30 Nov 2013 by Adeline Lum CM-
John 6:44; 65
No one can come to me unless the Father who sent me draws him, and I will raise him up at the last day. He went on to say, “This is why I told you that no one can come to me unless the Father has enabled him.”
Being confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus.
Rachel Koh who accepted God at 17 years old had an ardent devotion to serve God faithfully in FGA Selayang from ushering, hospitality, OHP operator, to becoming a youth leader, secretary of the church working committee, and finally, missionary and pastor. Yet, her journey is still unfolding, as the Lord takes her to higher and higher grounds.
This is a journey whereby Rachel, whom from a simple desire to serve God, was brought beyond her wildest imagination to reach out to another nation. The greatest fulfillment and joy in life, she confessed, is to be in the center of God’s calling–at the right place, at the right time.
Since she accepted Christ, she was always seeking for more opportunity to train and equip herself to serve the Kingdom of God. And in answering the desires of her heart, the Lord impressed in her heart to join the YWAM Disciple Training School (DTS) in the Philippines at 25 years old when she was working in YTL as an administrator in the Human Resource Department.
Although she wanted to scale the corporate ladder that occupied her life then, she knew her deepest desire was to equip herself for the Kingdom. She finally stopped bargaining with God for more time when a church guest speaker prayed for her and spoke to her, “Rachel, stop bargaining with God.” She immediately knew that God was calling her.
Even her pastor, parents, and boss confirmed that calling! As she was drafting her resignation letter, her Christian boss to her surprise not only allowed her to take a six-month leave but also offered her to retain her position during that period. In addition, her financial resources were also enough to last her for the short-term missionary trip.
In the Philippines, the Lord opened her eyes to see the brokenness of the youths there, whom despite their immense potential could not fulfill their calling due to their past. The Lord impressed on her heart to go on a healing journey with them and help them reach their fullest potential and fulfill their calling in life. The fruits of her labor were very satisfying, so much so that she knew she would be returning to the Philippines someday to serve.
Nevertheless, she knew that the time was not right yet for her to continue serving in the Philippines. Hence, she returned to Malaysia after six months and continued working for YTL until the third year when the Lord opened the door of opportunity for her again. She was introduced to Ps Lee Hock Cheng and Ps Dorai Manikam from the mission department in FGA KL. Under their guidance, they slowly walked with her through the missionary calling and later confirming and releasing her to the Philippines the following year.
“The three years of waiting confirm to me that it is not base on my emotions or hype but it is truly what God has placed upon my heart to serve this nation,” said Rachel.
Rachel returned to the Philippines for another three years albeit her parents’ hesitance in the beginning, though they eventually understood that it was God’s calling.
“My journey to my calling is not hearing a voice of God, ‘You are to be a missionary Rachel.’ But it is a step-by-step obedience. If He were to speak to me in the beginning, I would flee and run away,” chuckled Rachel.
Only by looking back to the small steps of obedience she took, she was able to identify that God was preparing her to serve in the area of mission field.
“Every time I obey and go, everything just moves into place. At times, we must make the first step of obedience before God act upon the rest of the journey,” said Rachel who gained her pastors’, parents’, bosses’, and church’s blessings.
In fact, she did not know that she would be serving for three years until the Lord called her back to Malaysia for further equipping. Currently, she is obtaining a Bachelor’s in Mission in AOIC to prepare to become a pastor in the future.
“I have always ask God, ‘Why me? There are so many people more capable than me. I am not outspoken or a prominent leader. I just serve in little ways'… It was God that brought me up,” said Rachel. Like how God chose the Israelites based on his sovereign choice and not their ability or numbers, He chose Rachel for Himself.
“Every time He would assure me in the Word that He would never leave nor forsake me but He will be there to guide and accomplish it with me, so that in the end, it is God who receive all the glory. When God chooses us, He enables us,” said Rachel.
And through simple and small steps of obedience, she began to trust God more and more everyday, especially in doing God-sized task that is beyond her ability. “I don’t know where or what God has planned for me but I know I need to obey Him step-by-step,” she said glowing with confidence and contentment.
“In the calling, it’s not rainbows, bed of roses, and sea breeze. But at the end of the day, in your calling, God is still molding you, dealing with you… all in the process of drawing our hearts to Him. Every thing that we do is not for ourselves but for Him.
“And because you know that you are in his call at the right place at the right time, even the trials and challenges ahead or at the moment somehow don’t seem that big because you know He will pull you through,” said Rachel.
Indeed, calling in lives can only be found by looking back to the tiny steps of obedience we take in God. And when we are in God’s calling, Rachel shared that it is when we would find an unexplainable joy that cannot be bought or earned from this world. Hence, trust and follow Jesus step-by-step today.