Updated: Aug 20, 2022
“EXPECT GREAT THINGS FROM GOD, ATTEMPT GREAT THINGS FOR GOD” (Part 2)
As Sister Marifi “Maffe” Lagan Bilugan and Sister Mariss Lacson stay in Macau, God isn't finished showing them what He can do to their lives and through their lives. If He did it before He can do it again. Therefore, they were expecting God’s miracles. They continue to trust Him with what comes next. The God we know is known for faithfulness.
Sis Mariss and Sis Maffe encountered some challenges in the mission field. They have experienced not having enough money to buy their basic needs. There was one evening when Sis Mariss, Sis Maffe, and Raquel, their Portuguese - Chinese friend, were about to share just a bowl of rice for dinner. Sis Mariss recalled, “We didn’t even have any viand and all we had was pictures of meat from the condiment packages and we were thinking we’ll just have to imagine our food”. Despite having only a bowl of rice, Sis Mariss and Sis Maffe hold on to God’s promise that He will provide for their needs, so they don’t have to be anxious but pray. They have decided to pray and praise the Lord before eating. Before they even start eating, someone knocks on their door. One of the people whom they were reaching out to, a recovered alcoholic who didn’t have any job, gave them 100 Hong Kong dollars! He said that the Lord placed in his heart to bless Sis Mariss and Maffe at that moment. It was quite a huge amount back then! How amazing that God didn’t let them have only rice, but He wanted them to have a good dinner on that day and the following days!
There was another incident when they ran out of money and on top of that, someone broke into their apartment. There was no money stolen for they didn’t have any, but their passports were taken. The situation seemed hopeless, but it actually made a way for the financial blessings to outpour. The incident was reported, and the police officers came and investigated the matter. News spread to their friends, ITeams, and churchmates, so a lot of people were aware of their situation and pitched in and sent financial support to Sis Mariss and Maffe. Only God can turn the bad things that are happening in our lives into something good! Sis Mariss and Maffe’s faith were strengthened through the trials that they’ve been through and they are always reminded by God that since He called them, He will provide for them.
They had no doubts about God’s provision anymore, but they had to pass another hurdle. Being Filipino missionaries, Sis Mariss and Maffe encountered some discrimination. It wasn’t easy to reach out to people so they really had to build relationships before they can share the Gospel with others. The language barrier was also present, making it harder to communicate with the locals. But through those challenges, they’ve seen how God moved in their midst. There’s victory in Jesus and they were able to build relationships, they taught English and guitar lessons, they did friendship evangelism, and prayer walks, and were able to teach DVBS through Raquel since she speaks Mandarin. All those things were made possible by God. He enabled them to do all those things. From time to time, they have to overcome some challenges, but they don’t easily get discouraged anymore. They experienced being chased by a dog as they handed out tracks about Jesus. But they pressed on and continue to do it even if there’s only one person who would come to know Jesus. Sis Mariss and Maffe know that all they have to do is to obey God and He will take care of the rest.
They have been staying in Macau for 20 years now and they continue to do God’s work there. They get to see God’s sovereignty over their lives every day. There are no limits to God’s rule. He is sovereign over the whole world and everything that happens in it. They were never helpless, never frustrated, never at a loss. And in Christ, God’s awesome sovereign providence is the place we feel most reverent, most secure, most free!
Your kingdom is an everlasting kingdom, and your dominion endures through all generations. The Lord is trustworthy in all he promises and faithful in all he does.
(Written by: Venus Jablo)