“Ang tunay na pag-oo ay isang tunay na pagmamahal sa Diyos”.
(Responding with a total YES is a genuine act of love for God)
I would like to share with you how God called me into my missionary life. It all started with a simple “yes” to God. When I accepted Him in my life and embraced Him wholeheartedly, I was brought into a deeper relationship with Him. Since then, every year that came brought an invitation for me to love more in the form of my service and to step up in my commitment to taking care of people
I gradually realized that those things were just stepping stones for me because God was preparing me for a special calling which was to become a mission volunteer for MFC Youth. But with this calling also came something that was holding me back— I did not feel worthy to be in God’s presence and I felt that I do not deserve to become His missionary. I felt that I was too old to be part of this group of brave young mission volunteers, and lastly, I still have to support my family financially.
But when I told these things to my household servant, he only said this in response “Hindi naman pumipili ang Diyos ng perpektong tao- katulad nalang ng pagtawag ni Jesus sa kanyang mga apostol, bagkus pinipili niya ang mga taong masipag magmahal, manalangin at magtiwala ng buong puso sa Kanya” (God does not choose perfect people. Just like how He called his apostles, He instead keeps choosing people who are eager to love, to pray and to entrust their whole heart to Him.)
These words enlightened me and made me see how unworthy all of us are when God calls us. But what is more important than our unworthiness is that God knows what is inside our hearts and He continues to see our capacity to love and our willingness to sacrifice everything in our lives for the love of Him.
I shared this affirmation to a friend that is also part of our community and she told me: “Bilib ako sa tapang na pinakita mo dahil alam ko marami tayong nangarap patungo sa Kanya pero ikaw lang ang nanatili at naging matatag para ipaglaban ang pagmamahal ng Diyos kahit na lahat naman tayo nahirapan” (I admire the courage that you have shown all of us because I know that there were many of us who had dreams for the Lord but you are the only one who remained firm in fighting for His love even though all of us experienced difficulties.) It reminded me that it is truly the Lord who has rebuilt myself. He strengthened my weak faith and He taught me to have a loving, firm, and humble heart. These things gave me the courage to fight for what God wants me to do and embrace Him tightly wherever He wants me to go.
And lastly, the Lord spoke to me personally through the verse, Philippians 1:6 which says I am confident of this, that the one who began a good work in you will continue to complete it until the day of Christ Jesus. It is a reminder that God did not bring me this far to just leave me. When I read this verse, my tears started to fall because of the happiness that I felt and the freedom from all the guilt of worrying about many things. I realized that God is journeying with me from the start, even if there were many moments that I was scared to fight and face my battles in life. He never forsakes or abandons me, so that even when I’m afraid, I know that He is behind my back to protect me from the snares of wickedness, to provide for all the things that I worried about. I decided to keep saying yes to Him and remain in His love and grace because I know in His arms I will always be safe. Through my calling, I really understood that saying “yes” to God is sacred; it makes us part of the body of Christ; in heart and soul. It is indeed a great privilege that I am called by God.
Romnick Bartolay is a Mission Volunteer of MFC Youth serving the area of NCR Central.