Please watch the actual testimony on video here (December 28, 2008)
A Thank Offering
“I will sacrifice a thank offering to you and call on the name of the Lord. I will fulfill my vows to the Lord in the presence of all His people.” Psalm 116:17-18
I praise the Lord for giving me this opportunity to share with you my testimony, to declare of His mighty work and be a blessing to many.
As I ponder about God’s hand in my life, I noticed that every decade, a significant event or a milestone happens.
I was born in 1968, 3rd of October. This year, I turned 40. In my growing up years, I was given what was best for me. A decade later, 1978, I was crowned as the princess of San Carlos City, my hometown, and the launching of my womanhood. In 1988, I met Bim. He was used by God to bring me to this church and that same year, I received Jesus Christ as my personal Savior and Lord. Bim and I got married three years after. I remember vividly a couple of days after our wedding, I have asked Bim if he is led to raise our family in the United States. He said that if there is a place to raise a family, it will have to be in New Zealand.
Within the next 10 years from 1988 to 1998, we were seriously involved serving the Lord with many ministries at BCCB. But it was in 1996 or thereabouts that I was led to ask Bim again, being the head of our home, if the Lord has given him a life vision and mission for our family. He gave me this verse:
Genesis 12:2-3, “I will make you a great nation, I will bless you. I will make your name great, and you will be a blessing. I will bless those who bless you, and whoever curses you, I will curse. Through you every family on earth will be blessed."
In 1998, Bim and I heeded the call to go full time in the ministry.
In 2001, we were involved with Family Foundations International. At its infancy, God has assigned me to work in the ministry as a facilitator, the office assistant and the finance officer. As I continued to journey with God, He showed me a remarkable verse in Genesis 12:1. Notice that this is found just before our family’s vision and mission.
"Leave your land, your relatives, and your father's home. Go to the land that I will show you.”
The year after, I was offered a job as an accountant in Australia. I applied but was denied because my qualifications were not comparable to Australian standards.
“What now, Lord?, was my inquiry. At this time, I kept going back to our family’s life verse. The desire to know more about God’s leading for our family increased.
In 2003, in one of the FFI seminars in Manila, a pastor prayed for me, and in his prayer, he mentioned these words... “You will go to a place. I see you on a ferryboat… such a beautiful place. While he was praying, I saw myself on board a cruise ship at Sydney harbor. He continued by saying, “Your visa will be approved and all the visas of your husband's and children will be approved as well. But this will not come soon. This will only be accomplished when your children are all grown up.” (Pastor Carandang) At that time, Caila, our youngest has just turned one year old. I wrote in my journal the word AUSTRALIA in bold letters and with a large question mark. But all the while, we were focused on pursuing New Zealand.
Another impartation from our gifted brother, Jeff Littleton to Bim and he said: “Bim, you are a Joshua”
Joshua 1:6-9, “Be strong and of good courage. For you shall divide for an inheritance to this people, the land which I swore to their fathers, to give it to them. Only be strong and very courageous so that you may be careful to do according to all the Law which My servant Moses commanded you. Do not turn from it to the right or to the left, so that you may act wisely wherever you go. This book of the Law shall not depart out of your mouth, but you shall meditate on it by day and by night, so that you may be careful to do according to all that is written in it. For then you shall make your way prosperous, and then you shall act wisely. Have I not commanded you? Be strong and of good courage. Do not be afraid, neither be dismayed. For Jehovah your God is with you in all places where you go.”
Then he added by saying, “God will bring you to a spiritual land of inheritance”.
What is this spiritual land of inheritance, was my heart’s big question. I didn’t take God’s word lightly. On the one hand, I took it literally and seriously. I sought for answers and didn’t stop. I read the whole chapter in context with the inspiration of the Holy Spirit and God spoke to me specifically. His instructions were very clear for it is supported by His word, impartations, and confirmations from godly people, and more times in prophetic dreams.
Another sign in 2004, God showed me a dream. I saw myself dressed in white facilitating a birth of a child. I asked the Lord the message of that dream and wrestled with Him in prayer. There was a deep prodding. This, I thought, was a call from God. So, Bim and I went to Pastor Joe for godly counsel. We ended up with a handful of blessing from our dear pastor to pursue what God has in store for us, and to fulfill God's purpose and destiny for our family. God, likewise, appointed two women close to my heart to be my Prayer Jonathans, Jessa and Ione to support me in prayer throughout my journey towards the Promised spiritual land of inheritance.
So we took a leap of faith and obedience. I resigned from my post with FFI and held on to the promises of God, that was all we have and that was enough to make us take the first step.
I took up a nursing course, an endeavor Bim and I never have thought of doing. But God likewise has placed a desire for nursing in my heart. It was an impossible venture because we knew that it required finances as well which we did not have. We obeyed and I went through nursing school well provided for, I never lacked in anything.
When there’s a vision, comes provision.
At this time, it was clear, God will bring my family to another land. God is preparing a mission field for us somewhere out there.
There were several points why God chose Abraham and how it relates to the vision/mission for my family:
1. When God spoke, Abraham listened.
2. When Abraham listened, he obeyed.
3. He was willing to sacrifice anything for God.
4. God chose him for a specific assignment or task
5. The task was overwhelming and He needed God to accomplish it for Him.
But why Bim and my family, Lord? was my inquiry. He confirmed His answer through this verse: Genesis 18:18-19, “His descendants will become a great and mighty nation, and through him I will bless all the nations. I have chosen him in order that he may command his sons and his descendants to obey me and to do what is right and just. If they do, I will do everything for him that I have promised."
2007, last year, I acted hastily and went ahead of God’s plans. After nursing school, I forced my way and took the local board knowing in my heart that I wasn’t ready. I failed the first time. I was depressed and I thought my dream for my family was shattered. I found myself in the wilderness and my spirit was dry and desolate. I went away for a long retreat, and there, in my Mt. Sinai experience, God spoke to me in the book of Exodus. Three words that encouraged me to get on my feet again, these were: consecrate yourself, be still, and move on. This was further confirmed through the verse in Habakuk 2:3 “These things I plan wont happen right away. Slowly, steadily, surely, the time approaches when the vision will be fulfilled. If it seems slow, do not despair, for these things will surely come to pass. Just be patient.”
God in all His wisdom ordains circumstances and situations in our lives that will test our hearts and show us what is there that is not pleasing to Him. I confessed and repented. My daughter wrote me a love note and said, “ It’s okay Mom. God is just correcting you.” I was deeply touched by this note. Indeed, my daughter was right!
He further made it clear to me that the keys to receiving the Promised Land of God is by faith, and lies deep within a divine relationship with Him. Therefore, I did not progress past the wilderness wandering about unless I discover a deeper level of intimacy where God wants me to be. He was serious with my time with Him. I realized that the Promised Spiritual Land of inheritance is not a place, but a deep, special and divine relationship with Him. This was the Spiritual Land of Inheritance the Lord was trying to tell me about. Once my spirit arrives there, the physical realm follows.