I had never been on a missions trip before going to the Philippines in July 2014. Before then, I hadn’t really felt the Lord asking me to go, but as I spoke with Him about it, He told me one month was a very short period of time, and if anything, it was just the beginning.
OMF sent me on a vision journey, but most of my time was spent in Marabut, a fifth class (the poorest) municipality in the Philippines that was devastated by Super Typhoon Yolanda in November 2013. As a marine biologist, I was invited to come help determine whether the seas of Marabut could support a livelihood project of seaweed farming.
During my trip, I met other missionaries and saw how God had used their hobbies, passions, and even past pain to bring Him glory. I also met Typhoon survivors, like Ate Evelyn. She asked the Lord “Why me?” not out of sorrow, but out of an earnest longing to know what greater purpose God had for her life. Through testimonies from my new friends, God challenged me to think about what I was going to do with my life now that I had graduated.
After seeing so much destruction and pain, I wrestled with God over why He allowed the typhoon to hit islands full of people who didn’t know Him, but I see too that He loves them so much that He used it to put a spotlight on them, and to send workers into the field who bring not just relief, but the gospel.
During that trip, God grew my heart for His mission and His people. I know now that missions will be an integral part of my life, whether it’s through sending and supporting missionaries, or God-willing, through going.
Since coming back, myself and a few other women have started a Missionary Support Team at our church, a group dedicated to advocating and praying for those that we send out. As I write this, our Missionary Spotlight Wall has just gone up at church, and I’m actually back in Marabut helping to start the seaweed farms! In addition, after sharing with one of my friends, God led her to come with me as a Serve Asia worker, and both of us are praying about going long-term. God took that one month and used it to change the rest of my life. Purihin an Dyos (Praise God)!
Jenny, Serve Asia worker