Sunday, August 24, 2014

“All Things Work Together…” – OJT Report #1

Did you ever wonder why God allowed you to be placed in a trying circumstance? What He wanted you to learn from it? Romans 8:28 says, “And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.”

Can God bring good out of seemingly “bad” circumstances? Yes He can! The following is a story from one of our graduates from last session during his OJT (On the Job Training) located in northern Luzon. See how God brought lots good out of some of the challenging circumstances he and his partner found themselves in!

From his first week, he related this experience: “Unfortunately, halfway on our way to our site, I remembered that I had left the advertising tarps [banners] behind! Oh, no! I didn’t tell anyone for awhile and prayed silently, reminding God that I had asked Him before we left to help me not forget anything and here I already had! I prayed earnestly that God would help me to find a way to get my tarps back so we could advertise for our upcoming seminar. When I told my partner about our problem, the person bringing us to our site told us with a big smile, ‘I brought the tarps with us! I knew you might forget to bring them, so I loaded them into the car ahead of time.’ Thank the Lord! I had been praying God would make a way and He already had!”

Yes, God took that situation and worked it all out for him! He truly cares about the little things – even about forgotten tarps!

He continued telling his story from that first week, “Our first few days here in our site were really stressful! We were told from the district Pastor that we could have our seminar in the public hall, for which we were very thankful, only to find out later that such a hall didn’t even exist! The next option was the multi-purpose hall, but it was controlled by the Church of God. We sent a letter to the city’s councilor asking for permission to use the hall and she approved our request, but told us to confirm it with a man who was the caretaker of the building. At first he wasn’t favorable for our request, but finally he agreed to let us use the hall. We breathed, ‘Thank you, Lord!’ Another problem was that there was no electricity at the hall, so we had to bring it in from a nearby place. Finally that was approved, so we could have power for our meetings!”

No matter what circumstance they found themselves in, God always helped them and made all things to work together for their good!

For the second week, the student wrote, “Last week was labeled ‘Stressful week’ and this week should be called the ‘Depressed week.’ I was getting discouraged because some of our seminar attendees dropped off and I ended up having so many extra handouts because I had ordered too many. One morning I read this from Gospel Workers, ‘Do not become discouraged when there are only a few present to listen to a discourse. Do not look at the empty seats…’ I was so blessed reading that! Although my audience is small, God is using me and continuing to work on the hearts of the remaining attendees. Later on in the week, I accidentally left the hall unlocked, thus making the ones in charge very angry. I thought they would not let us use the hall anymore, but praise God, they still let us go on. One inspiring experience that happened this week was that one family who has been faithfully attending our meetings has thrown away all the bad music CDs and asked us to give them good music to listen to. Also near the end of the meetings, the wife decided to be baptized! Praise God!”

He continued, “I also learned this week that home visitation is very important. I learned that one of our interests didn’t want to be baptized because she couldn’t read or write and that was a big hindrance to her. We told her that God doesn’t look at your attainments, even if church members do. God looks at the heart. Finally at the end of our visit, she decided to be baptized. It is really important to visit our interest’s homes!”

In the third week, he added this, “God sustained my voice this week. Though it was very painful and almost went hoarse, still God helped me finish this week. I also remembered that I had prayed God would send me to a place where I could develop a character like His and He answered my prayer! He placed us in a very crowded place, full of drunkards and drug addicts. We couldn’t bring them to the seminar, so we just made friends with them and in the future, we hope to have some personal work done for those people.”

In the last week of his seminar, he wrote, “I saw God’s love in the changes He made in the lives of the attendees of the seminar, in the elder’s family and even in myself! I could not believe that one family in the church decided to stop drinking coffee! Also this week, we have the privilege of preparing candidates for baptism! One of them was an older man who has arthritis. He was so interested in the topics we were presenting, and we brought him every night to the meetings. He was so faithful to come and at the end decided to be baptized! Praise God!”

He added, “This week I really learned that we need to spend lots of time in visitation. In the first 2 weeks of my seminar, I spent most of my time preparing my sermons for the evening meetings. Sadly, I had little to no time left for doing any visitation in the homes of my attendees. I observed that even if I spent the whole time studying for my sermons, that I had a hard time presenting them in the evening. During the last week, my Mom called me and told me to spend lots of time doing visitation and not so much time for my sermons. I did and it was not until I did this that I realized I had much power presenting the sermons. So I really learned to give much time for visitation and the sermons will not be a problem, even if I didn’t have much time to study them.”

He ended by saying, “We praise God for the success of our seminar in bringing us and other people closer to Jesus Christ!”

Yes, friends, God allows us to go through trials and unexpected circumstances to show us that He can work everything out for us, just as He promised!

Keep watching for more stories coming soon!