“THIS IS NOT THE END, BUT JUST THE BEGINNING”
Pastor Aida Halcon is a part of the International Teams Philippines, a missionary sending organization. However, before she became a part of the IT family, she was in a situation where she already lost all hope. She had given up because of the challenges she faced in her life. At that time, she was a pastor in a church, but the Lord had to shake her faith as she had to say goodbye to the church she had been serving for years. It was hard for her to do it, but it was the Lord’s leading to her as she received His word to “release and wait”. On her way home, she felt so sad, and her heart was so heavy that she felt lost. She didn’t know where to go or how she could serve the Lord again. She thought that her serving days were over. She kept pondering about it and as she looked at the sky, she saw a plane pass by. Pastor Aida uttered, “Lord if I’m done serving you and before you take me, can I at least get on a plane?” Those words came out of her mouth as she poured out her heart to the Lord.
For a month, Pastor Aida isolated herself because she was so perplexed by too many questions in her mind about her life. Then one day, someone invited her to go to the IT office. Since she had no other plans on that day, she decided to go. As they arrived at the IT office, Pastor Gani Sison, IT’s Executive Director was speaking in front. As Pastor Aida sat down and listened attentively, she clearly heard God speaking to her. “It’s enough for people to use you, this time, God will use you”. Those words struck her heart. As she heard it, tears ran down her cheeks. Only God can speak through someone’s heart in that way. Every word she heard from Pastor Gani’s lips was a great encouragement and it brought hope that she can serve the Lord again someday. Therefore, Pastor Aida decided to be a part of the ITP family.
To go to other countries as a missionary, she needed to get a passport. However, getting a passport is one of the giants she had to face. Pastor Aida had no birth certificate therefore, getting a passport is quite complicated. As she applied in getting a birth certificate, she was also required to pass a baptismal and form 137 which she didn’t have because she didn’t get her education. She didn’t have her birth certificate because she was from a broken family, so the documents of her birth were neglected. She didn’t know what to do. She prayed “Lord, if it is your will that I can go on missions, please show me a way. Send me someone who can help me, so I can do the late registration of my birth.” The Lord heard her prayer and sent a person to aid her. It usually takes a year or six months before someone could get their birth certificate, but God made it happen in a month for Pastor Aida! Others say it takes 7 days to get some records, but it only takes half an hour with God. What seemed to be impossible became possible with God! God is so amazing!
It all happened so quickly and smoothly. As she got on the plane, she was so ecstatic that her dream came true. She thought the Lord made it happen because maybe her time is almost up. But God replied, “No, I will use you.” While Pastor Aida was in Malaysia, she declared “Lord, if you are going to use me, I want to see your promise through a rainbow.” Lo and behold, a rainbow appeared in the prayer mountain and her faith and strength were revitalized at that moment. Her dying spirit was given a new life and more strength by God. Her hopelessness was replaced by hope in God. As she went back to the Philippines, she became more alive and enthusiastic.
On her second mission trip, God taught her new things. Since she is uneducated, she depended on her friends how to get around. She went to South Korea along with others, but a time came when she was left alone. She didn’t know how to get around places and she encountered misfortune. Her plane ticket got stuck in one of the escalators of a subway station. Her ticket fell and she had no means to get it because it went inside the steps. Then she heard the Lord speak, “leap and go to the information”. She stepped and that’s when she saw an information booth. She was surprised that she knew how to speak English. She was understood by the Korean personnel and her ticket was returned to her therefore she was able to return to the Philippines with no delay. Praise the Lord!
Pastor Aida’s third mission trip was to Japan. Twenty-seven missionaries signed up but only five missionaries were approved, including her. Despite the good news, Pastor Aida was hesitant at first to go because she didn’t have any money. But the Lord assured her, and she decided to walk by faith. When she arrived in Japan, the food and accommodation were free of charge. She and the other missionaries also got the chance to minister to other people. They met a Filipina who was depressed and was about to lose all hope and wanted to commit suicide. However, as Pastor Aida and her fellow missionaries shared their testimony with her, she started to have hope again for she knows that the Lord loves her and has greater plans for her life. She no longer thought of ending her life. Instead, she and her husband started going to church. One life was saved and changed because God’s people are willing to obey Him. Because of that, Pastor Aida’s desire to go to different countries grew.
Pastor Aida and the other missionaries have met some people who were praying to send God’s workers who can minister to them. For their spirit was too weak because it was only fed once a month. The people were so thirsty to hear the Word of God. These kinds of places were Pastor Aida’s burden. She prayed, “This is the place you wanted me to go so I can serve You. It’s not over for me. It’s just the beginning of how I can serve You, Lord.” The Lord continues to ignite Pastor Aida’s passion for missions. Her time in Japan was so meaningful and she's looking forward to serving the Lord in the mission field.
As she returned to the Philippines, her doubts about having no money were replaced by God’s blessings. She had received more than what she had in the first place. God exceedingly blessed her that her luggage was so full. “It is true that when you take that step of faith, you will experience what God has promised. You get to experience new things” she commented. As the Lord said to Pastor Aida, “This is not the end, but just the beginning”. You will experience more miracles for the Lord never changes. He is the same before, now, and in the future.
Pastor Aida is so thankful to ITeams Philippines which encourages believers that God can do more in their lives. Especially those who are losing hope and thought that they couldn’t serve anymore because of their situation. More and more believers are inspired and encouraged to be used by God mightily.
God is not done. We can see how amazing He is and He makes all things beautiful in His time. He uses the unqualified and qualifies them. For all the glory belongs to Him. Praise the Lord!
“And this gospel of the kingdom will be proclaimed throughout the whole world as a testimony to all nations, and then the end will come.”
(Written by: Venus Jablo)