God calls the underprivileged because He knows that they don't trust in their own effort or ability.
Updated: Sep 19, 2022
IT’S NOT ABOUT ME, IT’S ALL ABOUT GOD
God calls those who are underprivileged. He calls them because He knows that they are more readily available to receive His grace and not trust in their own effort or ability. Therefore, don’t disqualify yourself when God calls you. Don’t think that God can’t use you for His glory. You are one of His greatest creations and He wants you to be a part of His work here on earth.
One of the IT missionaries in Cambodia, Sister Rhoda Mendoza didn't have an easy life before she became a missionary. She had a difficult childhood. Growing up was particularly challenging for her because she had a broken relationship with her family. She was 18 years old when God called her to take the path He has for her.
Since 1985, Sis Rhoda had known about the International Teams Philippines, a mission-sending organization because her aunt is one of the IT missionaries. The ministry her aunt was involved in was in the slum area. After Sis Rhoda graduated from high school, she moved to Manila and lived with her aunt. Sis Rhoda became involved in the ministry as she would tag along with IT missionaries from other countries. She helped in translating and she was having fun as well, but the Lord had a different plan. God sent her there not only to help in translating and to have fun, but He was molding her and preparing her for His plan. She realized who she was in Christ and saw the bigger picture of God’s greater plan - something incomparable than she could imagine!
As she frequented the slum areas with the missionary, she was already being mentored by the missionary without realizing it, until one day when God changed her heart. She saw a great deal of poverty where less fortunate people were barely making it, living from hand to mouth and never knowing where the next meal was coming from. Sis Rhoda saw how blessed she was, and God showed her not to feel sorry for herself because she is loved by Him. Therefore, she wanted to share the love of God she had received and share it with other people, especially young people.
As her passion for serving God grew, her relationship with the Heavenly Father deepened. She had the desire to learn more about God, so she studied in a Bible School at World of Life in Laguna. Then in 1991, she officially joined the International Teams Philippines and became a part of the Urban Poor Ministry. For many years, she had been serving and it became her comfort zone. It was in 1999 when she felt something was amiss. She loved what she was doing but something was wrong, and something was missing. She realized what she was doing became more of a routine and she was relying on her strength rather than depending on God. Sis Rhoda didn’t want to feel like that, so she sought the Lord and she realized that God was working something in her heart and teaching her more about faith and trust. Then God spoke to her, “Go out of your comfort zone”. She didn’t know what it meant at first. So, she prayed and sought God for clarity and direction and that’s when she received an answer that she had to go out of her country. It was a moment where God was teaching her to grow deeper in her faith and to trust in Him.
At first, she didn’t know where to go, but she kept hearing the news through her friends about racial discrimination that was present in the US between African Americans and white people. Since IT USA had a ministry in Chicago Inner City, she expressed her desire to the Executive Director of IT Philippines, Pastor Gani Sison, to go to the US for a short mission trip. The process and itinerary were coordinated between IT USA and IT Philippines. However, God had another plan for her. She was denied twice from her visa application despite having passed the requirements.
A week later, Pastor Gani Sison spoke with her. He told her about the need for missionaries in Cambodia. She decided to go, and she later found out that the itinerary that she was supposed to have in the US for six months was also in a Cambodian community. She saw how the Lord directed her steps on the right path. She went to Cambodia for six months to see if it was the place for her. She went to Cambodia with no friends and had no idea about the language but only the promise of God that He will never leave her nor forsake her. Also, she carries in her heart the verse found in Proverbs 3:5-6 “Trust in the LORD with all your heart and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge Him, and He will make straight your paths.” and that was more than enough for her to hold on to.
As she served in Cambodia, she knew in her heart that she belonged there. She felt so much love and compassion for the Cambodians. She’s been in Cambodia for almost 21 years now and she continues to serve the Lord and she’s happy there. She also got the chance to go to other countries in God's favor. As she develops her relationship with God, she knows that it is never about her, but it is all about Him. Knowing God more gives Sis Rhoda so much joy in serving Him.
“It’s not about what we are doing for Him that becomes a performance sometimes. But in my 21 years in Cambodia, I realized that I found wholeness in Christ alone. As we give our best to the Lord and surrender everything to Him as we learn every day and allowing Him to fight for us is beyond wonderful. You will be amazed what He can do" she commented. In addition, one thing that was clear to her was a command from God “Bring my people into my presence and allow the Holy Spirit to speak to everyone."
"God is on the throne and He is inviting us individually to His house and at His table, He is waiting for us to come. The body of Christ needs to rise and do what was written in the gospel. It’s not about us, it’s all about Him.” Sis Rhoda added. Apart from His gifts – which are bountiful – God is worthy of our praise simply for who He is. It is good for us to acknowledge it. It is good to praise Him when we feel like it and it is good to praise Him when we don’t. It is good to lift prayers of praise to the Lord! Our Almighty God!
I have been crucified with Christ. It is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me. And the life I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.
(Written by: Venus Jablo)