Two weeks ago, Dadai my younger sister arrived from her six months mission work in Kyrgyzstan. I was happy because it has been almost a year since we had a talk and I am eager to hear stories about her experiences in the mission field. Dadai is the second of my siblings (the other is my older brother Joey in Thailand) to go to a non-Christian country to share the love of Christ. We were apprehensive because Kyrgyzstan is a Muslim and at the same time a former communist country; I never even heard that name before. But God has been faithful and He had kept Dadai and the other missionaries safe.
As Dadai was talking, I had this question in my head: If my father was alive what would he have said about my siblings going out of the country for missions? My father had big dreams for us. Before he became a Christian, my father was a heavy equipment operator and for sidelines, he does small time contracting jobs. He knew that there’s money in the construction business. So he had my older brother take up civil engineering in college and my other sister took up accountancy. I was to be the lawyer. He had it all figured out, the engineering stuff would go to my older brother, the accounting to my sister and the legal stuff would be my job. I tend to think that my siblings went along with this. But my father became a Christian. He became the pastor of our church and my siblings became involved in the ministry as youth leaders. Then my father died, I felt God deprived me of my father. Then after my father’s death, my siblings went to the seminary for their theological education and I didn’t understand it then. I felt, alone. I knew it was nobody’s fault, but I was fourteen then and my father was such a strong presence in my life that when he died I lost direction. Add to that my hormones kicking in and I’m also having philosophical, theological questions that looking back-- it was so confusing. I dropped out of school and became a drinker.
I was a backslider for sixteen years and I have done a lot of bad and crazy things. Back then, I felt I distance from my family but there’s this nagging, silent feeling that kept telling me that I have no other course but to come back to the church.
During one of my Christmas visit to my sister’s apartment at the seminary, as I was browsing through her books, a prayer list fell on the floor. I picked it up and written on it was: “Please, Lord, bring my brother George back to the fold.” Maybe those nagging, silent feelings that kept telling me that I have no other course but to return to the church were my mother and my sibling’s prayers. God has heard their prayers.
Now I’m back in the church as a deacon, a musician and a teacher. I got my life back and in a few months from now, I will be having my college degree. God is faithful to keep his promises.
As I was listening to my sister’s Kyrgyzstan’s stories, I feel that in some way the family business that my father dreamed of has finally been realized, and the business is booming.