WHAT THE ENEMY INTENDS FOR EVIL, GOD WILL USE IT FOR GOOD (Part 1)
Fellowship is an important part of our faith. Coming together to support one another is an experience that allows us to learn, gain strength, and show the world exactly who God is.
Sister Angelica “Angel” Sandoval joined the International Teams Philippines, a mission-sending organization, in 2014. As she became a part of the ITeams family, her understanding and her faith were broadened. Doors of opportunities to serve others and proclaim the gospel opened and she decided to grow deeper in her faith in Jesus.
Then in 2016, Sis Angel was called by God to serve in China. Since it is a communist country, things weren’t easy, and her faith was challenged. She became an English teacher even though she’s not a teacher by profession. It was God who empowered her to become a teacher. Oftentimes, she would bring Jesus up in conversations with her students then one student asked her who Jesus is. She was dumbfounded about how to explain to someone who has never heard of Jesus, but it was God who gave her the wisdom to answer her student’s question. Sis Angel can’t help but talk about Jesus subtly in the middle of the class for He became a huge part of her life so naturally, she would always include God in her conversations and planted seeds of faith in the hearts of her students.
As she teaches her classes every day, she felt something was missing. She missed the fellowship with other believers. Back in the Philippines, meeting other Christians is something she can do freely but in China, she had to be discreet about her faith, so her mission and safety won’t be compromised.
As Christians, we know how important it is to have fellowships with our brothers and sisters in faith. Through fellowship, we can encourage and be encouraged but in countries like China, there are so many restrictions. “You cannot pour love to others if your cup is empty” Sis Angel commented as she was talking about how important it is to have spiritual nourishment through Bible reading and fellowship. She was struggling at first since it was her first time in the mission field by herself. She had no one there to talk intimately with about her faith and we know how suffocating it is not to be able to express our thoughts. Day and night, she prayed to God to bring her to a church where she could worship and communion with other believers. Soon enough, some of her fellow Filipino teachers invited her to an “underground” church. Sis Angel thanked God for answering her prayers and it was like a special gift for her. She felt that even in a restricted country, God is with her and that He cares and provides for her every need, especially her spiritual needs. With God’s grace, she was able to finish her contract in China for a year. God sustained her while she was there, and she saw the importance of fellowship.
Sis Angel’s experiences in China opened her eyes to a lot of things in life. She appreciates the freedom she has in the Philippines to worship and have fellowship with Christians and that she should not take it for granted. As we enjoy the freedom, rights, and privileges we have in worshipping God openly, we should also pray for our fellow believers in regions that are hostile to Christianity where they can’t openly declare their faith.
The story doesn’t end here. As Sis Angel pursues a deeper relationship with God, her faith is strengthened and her trust in God is solidified despite the difficulties she would face in the future.
Trusting God is one of the most important decisions that you can make for your life. He is the God of every creation and those who put their trust in Him would find peace and the right path. Blessed are those who trust our God Almighty! Praise the God whose way is perfect! Praise Him that His Word proves true and that He is a shield for all those who take refuge in Him!
For where two or three gather in my name, there am I with them.
(Written by: Venus Jablo)