Updated: Jun 5, 2022
“DO NOT HOLD BACK!” (Part 1)
If you're preparing to run a race, you don't carry a set of scuba tanks on your back in case you need oxygen. That weight will slow you down. You must learn how to travel light. In the same way, if you want to run in the race of life, you must run lightly. Don't let anything hold you back. Don't let anyone hold you back. The same Jesus who said, "Follow Me" 2,000 years ago is saying the same to you today. He isn't saying, "Stand back and admire Me," or "Have good thoughts about Me." He's saying, "Follow Me."
Sister Vernadette “Vadeth” Lepardo, IT missionary, experienced the fullness of God’s glory the moment she followed the Lord. She struggled at first but as she continuously seeks God’s will in her life, she could see how God directed her steps.
After her mission trip to China, she hasn’t left the Philippines to go on missions. She had been waiting for mission trips to the United States through IT programs. However, for almost two years, IT hasn’t announced anything about the US mission trips. Therefore, Sis Vadeth started working in one of the hotels in Tagaytay as part of the finance department. While working at the hotel, she started a ministry there and it became her comfort zone. But then God called her to go back on missions. With a lot that was going on in her life, it was difficult for her to leave her workplace. She had responsibilities as finance personnel, the bible studies she had started and the people she’s mentoring. Also, she was worried about who will take over her place in the company if she resigns.
Then one night, she had a dream. She saw in her dream Pastor Gani Sison, IT’s Executive Director, preaching and uttered the verse found in Isaiah 54:2. "Enlarge the place of your tent, and let your tent curtains be stretched out; do not hold back; lengthen your ropes, and drive your pegs deep.” In her dream, Pastor Gani kept repeating, “Enlarge your tent! Do not hold back! Do not hold back! Do not hold back”. When she woke up from her dream, she felt that her passion for going on missions was awakened as well. After a few days, she had a dream again reminding her to go back to IT Philippines.
She was torn between her job and going on missions. She wanted to be sure that she was going to make the right decision, so she went to a prayer mountain to pray and fast for three days. As she fasted, she sought the Lord’s next instruction. She heard a small still voice “Quit your job and I will bring you to a new place”. She received a word from Ecclesiastes 3:1, talking about the different seasons and the time to plant and a time to pluck up that which is planted. It gave her the impression that God wants to pluck her up from where she is and bring her to a new place. She also saw in her vision, colorful autumn leaves falling from the trees. She knew in her heart that it was Canada, but she wanted to confirm the impression she received. Then she saw a Canadian flag and that’s when she was fully convinced that she was about to go to Canada under the Lord’s direction.
Now, she’s faced with a dilemma. As a vital part of the company especially the finance department, she didn’t know how to break the news of her resignation to the general manager. She prayed “Lord, I will resign but I want you to tell my boss about it.” For almost two weeks, she couldn’t get a chance to speak with her boss. Then, when she got the chance to see the general manager. She was asked, “What do you want to talk about?” Sis Vadeth couldn’t say a word to her but prayed “Lord, you tell her.” Her boss suddenly uttered, “I know what you are going to say, you want to resign and go on missions”. For a few minutes, it was hard for her boss to accept the idea of her resignation and Sis Vadeth couldn’t say anything at all because she knows what she was asking is quite difficult. Then, her boss said, “Who am I to stop the will of God in your life? Pray that someone can take over your position and train her for a month”. Sis Vadeth thought it would take a long time before she could leave but the moment she sat at her desk, she received a call from someone who is looking for a job with the specifications who can take over her responsibilities. It was beyond words how God orchestrated the situation! No one could say that it was all just a big coincidence. It was God. He is the only one capable of doing such things.
After she resigned, Sis Vadeth was also ready to leave for Canada. It has been a month of praying and fasting and what God had said is coming to pass! There’s so much excitement in her heart. However, she didn’t have enough money left after processing her application and purchasing her ticket to Canada. On the day of her departure, she only had 2,000 pesos as her pocket money.
Who would dare to go to Canada with 2,000 pesos?
On her way to the airport in the taxi, Sis Vadeth realized that she has to pay the travel tax at the airport leaving her 400 pesos. She wanted to back out and just go home. However, her husband reminded her of God’s Word when she was praying at the prayer mountain. Then, her phone rang. Her sister called her to let her know that she has sent her some money and she can pick it up at any remittance centers she could find at the airport. Sis Vadeth was out of words and was deeply touched by how God provided for her needs. She was on the verge of backing out, but God used her husband to remind her and her sister to bless her. She got on the plane to Canada with faith that God will keep His word to her.
There’s more to Sis Vadeth’s journey of faith. As she goes to Canada, she will see more of God’s amazing glory in fulfilling His promise to her.
God's Word is true and will come to pass no matter what people do, say, or believe. Because He is the Lord Almighty, whatever He speaks will not be postponed and will surely happen. Don’t ever lose hope in God because He is true to His word!
Enlarge the place of your tent and let your tent curtains be stretched out; do not hold back; lengthen your ropes and drive your pegs deep.
(Written by: Venus Jablo)