Time flies! It’s been six months ago when I first met Violaine. It was providential, and I’ve been very grateful that God allowed our paths to have crossed.
If you haven’t read yet my blog post about Violaine’s transformation story, kindly take time to read it. “A Winemaker Transformed as a Farmer in God’s Vineyard”
During a break for about a week, few months ago, Sis. V spent time at home with my family, and she’s really dear to us like our own sister. She’s an inspiration, and we’re happy that she considered us her family in the Philippines.
I praise God how she bloomed in a foreign mission field, despite of a lot of challenges. So, when she mentioned over a phone call that she’s flying back to France, I felt sad. But it’s mixed emotions — happy she could be at home for new missionary ventures, sad, because she would be too far from her second home. I think all friends go through separation anxiety. What matters most, we savored the time when we’re together.
Here is her mission update (personally written). I’ve been thrilled to share how God did wonders in her sojourn especially in the picturesque island of Palawan.
Who Says Being a Christian is Boring?
By Violaine Hérisson
What a great story writer God is! I discover Him day after day as imaginative, resourceful, humoristic and always caring and merciful. He is becoming my best Friend and Teacher every day. His character is unfolding to me as I get to experience His answered prayers, promises and meet godly people.
I would like to update you about what God is doing here in the Philippines without overwhelming you with information. I will start by the worst news, then the best.
After weeks of seminars in different islands of the Philippines, I ended up staying at PAMAS (Philippines Adventist Medical Aviation Services) Palawan to start a permacultural garden. What a tremendous blessing it has been to work there, first because of the people and also because of the terrific greenhouse effect on character. In comparison to my attitude at the mission school, I learned that it does not have to be painful if you go with it.
Those 6 months have been very focused on object lessons with observing restoration of the soil (change in smell, color, humus formation, insects, micro-organic life…), the simple methods God uses, the impact on seed growth depending with how much love and care you plant it.
It can sound funny but I pray for my seeds when I plant them and as I still have little experience with gardening. I also ask God what I should do each day. Showing how He has blessed this garden and cares for it has been improving my trust in Him, tremendously. Once again, I also see how He is revealing His message to the world as we haven’t been willing to follow it. For those who know what permaculture is (often related to “New Age” people), all its principles come from the book of Nature and from the Bible!
There is no way I can call that a dark spot because of how many blessings came out of it but I have been experiencing quite a bit lately from a health perspective: hypoglycemia, burn-out and culture shock. I have never been so worn out in my entire life and still Jesus is using me. He makes me shine even more! Tell of His goodness to myself and others and count His blessings are some of my daily remedies.
We learned to have thanksgiving sessions while eating and the communion and joy that we feel while praising God puts us on a cloud. It helps us see the reality of how He is working and what He is doing. United prayers have also blessed us, people around and brought us in unity to a further extent than being alone.
Teaching and training
A one month LIGHT training was held at PAMAS and about 30 young people came. Teaching the youth is one of the best gifts God could give us. To see them daily sitting outside in God’s classroom reminded me of my first class I attended at the mission school in Austria: True Education, its impact on my soul, how it opened and prepared me to receive Christ, and taught me God’s restoring message.
During this month I received God’s calling to teach, but also how to balance and combine spirituality and practicality in gardening classes. I came across a compilation of Sister White in AIIAS (Adventist International Institute of Advanced Studies) library with all the quotes she ever gave about nature, gardening and education and I am using it right now to help write a handbook on farming in the tropics.
Daniel Garcia has kept travelling all over the place from seminars, to evangelical weeks, mission schools, to visiting universities, to consulting families to start projects on the land. I am amazed at the heavenly strength God is able to provide us if we follow His counsels and do His will. God is opening doors for him to spend a little time in the Philippines and keep travelling to share the good news about health and agriculture. For my part I will be heading back to France and then TGM in July for NEWSTART session where non-Adventists friends of mine will be attending.
France as a mission field
From what I have seen from the Adventist organization, work and mission worldwide, France is far behind, mostly because the vast majority of Adventists does not speak English, they don’t know what the rest of the world is up to, reaching their atheist compatriots is almost impossible (health care and infrastructures are really good in France). They do not read much of EGW, only three of the Testimonies volumes are actually translated in French. The biggest issue is that God is completely taboo in France. The few open people are Muslims. Even though it is actually the most challenging and closed mission field I have seen, it also is the most interesting, as it forces God’s people to rely on His great wisdom! How exciting!Throughout the months I spent here in the Philippines, God has been developing love in my heart for a certain group of people that I would never have thought I would want to minister to. Guess who? French people!
Of farming and flying
The reason I am sharing my future plans, which will most likely be changing depending on God’s providence, is for us to keep this mission field in our prayers and for God to open doors and develop a call for mission in the heart of the people! I am praying that God will use me to bring the little knowledge and experience I gathered along the last year and a half in order to get a Blueprint started there. There are a few people interested to follow God’s message for the end time and what I can foresee of the situation is how God will use willing people that have no great knowledge to bring light to France. The story is happening over and over again throughout history. Less we rely on our own wisdom; more we rely on God’s, more heavenly success we will experience. The question now is would we be willing? All that God needs is our will. My prayers are going to our Heavenly Father that He may prepare their hearts and mine for the work that He will appoint us to carry. For my part, He is transforming my desires for personal success and great worldly ambitions into enjoying small labor and desiring heavenly success, which will not be seen of us in this world but have an eternal impact.
More missionaries needed
My last topic is about how much missionaries we need here, I am sure at least as much as you need in your areas if not more. We need pilots, nurses, builders, aircraft mechanics, agriculturists, Bible teachers or any other background is welcome. They also need more donations for aircrafts (especially helicopters) in order to reach more places (islands and mountains) that have never heard of the Gospel and have no access to medical support. We are praying for land and team members to start a wellness center here at PAMAS. At least 15 other ministries are also praying right now throughout the Philippines to start a Blueprint.
My prayer is that God would prepare us and would make us willing!
“Faithful is he that calleth you, who also will do it.” 1 Thessalonians 5:24
© 2016 LAF
Note: Photos credit to Violane H. The photos and article should not be used, reproduced and manipulated by any means without a written request and consent from the author. Videos credit to PAMAS and Tell Them Ministry & CreeyTV