Updated: Aug 28, 2022
“A LIFE UNDER THE SOVEREIGNTY OF GOD” (Part 1)
Sis Ana Tuquero is one of the IT missionaries who stayed the longest in Vietnam. She stayed there serving the Lord for 18 years. It was an exceptional journey of faith and she didn’t regret a single thing about following God’s call. The moment she obeyed God, she witnessed God’s miracle, provision, and guidance. She vowed to live a life under the sovereignty of God.
Without her knowledge, one of her friends enrolled her in a mission training organization, ACM, which has English teaching courses for cross-cultural missions. As she participated, her only intention was just to refresh her English and nothing else. But it paved a way for her to awaken God’s calling in her life.
It was November of 1999 when she heard God speak to her that she was going to Vietnam. She was looking at the 10/40 window’s map when she heard “I will bring you there”. Sis Ana was very much surprised to hear it, to which she responded “me?... why?... how?” She was puzzled by what she heard. Then she heard again “Wait and see how I will lead you.” She knew in her heart that it was the Holy Spirit speaking to her.
Sis Ana made plans for her life. She was 30 years old at that time and she thought she was going to have an ordinary life. However, God’s plan is not like ours. God has a grander plan in Sis Ana’s life as long as she obeys. She has been reminded by God about Vietnam everywhere she goes. She sees and hears about Vietnam and it was like a confirmation that God wants her to go there.
As she studies in ACM, she took intensive TESOL training. Some of her classmates are missionaries of International Teams Philippines, a mission-sending organization. She was invited to join the Thursday fellowship of IT. She witnessed that IT missionaries are very happy people. She heard the testimonies of missionaries and the miracles God had shown to them. She was encouraged and was looking forward to the things God will do in her life as she embraces her calling. A group of four IT missionaries are going to Vietnam and asked her whether she would like to go with them that very month. It was already September 8th and the scheduled flight was on September 25th. It was very sudden, so she wasn’t prepared financially and emotionally.
She knows that if she’s going, she has to quit her job and leave her family, and the things which are familiar to her. It was hard for her to leave her work which she loves and worked for 11 years. She didn’t know how to break the news to her family that she was going on missions despite being the breadwinner. Also, as the first one to have received Christ in her family, she was worried about her family's spiritual growth. She had to give up everything and the situation seemed so bleak.
She sought advice from Pastor Gani Sison, IT Executive Director, on what to do. Her heart was so heavy and cried a lot. Pastor Gani gave an illustration of Sis Ana being at a crossroads. The other road is familiar and comfortable while the other is a road that Sis Ana hasn’t walked on, it’s uncertain, but also extraordinary. For she would be fully dependent on God and He would show great miracles as she answers His call. Through that conversation Sis Ana was enlightened and the fears she had were gone. With much prayer, fasting, and seeking the Lord, she knew that God wants her to go and He showed her the way.
Days passed by yet she still doesn’t have the money to purchase her ticket. She should have at least $1000 so she could go on this trip. She tried to raise some funds, but it wasn’t sufficient. She prayed to God and told Him about her concern. She didn’t know where to get the money she needed. Then, God reminded her of her savings. She didn’t want to use it at first because she had saved it up for her mom for emergency purposes. However, God replied to her “That’s what you think. This savings is for this purpose.” Sis Ana realized that God’s way is totally different from ours. Therefore, she obeyed and withdrew all of her savings.
She booked her ticket and flew to Vietnam. She felt at peace the moment she arrived in Vietnam. “This is really the place for me” she uttered. She stayed there for three weeks during the exposure trip and saw and learned about the ministries. One of the mornings, during her quiet time, Sis Ana heard God’s instruction. He told her that she was going on a long-term mission in Vietnam. After the exposure trip, Sis Ana returned to the Philippines and prepared to return to Vietnam for a long-term mission. It would require a lot of faith, provision, and courage as she steps into the unknown. But the good news is, we are never alone because God will walk before us, beside us, and behind us, making sure that the enemy won’t have an entry point to hinder us from pursuing God’s plan in our lives.
The story doesn’t end here. Sis Ana’s journey of faith will continue, and you would be amazed at how God moved things just to make sure that Sis Ana could reach the purpose He has in her life.
How fortunate are we to have God who guides us every step of the way! He moves everything so it could work for our benefit. He is truly magnificent! And looking back on the things He did in our lives makes us sing the highest praise for Him! For He is wonderful, and all the glory belongs to Him alone!
1 Samuel 15:22
Samuel said, "Has the LORD as much delight in burnt offerings and sacrifices as in obeying the voice of the LORD? Behold, to obey is better than sacrifice, and to heed than the fat of rams.
(Written by: Venus Jablo)