Updated: Sep 6, 2022
THE LORD HAS A PLAN MORE THAN ONE CAN IMAGINE
All of us long to feel safe. We want to know that we are protected from danger. We want policemen to protect our streets so we will feel protected at home. The restaurants we attend have safety inspections so we will feel protected when we eat. The cars we drive have to meet safety standards so we will feel protected in case we are in an accident. We want to feel protected from foreign invaders, so we emphasize the importance of a strong defense. But where does our safety really come from? Does it come from our policemen, inspectors, a strong national defense, or the Lord Almighty?
Sister Maria Lisa De Leon is one of the IT missionaries and has been called by God to serve in Malaysia for six years. She has left her secular job in the Philippines and decided to go full time in doing missions. She didn’t know what lies ahead but she continued to move forward. She went to Malaysia with her husband and youngest child. All she knew was that the Lord has a plan in her life more than what she could imagine. Having that confidence in the Lord, she went to Malaysia in September 2010. However, one of her children was still studying in college at that time and she was left to continue her studies.
When they arrived in Malaysia, they had to start from scratch. They had many things to learn, the language, the culture, and the people’s ways. They didn’t know how each day would pass by, but Sis Lisa prayed every day and asked the Lord to help them. She was adjusting to their new life and it was hard for her to learn the language. Fortunately, her son learned the language quickly so they managed to buy their basic needs at the market, and they could communicate with some people when needed.
A few months later, their visa expired. It was so difficult to get their visa at that time. They have waited for nine months but it seems that it won’t be renewed sooner. As a last resort, they have decided to do the “back door” exit. “It was terrifying to travel with no proper documents. We were so scared that we might get caught by the marine police of Malaysia”, recalled Sis Lisa. From then on, she asked God not to let her travel like that again. God honored her request and she traveled to other countries with proper documents and conveniently.
Things are getting better for Sis Lisa and her family in Malaysia, but she can’t help but worry about her daughter who was studying back then in the Philippines. Her second daughter was taking dentistry at that time and it cost a lot. Sis Lisa's eldest daughter who was supporting the studies of their second daughter wanted to get married therefore, she wanted to opt out of supporting her sibling. As Sis Lisa spoke to her eldest daughter on the phone, she uttered a quick prayer to the Lord “I entrust everything to you, Lord.” As her conversation with her was about to end, her daughter’s conclusion was to not get married right away and to continuously support her sister's education. It was a great relief for Sis Lisa to hear it and she was thankful to the Lord that He spoke on her behalf. As Sis Lisa continues to serve the Lord, she also saw the overflowing of love and blessings in her children’s lives.
Sis Lisa and her family were serving the undocumented Filipino children and some elderly in Malaysia, which was a great risk. They had the burden to help those Filipinos who had no place to go because they didn’t have proper documents to prove their identities. As they continue to minister to them, they would also often experience being probed by the authorities. Despite the danger, they knew that God called them to serve so they fully trusted their safety to Him. Then one day, when Sis Lisa and her husband were away, their 15-year-old son was left with some of the undocumented people they were ministering to. Some of them were caught by the authorities and since their son was with the undocumented Filipinos, he was also taken by the authorities. Sis Lisa and her husband were so worried about their son. As they prayed and asked the Lord’s hand to move in the situation, their son was released after a few hours. They would never forget how God protected and sustained them while they were doing their mission in Malaysia. It was truly a one-of-a-kind experience.
Sis Lisa saw how God provided a house for them that they didn’t have to pay for and for always putting them under His protection, so they won’t be harmed in Malaysia while they were doing a risky mission.
After six years of doing missions in Malaysia, God called them to move to Cambodia. Sis Lisa got a job in Cambodia while serving the people there. She continued to live victoriously and had no regrets that she followed God to be a part of the Great Commission. She’s been to seven different countries and it wouldn’t happen if she didn’t take that small step of faith. “Just take a step forward and don’t be scared and you’ll experience things beyond your imagination” she commented.
If God has promised to protect His children, then we don’t need to fear the dangers this life presents. God’s protective work in our lives will flow from our relationship with Christ. We can trust God to keep us from falling for He sent His Son to walk this earth and He did so without ever falling into the trap of sin. We can trust God to shelter us from our circumstances for we follow a Savior who walked upon the water and calmed the most violent of storms. He controls our circumstances as well.
We can trust God to defend us from evil because our Lord suffered at the hands of evil. He suffered even to the point of death upon the cross...yet He rose again! If we are to complete the journey in which we are traveling, we too must trust God to keep us from falling, shelter us from circumstances, and defend us against evil.
My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me.
(Written by: Venus Jablo)