by Nestle Arboleda
Ate Nur is one of the faithful members of the local house church in Silom Silom Island. She came from Malaysia but moved to the island with her family because of their seaweeds livelihood.
The life and the servant heart of ate Nur made a great impact to the lives of OS volunteers. Throughout the whole duration of mission trip, she gave her time in cooking, washing dishes, cleaning, and even being a tour guide whenever the team visits the sandbar to watch the sunset. She would usually arrive at 5:00 in the morning and leaves the staff house after dinner.
Many times the team offered her help but she often refuses; telling she enjoys what she is doing and she made the kitchen chores as her main support for OS 2019.
I remember one moment where my heart was deeply moved by her service and commitment. It was around 1:30 in the morning when a boy was rushed to the staff house because of severe stomach ache. She was the one accompanying the father, and when the boy received the medical care that he needed, she kept herself awake until 4:00am to look after him as he gets some rest.
I watched her closely that night, she looks tired; her eyes can tell. But there is also one more thing that catches my attention; her joy. The unspeakable joy that overshadowed the tiredness brought by the working day and the sleepless night.
This is the first mission trip I experienced having no need to cook and wash dishes. It felt uncomfortable because as a goer, we were always reminded that like Jesus, we came to serve and not to be served.
But as I reflect on this new experience, God revealed to me a valuable lesson. A lesson that is well taught but often forgotten: God uses ordinary people to accomplish His great work.
Like ate Nur; an ordinary woman, working as a housewife, living in one of the remotest areas in the Philippines, but making great and extraordinary impact as she plays the role of a sender. As she stays in the house to prepare hot and mouthwatering meals, she sends the goers to the mission field for the expansion of God’s kingdom, for spreading the gospel, the love of Christ, the message that needs to be preached to the ends of the earth. Indeed, she is a part of a global mission and the advancement of God’s kingdom. She is doing the great commission, the command of her Savior, Jesus Christ.
Truly, God can use ordinary people to display His great and mighty power. May the story of ate Nur reminds us that we, an ordinary being, can make extraordinary impact by doing ordinary things. There is no small thing done for a great God.