Category: My Life’s Journey


God’s blessings

It took me months to figure out the reasons why God allowed all these things  to happen in my life.  My father passed away, my mom is left with chains of bank loans, my brother is still in college, my siblings were underemployed, and  I gave up my job in Dubai. For all these things, I can still say “It is well with my soul.” I believe that Satan is attacking my family but the more we were burdened with the cares of this world, the more we lifted up our eyes to the Lord.

Reasons why God allowed me to leave my family and work in a foreign country:

1.  Was able to live with wonderful family.  They  always have a place in my heart. It was a real blessing to know them.

2. Was able to hand out tracts and DVDs in a muslim country

3. Ate Rose accepted Christ Jesus as her personal Saviour

4. Learned a lot from my job in the nursery schools

5. And most of all, I got engaged to a Godly man.

Looking back those days, the blessings and the goodness of the Lord outweighs all the trials and tribulations. To Him be the glory!

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the journey continues

Leaving my hometown

I decided to find employment abroad. Doing this will not only help me share the truth in a foreign land, but also to financially support my family. My father was sick with Polyneuropathy, Schistosomiasis, and lately diagnosed with Liver Cancer. I want to help my mom procure his medicines and supply his diet program. But this plan was against the will of my father. He wanted me to stay with him and to take care of him than leaving him. He was crying bitterly that day. But I got my permission from my mother to go. I went away with a heavy heart. I love my father so dearly. He is the joy of my life.

Before I left the country, I dropped by at my siblings’ apartment in Iligan City. I feel the tension inside the room. They didn’t agree that I should go abroad for a job which they believe is not the right one for me or not worth the “LEAVING”. In the morning, none of my siblings woke up to see me go. I packed up my things and looked at them still in their bed. My heart was full of pain that day. I wanted to say goodbye and kiss them but doing these will just hurt me more, so I decided to leave the house with my head down low. I walked out the door with my eyes full of tears. I cried to God, “…I’m still young to pass this way, Lord. I don’t have any idea what lies ahead of me out there, but I trust in you that you will never leave me. Please comfort me.”

The  Nanny Job

y country’s economic situation is going worst. I finally ended up browsing  for a nanny job online. One family from Dubai checked on my profile and they decided to sponsor me. They were Muslims. But the way they conversed with me gained my trust.  They promise to respect my religious principles, a sign that I asked from God before accepting the job offer…

Life in Iran

After a week in Dubai, the family decided to go home in Iran. Together we flew to Shiraz. I know that Iran was the ancient Persia in the Bible. I talked to Elham about the life of Daniel in Babylon (also known today as Iraq) under the leadership of the Persian conqueror, Darius. I shared to her how the prophecy of the kingdoms of this world was revealed to King Nebuchadnezzar and how God helped Daniel interpret it for us to know the future. These things were new to her, and she listened attentively. I stressed to her that the Roman Catholic Church under the leadership of the beast (Pope) will impose the National Sunday law . In the book of John 14:29 states, “And now I have told you before it come to pass, that, when it is come to pass, ye might believe.” I trust that the Holy Spirit will let her remember the truths I shared to her when these things come to pass. I longed to see her and her family in heaven. They have a character that most professed Christians in this world should have.

The Iran government did not approve my application for resident visa in their country. I need to go back to Dubai and get another job.

My new job

After a week I had a call for a walk-in-interview in a nursery school. On that day, the school hired me. My pupils aged 2 1/2 -3 years old. God knows how I love children so dearly. And He knows that this job is the right one for me.

The Test of Loyalty

“And he that overcometh, and keepeth my works unto the end, to him will I give power over the nations.” Revelation 2:26

One day, the supervisor asked me to work ones every 5 Saturdays. I can feel my strength almost gone from me when I heard that. My heart was so heavy but strong. I told her that I keep the Saturday holy and I cannot do any secular things on that day. She was so persistent, and so do I. She told me that she’s sorry to hear that and she can’t give me the visa if I am not going to work on Saturdays. She said, “Novi, you know how much I wanted you to work with me. But it would be unfair for my other staffs that you are not coming to school ones in 5 Saturdays. Remember that you are in a foreign land. You came here for work. Your God will understand you. Please think about this very well. I will talk you next week for your final decision.” I know that I was tested and I cannot compromise with the world. If I can’t overcome this  test, how will I overcome the next ones…?  I talked to God that night. If the school will give up on me, I will find another job. If there is no job that will exempt me on Sabbath day, then I will go back to the Island.  The next day, the supervisor asked me about my decision. I was confident and told her, “Teacher, my decision is still the same.” I was expecting the worst, but I’m ready for whatever word she would say. She replied in a calm voice, “Okay, there is another option. Instead of working till 5pm, you will work until 6pm so to compensate the Saturdays.” I agreed and praised  God in my heart.

Taking the Board

November 29, 30, 2009

On 28th, we were passing tracts and free dvd’s to the people around Cagayan de Oro City. Nothing compares to the happiness I felt that day. Sharing God’s words to everyone is such a blessing to God’s people. It is one way of showing how much you love God and who much you care about the salvation of others.

