Updated: Oct 3, 2022
“IT’S NOT AN ACCIDENT THAT YOU ARE HERE!”
Over and over again, we read about men and women in the Bible who did great things for God. They are those who went out of their comfort zone and obeyed the Lord. I know it’s scary to face the unknown, but it is in the unknown where God could be truly known.
Pastor Nilo Panganiban is one of the IT trainers and his story started as someone who was just forced to join the Access 1 Training in International Teams Philippines, a mission-sending organization. He thought going on missions would cost him a lot of money. Little did he know that his life would be completely changed as he steps out of his comfort zone. As he attended the Access 1 Training, one sentence resonated with him and left a great impact. “It’s not an accident that you are here” Pastor Gani Sison, IT Executive Director, preached during the training. Upon hearing those words, not only Pastor Nilo but also his wife decided to get their passports and go on missions. After two months they signed up to join the exposure trip to Malaysia. “We should put into practice what we have learned” Pastor Nilo commented.
As they went to Malaysia, Pastor Nilo expected that he would get the chance to win souls there. But as he arrived in Malaysia, God tested his heart. Pastor Nilo was asked to do some labor work. He was a bit taken aback because it was far from what he imagined. But as he helped with the labor work, he met some undocumented Filipinos up in the mountains planting root crops. Then, God gave him the burden to help those people, so he prayed “Lord, bless these people and use me as an instrument to be a channel of blessings”. The mission trip ended with Pastor Nilo’s compassion for the people he crossed paths with. He yearned to do more for the people God brings into his life.
After Pastor Nilo returned from his short mission trip, he received a supernatural blessing. Someone offered to give him a brand-new car. On the day he shared his testimony in the IT fellowship, the car was also released to his name. Never did he imagine nor experienced this kind of thing back then in the years of his service in the church ministry. It was just the start of what God can do in his life.
Pastor Nilo signed up for the Cutting-Edge Leadership Conference in Vietnam and was seeking more experiences in the mission field where God could reveal Himself to him. As the conference ended, Pastor Nilo and a group of missionaries made their way to Cambodia and Thailand. However, Pastor Nilo wanted to experience what other missionaries witnessed when they traveled on their own, so he decided to travel to Laos by himself. From Thailand, he was looking for the bus station going to Laos. He asked and asked the people around him, but no one could answer him. He prayed to God to bring him a person who could help him because he was on his own and had no idea where to go. Luckily, there was at least one woman who could speak English and helped him out. With her help, he found the right bus station.
Then, he hopped onto a bus going to Laos, but again his dilemma was most passengers couldn’t speak English. That’s when God put a specific person on that specific day at that specific moment to help him out on his trip to Laos. They chatted on the bus and became friends and even exchanged contact information. The man Pastor Nilo met used to be a monk who moved to Australia, but on that very same day went home to Pakse, Laos. The same destination where Pastor Nilo was headed. It was the perfect timing! He was also invited by the man to his village, where he is the chief, and Pastor Nilo is welcomed whenever he returns to Laos. Pastor Nilo stayed for just a night in Laos.
On his way back to Vietnam for his flight to the Philippines, he also experienced God’s favor. The owner of the inn he was staying in, went out of his way just to make sure Pastor Nilo could get into the 3 a.m. bus going to Vietnam. Also, the bus conductor has been looking after Pastor Nilo throughout the trip from Laos until he reaches Vietnam. As he stayed in Vietnam, he was low on cash. He stayed in the same guesthouse during the conference and God answered his prayer through the owner of that certain guesthouse. The owner said that he didn’t have to pay for his stay and Pastor Nilo was so overwhelmed and praised the Lord for He really provided for him at that moment when he didn’t have enough money left.
The miracles didn’t stop there. As Pastor Nilo continued to go on mission trips, he experienced God’s provision and he didn’t have to worry regardless of whether he had enough money or not. When he was in Hong Kong and Macau, God also used a person to provide for his food and lodging. Also, Pastor Nilo got to share the gift of salvation with the people God brings into his life.
Whatever it is, don’t be afraid to step out of your comfort zone. God is looking for men and women who have a heart for Him, who want to take their lives to the next level, and who want to step out of the maze of mediocrity and live for something bigger than themselves! Let’s lift our hands and praise the God who surpasses our imagination when it comes to miracles! Because He is the next level, the most extraordinary God!
You did not choose me, but I chose you and appointed you that you should go and bear fruit and that your fruit should abide, so that whatever you ask the Father in my name, he may give it to you.
(Written by: Venus Jablo)