A Cheerful Giver
I would like to report how God has blessed and used our ministry, White Pearls Wellness Center, and what God wants us to do through this office to reveal Jesus to our fellow mankind.
One woman came to us after a recent hospital stay. She has an enlarged heart and was seeking alternative treatments. She couldn’t walk distances and couldn’t talk very well because of difficulty breathing. I found out that her health problem was exacerbated by her extreme burden relating to her husband’s adultery. She was originally a Catholic but converted to Buddhism. But when she thought she was dying, she didn’t call out to a Buddhist god because she didn’t understand those gods. She was taught to utter words that had no meaning to her, so in her great fear she called out “Lord”—referring to Jesus Christ. When she called out to Him, she was sustained and became healthy enough to visit our office. I taught her the Eight Laws of Health, and also gave her herbs and supplements that I formulated for her health problems.
One week later, this woman visited my office again and thanked God that she can now walk and sleep well. The most glorious part is that she is beginning to seek the true God and asked what church she should attend. She wants to know what truth is. I asked if she was willing to have a Bible study and she was.
Another time, I surveyed our patients, asking, “Do you believe that Jesus is coming soon?” I was surprised that the majority had a common response: “Maybe.” I realized that we haven’t distributed enough literature. Literature distribution needs to be systematic and well-planned to reach the people. “Go ye therefore, and teach all nations…teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you.” Matthew 28:19, 20. We needed to hire someone for our literature project. I presented this plan to other Seventh-day Adventist churches and I thank God that they were delighted to support our needs. We hired Brother Jovannie to compile Bible study guides in English and Cebuano and to work as a publication staff member. About seven small churches have pledged to support a monthly wage of 7,000 pesos for the worker (about $158 US). Our goal is to equip the churches with the necessary materials to help our church members work functionally and consistently.
There have been many inspiring events in our ministry. Brother Magtatayao and I met at the Nangan church in March 2014. He had a great desire to know more about health since, after a having a heart attack, he is now committed to doing Bible evangelism. In the hospital, when he was very ill, he had to be fed through a tube in his nose. A pastor prayed with him and asked God to allow Brother Magtatayao to rest in peace, so that his suffering would end. When Brother Magtatayao heard that prayer he told God that if He let him live, he would voluntarily preach the gospel. Miraculously, he recovered and is now doing self-sacrificing gospel work.
Sometimes we can learn things from others. One Jehovah’s Witness, a patient of mine, shared his story with me. He is an elder of their church and his weekly goal is to work three days for his own living and three days for God—giving literature, Bible studies, and other witnessing. He is very modest and humble. Sometimes he was tempted to be jealous of others for their easy living and apparent prosperity—lives that were unlike his own. He tried increasing the amount of his secular work, but found that he feels closest to God when he is witnessing. His faithfulness is a witness to us—how much more important the spreading of the truth should be to us.
“We are Christ’s witnesses, and we are not to allow worldly interests and plans to absorb our time and attention. There are higher interests at stake.” Testimonies for the Church, vol. 9, 53.
Last fall, our health ministry was having financial problems and we thought we were going to have to close the office. Because of the high cost of products from the United States, plus the cost of shipping, we have a very narrow profit margin. If we sell the items for a higher price, then our patients don’t want to buy them. They appreciate the Eight Laws of Health principles that we teach, but they don’t appreciate the products that we endorse and that help sustain our operations. I began to pray humbly before God and as I confessed, repented, and longed for purity in my heart and in doing the will of God, a change took place in my heart. My sorrows turned to calmness and assurance and a thought came to my mind: “Ask.” I asked Him for herbs that I can sell to support our office and our gospel work. God answered my prayers and I now have my own herbal formulations which support the financial needs of our office and also help us pay for our monthly radio broadcast.
I have pledged to God that one bottle of herbs, out of every ten, goes to gospel work. By doing this I have been able to support others, as well. A brother needed 1,000 pesos for the motorcycle that he uses for gospel work and I was able to give it to him. I have also been able to give 1,000 pesos a week to support an old pastor, although I do not yet have the means to support his wife, who is paralyzed. At the end of the week, any remaining money from the pledge goes into the church treasury, along with our tithes and offerings.
I have contemplated on the importance of giving cheerfully. God has designed that the exercise of benevolence should be purely voluntary, not having recourse even to eloquent appeals to excite sympathy.
‘The Lord loveth a cheerful giver.’ He is not pleased to have his treasury replenished with forced supplies. The loyal hearts of the people of God, rejoicing in the saving truth for this time, will, through love and gratitude to him for this precious light, be earnest and anxious to aid with their means in sending the truth to others. The very best manner to give expression to our love for our Redeemer, is to give and make offerings to bring souls to the knowledge of the truth. The plan of redemption was entirely voluntary on the part of our Redeemer, and it is the purpose of Christ that all our benevolence should be free-will offerings.” The Review and Herald, January 1, 1875.
I hope to inspire others as they read our stories. If we trust God, seek Him, and pray to Him, faithfully living up to the light He has given us, He will give us what we need. We should seek daily to be filled with the Holy Spirit because all gifts come through this agency. Think of how the early church established the gospel work. Think of how they became content in life because they obtained the signature of the Holy Spirit. People flocked to them for help and they had an earnest desire to preach and share the gospel to others, because that is when they had a real communion with God. Talk to God now and make the experience of Abraham, Jacob, Joseph, and Moses, be your experience and you will see how good God is and your anxieties and lifelessness in religion will vanish.
By Ting Palange. Support for the work in the Philippines can be sent to Mission Projects International, PO Box 59656, Renton, WA 98058.