During the board exam, I prayed that God will give me the wisdom that I need to understand the questions and to answer them according to His will. I asked the wisdom that He gave to Daniel, Shadrac, Meshac, and Abednego. In Daniel 1:20, “And in all matters of wisdom and understanding, that the king inquired of them, he found them ten times better than all the magicians and astrologers that were in all his realm“. Indeed, God’s people are ought to be the head of all the nations. Not in wealth but in wisdom. Deuteronomy 28:13, “And the Lord shall make thee the head, and not the tail; and thou shalt be above only, and thou shalt not be beneath; if that thou hearken unto the commandments of the Lord thy God, which I command thee this day, to observe and to do them.” These are proven through their capacity to interpret the prophecies which are kept undisclosed to the world. But there is a condition, if that thou hearken unto the commandments of the Lord thy God (Exodus 20)…to observe and to do them.

After reading thousands of questions days before the exam, I realized how complex and hard the sentences in them. But I should not be discouraged. In Daniel 5:12, Forasmuch as an excellent spirit, and knowledge, and understanding, interpreting dreams, and showing of hard sentences, and dissolving of doubts, were found in the same Daniel, whom the king named Belteshazzar…”

Lastly, I cast all my cares upon Him (1 Peter 5:7) Let His will be done for me.  Luke 1:37, “For with God nothing shall be impossible.”

High School days were full of achievements and awards. I graduated as the Class Valedictorian and garnered all the certificates of awards and 27 medals.  After I graduated high school, my mother sent me to Mindanao State University. As a freshman, I didn’t know what lies ahead of me. And as expected, there were trials that I met along the way that would test my loyalty to God. First trial came when my Math subject was scheduled every Wednesday and Saturday. Should I sacrifice my faith because of this subject? No! I prayed so hard. What I did? I asked my Professor to transfer my load to another instructor that fitted my schedule. I explained to her about how important for me to follow the Law of God. And yes, she helped me. I thought everything will be going smoothly… but I was wrong. My new Math instructor did not go to class. He was absent all the time. For the whole semester we never had a quiz nor an exam and gave me a grade of 2.25.  It was the lowest grade I got. Well, not a  big deal for me after all, but it was horrible at first! I just realized that  God wanted me accept not just big things but also to appreciate small things in this world. Life is not all about being on the top. It isn’t  about reaching the peak of worldly academic enticing titles, that would welcome pride and self-exaltation. But it is more on keeping God’s commandments and do things that are pleasing in His sight.

When I was first year high school (13 years old) I joined the school’s journalist writers club. There I was trained to write news and do copyreading. At the middle of the year we were sent for a contest; the first level (Division LEvel) with 40 contestants. Unfortunately,  I did not make it in the top 10. I was not discouraged. I prayed to God. His will be done.

The year after that, my family was driven out from Seventh Day Adventist GC because of the questions my parents asked to the pastors. By then we started to have home church. 3/4 of our brethren from the GC church joined our first worship up to the present.

When I was in 2nd year high school, I started my training again but that time I was assigned to do the Sportswriting. I undergone trainings. But I made sure I dont have trainings on Sabbath Day and the coach gave special exemptions for me. I prayed to God fervently that He will let me win in the Division level so that I can join the next level which is the Regional level. But God did not permit it. I was not discouraged. I just prayed and thanked Him. Same thing happened the next year (3rd year high school).

During my last year in high school (4th year) I joined again the writing contest. As usual…training..reading..writing..and all. I prayed that God will let me make it. In the division level I ranked 2nd (the first 7th will qualify for the regional level). So I joined the regional level with 88 contestants I prayed to God that He will let me win so that I can join the biggest event which is the National Level (whole Philippines). I ranked 6th (first 7th will qualify the next level).

February 2004 we sailed to Manila via Cagayan de Oro city because the Regional Office of the Dept of Education is in Cagayan de Oro and they will sponsor us with all the expenses for the fare back and forth. I prayed so hard that I would be able to keep God’s commandments away from home. I said to myself “I need to be courageous to say NO if they will tell me to do things that is against God’s principles.” I kept reading my Bible and shared the truth about the sabbath to other students that were with me. I explained to them why I don’t eat the food they eat, why I keep the sabbath Saturday instead of their  Sunday. And they just nodded and do their rosary, too.

