Planned evangelistic meeting
We arrived in the Philippines on March 14, 2020 for an evangelistic effort in the province of Catanduanes, Philippines. We planned to stay for one month but apparently God had a different plan.
When we woke up on March 15, a lot of countries started closing their borders, including Philippines. We didn’t know but God knew that there will be lockdown all over the place, and a lot of plans will be cancelled including the event we came for.
I started to wonder, “why did God allow us to travel through amidst this Covid-19 pandemic?” In His infinite wisdom, He thought it was best for us to spend lockdown in the Philippines.
My mom and the lockdown
God knew that my mom, being a senior, would need someone to do errands for her especially during the peak of enhanced community quarantine, so He made sure we were with her in Lipa City, Batangas just the day before lockdown. Perfect timing is always part of His plan.
More than just to enjoy the warm weather and the most missed Filipino food, I knew God has something else in mind for us. It was just a matter of keeping our ears or eyes open for His cues.
God’s plan for us and the young lady
Until one day, while Rod was casually sharing his personal daily devotional reading with us, this young lady overheard everything he said. She was so amazed at the initial good news she heard that right away she asked if we could have a Bible Study with her.
From that same day, we started a spiritual journey together that blessed both our family and her. She told us she had not read a Bible before we met her and had not known any Seventh-day Adventist nor heard before about the hope we have in Jesus and His very soon second advent.
She was so thirsty about the gospel of Jesus. She also inquired when would be our flight back to Canada. I said April 13 and I asked her why she was asking. She said “kasi ayaw ko sana tumigil mag-aral ng Bible” (because I don’t want to stop studying the Bible). So, God in His love and mercy gave us more than just a month to study with her.
She apparently came from the same place we were supposed to do evangelism. Now she is back with her family in Bicol, with her very own Bible, excitedly celebrating Sabbath each week and eager to share the good news with her family. We knew then that when our paths crossed, it wasn’t a coincidence. We are so humbled to be used by God in sharing Jesus’ love for her.
Coincidence or God’s leading?
Also, when it came to our knowledge that some of our neighbors were heavily affected by the loss of jobs due to the lockdown, again God reminded us that our mission field is where we are at the moment, where He brought us to.
We were impressed to share food packs. However, bringing food from the market was a challenge because we had no car over there and public transportation ceased operation that time. Rod was the only one with quarantine pass (1 person per household once a week was allowed to go to the market as per local government authority).
How could he bring home by himself alone the goods that God wanted us to share? Once again, God manifested that He has a thousand ways to accomplish His purpose by sending individuals along the way each market day to help Rod.
God also knew that since we would be stuck there for a while (although we didn’t know that yet) we cannot continue on our own in His project. God knew we can serve more people with a financial partner.
So at the right time, the Dumaguin family contacted us and shared about a project they were impressed to do. You think it’s a coincidence that we both have the same thoughts? God alone can coordinate that between people across the globe.
We were so touched to witness the smiles of gratitude from at least 40 families that God blessed over there, each time. When there’s nothing more to do and nowhere else to go, God gave us a purpose and for that we are very grateful.
Longer time for vacation
We thank Him for allowing our family to take part in His mission. Yes, we feel so blessed and are so thankful to God for giving us longer time to spend with my mom and other relatives in the provinces of Batangas and Laguna (South) and Ilocos Norte (North) despite the stringent travel restrictions due to Covid-19 pandemic situation.
We thank Him for His provisions even before we knew of the need and for all the people, family and friends (you know who you are) who made our trip to Philippines meaningful, memorable and enjoyable, Thank you for being part of God’s plan to make our travel so worth it!
Free from COVID-19
Above all, we are so grateful to God for bringing us back home to Canada safely, in His own time 4 months later, protected from any sickness, including Covid-19.
My family praises the Lord for His protection and guidance throughout this period. Once again, God made things work for our best, and for others as well. We pray that it is the same with you. PRAISES TO OUR AWESOME GOD!
This testimony is shared to us by Janet Tura Edralin, an active member of our BIC church ‘long time’ ago, and is now residing with her family in Canada. Part of their itinerary was to visit BIC family in Bangkok and old friends but because of travel restrictions due to COVID-19, she hopes that it will be on God’s calendar for her family in the future.