This is a very wonderful Story of Ptr. Bong about trusting God and Obeying Him no matter what.
Allow me to share with you one of the hundreds of my miraculous experiences with God who deserves all the honor and the glory now and forevermore.
When I came to know Jesus personally, prayer and fasting became part of my lifestyle. In fact, praying every 4 am for 45 minutes was my personal spiritual discipline. This changed when I entered into full time ministry where the demand for prayer increased.
To confirm my calling from God, I asked him to bring me to Korea for a prayer study tour because I had been hearing and reading about the prayer life of the Korean Christians. At that time, Korea prayer study tour was not yet offered in the ministry where I was involved with. However, within a matter of days, our senior pastor in the said ministry, all of a sudden, announced during our ministerial meeting that there would be a mission seminar to be held in Korea. The seminar and the accommodation were free and we would just need to raise the airfare and pocket money to Korea. I brought the matter to God in prayer for I felt that this might be his answer to my plea. As I was praying during my usual early morning quiet time, God confirmed that I would go to the seminar. My prayer was simple. I just told the Lord that since He was calling me to work with Him full time, I needed to learn about prayer. Besides, I also wanted to experience to fly on a plane. After receiving confirmation from the Lord, I started thinking of potential people from whom I could possibly borrow the money for the airfare. I listed all the names of the people I would talk to. But as I was reading a Christian magazine, I came across a verse from the scripture which says, “Owe to one but love”. I felt a thug in my heart that I should not borrow from anybody nor ask from anyone regarding this trip.
During the ministerial training, our pastor once again reminded us of the trip and I told him that I would go. He told me to be serious about it. I said that I would go. He reiterated to me that I could not back out once I registered for the trip, so he asked me if I had the money. So, I said again that I would go. I could not say yes to his question about the money but I only had the assurance that God was telling me to go.
One day before the deadline of payment, I still did not have the money. During the service, our pastor challenged the congregation to raise their hands if they had a special need. I felt the Holy Spirit prompting me to raise my hand but my pride as a “full time minister” was stopping me to acknowledge my need until the Lord rebuked me to humble myself. I wept as I prayed. When I sat down after praying, a lady seated 3 seats away from me, approached me and gave me an envelope with an inscription, “for your Korea trip.” As far as I knew, that lady had no idea about the trip. The envelope had enough money for half of my airfare. I prayed and told God, don’t you want me to come back to the Philippines? But God assured me that everything would be provided. When I got home from the service, while my eldest brother and I were having lunch, he said that my mom told him that I would be going to Korea. He asked me where I would get the money to get there. I told him that everything was fine but he said he would pay half of my fare. To make the story longer…I am just kidding. The full amount for the fare was already complete.
The only problem left that I needed to deal with was my pocket money. The day before the departure, somebody approached me before the service and said he had been looking for me for the Lord prompted him. He handed me an envelope which had $14 in it. I complained to God and said, Lord, how can I survive in Korea with this pocket money? Then I felt an impression that I should put the money in the tithe and offering box. I prayed struggling whether or not I correctly heard the Lord. After a few minutes in front of the box, I finally surrendered to god and received peace that I knew only God could give.
At the NAIA airport the following day, the deacons of the ministry said that some gave love gifts to me when they counted the tithes and offering so she decided to pay the airport tax and terminal fee from my love gifts. I did not know that there were still other expenses to be paid. But praise God He knows everything. She then said that she exchanged all the remaining love gifts to dollars, which totaled to $17, $3 more than the money I gave up. But I still felt embarrassed with such a “big” pocket money. When we arrived in Korea, I saw the other delegates exchanging hundreds of dollars to Korean won. They told me to also change mine. I just told them that I would have it changed at the hotel. I could not tell them that I only had $17. At the hostel, a lady stranger came to me and gave me $50 and said the Lord told her to give it to me. I praised God for such generosity. I changed it to won right away.
During the seminar, the Lord prompted me to give 10k won to mission. I almost complained and said, Lord, my pocket money is too small to give such a big amount of money to mission. The prompting was so strong that I submitted and again felt the peace of God.
On the bus after the seminar, another lady came to me and gave 20k won. Again, in shame, I wept before God because of my previous struggle. Because He gave more every time I gave, I jokingly said to God, “Lord, do you want me to give to your work again? “
The journey did not stop there. The seminar ended after five days but we were to stay for another 5 days. There was a miscommunication. The free accommodation was only for 5 days and not for 10 days. So on the sixth day, I forcefully fasted. I did not tell anybody that I had nothing to spend for food. However, the Lord did not allow that on the following days. One of the delegates offered me money to watch the Olympics and thought that this was it. But God impressed on me not to accept it. He wanted me to spend a little more time in prayer and fasting and to wait for his further instruction. While the others were watching the Olympics live, I stayed in my room. After lunch, a Korean brother came and asked if I had lunch already. I said I didn’t know how to get around. He told me that he would bring me around. I got nervous for I had nothing to pay if we had to eat. I could not tell him my predicament so I just followed him. I thought that God would just make a miracle that when I pulled my wallet out, I would just see bills inside. The Korean brother ordered a lot of food. When the bill came, I pulled out my wallet, but he said, “No I will pay. I am your host.” I said no, I will pay. But the Lord reminded me of peter when he refused to let the Lord wash his feet. So I humbled myself and let him pay.
On our last day, our assistant team leader told us that we had to pay first before we could check out. He called the names of the delegates one by one. I was really in prayer for I had no money to give him. When my name was not mentioned, I asked him how come my name was not called. He looked at the list again and said, well, somebody paid for you. I asked him who it was that paid for me and he said he did not know for they already left for HongKong. The lady even left an envelope for me with a traveler’s check amounting to $200.
God is truly amazing. That journey was really a journey of praying without ceasing. Up to today the God of Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, Elijah, Daniel, David, Peter, Paul, John and the disciples of Jesus is taking care of me and my family. I know he is taking care of you. Always commune with him in prayer, even with fasting for his honor and glory.
God bless you.
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