By Andy Smith
I came to serve Filipinos. Little did I know how much they would serve me.
On my first Sunday here, a missionary family took me to a local church. The Filipino pastor looked familiar. After the service, I approached him, introduced myself, and asked, “Have you been to the United States? I feel like I have seen you before.”
He replied, “Yes. I have been there a few times. I used to be the Philippine Director of InterVarsity Christian Fellowship. That role took me to the US a few times.”
His answer gave me a clue. “Did you speak at the Urbana student missions conference?”
He said he had twice and guessed the years he did so. That information confirmed my hunch. “Sir, you are one of the main reasons I am here. I still remember your message. God used it to start me on a path to missions service.”
He smiled and asked, “What was my message about?”
That pastor went on to become one of my prized mentors in the country. On several occasions, I sought his advice on matters I was wrestling with. He always showed me the way forward. I greatly benefitted from his grasp of Scripture, of people, and of Philippine cultures.
That man was Dr. Bel Magalit. He recently finished his race, having kept the faith until the end.
His death caused me to reflect. Filipinos have served me in countless ways. They have comforted me when a loved one far away died. They have corrected my blunders. They have defended me when a spiritual opponent tried to destroy my reputation. They have encouraged me when the ministry took a step backwards. Their insights have increased my understanding of the ways of God. They have fed me. They have provided for my needs when my bank account was empty. They have visited me when I was sick.
I am here to serve. Filipinos also serve me. We joyfully carry out the one-another commands to the benefit of all.
Will you pray for those who play a part in a missionary’s life?
- Give thanks for Dr Bel Magalit who faithfully preached God’s Word and was willing to invest in people’s lives, even those from foreign lands.
- Pray for missionaries who are called to serve, that they are open to be served too.
- Pray that we as believers joyfully carry out the one-another commands.