by Nathaniel Ramos
National Director, Asian Center for Missions
Our nation was and is still bombarded by news about overseas Filipino workers (OFWs): those who fled from the civil war in Libya, those affected by the triple calamity in Japan wanting to go back home, and the three OFWs executed in China. One must ask: What is God doing? What is He trying to tell us Filipinos?
The Bible is filled with stories of journeys of God revealing Himself to people in their life’s journey. A good example is Abraham who God called to go, and in going God will bless him to become a blessing to the nations (Genesis 12).
In response to God, he crossed cultures and built altars to the Lord as an act of worship and witness to the polytheistic people surrounding him. God’s agenda is Abraham’s agenda. At the idolatrous and pleasure-loving Sodom and Gomorrah, he rescued not just Lot, but also the kings of Sodom from their enemies.
Then he declared and blessed the name of the Lord of heaven and earth, who gave him victory. Imagine, a meeting of heads of nations with Abraham worshipping, giving glory to the Lord! To Abraham, worshipping the only true God is a witness to the nations, who worship nature and the works of their hands. Abraham went abroad to worship and witness!
When the angels visited Abraham to see if the world must be destroyed because of the sins of Sodom and Gomorrah, the angels were amazed at how Abraham showered them with kindness through his hospitality. Eventually, the angels did not destroy the whole world—only the twin cities. Aside from saving Lot and his daughters because of Abraham’s prayers, the angels promised the patriarch that his wife Sarah will give birth to the son they’ve been waiting and praying for, for 25 years.
Abraham, through kindness, became a catalyst. He tried to transform the culture he is in touch with through his kindness and prayer. He is an excellent model for our OFWs—an altar-builder, a worshipper, a witness, and a catalyst.
On the other hand, we can also learn a lot from Lot, who also went abroad but for a different reason. He chose Sodom and Gomorrah—its potential for business despite its wickedness. Unlike Abraham who was an altar builder, Lot became an opportunity-seeker. Unlike his uncle who tried to transform culture, Lot became a conformist. He even offered her daughters to the citizens of Sodom. Lastly, unlike Abraham who became a patriarch and taught God to his household, Lot’s story ended in an incestuous relationship with his daughters. They were already out of Sodom, but the spirit of Sodom is still within them.
What God is doing to our OFWs is a challenge to their agenda. Is our agenda for going abroad God’s? Are our OFWs altar builders, worshippers, witnesses, and catalysts? Or, opportunity-seekers and conformists, losing families to the culture they chose?
I read that there were two types of settlers that colonized the present United States: the pilgrims who sought God, and the adventurers who sought gold. I pray that through Asian Center for Missions and the Global Bayanihan campaign, our nation’s agenda for sending out overseas workers to the world will change from gold to God.
Global Bayanihan: Linking Efforts in Missions
The Global Bayanihan campaign is the ACM’s strategic response to God’s global agenda: the Great Commission. It an initiative to partner with churches and missions organizations—in the Philippines and abroad—through prayer, mobilization, training, and facilitating the sending of cutting-edge Filipino missionaries to the least-evangelized nations of the world.
For more information on Global Bayanihan, call us at (02) 810-5381.
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