Inspiring Christian Life Stories – Part 5

The Mission

The Situation

More than a month ago, my daughter was abducted, tortured and raped. But I do not like to dwell on that.

Rather, I ask why this happened to my daughter. Though already in her 2nd year in college, she still is a special child. Not because any child is special to her parents, but that she has a hearing disability. She can't hear; she's tone deaf. She who's already lacking in life (in the physical sense and maybe in the emotional sense too) had to still suffer this personal dishonor.

Throughout the abduction, while anxiously waiting for news (threatening news would come through text in the cell phone), I spent a good amount of time talking with God. I asked God, “What is happening to us? I just want answers and I want you to talk to me.”

The Lord said, “I will talk not only to you but also to your brothers and sisters in the community.”

What follows is a summary of what He said. I warn you there is more than insights here for us all.

I’m Sorry For Them

The first that He said was, “Forgive.” It was a tough first act. I hesitated. Through my daughter, the Lord spoke. “Dad, forgive them. They probably only had problems with their studies or with their parents. I'm sorry for them.” If my daughter - the victim - had forgiven them, so also must I! During all that time of waiting, not knowing what happened to her, my only prayer then was to have my child alive. Yet, God answered me; I got her back.

The devil wanted to throw me out of focus with my service - this was second. I was scheduled to go to Brunei for a mission trip. But I cannot leave with this kind of a situation. However, the Lord said, “What can you do that I cannot do. Let me do My work; do yours.” I left leaving our children behind. It was then I realized not only for myself but also for all of us: we must not hesitate nor worry of what might happen to our families when we leave them. The truth is, even when we're around, what we worry about could still happen. As long as we do not neglect them, let the Lord handle the situation.

Again, the devil tempted me to despair, “Because you keep going out on mission, this is what you get for leaving your children behind. Spending so much time with Couples for Christ has brought this on you. Now what? How will the kids fare?” The third I see is the urgency of the work. I bring my daughter to and fetch her from school. She doesn't dress sleazily nor does she speak immodestly flirting with danger. Yet she reaped humiliation. We are in a period of unprecedented evil. The only answer to that is relentless evangelization. The devil is targeting the next generation. We cannot let up on our own evangelization efforts. The hope, future and legacy we leave to our children depend on the pains we take to evangelize them and the people around them. When we are content with 2 or 3 couples that we have brought to the Lord, we are taking the easy route, feeling lazy. The Lord is telling us to get the corrupt, the depraved, the amoral, the vicious criminals - the hard soil - or those who might turn out to be such. Target not those who are in church; bring the Word of God to those who stay away from it. We really have to do our work.

Fourth is empathy. I learned that if you're hurt or wounded it would be easier for you to empathize with brothers and sisters.

Self-sacrifice is the fifth. My older son recently got promoted. But he resigned to attend to and take care of his sister. I found his letter to his boss. It said in part, “We have to face some crossroads in our lives and choose our path… the path I choose is to take care of my sister now and my career later.” It hit me as a leader; we do at times take people for granted. We forget that it is our job to care for people. Service it still is but pastoral care is more important. That is why we are here in this community in the first place.

The gift of CFC community comes sixth. CFC is truly a caring, concerned, working, vibrant, and lively community. CFC is alive. It is a community that cares for people, for us, for its members. CFC is a way of life; I found and experienced it as such. I saw the care of brothers and sisters. Lachie, for one, stayed with me and with my family all throughout the ordeal. When we were receiving death threats in our home, I talked to a brother for help. He found a wonderful place for us in 15 minutes, in a place we could never afford and yet need not pay. He helped without asking too many embarrassing questions.

Its Real!

The last is the mission of this community. We have been given a mission: to bring the good news to others, to evangelize. The mission is real; it is not theoretical or theological. It is a mission that all of us have to do. It is a mission regardless of and despite of pain, problem and difficulties. If we lose focus of that mission and vision, at the first sign of trouble we could then say “I quit.” The Lord says, “This is your mission. Strengthen your community because you are the one that will bring light to other families.” I believe that is what the Lord will use this community for.

Like the song “The Mission” says

“The message we're proclaiming Is repentance and forgiveness, An offer of salvation to the dying race of man. To love the Lord our God is the heartbeat of our mission, The spring from which our service overflows Across the street or around the world. The mission stays the same To proclaim and love in Jesus' name.” By Manny Garda

Back to Part 1

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