Missionaries Used in Way Only God Knew
In a coastal town on the island of Mindanao in the Philippines, an impoverished young mother had a hard enough time raising four children without putting up with a drug addict for a husband.
But Angelica* didn’t think of her husband, Bagwis, as a drug addict. To her he was the same familiar face she had known since their barefoot childhood amid the dirt roads and palm fronds of home – but now desperately ill and in a downward spiral. He had become addicted to shabu, methamphetamine, two years ago, just before she had become a Christian.
Most of their meager earnings from selling discarded bottles and other scrap material went to keeping him in a state of shabu-induced euphoria, manic energy and a decrease of gnawing hunger. Then the inevitable crash – depressed, fatigued and stuck in vivid dreams while she struggled to find something for the children to eat.
Angelica could send her kids to school only because a government subsidy covered fees and a provided a lunch allowance, but it was far from their hut. At school her children were often ridiculed for their shabby clothes. When she learned that an indigenous Christian ministry provided quality education through a learning center set up in their village, she was overjoyed; she had prayed many times for a Christian education for them.
She held Bible studies at her house every Saturday, believing only the Word of God could transform her husband, but he disappeared every time they gathered.
Her children, ages 8 to 15, threw themselves into their studies at the learning center, where they enjoyed camaraderie with the other kids and a warmer atmosphere.
“Thanking God, she even kneeled before us because of her gratitude that her children were benefitting from the education,” the ministry director said. “She thanked us because many times she wished there was a Christian center in the area, and she thanked God because we brought the school to them.”
Workers held Bible studies at her house every Saturday at her invitation, as she believed only the Word of God could transform her husband. Except that he disappeared every time they gathered, claiming he had chores to do. His border-line psychotic mood swings continued, frightening her and their children.
Then one day he said he had given his life to Christ.
“Yes, my husband was really transformed!” Angelica said. “Praise God, because we did not know that every Saturday when he said he had chores to do, he was only hiding and listening to us studying the Word of God. And he accepted Christ.”
Bagwis obtained work as a street sweeper, now a follower of Jesus, because indigenous Christian workers were trained and supported to reach him in ways only God knew. Such servants in native ministries throughout Southeast Asia face considerable challenges but are unwavering in their dedication to bringing Christ’s love to hurting people. Please consider a gift today to help these native workers reach their respective countrymen for Christ.
*Names changed for security reasons