18 Jan 2013 by Adeline Lum CM-
Lisa was seen as a good Christian girl, attending church and serving in the worship team for 13 years. She started working as an account executive at the age of 21 years old, and only six months into her job, she was promoted to a higher position. After working two years, she moved to his brother’s company to assist in managing the company’s accounts. At that time, she was also having a stable relationship with her boyfriend.
Worship leader, prospective career and a promising relationship- this is a picture of a balanced and happy Christian woman whether spiritually, career-wise and relationship-wise.
But behind the rosy façade, Lisa was tired… she was tired of routine; she was tired of working, serving in church and yet, not being able to feel the joy of life. Her inner life was spiraling down. And her relationship with her boyfriend did not glorify God either. When they broke up, she didn’t understand and couldn’t accept that it ended. She thought he was the one. In fact, her family expected that they would get marry. And together with two other couples, who were good friends, they had planned to open a bridal shop together but the dream was shattered along with the broken vow.
After the end of her relationship at 26 years old, out of frustration and disappointment, Lisa started drinking and tasted the so-called worldly life which she had never tried before. She spent her time in the clubs for a year, while persevering exhaustion inside. But one day, a friend came and introduced the Youth with a Mission (YWAM) to her.
“I was thinking no… I don’t want mission,” said Lisa feeling lethargic of life.
Describing herself as average in her studies and never made her parents and family proud in everything that she has done, she started to think that her life was a failure.
“I always thought that when things go wrong in my life, it is my fault. When people do something, I’ll think… see? It’s what you say, that’s why this happens,” said Lisa.
Feeling low-self esteem, she recalled praying to God even as a child that He would take her away during her sleep. Life was going downwards after her relationship ended and one day, she attempted suicide. But somehow, she survived.
“Even that, I failed,” chuckled Lisa who really has a funny bone in her. “So, I sat down and asked God what He wants me to do.”
It was when she found no solution that she had to again turn to God. This time, she asked God to show Himself real to her. She was ready to leave Christianity if she found no answers. She searched for more information about YWAM in the Internet and what caught her attention was Kona, Hawaii.
“At that time I was thinking, come on’… Kona Hawaii? Who is going to sponsor my missionary studies there?” said Lisa who in addition to finding USD8000 for her tuition fees alone, she also needed to clear her financial debt due to her keen shopping appetite and high living maintenance.
“At that time, I started to really think about the meaning of life. I remember praying to God, Lord… I have no savings in my bank account, no relationship and I am in financial debt. If you are real, please show yourself to me,” said Lisa.
So, she applied for YWAM in the University of Nation at Kona Hawaii, which was a miracle itself in going there! Not only God need to provide the tuition fees, He also need to help her settle her debt and sell her car at a considerable price which would help pad her financial situation. Five months had passed since she applied but there was no news from the university at all.
“I told God… See? I thought this was all silly,” said Lisa who made a prayer and received the letter of acceptance the day after!
She started to write to her family members and friends to raise funds for her missionary studies. Her uncle decided to contribute 4000 USD for her school funds. And money also started to come into her bank account bit by bit, sometimes anonymously. She was also able to sell her car at a price that helped her pad her funds. But nearing her departure to Hawaii, she still lacked 4000 USD for the outreach trip that was part of her syllabus. With courage, she packed her bags anyway and headed to Hawaii. The university graciously allowed her pay the remaining amount later.
“I told God that I have three desires to be fulfilled. One is to have a real campus life, two is to have friends from all over the world and three is to really know him so that I can testify,” said Lisa.
Recalling her college life, she felt that ‘she missed college’ because she did not hang out with the college students then. Hence, she wanted to make up for her college life then! Little did she know, YWAM at University of the Nations, Kona Hawaii is the largest YWAM training center worldwide. The campus has a few thousands of students with 400 people Lisa’s school alone, called Discipleship Training School (DTS).
“So, the first two criteria were achieved! And for the third criteria, I was still waiting to know him,” said Lisa.
