by Deb Bataller, CBN Asia
James Nablo used to walk away from God. Not knowing his life’s purpose, he walked farther and farther away from his purpose and destiny. Yet after all his rebellious acts, there’s one thing he proved: He can’t escape God.
His Rebel Years
James grew up in a Christian environment. His aunt, a Born-Again Christian, raised James and became his guardian. Since both his parents could not take care of him, James had no one but his aunt.
“My aunt is a dedicated worker in church, and she would get me involved in activities like vacation Bibles schools, the music team, and the arts team. At an early age, I was already exposed to Christian values and teachings,” he said.
But as he grew older, being in church became a half-hearted obligation. Although he was involved in different ministries, he was looking for something else. James could not find true service in the activities he was doing, and so he started going out of the church’s covering and tried exploring other things.
“I became so stubborn and rebellious. I started disobeying my aunt and the church, and eventually I ran away. I found all the worldly things. My life became a mess, a total wreck. Instead of finding my purpose, I found disorder and confusion.”
But God did not forget James. He still has a calling to fulfill.
A New Direction
One night, after getting drunk in a party, James suddenly felt meaningless and worthless. As he was walking home, he thought of ending his life by jumping off a bridge.
That was his plan. But God had another plan in mind.
“While I was thinking of jumping off the bridge, I suddenly heard a couple of young people singing ‘One way, Jesus! You’re the only one that I could live for.’ I was taken aback. While these kids are praising God, here I was, doing the opposite.”
That night, God saved James from death and even revealed to him a part of his wonderful plan for his life.
“Together with the young people I met that night, I went to their church to attend a Bible study. At first, I was just looking around, eyeing pretty girls,” he confessed. “But as soon as the message of the pastor ended, I found myself in tears. That unforgettable night, May 7, 1996, I accepted Jesus as my Lord and Savior, and I committed my life to Him.”
James at Present
After that night, God did so many wonderful things in James’ life. He found a new life and a new beginning in Christ. He is now one of the students attending the mobile Missionary Training Program (MTP) being conducted by Asian Center for Missions (ACM) in Lucena.
With a heart close to the young generation, James’s heart is to help the youth know and find Christ in their lives, just like how he found Him.
“My heart is geared towards the young people, especially in places where the Gospel is scarce. I want to help the youth dedicate and surrender their lives to Christ, and ACM is helping me achieve that goal through MTP.”
He added, “Through this training, I am learning how to develop more of myself as a missionary inside and out. The lessons are very applicable and meaningful. I now understand more how it is like to be a missionary in relevance to the mission works that I have been doing. I am expecting the experience more about my calling to be in the field, because I know that one of my roles as a Filipino is to fulfill the Great Commission. ACM and its MTP have been very helpful to me. They are God’s instruments for me to discover more of his perfect plans.”
Being a missionary is not an easy task for James. But he decided to take the call and follow wherever God will lead him.
“Now that I have discovered my purpose in life, I just let God’s will be done. I am on my way towards fulfilling the Great Commission, and God is definitely preparing me.”
James is currently the youth pastor of Atimonan Good News Church. He is also finishing the MTP and is praying for the country where God will lead to Him to minister.