The last time I saw tito Hector and tita Dae was about 15 years ago, in the Philippines.
Back then, both of them were young, skinny students studying Engineering at the Cagayan State University (CSU). I was even younger and skinnier. I was about 5 or 6 years old.
Hector and Dae were part of a bunch of other CSU students whom my parents led in Bible studies (girls and boys were separate). These students would often hang out at our house, eating our food, watching our television, or just doing whatever. Most of them babysat me, I believe.
Their presence was a normal occurrence at our house. In my good days, I saw them as playmates. In my not-so-good tantrum-y days, I hated their presence — it meant them hogging the television when my favorite show was on.
This week I saw them again… in Thailand of all places!
Both of them are currently finishing up their PhD’s at Thammasat University (yes, they are really brilliant people) and they both have teaching loads. Their current position allows them to teach, meet, and engage a lot of Thai students. And because Thammasat caters to many other international students from all over Asia and the West, they are able to engage a lot of other students as well. They are, essentially, reaching nations while in Thailand!
Meeting tito Hector and tita Dae was such a powerful thing to me.
It was powerful because, well… these were the people who used to hang out at our house! And now here they are, with all their influence and undiminished passion for the Great Commission, always seeking ways and opportunities to witness to people about Christ.
It was also powerful for me because here, I see, the “fruit of my parent’s labor.” Here is a couple, people who I think are an excellent example of people whose lives are completely surrendered to God and whose hearts are completely captured by the Great Commission… and my parents played an instrumental role in influencing them.
Now that I am a campus missionary myself, and now that I know the challenges involved in campus ministry, I definitely have more respect for my parents now than ever before (I know you’re reading this, mom and dad).
In the campus movement at the University of the Philippines, we champion the idea of “Going Global, Starting Local”. If God wills it, and according to His perfect timing, it is my dearest prayer and wish that I be sent to places where the message of Jesus is not yet heard.
It is also my dearest wish, however, that I be given the privilege to influence other people and bring them closer and closer to Jesus.
Just as my parents did with tito Hector and tita Dae.
And that is how my parents are reaching nations, even though they have never, and will likely never, move out of the Philippines — by investing in young people and leading them to be true disciples of Jesus. This is how my parents have gone global — by starting local.