Gospel Fellowship Association Missions
by Rachel Steffensmeier

What If I Don't Like the Philippines?

“By faith Abraham . . . went out, not knowing whither he went” (Heb. 11:8). In May of 2016 I felt like I could identify at least in a small way with Abraham. I had just left Bob Jones University—the place that had become my comfort zone after being there for six years—and I was preparing to go to a place halfway around the world that was yet unknown to me. As I neared the end of the tiring trip, I thought to myself, “What if I don’t like it in the Philippines? I’m going to be stuck there for ten whole months whether I like it or not.” Little did I know then that I would grow to love the people, the place, and the ministry so much that I would volunteer to be “stuck” here for at least two more years as a short-term missionary.

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When I first arrived, I thought I knew what my job description was—to teach music composition and basic music theory at Bob Jones Memorial Bible College in the hot, humid, overcrowded city of Metro Manila known for its pollution and heavy traffic. What I didn’t know was what else God would add to my job description—church ministries, writing and editing music, accompanying, teaching other music classes, and ministry opportunities throughout the Philippines and in other Asian countries.

Traveling to teach music seminars and play piano for special events at students’ churches has stretched me as I repeatedly step out of my comfort zone. It has proved to be invaluable in helping me better understand the culture and the many needs throughout Southeast Asia and to see the work that God is doing through His faithful servants. When God’s people go, He opens doors and goes with us into the unknown.

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