Often, people ask me, “Why did you become a missionary? How do you continue to do this? It must have been difficult to give up your career to do this.” If 26 years ago, someone had told me that I would leave the security and comforts of being a lawyer to become a lay missionary, I would have laughed.
My ambitions were very different and I did not even know lay missionaries existed!
Sometimes, I still wonder whether the Lord made the right call as I would probably have supported the missions better as a lawyer. Yet it is my heart and availability that the Lord seeks.
In searching for meaning and purpose in life, I opened my heart to Jesus and experienced his love and joy. This encounter led to a friendship with the Lord.
Now, I am excited to share this love and joy with others. I finally understood why previously I had never shared about Jesus with others. My excuse was that faith is a personal, sensitive matter. The truth was that I was not evangelised – I could not introduce Jesus to others.
Through my encounter of poverty in the Philippines during ICPE Mission, we are helping the poor with material needs. Yet the primary call of mission is to share with them the God who loves them infinitely and who is present with them in their situations.
It is such a joy to see the children, youths and women discover that they can endure life’s challenges with “strength, light and consolation born of friendship with Jesus Christ”, with “a community of faith to support them” and help them find meaning in life (EG 49).
This is indeed the joy of my mission – to share God’s love and life with others, especially those who do not yet know Him.
Even in the midst of challenges, I have received much as it is God who “asks everything of us, yet at the same time he offers everything to us” (EG 12).
The Lord has called me as a missionary disciple to follow him and share the Father’s love as He did. I am grateful that I can respond, and thankful to my family, friends, brothers and sisters in the Singapore Church who accompany and encourage me to be a faithful missionary disciple.
ICPE Mission Philippines’ missionary efforts include evangelising and empowering women, youth and children to live their identity and dignity as children of God.
For more information, visit www.icpe.org
By Esther Fong
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