Tag Archives: volunteer

Full of Strangers

Have you ever asked God why He allows you to meet different strangers at certain points in your life? Do you think God has a reason for every stranger that you cross path with?

Isn’t it amazing how God connects us with different people not just to those within our reach but even to those who are oceans apart from us? I never thought how technology could make it possible.

I believe that God puts people in our lives for a reason, even strangers that we get to talk for two minutes or less. We may not know what that reason is, but for sure, God makes it happen as part of His great plan in each of our lives.

When opportunity comes that strangers become strangers no more, it’s amazing when you see how relationships develop from a mere exchange of hello. Question is –  How much of our time right now are we giving to invest in building genuine relationships?

And, I’m throwing that question to all single women out there. As you wait for that person that God has set for you, have you been spending your time meeting different people and really building genuine friendship? How have you been intentional in meeting people? Or, have you been totally ignoring strangers?

Since I moved here May of last year, I’m just amazed how God allowed me to meet people of different backgrounds. There are people that I only get to see once a week but as you start sharing a bit of your life to them and so do they, it’s amazing how that once a week encounters grow into friendships.

As single, one of the many ways that we can maximize our time is to be part of a community. It could be a way to meet the person that God has prepared for you. 😉 Though of course, that is just a bonus if ever that happens. It’s really more of learning how to be selfless as we share our time to people who needs it.

So when you meet a stranger today and God touches your heart to give a little bit of your time, go ahead and do it. You’ll never know how that encounter would turn out into something beautiful.

“Keep on loving one another as brothers and sisters. Do not forget to show hospitality to strangers, for by so doing some people have shown hospitality to angels without knowing it.” Hebrews 13:1-2

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Photo below: This is with my friend, Anni at Intramuros. I met her at a Bible class in a church I attended before here in Canada.  After the Bible class, we didn’t see each other anymore and God allowed us to meet again while we were volunteering at the church cafeteria. She is a perfect example of a person who invested her time to a stranger like me (stranger in the country to be exact). And since then, we’ve become good friends. God has used her so much to bless me especially when I moved here as immigrant.

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Attend, Serve, Hear – Then What?

Just this Sunday, I went home to Bacolod to spend time with my family before I leave the country.  It was very timely also as we celebrated my mom’s 60th birthday. Days before that, she requested us if we can have a Bible study at home when I arrive. I was okay with it as I took it as an opportunity also.

Few days before I went home, I had the privilege to volunteer and help for the “Unshakable” Conference which was held in Christ’s Commission Fellowship. The speakers were Krish Dhanam, Nabeel Qureshi and Ravi Zacharias. There were also other guests who came who are part of the RZIM (Ravi Zacharias International Ministries).

Being part of the speakers’ care team, I had the chance to pick up some of the guests from RZIM at the airport and had conversations with them, knowing a bit about them – what they do, where they’re from, etc.  I must say, it was an interesting and meaningful experience. I could see how God uses ordinary people to do His work.

On the event day, while still helping out in the care team, I was blessed that I could still attend and hear the messages of all speakers. And I’m really glad that I did. I believed God wanted me to have the right perspective and heart as I respond to what He would require from me.

What do I mean by that?

My mom joined a religious group which became known because of a t.v. program wherein their leader answers all questions of the viewers by quoting different verses in the Bible. That Bible study I mentioned was conducted by a worker from that group . I agreed with it because I wanted to know first-hand what they believe in and what they teach.  It was a tempting opportunity to debate and argue but just like what I learned from the conference, we must do everything in LOVE.

During the Bible study, I made some notes on the verses they share and the words they speak. I also asked questions just to probe and get more understanding on what they believe in. While listening, my heart really broke and is still breaking. I am saddened of what I heard. I realized how much they truly need to experience the love and grace of God.

I remembered the very words of Dr. Ravi, “If you want to defend your faith, you have to work hard.” For me to be able to share to my mom the truth of God’s Word, I have to do my own homework as well. I have to be more diligent in studying God’s Word, be more prayerful and to just continue showing love.

Paul’s instruction is also an encouragement knowing that only God can truly change the hearts of people.

Again I say, don’t get involved in foolish, ignorant arguments that only start fights. A servant of the Lord must not quarrel but must be kind to everyone, be able to teach, and be patient with difficult people. Gently instruct those who oppose the truth. Perhaps God will change those people’s hearts, and they will learn the truth. Then they will come to their senses and escape from the devil’s trap. For they have been held captive by him to do whatever he wants. (2 Timothy 2:23-26)

After that Bible study, my eyes were more widely opened on the so-called “urgency”. The devil is working double time in deceiving a lot of people to confuse them by twisting the truth. I realize I just can’t sit and stay sad for them. I must also put a lot of effort to double time in prayer and in sharing God’s love and His Word to others.

This is when the “Then What?” comes in. God does not want us to remain the same after attending series of events or conferences about Him. It’s not just an additional experience or another check in our bucket list. I was suppose to go home on the 17th of May but because the flight was more expensive than the 18th, I took the next day flight. I would have missed the conference but God knew I needed to hear His message.  I know I wasn’t just there to merely hear and feel good and be blessed. God wanted me to hear and apply what I learned.

