“WE STAND ON THE PROMISES OF GOD” (Part 1)
Faith does not operate in the realm of the possible. There is no glory for God in that which is humanly possible. Faith begins where man’s power ends. IT missionaries in Thailand, Pastors Gerry, and Jane Aguilar saw the glory of God when they answered God’s call to go to other countries.
Before Pastors Gerry and Jane became a part of the International Teams Philippines, which is a missionary sending organization, they were already doing the church planting ministry in the Philippines. Although, they have also dreamed of going on missions abroad to serve the Lord further. They didn’t know where to go but each of them had different preferences. Pastor Gerry dreamed of going to India, however, Pastor Jane desired to go to Africa. As they did the church planting in Quiapo, one of the districts of Metro Manila, they have met an IT missionary. He led the couple to join the IT family. He told them that ITeams Philippines could help them go to the country they dreamed of serving. He also asked them to consider going to Thailand first before going to the country they dreamed of going to.
In 1999, Pastors Gerry and Jane became a part of the IT family. Then in 2000, IT’s Executive Director, Pastor Gani Sison, asked them to consider going to Thailand first and see for themselves the kind of ministry they could do there. The couple went to Thailand for a short mission trip. They stayed for a month but there was no ministry being established yet. During that time, the Thai New Year water festival or called ‘Songkran’ was celebrated, so there was a long holiday and there were so many festivities. As Pastors Gerry and Jane talked about it, they know deep in their hearts that Thailand is their mission field. They both have peace and joy in their hearts as they were instructed by God. They could have returned to the Philippines and continued with the church planting ministry because they weren’t able to find any ministries in Thailand but because of God’s confirmation through a dream, they decided to serve there. They saw in their dreams the Thai people and the temples and that’s when God spoke to them, “This is the place for you to settle down. You are needed here. The people need men and women of God here.”
It was so vivid and clear that God wanted them to serve in Thailand, so the couple took that step of faith and sold all their possessions right after they arrived in the Philippines. They went back to Thailand with limited financial resources but with the abundant promise from God that He will never leave them and will always provide for them.
Pastors Gerry and Jane had to face some challenges as they went to Thailand. In the beginning, they were able to receive some financial support from their church. However, it didn’t last long. The couple had no means to make a living but to raise some financial support. They believed that God would keep His promises to them. In addition, God is always faithful so they should also keep their faith despite the difficulties they might face in a foreign land. It was tough but they surrendered everything to God. “We stand on the promises of God”, they commented.
The second challenge they faced was the difficulty of learning the Thai language. In addition, since it was expensive to enroll in a language school, Pastor Gerry was the only one who studied. It was also hard for them to get a visa because it was expensive, and they didn’t have enough money. Therefore, for several months, they had to exit after 30 days to extend their stay in Thailand. On top of that, it wasn’t easy to share the Gospel with the locals. It takes a lot of time, effort, and patience to explain the Gospel to the locals so they would fully live a transformed life after accepting Jesus in their hearts.
It took seven years, before Pastors Gerry and Jane were able to establish a church in Thailand whereas, in the Philippines, it would only take a year. The visa is so expensive and some of their supporters were expecting them of having quick results from the ministry they’re doing. It came to a point where Pastor Jane suggested returning to the Philippines and doing local missions there. Even so, they wanted to obey God and the challenges they faced made them trust Him more and the season of acceleration is at hand. Hence, they decided to stay. They know in their hearts that Thailand is the country God has given them. Therefore, the couple’s prayer is “Change the hearts of the people here in Thailand so that someday they will know Jesus Christ in their hearts.” Pastors Gerry and Jane are used continuously by God in Thailand and the story doesn’t end here.
There’s more to this narrative. The amazing work of God through the lives of Pastors Gerry and Jane continues and His glory is evident in the country of Thailand as He sent more men and women of faith to be the catalyst of change while He empowers them.
What an awesome God we serve! His ways and thoughts are so magnificent as He orchestrates everything. He is the Author of life and a life with Him is worth more than anything you can find in this world.
Trust in the LORD, and do good; so shall you dwell in the land, and truly you shall be fed.
(Written by: Venus Jablo)