We arrived in Manila friday. The Regional Director (Dept of Educ) announced that enhancement seminar will be held tomorrow (Saturday) and  no one is exempted! I talked to my coach heartily, “Ma’am, before I came here, you promised I will be exempted from Sabbath trainings.” She replied, “can’t you hear that? He is our head. We must follow or you go home. Don’t worry I will not tell your mom that you joined the training. Don’t worry you will do this once only, your God will surely understand.” I got teary eyes. I asked her “What can I do to fight my faith?” she said, “If you have the courage to talk to one of the Division Supervisors for a request to be exempted. But I tell you shes very strict, you’ll be embarrassed.” That time all I have in my heart was the courage to talk to the Supervisor. I went inside the room and prayed, “Lord I don’t want to violate  your Holy day. Please touch the heart of the Supervisor”

I took a deep breath, I went to the supervisor and said, “Good Afternoon Maam, I’m one of your students. I would like to ask for an exemption for tomorrow’s training since It is Saturday. It is the Sabbath of the Lord according to the Bible. If I’m going to violate it, He will surely won’t answer my prayers. He will not help me. All our efforts will be in vain.” Unexpectedly, she replied, “Yes, Miss Novi, I respect your faith to your God. You are exempted tomorrow. Please pray to your God that He will help you win.” Happily, I ran to my room and prayed to God and thanked Him. That Saturday, I worshiped God and studied His words.

The night came before the contest. The head of all the teachers from different schools called everyone to gather for a special worship, asking for God’s help.  There were nearly 40 students and teachers in the room that night. The principal teacher stood up and said “for the message we will ask Ms Novi to give us an encouragement“. I really wondered why she pointed me (maybe because I was the only one bringing a Bible). I did not refuse because it was a privilege. It was a chance for me to share God’s truth to these brilliant minds (although worldly wisdom). I quoted the verse my mom gave to me before I left home. In Deuteronomy 28:13…And the Lord shall make thee the head and not the tail; and thou shalt be above only, and thou shalt not be beneath; if thou hearken unto the commandments of the Lord thy God, which I command thee this day, to observe and to do them: I stressed to them that we have to keep His commandments in order for Him to make us the head. God’s promises are conditional. We have to keep His commandments. I enumerated the 10 commandments. I finished the message uplifting God’s Laws. I never heard a word from them.

Hours later after the worship, I was reviewing the words I’ve said. I prayed to God,Lord, please help me. Show to them that you are with me and that my words are from you. Show to them that you love those who keep your commandments. But if it isn’t your will I would accept that just like I have accepted the failures I have been through along the way before I got here.”

The contest came, in my thoughts were the promises of God. I kept on praying for His help. The gymnasium was so crowded with different contestants from different regions of the country. I cant count them one by one. We were given 1 hour to watch a  game and then 1 hour to write the news about it in  separated rooms. With an empty stomach, I finished my output 5 minutes before the due.

Upon arriving at the building where the students were accomodated, the Regional Director announced that for the first time they will ask for help from the Division Office. The Regional office (for the first time) will no longer shoulder the fare going back to our place (Misamis Occidental) due to financial shortage. So the tickets were rebooked and we have new tickets. Instead of via Cagayan, we have to sail via Ozamis this time since it is one of the cities of Misamis Occidental ( nearer).

We were in the sea port while the awarding was going on in the huge auditorium in Sta Cruz, Laguna, Philippines. A text message came to one of the teachers (I don’t have a cellphone that time). It states, “Champion, Sportswriting, Novilene. Congrats!” After hearing that, the first thing came to my mind was the Deut 28:13. I thank God so much. I heard them saying, “She won because she kept the commandments of God. Have you observed that she was always reading her Bible, indeed, God helped her.” I told them, “It wasn’t me, To Him be the glory.” God did not want me to be ashamed of the words I shared to them the night before the contest. I remember the contest between Prophet Elijah in Mount Carmel. At the end, God showed to the people the truth.

Finally, we got on board. Some of the students and teachers were no longer with us almost half of them are boarding at the other ship, the Superferry 14 (the first ship in which our ticket was booked). Around 5am, I heard the news from the national television that Superferry 14 is in tragedy. It has bombed in it at the tourist accomodation (my ticket was tourist accomodation). It burned the entire ship. Some of the news about the Superferry 14 of February 2004 tragedy is found in  http://www.newsflash.org/2004/02/hl/hl100123.htm

Everything in our life is God’s will. I learned not to complain during failures. During trying hours I just prayed to Him for strength. If the ticket was not rebooked by the Regional director, I should be one of the victims in that tragedy. Some of the students were missing until now. My life is in God’s hand. I know He has a plan for me.

He made me the head and not the tail in a national writing contest and He saved my life from the tragedy because I keep His commandments.

Later, I heard that competition is not good. Especially in the classroom because it might cultivate a pride in the heart and that invites sin. I always bear in my mind and heart that the success of that event was from God and not from my own strength. Without Him I’m nothing.

Whenever man accomplishes anything, whether in spiritual or temporal lines, he should bear in mind that he does it through cooperation with his Maker. There is great necessity for us to realize our dependence on God. Too much confidence is placed in man, too much reliance on human inventions lead us to the road of perdition and if there is too little confidence in the power which God stands ready to give. “We are laborers together with God.” 1 Cor. 3:9. Immeasurably inferior is the part which the human agent sustains; but if he is linked with the divinity of Christ, he can do all things through the strength that Christ imparts. COL 28.

The news spread throughout the province. I just replied, “It was Jesus Christ who helped me, not me alone!”

p.s
Thank you so much for the website www.remnantofgod.org. It helped me a lot in spreading the truth to my classmates and friends. the quotes I needed were  all there.