GMA News Online
Pinoy Abroad
»
Kwentong Kapuso

A tale of OFW life well spent

February 24, 2011 9:16pm
Excitement and fear enveloped the last two remaining contenders of the famed reality show “Fear Factor,"as the host is about to announce the final challenge. “Your last task is to bring a bagful of Bibles for practicing Christians to the seat of the Islamic faith, the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia," he exclaimed.

That was in 1999. Imagine you are one of those two contestants. You wished hard to be declared as the “Mi Ultimo Participante". What will you do? Shall you risk your life for the prize?


Sister Lota, as she was fondly called, did not hide the Holy Books. She laid them bare by piling them on top of her clothes. She was ready to risk her life!
–MarJun
I can still vividly recall the awe-inspiring testimony of Sister Carlota Dumaguing 10 years ago – about bringing in 12 Bibles upon her return to Saudi Arabia. From a secular perspective, knowing the austerity of Saudi rules against such items, it is something that a person in his right mind would not do. But I believe, it was an ultimate act of zealousness to God spawned by her undaunted faith.

At that time, X-ray machines had not yet been installed in the largest airport in the world, the King Khalid International Airport in Riyadh, so everyone was obliged to open his luggage for ocular inspection.

Sister Lota, as she was fondly called, did not hide the Holy Books. She laid them bare by piling them on top of her clothes. She was ready to risk her life!

According to her, she was dumbfounded when the inspector just glanced at the books as if he saw nothing. Overwhelming joy swathed her. With trembling hands she quickly re-zipped the luggage and walked away. She thanked God silently as tears of joy fell down her cheeks. While in the queue, though, she admitted having felt the creeps; nonetheless, her unswerving faith triumphed over her fears!

It was a victorious moment, a battle won!

In a place where bringing such items are forbidden and can be considered a criminal offense, and at a time when e-Bibles were not as readily available as they are now, her act of faith is a remarkable testament to many.

A staunch crusader for Christ since her college days, Sister Lota, to me, was Daniel who insisted to revere his God by praying three times a day, against the decree of the king, even if it meant being thrown in the den of lions.

She was Daniel’s friends, Shadrach, Mischal and Abednego, who opted to be thrown in the fiery furnace rather than worship a pagan god.

The twelve Bibles she brought in were her “Isaacs", ready to be offered to God’s altar, as proofs of her genuine faith and obedience to God’s will.

Hers was a modern yet classic picture of faith and action working together.

Yes, faith with action is the most valuable lesson I learned from the life of Sister Lota. It has since propelled my faith to grow by leaps and bounds.


And oh, by the way, legions of jubilant angels must have ushered sister Lota to a grandiose banquet when she returned to her Creator in 2005. Every tear must have been wiped out from her eyes and the pain of breast cancer must have been taken away.

Faith, as James 2:14 points out, has to be accompanied by action, with good deeds that are in line with God’s will, because faith without action is dead.

For me, we will never be able to prove the power of His word, nor will we ever experience the truth of His wonderful promises if we choose NOT to act on the faith that we received. We will remain a “bonsai" Christian, ending up as skeptics or doubting Thomases – seeing to believe rather than believing to see - theoretical rather than practical. Such is a faith that would readily crumble when periodic attacks of trials and sufferings would come.

Sister Lota never wavered in exercising her faith. Knowing that perfect love casts out fear, she was up to beat the odds. She braved being fetched, religiously, on Fridays, even if she was the only woman passenger in the car.

She just believed that the “eagle’s eyes" of the feisty religious police will be hazed with God’s all-encompassing love.

But the most significant evidence of her dauntless faith was when she spearheaded the foundation of Shekinah Fellowship, along with Sister Miriam, who was her bosom buddy. They recognized the need to shepherd many lost souls in the twin hospitals of the Armed Forces, King Faisal and King Fahad, in Khamis Mushayt.

Like a plant whose roots are deeply embedded in the fertile ground, Shekinah Fellowship, a daughter church of Khamis Mushayt International Christian Fellowship (KMICF), is thriving robustly. It is now 12 years old and counting.

And oh, by the way, legions of jubilant angels must have ushered sister Lota to a grandiose banquet when she returned to her Creator in 2005. Every tear must have been wiped out from her eyes and the pain of breast cancer must have been taken away. She must have felt exhilarating joy as crowns upon crowns were cast on her as rewards. It must have been a wonderful sight to behold!

Indeed, a well-deserved heavenly accolade for one who has an intrepid faith like hers.
Fearless faith, anyone? - GMA News

Marjun Canceran

Ano ang kwento mo? Mga Kapuso, tuloy ang kwentuhan. Sana’y hindi kayo magsawa sa pagtangkilik sa ating pitak na ito. Habang may mga kababayan tayo sa abroad - pati ang kanilang mga kabiyak, anak, ina, ama o sinuman na kabahagi ng kanilang buhay - na nais magpaabot ng kanilang saloobin, mananatili po ang inyong Kwentong Kapuso.

Katulad ng dati, hindi kami magsasawa na basahin ang inyong mga kwento - maigsi man o mahaba. Kahit na ang laman nito ay naglalabas ng sama ng loob, nagbibigay ng inspirasyon, gustong magpayo, magsumbong, magpatawa o kahit nagpapalipas lang ng oras.

Kaya hihintayin namin ang inyong mga email na maaari ninyo itong ipadala sa Pinoyabroad@gmanews.tv Sa inyo mga kababayan namin saan mang dako sa mundo, kami po'y saludo sa inyo. Kaya ilabas ang iyong saloobin, ikuwento mo Kapuso!
Go to comments



We welcome healthy discussions and friendly debate! Please click Flag to alert us of a comment that may be abusive or threatening. Read our full comment policy here.
Comments Powered by Disqus