How far you go in life depends on your being tender with the young, compassionate with the aged, sympathetic with the striving and tolerant of the weak and strong. Because someday in your life you will have been all of these.
Story by Minje Yoon
I am content to give thanks to God on land or sea, it really does not matter where. Where Jesus is and Abante International, my fellow workers who were with me in the mission trip to the Philippines, all I can say is, ‘tis heaven there.”
In the past, the Philippines was a country that reminded me of bad memories because of things I had experienced in my personal life. Yet, through the mission trip, God broke the link of that past experience and changed my perspective toward the country. I recognized while I was there that God embraces and loves the Philippines. That is why I made up my mind to embrace and pray for the country. I feel that God has given the Philippines good gifts; its natural resources are preserved well as they were created by God, and the people are gifted with musical talents and a joyful character. I often wondered, Do they know that they are gifted? I don’t know all of the churches in the Philippines, but I felt Filipinos love singing and dancing, and devoting their energy to exuberant praise.
While I worshiped with the young people at several of the services we served and at the Youth Congress where we served, I kept thinking: “Worthy is God to receive praise!” In Korea, we tend to be less expressive, but while I was in the Philippines I thought I would put my eyes only on God regardless of others' gaze and worship Him who is worthy of our praise.
The Christians in the Philippines admire the rapid growth of Korean churches; they want to learn from the prayer culture of Korea. The Bible says, “When you pray, go into your room, close the door and pray to your Father.” But it also says, “cry out to God. I dream my brothers and sisters in the Philippines would cry out to God. Each of them seemed to have his or her own hurts like clay pots buried at a corner of the heart. While worshiping with them, I heard stories of how many of them had their family issues. I sympathized with them; I have my family issues as well, but I have learned a way to deal with my struggles. Whenever my hurts overwhelm my mind, I throw my “clay pots” into the ocean of Jesus' blood. That is why my prayer time is my revitalizing time.
Watching my Filipino brothers and sisters who are gripped by their own hurts, my heart went out to them. I pray for them to take off their yokes and be free. I wish they fight as Jacob did. Praying in secret will help them, but I want them to break through their burdens and be free by crying out to God. I pray to God, my Friend and my Father, confessing my all -even small things, in hope of finding freedom in Him. The Philippine people hope to regain its title as “the pearl of the Orient Seas.” I believe they are already a pearl of great value in God’s heart.