“ABANDON YOURSELF TO THE LORD” (Part 2)
As a missionary, you will have to face a lot of challenges as you stay in the mission field. Adapting to a new culture, meeting new people, and being away from your family are the few challenges you have to deal with as you leave your comfort zone and stay in a foreign land. There are times when you get sick and being away from your family makes you feel lonely. But as the Lord calls His children to the mission field, He guarantees to be with them all the time. So be of good courage for the Lord is always there when you need Him. This is the continuation of Sister Cecille Hilario’s story, an IT missionary who was called by God to serve in Thailand. Her life is proof that the Lord is true to His Word and that He never leaves His children behind especially at times when they needed Him the most.
After returning to Thailand from Malaysia for her visa run, Sis Cecille got sick. She had typhoid fever and it caused a severe headache. She was alone in the mission field and away from her family, but she never felt abandoned by God. Sis Cecille had no money saved for medical emergencies, but she wasn’t worried at all. She abandoned herself to the Lord and didn’t let her heart be troubled. She never asked for help from others and she entrusted her situation to God. She was hospitalized for four days and she saw how God provided. God had used the people around her to take care of her while she was in the hospital. Even the hospital bills were paid by God through the men and women of peace He sent. Sis Cecille didn’t have to pay for anything, and she was so grateful for what the Lord did for her. No words could express her gratitude toward God. She felt God’s love and care for her. She got better and her health has improved a lot. Her faith was strengthened and wasn’t shaken for her faith was anchored to God.
The Lord is true to His promise and Sis Cecille is holding on to God’s Word which is found in Deuteronomy 28:3-6 that He will bless her in the city and the country. He will bless her when she comes in and when she goes out. Sis Cecille desires to travel to other countries. Though she was already content in being able to travel and stay in Thailand and didn’t expect anything more. God sees her faithful heart, so He granted the desires of her heart and that is to travel to different countries with His favor and provision.
Sis Cecille got the opportunity to go to the United States of America and she saw how God made it possible for her to get a visa. In 2001, International Teams Philippines had an International Leadership training in Chicago. During that time, Sis Cecille had a non-immigrant multiple entry visa in Thailand, and she was required to exit the country every three months. There were other IT missionaries, a couple, who were also planning to attend the international leadership training. The couple had valid documents, they had a work permit, and missionary visas were granted to them because missionary families were always prioritized rather than single individuals. Sis Cecille’s documents lack proof of her stability in Thailand, which, in reality, doesn’t stand a chance to get a US visa. The three of them went to the US embassy to apply for a US visa. The missionary couple was called first for an interview. Sitting from afar, Sis Cecille observed and saw that the consul couldn’t understand the type of visa the couple had, so their documents and passports were returned to them which means they didn’t get a US visa. Sis Cecille thought to herself “If they were not granted a US visa who have better documents than mine, how would I even get one?” It was Sis Cecille’s turn and the consul also couldn’t understand what kind of visa she had. Sis Cecille was nervous because she thought that she wouldn't also be granted a US visa. Then to her surprise, the consul called another consul and asked about Sis Cecille’s current visa. The other consul knew the kind of visa Sis Cecille had and she was able to explain it to the consul who was interviewing her at that time. When the consul understood about the type of visa Sis Cecille had, she kept her passport which means she could get a US visa. She was exceedingly glad for she knew it was the Lord who intervened when it was her turn to be interviewed. Her documents didn’t stand a chance, but it was God who showed favor to Sis Cecille to show His glory and for her good.
God’s favor didn’t stop there. For almost every year until 2007, she was able to go to the United States to attend some conferences and training. There was another memorable instance when she applied for a US visa again under different circumstances. She had a tourist visa back then and was allowed to stay in Thailand for six months. Therefore, she has to return to her country so she can enter Thailand again. But that’s when the Lord showed another miracle for her in getting a visa. She was invited by a friend to go to America. She didn’t have any supporting documents from an organization, no conference to attend, and was planning to go to America just for the reason of visiting a friend. All she had was an invitation by a friend, yet she was granted a 10-year visa!
“I could feel that it was a personal gift from the Lord” Sis Cecille recalled. She was able to travel to different countries, not just in Asia but also in Europe and America and her expenses were all provided by the Lord. It was indeed God who provided for all her needs. See what great love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called children of God!
You will be blessed in the city and blessed in the country. The fruit of your womb will be blessed, and the crops of your land and the young of your livestock—the calves of your herds and the lambs of your flocks. Your basket and your kneading trough will be blessed. You will be blessed when you come in and blessed when you go out.
(Written by: Venus Jablo)