Thursday, January 8, 2015

Just the help you need! (OJT – Part 3)

Just the help you need! Isn’t that what we need when we run into challenges or difficulties? Jasel and Apple found that out on their OJT, located on an island in the central part of the Philippines. Here is their story of what God did for them and how He provided just the help they needed!

Apple, the adult evangelist, said, “I was so happy when we arrived at our site and saw that it was in the countryside, surrounded by trees and mountains. But what was so amazing is that we were staying in such a beautiful house – the loveliest place Jasel and I had ever stayed in! God really prepared everything we needed!”

The venue
Her partner, Jasel, the child evangelist, said, “As we went out for flyer distribution, I felt so weak. Rashes appeared on my hands and feet and my face became reddish until I realized that I had measles. But I couldn’t let the devil win and so I just decided to keep pushing on and start my children’s program anyways. It was very difficult to teach the children while I was fighting the urge to scratch my itchy skin and my hands turning numb sometimes. I had to keep my distance from them because I didn’t want them to get measles, too. Finally, in about a week, I was so happy that most of my symptoms were gone and I was able to have more strength again!”

Jasel singing with the children
She continued, “But then what was so amazing was that God had been giving me just the amount of strength I needed to keep teaching. And He had placed His restraining power over the children to help them be quiet and listen so I wouldn’t have problems in trying to keep them under control. But as I gained strength, the challenges began! The children were getting to know each other and started making noise during the meeting. But God continued to give me just the help and strength I needed to meet their needs. Also in the beginning, the youth and church members came and helped me with preparing all the crafts so it wasn’t difficult for me to do it alone.”

God really provided just what she needed to continue!

Apple continued the story, “We knew the devil didn’t want us to preach certain topics. For example, the origin of evil topic, I had a severe migraine. I earnestly prayed God would take it away and by the time I started my topic, it was gone and I could present with courage!”

Apple preaching
Previous evangelists who had gone to that area had given away free gifts as incentives to keep people attending. However, it’s not the best way to keep an audience because the people aren’t necessarily coming for the truth – they are coming for the free gifts. During Apple and Jasel’s seminar, they realized the people who were attending were really coming for the Word of God – not something free to be given out. In the middle of their program, Apple’s grandfather died and while she was very sad about it, that didn’t stop her from continuing to preach God’s Word!

Another amazing thing that happened was that all during the week, there was no rain. But every Thursday (their free day), the rain poured so heavily they could not even go out. God was holding the rain during the week so the people could come to the meetings!

Back to the children’s program experiences, Jasel reports, “One night, I asked the children to stand for an action song and after we were done, the children were to sit down again. Some of them were refusing to sit down and I insisted they cooperate. Finally some of the other children pulled on those standing to force them to sit down. That made one boy off balance and he tumbled off the chair he had been standing on head first to the floor. The whole thing happened so quickly that I couldn’t believe it had happened! I ran to him and he was crying, but as I checked his head, I was amazed! No bumps, no scratches, nothing! I could only think of one thing: God gave me proof of His protecting power. I led the child to the other end of the room and had him sit down and he was fine. A week later, he still was fine and I praise God for keeping him safe!”

Day by day, the Apple and Jasel continued sharing God’s Word in their site and He richly blessed them! Apple said, “Though this is a hard area, there were people who chose to be baptized! I am so happy and blessed with the testimonies that they shared when we visited with them before they were baptized. We could really see the transformation in their lives! God is really working on their hearts! The backsliders were coming back to church again and there are so many other amazing things that God did during our time there! One of those who were baptized told me that he had almost been killed several times, but that God had saved him so that he could hear the truth and come to know the Lord!”

(From left: Apple, Jasel, the newly baptized candidates and Pastor)
The man who wrote the testimony at the left with Jasel and Apple.
Praise the Lord for those who chose to be baptized at the end of their program! One of them said, “My life before was so bad. But my wife-to-be invited me to the seminar and I came. There I learned that before I was even born, my Creator had thought of me and he knew everything about me! I learned that He is my friend and protector – the One I can turn to at anytime. When I learned so much about this loving Lord, I wanted to give my life to Him. I am precious in His eyes. That’s why I will not allow a single minute to go by without allowing Him to be my Savior and Lord. My life greatly changed during this program. What I once loved to do, I no longer do. I am so grateful to the Lord for sending Amazing Facts to this place to help me learn more about Him! The lectures were so clear and easy to understand and all from the Bible. Praise God for what He did in my life!”

Apple and Jasel's site were one of those who were praying the coming typhoon would not affect their baptism and final meeting. The waves at the beach were high, but that didn't stop the candidates from sealing their decisions for Christ that day!

It was so hard to believe at the end that they had really finished and God had helped them each step of the way. Yes, He had given them all the help and strength they needed to keep going! What was their advice to others?

“Surrender everything to God – even the challenges you face. Remember that it’s God’s work and He will never leave you. Don’t forget your connection with God and don’t get discouraged. God will use you mightily for Him!”

“Pray and trust God always. Have faith in His promises and everything will be just fine. Take every step, one step at a time, holding the hand of the Master Teacher and you will find true success and satisfaction in your work for God.”

Never fear, friends! God will give you just the help you need when you run into challenges! Take courage!