At first she had a lot of what ifs, but as she steps out of her comfort zone she knew God called her
THE WINNING BATTLES OF JONA
Sister Jona Bucog is one of the IT missionaries in Thailand. She saw God’s goodness in her life while she was in the mission field. She saw how God provided for her needs, made a way for her to connect with people despite the language barrier and most importantly how God keeps her safe under His wings. As she embarks on this journey of faith, she keeps God’s promise close to her heart, which is found in Luke 1:37, For with God nothing will be impossible. This verse promises that you have the privilege of serving a God who can literally do anything and there is nothing impossible for Him.
Sis Jona is a tentmaker in Thailand. As an English teacher it allows her to minister to her students. During conversation class, she would have the opportunities to tell stories from the Bible. She demonstrates God's love through her life and by sharing His Word.
It was 2018, when she first arrived in Thailand. She started teaching in a public school and she was struggling with the language barrier. But it didn’t stop her from uttering short prayers for her students and she also learned their language so she can communicate with them better. She knew that it was very important for her to do her mission effectively.
God’s overflowing miracles happened the moment she stepped into the mission field in 2018. After a week in Thailand she went to Poipet, Cambodia. After visiting Cambodia, she and the other missionaries had to return to Thailand. But first, she had to go to where they were staying so they could all go together to Thailand. Yet the most dreadful thing happened to her while she was in a foreign land. She didn’t have any currency except peso. She thought she could have it exchanged as she reached the border but that wasn’t the case. The value of peso was so low that she couldn’t have it exchanged. Therefore, she wasn’t able to buy a Cambodian sim card because she only had 60 Baht. An acquaintance helped her take a taxi to go to the other missionaries’ accommodation but she forgot the name of the place. She also couldn’t communicate properly with the driver who couldn’t speak English so she started to pray a lot and asked for God’s direction. Finally, she just asked to be dropped off somewhere and the fare cost 200 Baht which she didn’t have. Since she only had 60 Baht, she offered to give some food she had bought and the driver graciously accepted it.
It was already dark. She didn’t know where she was and there were only a few people on the streets whom she could ask for directions. She tried riding a public motorcycle without knowing where she’s going. The driver started to get annoyed because they had been going round and round. Then, she remembered she didn’t have any money so she gave some coffee and chocolates to the driver which he accepted. As she got off the motorcycle, she started to cry and prayed continuously while carrying her luggage “Lord, please send an angel who can speak English”. She sat down near the money exchange. She cried her eyes out but she believed in her heart that God will answer her prayer because He has called her therefore He will be with her. The cashier of the money changer who saw her wanted to help her but couldn’t because she doesn’t speak English at all. Then out of the blue, a man showed up who can speak English! He asked her what was wrong and Sis Jona explained that she was lost and had no means to contact her Filipino friends because she had no Cambodian sim card. The man asked if she had the number of her friends so he could call them using his phone. He called Sis Jona’s friend and she found her way to meet the other missionaries. She realized he was the “angel” she prayed for to help her. She believed that no matter how big the problem is or how hopeless the situation is; you just have to trust God that He won’t abandon you.
As she looked back, she experienced some tough times when she was in the mission field. When she was in the Philippines, she had a good job, served in the children’s ministry – and had a very comfortable life. But God has other plans for her most especially getting her out of her comfort zone. She was grateful to her senior pastor who introduced her to International Teams Philippines, a mission-sending organization. She left what was comfortable in the Philippines and followed God’s calling without looking back at what she had to give up. She trusted God to take care of her. At first, she had a lot of what ifs, but as she stepped into Thailand she knew in her heart that God had called her. Although there were times when she wasn’t sure that she was called in Thailand, maybe she was called to go to other countries because it took her 2 years before she could successfully get her working permit. Even so, she knew that God was with her and that He was working something in her heart.
God poured His blessings into Sis Jona’s life and also in her family. For two years, God’s grace and blessings overflowed despite the trials she had to face. She had to exit and enter Thailand every month because she was just on a tourist visa. Oftentimes, she would receive a warning from the immigration officer that it would be her last time entering the country but Sis Jona believed in her heart that God is bigger than her circumstances and that nothing is impossible. It was in the fourth school she worked in that she got her working permit. She had to go to other provinces like Pattaya but God had a plan for her to be in Bangkok. He brought her back there. It is where her mission is.
She learned to go out of her comfort zone and to trust God even though her situation seemed impossible. The difficulties she faced were opportunities for God’s glory to shine and for her to trust in the Lord who has called her.
For nothing will be impossible with God.