FAITH IN A FAR-OFF PLACE
Every year, millions of Filipinos leave their motherland to work in a foreign country. With high hopes, our fellowmen sacrifice the comfort of being home with their families and loved ones in order to give them a better future. The Commission on Filipinos Overseas (CFO) stated in a 2012 study that there are 10 to 13 million Overseas Filipino Workers (OFWs) and the numbers keep increasing up to this day. Most, if not all of us have been or have relatives who are part of the Filipino diaspora.
While some of them have been blessed with good opportunities where they can thrive, there are also those who are facing heartbreaking circumstances such as abuse and human trafficking. On top of these things, these people are also no stranger to homesickness especially when language barriers and cultural differences hinder them from fully expressing themselves. Living and working in a foreign land requires more than physical and mental preparation. This applies not just to OFWs but also to their families. Sending off a family member into a foreign land will never be easy even if technology now allows us to communicate with them more often.
Though not all of us are OFWs, we are called to do things that seem to be the equivalent of being sent to a far-off or isolated place without our loved ones to support us. There are times when we are given tasks with very little to work with and there are also times when it seems that we have been abandoned in the wilderness. How then can we stand in the faith when being called to a new territory? Do you know that whatever situation you are in right now, you are still able to give Him glory?
God’s word encourages us to be strong and courageous, to not be frightened or dismayed because the Lord is with us (Joshua 1:9). Even if it feels like we are far away from home, we can always rely on God’s presence. Having this kind of faith will help us go through the hurdles and become excellent workers that have become more precious after being refined by fire, transformed to become more reliable, faithful, and compassionate.
In times of need, those who are bold in their faith can draw near to the throne of grace, and receive mercy and find grace to help them (Hebrews 4:16). When we know our Savior, we have assurance that even if our circumstances look bleak, He will fulfill plans that will give us hope and a future (Jeremiah 29:11). As in the days of famed Bible heroes such as Joseph and Daniel, the presence of God safeguards the future of those who love Him. If we will boldly stand and believe that God’s goodness and mercy will follow us, we can smile at the days to come no matter the place or season.
As we go through new territories in life, let us also remember to pray for those who are sacrificing their lives away from home in order to help their families and our country.
Most of these brothers and sisters are also carrying the name of Jesus Christ, especially those who are working in countries where our faith is not accepted. With boldness in faith, let us live life empowered by God’s presence and grace. Wherever God sends us (wherever you find yourself right now), may we be ambassadors of His power and love.
Jev Mariano, 26, is currently working for an NGO in Quezon City. In the past she worked as a teacher, web and textbook writer. She is passionate about music and literature.