2015 Manila – Jihye Eom

Born of Love

…and whoever loves has been born of God and knows God.” – 1 John 4:7

The Bible verse above was what I kept hearing from God during the trip. I brought my journal with me to Manila. This was the journal where I wrote down verses or words God put on my heart as I fasted and prayed for this missions trip. I would read through the pages as the team was traveling to our ministry events. And for some reason, 1 John 4 caught my eyes each time. After coming back from the trip, I am reminded of my prayer for my semester of school before leaving for the missions trip. My small group leader had asked us to write down our expectations for the upcoming semester. I took a good amount of time to think because it was my final semester of college. I asked God to replace my own definition of love to His definition. And in His faithfulness, this is exactly what the Lord showed me through this trip.

Our team had 2 to 3 ministry events each day at different churches, so our faithful driver was always with us. His name is Dar, and we called him Kuya Dar [kuya meaning older brother] in a way to show our respect. Our team member Pastor Jazzmin tends to get carsick, she had to seat in the front. I would sit in the front with her to keep her company. My head would almost hit the roof of the van and I could not really join in on the conversations going on behind us. But I liked how I was able to see the streets and random people up ahead. I also liked having Kuya Dar on my left side and Pastor Jazzmin on my right. But, more than anything, I loved getting to have a small talk with kuya Dar.

When I first met him it was our first day of ministry in the field. I gave him a big smile saying good morning, filled with excitement for the day. I remember Dar did not even look at me or say a word. He pretended not to hear or see anyone. After getting in the car, I noticed that he was a Catholic, as he would make the sign of the cross over himself before driving. Kuya Dar did not smile, talk, or eat with us in between ministries. Nevertheless, he was witnessing what God was doing through us, around us, and in us. He saw the fire of God fall in the churches. He saw us praying for the sick. He saw us releasing honor over the church leaders and members. He saw our Gospel skit and children’s ministry in slum areas. He was able to witness the joy carried by our team members wherever we went. He heard us humming praise songs randomly, and fun and creative games during our rides. He also saw our team’s fun counting system where we would call out our assigned numbers whenever Toko shouted out “Count!” to check if everyone was present. And as Kuya Dar was receiving what we were receiving through the presence of God, I knew he was getting more and more open. The Holy Spirit then highlighted him to me, and I was led to start praying for his salvation. And after a random talk with Pastor Jazzmin, she said she had been feeling and thinking the same thing. This was a confirmation for both of us.

On the third day of our trip in the mission field, I greeted Kuya Dar saying good morning with a big, happy smile as usual and got on the car. After he got on the driver seat, he tapped me on the shoulder and then put his palms together with his eyes closed. I was confused, not understanding what he was trying to do, so I just looked at him. Kuya Dar opened his eyes, and did the same thing again. Then Pastor Jazzmin saw what was happening, and said aloud to members in the back that she was going to pray over our journey for the way, and over our driver, Kuya Dar. I finally realized what he had asked me to do, and screamed a happy scream inside. Kuya even joined the counting system with us on the day. After our last number, 10, he shouted out “ELEVEN!!!” Everyone was surprised by his unexpected joy. Later, our local contact Pastor Joseph told me that after the second to last day of our ministry, as Kuya Dar went back home, he asked his daughters and neighbors about Jesus and received a salvation prayer.

I knew our team would bring back many good reports from the field including little things like check-in favor at Incheon Airport, to greater testimonies like salvations and healings. God indeed overflowed our cups far beyond expectations. This trip was marked with supernatural joy, great team unity, and provision. However, the most important revelation I have gained from the trip is the fact that God’s love brings life. We become alive and perfected by loving one another, for God is love. 1 John 4 says that whoever loves has been born of God and knows God, because through this love we abide in God and God abides in us. In the context of man’s loving nature coming from God, all who receive love from others and also gives love to others become filled with the presence of the Lord. And it is through this that God breathes life into their hearts and minds.

Leave a Reply