I told my parents and they got mad. Nevertheless they still bought me a ticket bound for Mindanao. My faith in Jesus Christ caused me to leave my family and travel alone via ship at the age of 15. It was scary. But I knew that there was no turning back after truly surrendering my life to Christ.
Tested with a Typhoon
On the day of my departure, there was a strong typhoon in Manila. Authorities didn’t allow ships to sail. All passengers were stranded at the port while waiting for further
announcements. We were there for a day and there was ample time for me to reconsider my actions. The enemy injected scary thoughts into my mind; thoughts that were scary enough to discourage and confuse a 15-year-old. But the Holy Spirit reminded me, “Noturning back!”
After a day at the port, we finally sailed. In the middle of our voyage, our ship came across another typhoon, this time in the middle of the ocean. The waves were as high as buildings. The ship’s engine broke and water started to enter the ship. Passengers cried and vomited on board. I didn’t know what to do. I was so scared, and I thought that my life was about to end. The enemy accused me of making wrong decisions in my life, specifically accusing me that it was a wrong decision to leave my family behind and to follow the call of God.
While walking along the hallway of the ship in the middle of the violent storm, I accidentally slid into a small room with a cross on the wall. To my surprise, it was a prayer room! There, I knelt before the Lord and prayed, “Lord, when Jonah disobeyed you, You sent him a storm! Why are you giving me a storm when I am here to follow You?!” As I cried a lot that night, my prayer changed. I said, “Lord, don’t you have a stronger typhoon than this? Can’t you send a stronger one? This typhoon is not strong enough to send me back to Luzon! I know that You’ve called me, and I have chosen to follow You! Your love for me will safely take this ship to Mindanao!” After that, I fell asleep. When I woke up, the ship was sailing smoothly and the beautiful sunshine peeped through the curtain of my deck’s window! To God be the glory!
I continued my highschool and college education while I served as a church worker in Mindanao. I lived at our church parsonage for almost 6 years before I had a place of my own
In those years, I was involved in the worship team of our local church, discipleship ministry, and church pioneering in remote areas and tribal communities.
My life is full of stories where I am taught to surrender. The day that I followed the Lord, I surrendered my dreams, plans, wants, and desires for His will to be done. Yet again, I was tested about how truly surrendered I am to God’s will.
A few years ago, I was about to be married to a man I chose to love. Back then, I was offended and discouraged by the church, so I decided to just be a supporter in the ministry and not be involved in ministry. Staying on the sidelines, I was surprised that someone bought a ticket for me to attend United Prayer Rising (UPRising) Philippines.
I was 27 years old when I attended the UPRising conference. In one of the sessions, the Lord showed me multitudes of young people worshipping Him; He showed me a revival in Mindanao. I prayed, “God, I want to see that.” But I heard Him answer, “No, that won’t happen!” With confusion, I asked, “Then why are you showing this to me if it’s not gonna happen?” He responded back with, “How can it happen if you refuse to do your calling?” Tears fell from my eyes and I asked, “Lord, what’s the price?” He showed me my fiancé’s face and said, “Him for the youth.” As much as it broke my heart, I said, “Lord, if it is what You want, have Your way.” Sure enough, in less than a month, heartbreak came. I cried to the Lord after we broke up. In my pain, I reminded God of the youth that He promised me.
The Fruit of Following Jesus
A month after that break-up, The Revival Generation was born. A group of young leaders from different churches and denominations in our municipality joined together. Our hearts burned for Jesus, and we wanted to reach generations.
At present, we partner with churches to mentor their youth, immerse them in the ministry, and release them back to their churches to help their pastors and leaders. Our core young leaders are mostly from the tribal youth who are ministering to tribal people in the remote places and mountains.
Now, we are seeing revival among the tribes through these young people whom we discipled! We see them heal the sick, cast out demons, preach the Gospel, and care for people at their young age. Most of them are 9 to 25 years old. Together, we have conducted community services, feeding programs, revival events, youth trainings and conferences and more, according to what God has placed in our hearts to do.
We also mobilized UPRising Magpet in 2019, which was initiated by these young, tribal youth leaders. We didn’t have the funds, but we had a vision. We didn’t have the resources, but we had a God. These young people are just so in love with Jesus Christ and are committed to love people as Christ modeled His love to us. Glory to Jesus!
My Current Mission
I am currently involved in missionary work that requires me to go on mission trips. However, I don’t always travel far. My understanding of missions is simple–it’s loving God and then loving people. Mission work could be as simple as going out and feeding someone on the street who is hungry. It is also visiting the sick, taking care of them, extending help, and praying for them. I also consider it mission work when I help an elderly woman carry her heavy bags. When people message me for advice, I also take that as mission work.
Being a missionary is all about loving people with the love of God. It is not only going from place to place to talk about the love of God, but to live out God’s love to people. Every opportunity to serve and reach out to people for me is an opportunity to win them to Christ.
I can share countless stories and testimonies, but one thing I really want to share is that our YES matters to God. Your YES matters to God. Following Jesus and serving Him for the past 16 years of my life has not been a smooth ride. I’ve come across failure, disappointment, discouragement, and rejection. However, Jesus has been faithful in all my good times and bad
Yes, I have decided to follow Jesus. There is no turning back. And it has all been worth it.