The first week she was there, she was taught about the character of God.
“I had been in church for the past 20 years listening to sermons day-in and day-out. And I never knew the Lord in such deep manner,” said Lisa recalling her amazement for the teaching.
She was also taught about how to hear from God, and more importantly she underwent inner healing from her pain. There was also where she found her purpose for being Christ’s child. The DTS classes went like a breeze before she was required to complete the missionary trip. But two weeks approaching the trip, she had only collected USD2000 and she still lacked another USD2000. A senior leader came and made a radical prayer of having the Lord bring the funds in by everyone emptying their pockets. Four hundred people came together and prayed, writing ‘I.O.U.’ notes to Lisa and also other students who did not have enough for the missionary trip.
“When I ran out of money for my living expenses, I also remembered that friends would knock on my door and give me money saying that the Lord had prompted them that I needed it,” said Lisa who recalled two instances where total strangers would find out that she was Lisa and gave money to her.
The radical prayer lasted for a few hours and at the end, all the money collected totaled to exactly the amount needed by each student lacking in funds! (It was approximately 14,000 USD) How amazing!
“I applied to Africa because you know… it’s cool to go to Africa,” chuckled Lisa but there had been glitches in her application, which routed her to another place in Asia instead for two months.
“I cried because I wanted to go to Africa. But at the end of the trip, after I brought a team of girls for missionary work, I realized my calling to disciple young girls,” beamed Lisa.
At the end of her missionary work, she vowed in the presence of her team mates to do whatever that God wants her to do. After three weeks, God reminder her about Ecclesiastes 5:4:
When you make a vow to God, do not delay in fulfilling it. He has no pleasure in fools; fulfill your vow.
So, when she returned to Hawaii for graduation, she was prompted by God to sign up for a Asia-focused DTS. Turned out, the enrollment for students was exceptionally and unusually low for that class. She immediately decided to go back to Asia, where she did her missionary work at. During that period, she discovered that the most joyful thing in life was to help young people find their purpose in life and help them grow into maturity.
“For the first time, I did not feel like a failure,” said Lisa.
After she completed her missionary studies and work, she returned to Malaysia to work for her brother.
“I cannot say that I am happy all the time, but the encouraging times were seeing people’s lives transformed. I thank God for His second chances and being so forgiving although I failed so many times,” said Lisa. “Whenever I feel like giving up, I remember that He hasn’t given up on me. My passion is to help younger girls find their worth like how God restored me from my relationship.”
Lisa quit her job after six months of working at her brother’s company and assisted church planting in East Malaysia. After two years, she met brother Take Huat and Winson in B&P and started volunteering before working full-time currently at B&P.
2 Timothy 2:2
And the things you have heard me say in the presence of many witnesses entrust to reliable men who will also be qualified to teach others.
Indeed, God qualified Lisa to do her work of making disciples now. If you are willing, God will qualify you too to do His Will that comes with joy, peace, and fulfillment in life.
After so many challenges in life, Lisa will never doubt that God would fail her in life or He is not real.
1 John 4:8
God is love
1 Corinthians 13:8
Love never fails
In other words, God never fails because He is Love. When asked how she thinks God sees her, Lisa said:
“I always like to think that I am His favorite daughter,” laughed Lisa. “Every time I am worshipping in God’s presence, I could feel his warm embrace in my heart,” to which I asked, “literally?”
“Yes, it feels like He is hugging me, with this warmth feeling,” confirmed Lisa.
Since she found her worth in God, she never heard any negative voices in her head saying that it was her fault and asking her to take her life away.
“My worth is not on what people think. Jesus has already won the battle. We are to only live out this victorious life,” said Lisa. “I also feel that my confidence level is higher now because I know my worth in the Lord.”
Amen, beautiful sister!
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Information about B&P ministries:
Started in 1994, Businessmen and Professionals (B&P) ministry was created to help businessmen and professionals walk the talk of faith in their workplace.
Please go to the website below for more information: