Driven by the Gospel strives to honor missionaries who are sent to make Christ known in unbelieving communities. In fulfilment of this, Missionary of the Month features the work, victories, challenges, and prayer requests of Filipino missionaries located around the world. This month highlights the life of MG Albinio.
Full Name: Mary Grace P. Albinio
Location: Iloilo City
1. How did God lead you to become a missionary.
“I know Jesus, but I don’t respect Him.” This was the response of a student in a Buddhist country after I asked if he knew Jesus Christ. It was on a cross-cultural missions project. I was 18 then, but the impact it left me would lead me to a life-turning decision of taking part in the missions.
In John 15:13 Christ says, “Greater love has no one than this, that someone lay down his life for his friends.” Jesus loves people. He even let them crucify Him to bring about His plan of redemption. The rejection of Christ continues today; all men are lost and are in need of saving.
I was one of those people who was lost; I know what it’s like to be one but I also know what it’s like to have Jesus. I have experienced God’s love, goodness, and grace. Thus, becoming a missionary was my personal response to God’s faithfulness in my life. In doing so, He would make my life count by empowering me to do the work that He has entrusted to His followers: to make the gospel known for the salvation of men. He said, “The harvest is plentiful but the laborers are few” (Matthew 9:37), so I told God, here I am, send me.
2. What is the best part about being a missionary? (What are some of your favorite things that you get to do in your work?)
Being a missionary is not easy. Oftentimes you are exposed to faith-stretching frustrations but the joy that comes with it is incomparable. To share the Gospel with people, to encounter God’s power through changed lives, to see miracles firsthand–these are all amazing things, which I have been privileged to witness through my missionary journeys. Aside from these, being able to meet people from different walks of life–from strangers, to disciples, to ministry partners, to church partners,– and to learn about their spiritual journeys have brought great joy in my missionary life. Furthermore, mission trips, both local and overseas, are great opportunities to visit new places, explore new cultures, and learn how God is at work in the lives of other people. Above all, I delight in spending time with God and having it as a part of my job as a missionary.
3. What are some of your biggest victories and challenges that you’ve had in your ministry from the past year?
There are many things I praise God for in my missionary experiences. Last Holy Week 2019, I went to a week-long mission project in a far-flung community. Along with my 6 disciples, we trained the youths of our church partner how to effectively evangelize and disciple others. After that, we shared the gospel to residents through house to house evangelism and a mass viewing of “Jesus Film” in covered courts. Prior to the trip, I had never seen my disciples stretch their confidence in God to such a degree that they would commit to use their capabilities for the service of others amidst an unfamiliar territory. Indeed, God molded their character so that, in reverence to Him, they would become more active in their personal ministries and more committed in fulfilling the Great Commission.
Another memorable victory was when I was assigned to launch four campus ministries within a pioneering area. After a year of faithfully praying and sharing the gospel to students, my team witnessed a significant growth in number among our weekly prayer time and fellowship attendees.
I also remember one afternoon in which my disciples and I had matching free time so we decided to share the gospel by pairs around campus. When I glanced at the Emblem area (tambayan), I saw our student leaders sharing the gospel to groups of people on benches. I praise God because I realized at that moment that we were achieving our goal: that the gospel would be declared throughout the campus and students leading the spiritual movement.
Amidst all these victories, I praise God even more for struggles. Ministry is about people, people are sinners. As I continue journeying with those whom God entrusted to me, I can’t avoid getting hurt, disrespected, and misunderstood by them. Many times I felt disappointed and thought about giving up; however, I learned that God ordained those moments to test my love and commitment toward Him and the people He sent to my care. Conflicts are opportunities in which I can show and experience the unconditional love of Christ. For these, I am grateful.
4. How can we pray for you during this time?
- Christ before Cause – Please pray that I would grow in my devotion to God especially in seeking, listening, and depending on Him.
- New normal – Please pray for wisdom and strength as we adjust and navigate digital and online platforms in the ministry.
- Ministry fruitfulness – Please pray that we can reach more people for Christ and disciple them in this borderless ministry.
- God’s protection – Please pray for the protection and safety of my family and co-missionaries.