“Our heavenly Father has a thousand ways to provide for us, of which we know nothing.” ― Ellen G. White
“If it’s God’s will, it’s His bill”.
Whenever Kuya Gem Castor is around, there’s mirth! It seems impossible to see him worried. He has a reservoir of funny experiences and stories. Almost nonstop storytelling abounds whenever we have the luxury of time.
He’s a happy person. Genuine happiness comes from serving God wholeheartedly. His happiness is contagious! I appreciate the radical faith and missionary endeavors God endowed upon him!
On April 18-23, 2016, he was the guest speaker for the College of Dentistry Revival Series dubbed as “Absolute Reliance”, at the Adventist University of the Philippines. I was personally blessed with the series among numerous students, many faculty, and staff who participated the event.
“Christ in His life on earth made no plans for Himself. He accepted God’s plans for Him, and day by day the Father unfolded His plans. So should we depend upon God, that our lives may be the simple outworking of His will. As we commit our ways to Him, He will direct our steps.” Help in Daily Living p. 82
In spite of Bro. Gem Castor’s very hectic schedule, he generously gave time to respond to my online interview. I’m grateful and I praise God for the inspiration he’s been imparting to the youth not only in the Philippines but around the world.
When and how did you start your missionary journey?
My missionary journey started in October 2010. It all started when a missionary friend of mine asked me to be part of a prayer team that will lead the prayer sessions during the annual council meeting of SSD (Southern Asia-Pacific Division). Then we were invited to India to do the same thing. And to the 3 Unions that compromises the Philippines; SPUC, CPUC & NPUC. During those trips, the Lord showed me what a life lived for HIM looks like through the life of my missionary friend/mentor.
In one of your talks in PYC 2015: Engaged, you highlighted how you applied for a US Visa and if not for a miracle, it would not have been granted. Kindly elaborate how God intervened.
Getting a US Visa is quite difficult for a Filipino. Much more for a Filipino who does not have any financial security to show that he could support himself and that he will not be tempted to stay in the US for good! So that was my case and it seems that all the odds were against me except for one, and that is ‘HIS Will’.
So when I was interviewed, the first thing that was asked was my monthly income which I don’t have any answer except I live by faith. He asked me all sorts of financial security and stability questions and all I can give him were honest answers that exposes my lack (or none) of wealth and any means. All I can say is that I have a faithful God who provides. And in the end, the Lord overruled his thinking and he granted me a 10-year multiple entry Visa. Which shows that all these things can only be possible with GOD.
How did you manage to travel in different countries such as USA and Canada, without your own penny on your pocket?
Only by the grace of God that I can be able to go from place to place. My deal with God when I embarked on this journey is that, I will only tell HIM my needs and if the answer comes I would know for a fact that the answer comes from HIM. It’s also a way that I will get confirmation whether the Lord would want me to go to that place or not. For when HE opens the way, HE also provides the rest. And HE always does. HE never fails!
It’s interesting you have a bed blog on Facebook, what is it all about?
Bed Blog came about last year when I came to the US for a 4-month trip. Within a month, I noticed that I have slept on at least 10 beds. So I was impressed to take a selfie with every bed that I sleep on as a reminder for me and a proof of the Lords continuous Faithfulness in this journey. So Bed Blog is all about Evidence of God’s Faithfulness.
What are the challenges you face in God’s vast mission field?
Personally, I welcome every challenge that God will bring before me for I’ve learned that every challenge that HE allows will teach me to be on my knees and fully rely on HIM. The most common challenges that encounter is “Unbelief”.
We often forget that we serve a powerful and faithful God. And we often lose sight of that when we focus much on the obstacles and not on GOD. That’s why the Lord has to constantly remind me to fix my eyes on Jesus. For if we do so, all of us will be in the mission field where God would have us go.
To those who want to engage in God’s workforce as a missionary, what are the practical tips you could share, especially on traveling (dealing with travel issues and jetlag) and getting acquainted with diverse cultures?
The most practical tips I would love to share:
- Travel with GOD (everything for HIM and with HIM)
- Know that your purpose is Mission, not Vacation so be ready to serve and not to be served.
- If know your purpose (mission) then you will be acquainted with the culture of heaven and that will blend you into any culture you’ll meet.
- Spend time with the Lord no matter how busy you’ll become for HE is your strength, joy, peace, inspiration, He is your all in all. You have nothing to give to the mission field unless HE fills you with HIS Spirit. You’ll not be able to deal with anything without HIM. For HE will take care of everything — even jet lag.
- You will learn more as you walk by faith.
What are to expect and not to expect as a missionary who fully rely on God’s providence?
Expect lots and lots of surprises and challenges, but do not be worried for if you fully rely on HIM, HE will always deliver. And don’t expect everything to be easy, easy is boring and you’ll not learn much if everything is easy. Don’t expect that you’ll get the hang of it for a life of Absolute Reliance is continuous.
What encouragement could you give to those who are inspired to live with absolute reliance on God?
Try HIM, prove HIM in your life and you will see that HE truly is Faithful. HE will never fail you. Do not miss out on a life that has pure joy and endless pleasure amidst trials and challenges. He longs for you to Absolutely Rely on HIM. Don’t wait any longer. Don’t make HIM wait, Try HIM now.
Note: Photo credits: Gem Castor, Vinz Matias (united prayer) and Diomar Villamin.