At the last part of Dr. Ravi’s message, he asked to come forward those who wanted to make a commitment in responding to God’s cause. I just stayed in my place and when Ptr. Peter started praying, I cried. God reminded me that everything that will happen in my future will never be about me. I cried because I got scared that I might fail God. What if I won’t be able to do what He will ask me to do?

I can only pray that God will make me “usable”. Just like what one of the speakers said, that instead of praying that God would use us, pray that God would make us usable. I know I can never accomplish anything until I let God make me the person that He could use for His work.

These are my take home points during the conference. These points reminded me that we don’t live just for ourselves, we live for God and His cause.

– Steer away from things that don’t matter.

– Keep the main thing the main thing.

– You are needed where God puts you.

– Bring into the light your shameful past and see how God will use it.

– A calling is a convergence of your capabilities, convictions, affirmations and opportunities.

– Be careful in choosing your role models.

– If you are a prayerful Christian, your faith will carry you. If not, you will have to carry your faith.

– As you know the truth, take time to know also the worldview on things.

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Speakers’ Care Team

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“If you love me, keep my commands.” – Jesus (John 14:15)

 

Something New

The first time I tried baking cupcakes was with some friends at church. I never had a clue about baking until that day. For me, it was very,very complicated. But then, when I saw how it was prepared and done, I realized it wasn’t that complicated at all. I can absolutely do it on my own. And so, from then on, I developed a little interest on baking.

It’s something I want to learn more especially that I’m really a “bread” person. I’d love to learn how to make bread. Who wouldn’t want freshly baked breads everyday, right?

Here’s a picture of my first try of making cream puff. Well, it wasn’t bad for a first time (or I dunno, I’m no expert). Though, I tried doing it again and the second time was much better! You can find here the recipe I used for my second try -> http://gooddinnermom.com/aunt-pats-famous-cream-puff-recipe/. I liked this recipe better since it has custard filling.

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If you haven’t tried baking at all, I suggest you give it a try. If you have an oven or even just an oven toaster, you can start from there.  All you need is a set of measuring cups and spoons! 🙂 You can start with simple recipes of butter cupcakes.

Or, you can always try other things that you haven’t done. It’s nice to try something new from time to time that would make your day productive. It’s actually refreshing.

Here are other things I suggest you can try:

    – find a new sport, some of my friends got so engaged with “Ultimate” (famous term: frisbee)

   – setup your own blog site, if you enjoy writing journals, it’s time you start a blog site and start sharing to others, your life could be an encouragement

  – volunteer on weekends, some of the girls I disciple volunteer their Saturdays in tutoring less fortunate kids

  – get artistic, it could be doing crafts (which I also enjoy!) or doing designs for printed shirts and the like 

 – read a book, if you’re not into reading books, I suggest you try finishing one, doesn’t have to be a novel, a pocket size, with thin pages can be a good start

There are so many things you can actually try doing. You just have to make sure that it is practical and beneficial not just to you but also to the people around you.

If you have other suggestions, feel free to share 🙂

A Volunteer’s Journal

If you look back at your life 12 months ago, will you be able to say that you’ve changed a lot as a person?  Every end of the year, some might say time flew so fast or to some the year seemed so long. Truth is, how the days passed by 10 years ago or thousand years ago had no difference to how they passed by a year ago. Looks like how we view it is always relative to how we have lived our lives.

Last year, just a week before this weekend, I participated as one of the facilitators of the Singles@Work Conference entitled, “Pursue Love”.  God revealed Himself during that conference by teaching me to be more trustful and to be humble. He used different situations that time to remind not just me but I believe all the volunteers the importance of prayer and humility.

And just this weekend, I had the same privilege of serving God as a volunteer again for another S@W conference entitled, “Purpose Driven”.  If I compare this year’s conference to last year, I must say that this year has really improved a lot and is much better.  Though somehow, that should always be the goal. To always improve.

But then, I realized that comparison should not be based on how the event had turned out. What should be compared is how the volunteers have changed.  How the event was implemented was really because of the condition of the heart, mind and soul of God’s workers because God never changed.

This conference is no different to the other events that the ministry has organized. Because every event has one purpose and that is to make Jesus known. And as we all share our own gifts to God’s work, we get to see how God could really orchestrate every detail for His work.  The differences that each volunteer had were used by God for His perfect plan. And to be able to see that as I worked behind the scene was truly amazing.

My main take home for this conference was really to see the heart of each volunteer that I’ve never seen in the previous events that we had. I can’t speak for how each one has prepared for this event or even how much was changed in them as compared to last year or in every event organized. I can only speak for myself.  I’ve become more patient, more trusting to the Lord, more loving and more prayerful.

As for the rest of the volunteers, I don’t know what changed but all I can say is I’ve seen growth. I’m truly blessed to serve God with brothers and sisters in Christ who are so passionate for the Lord. As I ponder last night how amazing the event has turned out, I realize that God was not just working in the hearts of the participants but as well as in every heart of the volunteer.

All glory to the Father through the Lord Jesus Christ, our Lord and Savior!

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Ministry: Singles@Work – https://www.facebook.com/singlesatwork