"There's no such thing as an unfortunate missionary... for our God is a good, good Father!"
Updated: Aug 23, 2022
“ABANDON YOURSELF TO THE LORD” (Part 1)
Most of us make plans to advance the quality of life that we have. We plan things and try so hard to make those plans happen. We make decisions based on our own perspective and seldom ask the question of whether it’s God’s will or not. There’s nothing wrong with planning. But what happens if our plans don’t go as planned? How do we respond? It takes total surrender to Christ to seek His will as you make decisions in your life. One of the very first IT missionaries in Thailand, Sister Cecille Hilario has lived a life which is fully surrendered to God. In her 24 years in Thailand, she has seen how God guided and provided for her. She entrusted to God everything and consulted Him in every plan she made, and, in that sense, she has developed a deeper relationship with Him. Sis Cecille is a part of the Lord Jesus Bible Church and she was under Pastor Gani Sison’s leadership. Pastor Gani is currently the Executive Director of International Teams Philippines, a mission-sending organization. One Sunday morning during the worship service, Sis Cecille received her calling to be a missionary when one of the missionaries in Taiwan shared her testimony. Hearing the wonderful testimony about doing missions and sharing God’s Word to the lost made Sis Cecille extremely excited. She felt the desire to go on missions and to fulfill God’s purpose in her life. It ignited her passion for missions and the thought of serving the Lord wherever He would call her to go makes her heart glad. However, it took years before she was able to go to the mission field. God has been preparing her for years, training her, and giving her more reasons to go. Then, in June in the year of 1998, that’s when she was commissioned as a full-time missionary to Bangkok, Thailand. Finally, she’s ready and God sent her to Thailand. As she went to Thailand, she planned to learn the Thai language so she could effectively reach out to the locals. Also, she wanted to make use of her time well, so she won’t be bored. However, she had to wait for two more months before she could enroll in the language center. During those two months, she started to serve her fellow missionaries. She cooked meals for them and brought them to their workplace. The Lord was teaching her something from doing the most menial work to building her character for something greater that God has in mind. Sis Cecille served others humbly while waiting for the enrollment period for the Thai language. Then after two months, the time came when she was able to enroll in the language school. But it wasn’t easy for her to learn Thai for it is a tonal language and she was not good at identifying the tones. It was a great challenge for her. She prayed to God and entrusted her language learning to Him. She believed that God would enable her to learn Thai. By the grace of God, she finished learning the language module after seven months! She couldn’t believe it for she knew herself and her weakness. But in her weakness, God’s power was made known. She enjoyed learning Thai and it was totally worth it, for she was able to go far places by herself and communicate with the locals daily. She has enjoyed the fruit of her labor and it was a great advantage for doing the mission that she knew how to speak Thai. During her stay in Thailand, Sis Cecille also saw how God provided for her needs. She was renting a place and it cost 2,000 Baht per month at that time. She didn’t have any work to support herself. All she knew was that God sent her there so He would be the one to sustain her. She believed deeply in her heart that the Lord would provide for her needs and the Lord did. God used some people to bless Sis Cecille, so she was able to pay her rent monthly. Even the simplest things which she needed were provided by God. There was a time when Sis Cecille didn’t have any shampoo left. As she passed by the subway station, a certain shampoo brand was being advertised by giving samples to people passing by. It may seem a small gesture, but it showed how God cares even about the tiniest thing that we need. We can put our trust in Him because He would never leave us hanging. Sis Cecille also saw how God elevated her lifestyle. Back in the Philippines, some things are a luxury to have or do. But the Lord made it happen for Sis Cecille to have and to enjoy as He blessed her during her stay in Thailand. “I don’t believe that if you are a missionary you are unfortunate” Sis Cecille commented. For God is a good, good Father and He loves His children. Sis Cecille was not shaken by her needs for she saw God’s provision every step of her way. “Abandon yourself to the Lord” is Sis Cecille’s advice to all God’s children, for in total abandonment we could grow a deeper relationship with God. That’s only the beginning of how God revealed Himself to Sis Cecille. There’s more to God’s amazing miracles in the life of Sis Cecille. Because of God’s grace and kindness, Sis Cecille never felt neglected in the mission field. She felt loved, cared for, and protected by God. To totally give ourselves to God is to be in a relationship of love with Him. It is to receive His joy and His love in our hearts. It is to put no barriers up between us and God but to allow His love to fully penetrate our lives. It doesn’t matter how long we’ve tried to control things, how dependent we are on outlining, how great our plans are, or how rigid we may have become, we too can humble ourselves before God and be open to God’s plan for us. It’s certainly better than our own. It’s infinite … and it’s all good! God's beautiful love for us never changes, never falters, and never ends. Let’s give thanks to the Lord, for He is good! Psalm 103:13 As a father has compassion for his children, so the Lord has compassion for those who fear him.
(Written by: Venus Jablo)