Monthly Archives: October 2014

The lost don’t feel lost at all.

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You know when sometimes you have experiences, and then later you realize how much that experience comes in handy as a teaching illustration? This was one of those times.

Yesterday I was at SM Megamall with Windy, attending a seminar. We just had lunch at the Food Court and were making our way back to the Megatrade Center at the fifth floor.

Then we saw Ramila. She was crying, running around in circles. She was evidently, undeniably lost.

Windy and I approached her. Did you lose your mom? She tearfully nodded yes. (Just a side-comment: it surprised me that none of the other adults took responsibility. She was so obviously in distress I can’t imagine how they could possibly ignore her! Not judging, just an observation.)

Thankfully a security guard was walking by, and he immediately led us to the Costumer Service area. They will broadcast a memo to the entire building, he said. Just wait here, he said.

“So what do we do?” I asked Windy. I was actually thinking, maybe I’d just stay with the kid until her mom arrives.

“Well, we have a seminar to attend to, and we’re already late,” Windy said. “And anyway, this place is safe. There are guards all around.”

So we both turned to Ramila and gave her one final reassurance. “Don’t be afraid, your mom will come.”

Then we left. Later, when I exited the Megatrade Center, I returned to the Costumer Service area just to check if Ramila’s mom finally picked her up. Affirmative. Phew.

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I was tasked to facilitate today’s lesson for our discipleship group on the topic of Witnessing. I was preparing for the lesson and I was reflecting specifically on “the lost”, and I suddenly remembered lost little Ramila…

Then I had a sudden eureka moment: My experience with her is the perfect illustration of pre-evangelism or of being a Cojourner! Because Pre-evangelism / Cojourner is bringing people one step closer to Christ. I brought Ramila one step closer to her mom. I didn’t actually physically bring her to her mom, but I helped her get to her mom. Gets? Well, maybe not a perfect illustration.

But here are more thoughts about the experience.

We call non-Christians lost people. But the truth is: a lot of them don’t feel lost. They just don’t. They go happily about, perfectly content (or so it seems) with what they have and the path and place they are in.

Most Christians are only equipped to deal with lost little Ramilas, those people crying and acutely aware of their lostness. Most Christians actually only expect lost little Ramilas. But again, how about those who don’t know or feel they are lost? There are a lot of them out there.

So, as a Christian with a firm, unwavering belief and confidence in the Bible and what it says, how do you deal with that? We know God commissioned us to preach the Gospel and make disciples. But they won’t even listen! Deal with it. No, seriously, if we are to be effective witnesses, we HAVE to Deal. With. It.

And we can deal with it. And we are dealing with it, at least little by little.

The matter of how we can deal with it would require a far lengthier blog post than this one. Perhaps I’ll try writing one someday, or make a series of posts, but there are numerous excellent books out there on the topic, particularly Norman Geisler and David Geisler’s Conversational Evangelism book. Here in the Philippines, OMF Lit just recently reprinted it, and you can also buy it online.

Anyway, yes. We need to reach the lost, even if they don’t feel they are, even if they don’t think they are. Especially if they don’t think they are.

Everyone is moving to or away from God.

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Writing Stories from the Mission Field Encourages me to Go to the Mission Field

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“Our desire is to send more workers to the harvest field. We have a lot of young people in our church right now, and we are encouraging them to go. But we are also encouraging the older people to go. Wasn’t Moses very old when he started his ministry?” –Ptr. Andy Parco

In the last two days I have interviewed people for some stories I am writing for CBN Asia (a freelance job).

It wasn’t an accident that when the list of stories were sent, I chose the stories related to overseas missions. That was not a random choice. I wanted to hear stories from the field, talk to different people, and listen to how God is actively working in their lives.

I was not disappointed.

Power in Declaration

I am blown away – blown away – by the intensity of their passion, the way they owned their ministry, and the systematic, organized way (at least from what they told me) in which they go to see things through. As a writer, these are some of the things that top my “Things I love to write about” list.

In some small way, I hope that my stories would be able to communicate the profoundness of their ministry, the love and devotion they put into it, and the hopes and dreams they have.

There is power in sharing, declaring the mighty works of God. Sharing how God’s power worked in our lives does something, both to the messenger and the listeners — whatever the medium may be, whether it is through the spoken or written word, even through music.

As I talked to these people on the phone, I wanted to say, “I don’t know you, ma’am / sir, and this is the first time I’ve spoken with you, but I want you to know, you are family because of our Heavenly Father. And I love you with the love of the Lord.

God is at Work in the Philippine Church

This morning, I concluded my last interview. I put my phone down, and opened a new Word document and tried to start writing.

I couldn’t write. Not yet.

I couldn’t understand – a sudden wave of emotion had gripped me, and I had to pause for a moment. I wanted to cry. I wanted to yell. I was overwhelmed with… something.

I was overwhelmed with amazement. Amazement at what God is doing in the Philippines. The people I interviewed are from Lucena and Ilocos, and they both had something in common: ownership. Ownership and an intense desire to mobilize their own kababayans to “go to the nations”.

And I was overwhelmed with a sense of gratefulness to God. For using the brothers and sisters I just talked to, to further His kingdom.

I don’t know you, ma’am / sir, but God is using you greatly. Your work is important, and I believe God is honored with your sacrifice.”

Writing their Stories Encourages me to Go

Listening and writing these stories is an awesome job.

It humbles me and gratifies me that in some small way, I am able to declare what God is doing through my stories.

But writing these things does something else in me: it stirs up a long-held desire to go. Writing their stories encourages me to go.

I don’t know you, but God is using you to speak to me. And if I ever get the privilege of meeting you in person, know that you are one of the long line of special people God has used and is using to nourish this passion I have to serve Him. Thank you.”

hyrbid 2012

A picture with my teammates in my first overseas mission trip back in 2012.