By Bham and Wamie
As told to Amber Salud
Life Before China
Bham and Wamie lived a pretty stable life in Cavite. Bham worked in a huge export zone while Wamie worked in a bank. Both of them were involved and serving in church. Bham was also a part of the worship team. But in their hearts, they knew that God had a calling for their marriage and their future family. They believed that God would one day call them to serve Him full-time.
In the early stages of their marriage, they rented a small place for themselves to allow space and time to adjust and enjoy each other. Bham aspired to live a good and comfortable life for his family. When God blessed them with a daughter, they moved back to Wamie’s parent’s house so that her mother could help watch over their daughter while they worked.
Life seemed balanced for their small family of 3, but admittedly, both of them sensed that there was spot of emptiness in the life they lived.
The Call to China
Bham and Wamie’s idea of serving God was in the confines of the church. Becoming missionaries was the farthest thing from their minds! They never imagined that God would call them to China. The nation didn’t appeal to them, not because of the stereotyped stories, but because their missionary friends were pushy with the idea of doing missionary work in China. Bham and Wamie felt that China was shoved to their faces and they didn’t like that. They didn’t have much expectations about that country either.
Due to the lack of peace in Bham’s work environment, he resigned. He applied in several companies, but he did not receive any calls back. His joblessness meant availability for him to serve more in church, so he asked himself, “How do I start serving the Lord more? How can I be of more service to Him?”
Then one day, the senior pastor of their church invited Bham to a missions conference that their church was to host. The pastor asked him to volunteer as the audio technician and to this he said yes. Naturally because he was in charge of the sound system, Bham was able to listen to the whole missions conference. God began speaking to him about their calling as a family through the guest speaker who happened to be a missionary in China.
When an opportunity to visit China for seven days came, Bham agreed to go. It was an exposure trip to observe the field work. Bham left for China and Wamie stayed because she still had work and had to take care of their 3-year-old daughter.
Point of View from China
Bham witnessed the work in China. One of the things he was exposed to was the English corner, one of the main strategies the missionaries used to reach out. The English corner was a place and program where Chinese students came to learn English. The program started off with some food and then the lesson proper where the missionaries inserted truths about Jesus and Christianity.
Each day opened Bham’s eyes and tugged at his heart. Everyday the Lord gave bits and pieces of His heart for China to Bham.
In one of his visits to the English corner, Bham was shocked to hear majority of the young people say that Jesus was a mere figment in one’s imagination. At this, the burden in Bham’s heart grew.
While all of these were happening to Bham, something was also happening to Wamie.
Point of View from the Philippines
A day after Bham left for China, someone gave Wamie a book. It was Rick Warren’s Purpose Driven Life. Being a popular book at that time, Wammie was excited to read it. One chapter that struck Wamie the most was the part where success and fulfillment were compared and contrasted. In a moment of self-reflection, Wamie asked herself, “Am I successful? Am I fulfilled?”
Wamie sure felt successful. She was up for promotion to a position that she fondly recalled was her dream job. She was excited to take this position because she had been looking forward to it after seven years of working in the bank. By the world’s standards, she indeed was successful. But she didn’t feel fulfilled—she felt empty.
So she prayed. She asked the Lord if He was leading them to China.
After her prayer, all the excitement about her promotion was gone. This was replaced by the excitement of adventures that she and her family would experience with the Lord in China. She looked forward to what God was speaking to Bham. Wamie knew that if God had spoken to her, God would speak to Bham as well and confirm the calling He placed over their family.
Every night, Wamie sent messages to Bham asking him, “Has God called us to China?” To Wamie’s probing, Bham only responded with, “Let’s talk when I return home.”
The (Spiritual) Phone is Ringing
Finally, on the last day of his trip to China, Bham received the answer he was looking for. His team did a prayer walk in a university. It was lunch time, so the place was crowded and bustling with students. Sounds of Chinese students chattering and playing filled the air. Suddenly, Bham’s spiritual eyes were opened. God opened Bham’s eyes to see the spiritual condition of the hearts of these young Chinese people—some were empty, some were black, some seemed dead—it was as if their bodies just existed. Then God whispered to Bham, “Do you see all these students? These thousands of students? Almost all of them are bound for hell.”
Bham wept. He cried because he sensed the urgency for these young people to be saved; he understood that God was inviting him to be His mouthpiece to these people so that they would know the Lord’s salvation. Bham called his wife and told her everything.
What happens next in the lives of Bham and Wamie? Find out in Part 2 of “Obeying God’s Call to China” in One Voice Magazine!
Editor’s Note: Due to the kind of work that Bham and Wamie have in China, their photos cannot be shown in this article.