in our regional office) by end of September until 3rd week of October (for 1 month). And this reminded me of what God told me last June: “Go to the nation”, when? October per Haggai 2:1.

I was amazed during that time… Indeed, God answers specifically! We just need to ask specific things to him and learn how to be still and listen!

Indeed, I was in another country at that period. God showed a lot of confirmation during my stay there which I said to myself, “I belong here!”. And it was February 2015 when I moved to that country to work and to fulfill God’s calling in this place.

And as I recalled as well what happened to me, God indeed orchestrated everything – the extension of my current project and the internal job offers that I turned down. I thought that in case I accepted the internal job offer that time, I will still be in the Philippines.

God is able to do amazing things. Some may say it was just coincidence, hmm… Whatever they said, I believe God is working in us and doing impossible things out of our grasps. He talks to us, listens and answer our prayers. All we need is to be still, wait upon Him, ask specifically and listen attentively. God will definitely answer at the right time and He will prepare us as well.

Fast Break: To Ask or Not?

Fast Break -> this is a topic that supposed to be discussed through the course of time, but because of the need, we “fast break” to this topic.

One of the struggles of a missionary is to ask for mission partners especially in the area of finances. It seems it is difficult to talk to someone and request for partnership with them thinking they are begging for money… This is a wrong mindset! Did you know that with this mindset, it shows pride? Missionaries are not begging for money, they are giving these people the opportunity to be a blessing to the work of God.

I would like to share to you the letter of Apostle Paul to the Philippians church (Philippians 4):

10 I rejoice greatly in the Lord that at last you have renewed your concern for me. Indeed, you have been concerned, but you had no opportunity to show it. 11 I am not saying this because I am in need, for I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances.12 I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want. 13 I can do everything through him who gives me strength.14 Yet it was good of you to share in my troubles. 15 Moreover, as you Philippians know, in the early days of your acquaintance with the gospel, when I set out from Macedonia, not one church shared with me in the matter of giving and receiving, except you only;16 for even when I was in Thessalonica, you sent me aid again and again when I was in need. 17 Not that I am looking for a gift, but I am looking for what may be credited to your account. 18 I have received full payment and even more; I am amply supplied, now that I have received from Epaphroditus the gifts you sent. They are a fragrant offering, an acceptable sacrifice, pleasing to God. 19 And my God will meet all your needs according to his glorious riches in Christ Jesus. 20 To our God and Father be glory for ever and ever. Amen.

Our God is our provider, we can do everything through Him who gives us strength. As missionaries, there are times we are in need, they are times we have plenty. This is what we should learn: to be content whatever the circumstances.

Apostle Paul mentioned it was good for the Philippians church to share in his troubles. The same thing with us (missionaries), it was good for someone to be part of God’s call to our life, not that we are looking for a gift, but we are looking for what may be credited to their account (for them to receive blessings that come from giving, CEV). These are a fragrant offering, an acceptable sacrifice, pleasing to God. And through this giving and generosity, God will meet all their needs according to His glorious riches in Christ Jesus.

As a missionary, do you want these people to be a blessing to the nation and reap blessings from God? Do you want to be a channel of blessing not only to the country that you are going but also to the people around you?

Start to pray now. Ask God for the people He pre-ordained to partner with you. Don’t be ashamed to inform them and share to them your vision about missions. Don’t think you are begging, think that you are giving them opportunity to be a blessing to the nation and for them to also reap blessings from God.

All of these to bring glory to our God forever and ever.

Why are you going out for missions if you can do it here?

Why are you going out for missions if you can do it here (in your home country)?

Maybe this is a question you will receive when you inform someone that you will go in a different country for missions.

There’s still a lot of people here that do not know Jesus Christ…  Why not reach out the people here?

Sound challenging, isn’t it? Maybe it affects you and makes you confused if you will still go out for cross-cultural (going to another culture/nation) missions.

Let’s read from Luke 10:2 (NIV):

He (Jesus) told them, “The harvest is plentiful, but the workers are few. Ask the Lord of the harvest, therefore, to send out workers into his harvest field.

Jesus told us that the harvest is plentiful but the workers are few. Imagine there is a very large field and it’s harvest time. Many farmers are ready to get the harvest and they go to the part of the field that is near to their homes. They get the harvest and went back home. They returned the other day to the same spot trying to find grains that was missed out on the yesterday’s harvest. They continue to do this for many times.

What do you think will happen to the other part of the field wherein no farmers are living nearby? Sad to say, but they will not be harvested and they will become dry even die.

There are few farmers who realized this. It is difficult to live their homes but they need to go to the far part of the field to work and get the harvest there. When they reached the place, they are amazed on still a large part of the field unharvested. They started to work but they cannot finish this because they are few.

Same thing for missions, God is good that our country is predominantly Christian. We experienced God, His salvation and His blessings. There are many Christians reaching out the lost here and continue to make disciples.

But in the other side of the world (in other countries), there are countries who haven’t heard the name of Jesus, who are still blinded, seeking on their own path of salvation. How can they believe in the one of whom they have not heard? And how can they hear without someone preaching to them? (Rom. 10:14)

That’s where cross-cultural missionaries get into the picture. Yes, there are still people in their own countries who are yet to be saved, but there’s a greater need in other countries who haven’t heard or just a small portion of the population is Christians.

Okay, now I know, so it means I should go to the other nation as missionary, too?

A new question is raised… Let’s discuss this in our next topic. 🙂

How can I do less for the One who got himself killed for me?

I would like to share a story I got from “The World Beyond Your Walls” by Dean Weibracht:

The missionary winces as the nurse applies bandages to the wounds on his head. “You’re a fool, Arjun. You should never have gone to those people.”

Arjun, an Indian missionary who is courageously telling a neighboring tribe about Jesus, closes his eyes as the nurse fills his ears with insults not unlike those thrown to him by the angry mob. “Why do you these things? Don’t you realize you could get yourself killed?”

Arjun cannot help smiling in spite of the pain. “How can I do less for the one who got himself killed for me?”

Jesus got himself killed for me because of his love. He died for me, for you, for all the people. “How can I do less for the one who got himself killed for me?” Being away from our comfort zone, facing a different culture, experiencing culture shock, rejections and worst, persecutions can never be compared to Jesus’ death on the cross.

I will rather go when God told me to do so because I know that God loves these people, too. I will go and not be afraid because God is with me.