I am excited to introduce you to Rachel, who joins us all the way from the Philippines. On Modern Witnesses, she shared with us thoughts about studying Scripture on your own, what her baptism was like, and the importance of willingness and love.
Inspiring biblical passage of the moment: “See, I am doing a new thing! Now it springs up; do you not perceive it? I am making a way in the wilderness and streams in the wasteland.” (Isaiah 43:19)
Spiritual growth focus at the moment: Letting go of control and finding security in Christ. Jesus has been teaching me these past few months to sit back, relax and let Him be God over my life.
Profession: A 3rd year student in college studying Accounting Technology.
A one sentence bio of yourself: I am a cheerful, warmhearted, sensitive soul.
When did you first encounter God: I’ve known God my whole life. I grew up in a Christian home and went to a Christian school. I read the Bible every day with my family. Before, I only saw God as a figure that had a set of rules I need to follow in order to have eternal life. And Jesus as someone who died for my sins (and I never understood why).
When I was 15, I had this heavy burden in my heart that I needed to read the Bible on my own. I kept putting it off, until one day, I eventually gave in and read the book of Genesis. It was the first time ever in my life, that I understood how sin came to be, the effects of sin and why Jesus died for me.
From that moment, I had an interest and wanted to know God, more. I kept reading the Scriptures, until I finally decided I wanted to be baptized. I realized that I did know about God, but I never really knew Him. When I got baptized, it was like the gates of Heaven opened and the angels were singing over me. I felt loved and I felt free. It was the day I fell in love with Jesus.
“When I got baptized, it was like the gates of Heaven opened and the angels were singing over me.”
What has helped you grow spiritually in this season: A few months ago, I was chosen to be part of the children’s ministry in my church. It has helped me grow out of my comfort zone and gave me a sense of responsibility for the spiritual growth of the children around me.
Even if I do not have the skills to interact well with children, I am learning to trust that God will equip me with the necessary knowledge and skills that I need. I also became more active in serving the church, which ignited a fire in my soul, and now I just want to keep on serving Jesus and His people. Through this, I learned that knowledge and skills aren’t that important compared to the willingness that you have to say ‘yes’ to God’s work. Willingness comes first, then God will eventually bless and equip you with whatever you need to fulfill His work.
“I learned that knowledge and skills aren’t that important compared to the willingness that you have to say ‘yes’ to God’s work.”
Just read/currently reading: I am currently reading Every Young Woman’s Battle by Shannon Ethridge and Stephen Arterburn.
Top three essentials: A bottle of water (I tend to get headaches, if I’m not hydrated enough.), my phone with earphones and a handkerchief.
How did God speak to you recently: I was in a dilemma of what I should do about a certain friendship. I wanted to take the safe road but God spoke to me through a song entitled Dear Me by Nichole Nordeman.
I got caught up in trying to follow the rules, in living a safe life, when what He wanted was for me to love the people around me, radically. It was such a powerful moment that brought me to tears. It definitely opened up my mind to a lot of things that needed conviction by the Holy Spirit.
“I got caught up in trying to follow the rules, in living a safe life, when what He wanted was for me to love the people around me, radically.”
Hobby: Reading and listening to music.
Top three practical tips for staying spiritually strong:
Prayer all throughout the day.
Read the Bible everyday.
Christian Music. I once went through days without listening to Christian songs. I felt spiritually dry and my mind got occupied by worldly things. Listening to music can help you focus your mind on Jesus and His Word.
Favorite person in scripture: David. Sometimes David reminds me of myself. Reading his life story and his writings in Psalms reminds me that he was an imperfect person with a lot of struggles. He loved God with all his might and always wanted to please him, though at times he failed. He was a person with fears and flaws, but still God loved him so much.
“He loved God with all his might and always wanted to please him, though at times he failed.”
What do you want people to learn about God when they look at you: God is merciful, He welcomes everyone, He is kind, He is love.
Favorite season: I live in the Philippines and there are only two seasons: dry and rainy season. It’s hard to choose what my favorite is. I love the dry season when the sun is always up and everything is so bright, and it’s such a beautiful scene to behold God’s creation. But, I also love the cozy feeling I get when the rainy season comes. It makes me want to snuggle in my bed in prayer and listen to Christian music, as the rain falls.
Favorite holiday: New year! New beginnings. Always a fresh start for change. I love how positive I get on what God’s got in store. It’s also another year to look forward to Jesus’ second coming.
A special tradition you and your family engage in or keep: We light the candles when Sabbath begins, and when it ends, there’s always ice cream and cake in the fridge whenever someone has a birthday, and eating spaghetti every Friday night, are some of our little traditions.
“We light the candles when Sabbath begins…”
Question you will ask when you get to heaven: I believe all the questions I have will disappear when I see Jesus’ face.
Thing you want to raise awareness about: In my country, most people are not aware of what it means to have a mental illness and the effects it can bring. Suicide rates are high. It’s so sad to see people especially teenagers, suffer in silence, afraid to open up, because things like this are shameful to talk about and impossible for some to believe.
What do you usually do before 9 a.m.? Read my Bible, listen to Christian Music, take a bath and eat breakfast.
What is on your nightstand? My 2 Bibles (the Message Version, NIV version), my prayer journal, a little book entitled 365 Pocket Prayers for Women, my laptop and paper flowers.
For more Rachel:
Until next time, keep witnessing!