Showers of Blessings in the Philippines

July 15 2009 / ShareHim in Philippines A, Jun. 5 - Jun. 20 '09 #369
by James Tarin

Campaign Site Narrative from Inclanay, Inclanay in Philippines A. The speaker assigned to this site was James Martinez Tarin.

My name is James Tarin, and I am a future medical student from the small west Texas town of Balmorhea. After graduating from college in May of 2009, I prayed fervently for Christ’s guidance in the planning of my last summer before the start of medical school. Though I had many options in mind, missionary work wasn’t one of the most probable tasks to consume my summer. I had always dreamed of being a missionary, but simply never had the opportunity. The Lord must have recognized my desires. We are told in His word, “For the LORD searches every heart and understands every motive behind the thoughts” (1 Chronicles 28:9). Accordingly, God answered my prayers in a way I never could have imagined!

My path to the Philippines started from a chat with a new acquaintance made over the internet. In a matter of a week’s time, I spoke with people I had never met, got vaccinations I never anticipated having, and applied for a visa to a country I never thought to visit! Though the trip started in less than two short weeks, the Lord allowed accommodations to be made that would have been impossible otherwise. Even before the start of my mission trip, the Lord demonstrated to me how far He was willing to go to make my call to the Philippines a reality.

This wasn’t merely a call to preach, but a call to true discipleship in Christ. For the majority of my life, I had spent my days trying to understand my role as a member of God’s remnant church. I wasn’t sure the Lord was calling me to be a preacher because I knew that His ministry takes many forms…some He calls to be teachers, preachers, evangelists, doctors, and so on. Yet in the Philippines, I discovered that I too can be used as an evangelist even if it is not my vocation. I learned that one does not have to be a preacher to take part in the ministry of saving souls through evangelism. Thus the call I had avoided for many years was finally answered in my time with ShareHim. I’m thankful to God that even if I tried to run like Jonah, I was not swallowed by a giant fish…He just sent me to an island on the other side of the world!

It was on these islands where my life was changed in many ways. The word “church” now has an immensely different connotation for me; the walls are irrelevant, and the people imperative. My church on the island of Oriental Mindoro, which was constructed of bamboo and a simple tarp roof, showed me the kind of love that abounds in God’s remnant church. This is the love of agape, which never grows cold and sustains even the hungriest of souls. I learned that a diet and lifestyle of simplicity prepare the body and mind to offer God a service with more breadth. Above all, I learned the true essence of mission.

Of all of the definitions for mission, I believe the most fitting is, “A specific task with which a person or a group is charged.” We all have been charged with a task, and that is the task of seeking and saving. The joy of our own salvation should be a constant reminder of the hope and truth that we have to impart to others, that their joy may also be made full. In doing so, we may become “channels of light” to others as we “become teachers after the divine order” (E.G. White). Mission is much more than a task or trip, it is a state of mind. We may not all be called to the Philippines, but we are all called to His service daily. In our conversations and our actions, we are called to glorify Him who sent us. If we are simply members of God’s church, we only maintain the organization. We are called to be members that move; members that cultivate and labor in the fields of service for Christ; we are called to be missionaries. For only in the spirit of mission is the true nature of Christianity understood.

The Christian life is one of fullness and blessings. As His children, we have been blessed with the opportunity to share in Christ’s work. The Lord could have used angels and even rocks to accomplish His task on earth, but He allows us the blessing of watching others join His fold. He promises in Proverbs 11:25 that “he who waters will himself be watered.” In the Philippines, there surely were showers of blessings. Whether it was a mother wishing that someday her child becomes a soldier for Christ like me, or a teenager giving his life to Christ, God provided blessings not only for the hearers of the word, but also for the doers. Even in such an impoverished country, I was blessed when people told me about their richness in God’s kingdom. I was blessed when they related their struggles to me, many of them similar to mine. I was blessed when they smiled as they watched the story of Jesus for the first time. I was blessed when the rains poured and still the pews of our hut were full. I was blessed when children sang songs at the top of their lungs about the stories we have to tell the world and how every tribe and nation are waiting for us. I was blessed when I saw them all gather on the banks of the sea to give their lives to Christ in baptism….surely there were showers of blessing!

In the Philippines I found my calling—to be a missionary for Christ no matter where this life takes me. I found that God uses ordinary people like me to accomplish extraordinary tasks. I finally learned that preaching the word of God is no longer something I have to run from, but something I must embrace. I came to understand that our call to discipleship is a call to mission in every sense of the word. I came to depend on my Savior in a way I never had before. From that dependence, I learned that as a member of God’s church I’m called to move…I’m called to mission.

To ShareHim, Quiet Hour Ministries, and the Southwestern Union, I would like to express my gratitude for allowing me the opportunity to experience these blessings. God has truly used your organizations in furthering the gospel and hastening the coming of our Lord. Thank you so much for your support and the work you are doing across our nation and the world. The lives of many will continue to be enriched by your generosity and mission.
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