Updated: Aug 28, 2022
“A LIFE UNDER THE SOVEREIGNTY OF GOD” (Part 3)
After staying for a year in Vietnam, Sister Ana Tuquero went to the Philippines to give updates to her church about her mission. Her church broke the news to her that they could no longer support her on her mission trip. Sis Ana accepted their decision but still wants to get their blessing as she returns to Vietnam. She didn’t want to go against their will, but she also knew God wanted her to return to Vietnam after praying hard about it. After praying and fasting and having a long conversation with her pastors and senior pastor, they allowed her to go back to Vietnam. But they couldn’t support her financially anymore. Sis Ana was able to raise some funds through a banquet dinner for missions. She had the money, but it was only enough for a one-way ticket.
Airline companies don’t allow Filipino tourists to go out of the country with only a one-way ticket. Sis Ana didn’t have any visa yet hence she falls into the category of a tourist at that time. She relied on God’s help and believed that God would make a way for her. On the day of her departure, she wasn’t asked by the immigration officer why she only had a one-way ticket. She was allowed to board the plane with no difficulty. She was exceedingly glad that she didn’t encounter any problems on her way to Vietnam.
As Sis Ana continues to stay in Vietnam with less money, she was worried about how to pay her rent. One Sunday morning when she felt anxious about her situation. Before she went to church, she cried a lot in the morning as she prayed. During the praise and worship, Sis Ana cried some more. She poured out her heart and all her worries to God. Then after the church service, she was surprised when someone handed her an envelope. When she arrived home, she checked the envelope and saw that there was money in it, enough to pay her rent and an allowance for a couple of days. She called that person and asked why she gave Sis Ana that certain amount. “The Lord spoke to me and said that you ‘need’ it” the woman replied. It reminded Sis Ana that God knows her needs and she has nothing to worry about. She cried to God and repented for doubting Him. “From this time on, I won’t doubt you anymore, Lord” Sis Ana cried and gave thanks to the Lord. From then on, she fully trusted God to supply her needs as she lived. And it strengthened her faith in God.
Sis Ana continues to help in the Filipino church and took on tasks and responsibilities. She continues to train people and as the core is established of a certain ministry or role, she would pass the leadership to others. She got to learn a lot of things while serving the Lord and others. God enabled her and the verse “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me” gave Sis Ana the confidence to do anything. “How thankful I am to be a part of this Filipino church, which became my home when I was away from home. They were very helpful and supportive of my mission endeavors as they entrusted me to serve in various ways” Sis Ana commented.
In 2003, the TESOL training she had was put to good use when she got a job as an English teacher in one of the language centers in Vietnam. She also did private tutorials and taught English to Vietnamese, Korean, and Japanese students. She became a tentmaker and was able to minister to her students. While working and doing the ministry where she trains the young people called the “Timothy Group”, short-term missionaries from America came to visit her and observed the ministry Sis Ana was doing. Little did she know that one of them was the mission director of a church in Illinois. They became her prayer partner in the ministry first and eventually became Sis Ana’s major supporters until now and they consider her as their adopted missionary.
Sis Ana’s situation in Vietnam became stable and the ministries which were entrusted to her flourished. Young people have come to know Jesus, received salvation, and been mentored by Sis Ana. It was meaningful work for she became a part of the lives of the young people who would someday rise and preach the Gospel.
She stayed in Vietnam for 18 years and those were the most memorable years of her life. She spent her prime years doing the work of God and she didn’t regret a single thing for in every trial her faith was strengthened, and she experienced God’s goodness in her life. The fruit of her labor is a group of leaders now who were once a part of the ‘Timothy Group’. Even when Sis Ana left Vietnam, her students continued to grow their faith in God and share the Gospel with others.
“It felt like yesterday” Sis Ana commented as she recalled all the good memories she had in Vietnam. She has left Vietnam but she’s looking forward to doing the next task God would give her. “I don’t see myself resting” she added. Sis Ana’s life is a great inspiration to all missionaries and she would like to encourage her fellow missionaries to never feel sorry for themselves because God will always provide and He knows our needs before we even tell Him. God also sees the labor of His children and He rewards them greatly. Sis Ana desired to travel, and God honored her wishes. She has been to Thailand, Australia, Hawaii, Cambodia, Singapore, Macau, America, and the United Kingdom. God’s purpose in her life was accompanied by great blessings as well!
Like Sis Ana, God sees our heart and, in our obedience, and faith in Him, He is most pleased. Don’t limit what God can do in your life. Believe that He knows what’s best for you for He is good and cares a lot about you and your future. Let go of the things that He asked you and He will replace them with something far better than you could imagine. God is unlike anyone and without comparison! He is omnipotent!
The Lord will guide you always; he will satisfy your needs in a sun-scorched land and will strengthen your frame. You will be like a well-watered garden, like a spring whose waters never fail.
(Written by: Venus Jablo)