It was my sister, Cristina Alabata, who inspired me to answer God’s call to join CEF. I saw her faith in God and how she committed her life to faith mission work, trusting that God would always provide. She was the Zamboanga City area director when she asked me to assist her in her ministry in 2002. I enjoyed watching her train volunteer teachers and teach classes where she put flocked figures on flannelgraphs and where the children colored Turned Around lesson worksheets. One way I helped was by handwriting songs that needed to be photocopied. God used those moments to prepare me to say yes to full-time service in 2005.
Following God is not a bed of roses, but He is the God who promises to never leave us. During my LTI training in 2007, He provided my tuition. He also gave me the strength to finish this three-month course. When my classmates and I were commissioned during our closing ceremony, I knelt down and sobbed after the speaker challenged us to reach out to “M” children. We had chosen to sing “I’ll Go Where You Want Me to Go,” and the speaker commented, “That was a dangerous song to sing but a powerful thing you can do.” I do not remember the speaker’s name but God engraved that challenge on my heart. Indeed, I went to the provinces of Basilan, Tawi-tawi, and Sulu in 2010 to conduct training and to reach children. I pray the Lord will continue to use me to bring the light and life of Jesus to these conflict-prone areas as I hold unto His words from Philippians 1:6 (ESV) “And I am sure of this, that He who began a good work in you will bring it to completion at the day of Jesus Christ”.
CEF Zamboanga City