Her mom disapproved of her going on missions, so God warned her mom through a dream and she gave in.
Updated: Jul 30, 2022
BORN TO FULFILL GOD’S PURPOSE
Sister Catherine “Kathy” Calunge, one of the batch seven IT missionaries had a challenging journey on her calling as a missionary. Looking back, she remembered that it wasn’t easy for her to quit her job because being the eldest, her parents were expecting that she would pursue her career in banking and finance. They wanted her to have a stable and secure life. She also got her master’s degree, which could give her a higher chance of promotion at work. So, her parents were hoping that she would reconsider her plans of going on missions. As an obedient daughter, she didn’t protest and followed her parents’ wishes not to go ahead unless they gave her their blessings. She was so grateful that she was born into a Christian family and wanted to show her gratitude to God by serving Him. Sister Kathy has been serving in a local church and her parents convinced her that she is already serving God by doing that. However, there was still a desire in her heart to go on cross-cultural missions.
Since she was still in her early twenties, she recollected that after resigning from the bank where she was working, she was tempted to apply for another secular job. When she accepted the offer to join the company, during the training, she and the other newbies were asked to close their eyes to think about what they would become after 10 years. The company was expecting that their answers would connect to the goal of making the company profitable in the future. But as Sister Kathy closed her eyes, she cried and saw a vision from God that she must take a different path and not the one set by that company. After praying, she told her bosses how the Lord is leading her to follow her calling. With God’s intervention, the company understood her situation and graciously accepted her resignation.
After leaving her job, she continued to look for opportunities to go on missions. She was a part of CBN Asia Counseling Center, a Christian organization that played a role in incubating her calling to be a missionary. While serving as a counselor, she met a lot of missionaries and heard their stories, which made the passion in her heart fire up. She also joined training programs to equip herself as she waited for God’s perfect timing.
Through an acquaintance, she heard about International Teams Philippines, a mission-sending organization. One day, while she was eating at a nearby fast-food restaurant near the IT Office, she felt a “This is it” moment. She could feel in her heart that God is about to do something. As a step of faith, she went for a casual visit to the IT Office where she met the staff and Pastor Gani Sison, IT’s Executive Director. Pastor Gani was so welcoming and encouraging and Sister Kathy saw his heart and passion for missions. She was inspired by what Pastor Gani said that nothing is impossible when you really desire to serve the Lord. She became interested in joining the Access 1 Training and proceeded on pursuing God’s call in her life. Since she decided to take on this path, her parents were not totally on board with it, so they didn’t support her financially. However, God provided for all her needs through her humble savings and the support of her Christian friends while she was getting ready to walk on this journey of faith. During this tension between her parents, the Lord spoke to Sister Kathy’s mom through a dream. In the dream, the Lord gave a warning that if she will not allow her daughter to pursue her calling, His Sovereignty will prevail. In the dream, God said, “Since I can’t use her for my glory then I should just take her.” Soon after, her mother saw that her daughter Kathy became a newborn baby again.
Her mom woke up in tears and finally accepted that she has to let her daughter go so God can fulfill His purpose in her life – the very reason why she was born.
On Sister Kathy’s first exposure trip to Japan, her parents supported her financially, but she returned the money because a Christian friend wanted to participate in missions by covering all the expenses for her trip. God proved to Sister Kathy’s parents that when He calls, He provides! Indeed, the Lord has proven Himself faithful through the years by allowing Sister Kathy to experience His blessings as she lives a life of total dependence on Him. In fact, the Lord has also opened doors where Sister Kathy was able to use her profession as a platform in her workplace ministry.
After her memorable first mission trip, she was sent to China and served in underground and registered churches for four years. Because she was willing to serve the Lord and her heart was totally sold out to God, He blessed her with a partner who also has the same heart for missions. Sister Kathy and her husband are now residing in Japan with their two sons, Joshua and Caleb. They have learned to trust the Lord who sees, hears, guides, and provides for His faithful servants. God also took care of Sister Kathy’s parents and siblings. Her parents are also faithful in serving the Lord in their local church in the Philippines and have been blessed in many ways as they allow all their children to pursue what God has called them to be.
God is unlike anything or anyone we could ever know or imagine. He is one of a kind, unique, and without comparison. Even describing Him with mere words truly falls short of capturing how awesome He is - perfect and holy in all His ways! All glory and praises belong to Him!!
If anyone serves me, he must follow me; and where I am, there will my servant be also. If anyone serves me, the Father will honor him.
(Written by: Venus Jablo)