SHE BELIEVED THAT GOD WOULD DO FOR HER WHAT HE DID FOR OTHERS.
Sister Tonette Bernal, IT missionary in Australia, had been serving the Lord through evangelizing and as a prayer intercessor. She had been longing to serve the Lord more. She’s been evangelizing in the cities of Metro Manila and she feels joy as she does her mission to share the Gospel to others. She didn’t want to just sit on pews every Sunday but instead she wanted to participate in God’s work. She wanted to do one on one Bible study because that’s when she feels God’s presence in her midst as she shares the Good News to others. She wanted others to feel and experience all the good things she received from the Lord.
Then in 2018, one of her friends invited her to the Thursday mission fellowship of International Teams Philippines, a mission sending organization. As she attended the mission fellowship, she could feel a burning desire in her heart to serve not only in her home country but in other countries as well. She finally found the answer to her longing on how to serve God more!
For years she had been thinking where she’s going to do missions, then in God’s perfect timing He brought her to a mission organization that can help her fulfill His calling in her life – to do global missions! Her heart was swelling in joy when she heard the testimonies of IT missionaries doing missions in other countries. She believed that God would do for her what He did for them. She believed that God will not lack in providing for her financial needs and that He will give her the ability to share His Word well. Her availability and obedience were the only thing God required her. As she delighted herself in God, He gave all her heart’s desire.
Sis Tonette knew that she couldn’t do it on her own and that she needed a team. So she was so glad to have found a team and a group of intercessors praying for missionaries as she became a part of International Teams Philippines. After her Access 1 Training with IT, she signed up right away for the mission exposure trip to Malaysia. She was so excited that she booked her ticket right away. She believed that God is the One who gave her the fulfillment of her desire to serve globally and that He is the One who will provide for her needs. As she took that step of faith, she saw how God did everything for her. She went to Malaysia in May 2018 and had an amazing time there. She also went to Cambodia, Thailand and Malaysia again within a year. It was an extraordinary experience for her as she knew that God’s presence was with her at all times when she did global missions.
When she returned to the Philippines, she wanted to focus on doing global missions. She told her cell group that she wanted to go again. She desired to share the Gospel outside the church and to reach more people. She was aware of the challenges she would face when she goes to other countries, however she wanted to continue going by faith and not by sight. “God wants us to leave our comfort zone” she added. Her sincere prayers were answered by the Lord, especially her desire to serve Him through evangelism. One of her friends from America sent her financial assistance to support her mission. Her heart leaped when she received her friend's message! God provides!
While she was doing missions, she forgot about going back to Australia and her visa and on top of that the pandemic happened. She was solely focused on her mission. Then one day, she received a message from her agent from Australia telling her she was granted a permanent residence visa in Australia! She didn’t even think about it for quite some time, especially during the time of pandemic and uncertainty. But it was God who made all these things possible!
“Our God is not limited. Our God is great and powerful. He is the Author and Finisher of our faith and our mission. He’s the only One who can lead us well. Therefore, I would like to encourage my fellow missionaries not to lose hope and not to worry about the money. Because God is never lacking. God looks at our heart on how available and faithful we are to Him. He doesn’t care if you have a high education background but what He cares about is your obedience. Especially your love for Him and to other people and for them to know the saving grace of Jesus” she commented.
“We have nothing to worry even despite this pandemic because He has overcome this world and that He will be with us till the end of the age. He won’t leave us and in times of pestilence we would enjoy plenty which is found in His promises in the book of Psalms. There are times we might feel stuck but the Lord can’t be prevented from blessing us. He isn’t limited. I am so grateful to God and also to International Teams Philippines who sends missionaries all over the world” Sis Tonette added.
In times of disaster they will not wither; in days of famine they will enjoy plenty
(Written by: Venus Jablo)