Why Discipleship is Relationship: Steffi X Ria

Nope, it’s not her birthday. I just really want to honour this woman today for how much I’ve been blessed by God through her life. This may seem a bit emotional, but let me take advantage of my emotions at this moment and use it for the right purpose. 😉

•••

Steffi, I’ll never forget the night we first

met, year 2015, in Valle Verde. That was the very first time I attended The Fellowship and you were my very first breakout leader then. I was at the peak of my sin and lostness during that time, struggling to let go of a relationship that is absolutely detestable to the faith I’d profess. Since that Bible study night, you immediately became a friend, though I was a complete stranger to you, though I’d cry a lot to you (looking back, feel ko super nakakapagod & nakakapikon ako i-lead), you never left, you were there the entire time I was struggling and weak about so many life issues. You were the perfect person to be my discipleship leader, you’d listen carefully, you’d rebuke me with love, you’d take time in sharing your godly advices and be very patient until I get the Lord’s wisdom. You were always Biblical and right but you never made me feel condemned when I make wrong decisions.

October of 2015, about a few weeks from the day we met, I was hospitalised due to dengue fever. We weren’t really that close yet, but you and Tasha came to visit me in the hospital. You brought doughnuts and prayed for me. You were totally unaware of how much I’ve been in awe on how you model Christlikeness to me since day one. I’m not sure if I’ve told you, but you were the one who taught me to have a burden for the sick, to visit & pray for them. I think one of the reasons why handling my own discipleship group wasn’t such a hard task for me (sometimes lang mahirap, when I’m overpowered by selfishness) is because I was imitating such a gracious leader, more than a leader, a friend & an evident Christlike follower. Glad to be a fruit of your labor! You are always so humble, you always check on us individually, you share your weaknesses with us but never burdened us, you say sorry when you have to, you encourage very sincerely, again, very sincerely!

Haiii Stwepi! You show me the kind of love that I’m sure could only be sustained by the work of the Holy Spirit. Remember John’s statement in John 3? “I must decrease, He must increase.” That’s how I’d constantly look at your life. And you know what’s more amazing? Now, you’ve already changed your status, you’re already married, while I’m here in the desert, you still check on me. I’m not demanding that you keep on doing it, but you just do. There were so many adjustments that you’d have to do, but doing your works for the Lord is never compromised. It isn’t perfect, never will be, but graciously incorruptible & honest. I’m blessed each time you’d ask for prayers, you never pretend as if you got it all figured out, you always point me to the Source of every strength and true wisdom, you never take the credit. You were never entitled, you’re just joyfully serving God. I really really praise Him for showing me so much of Himself through you. And when I tell you that I want to be like you when it comes to leading a dgroup, I mean it. Proverbs 31!!! Huhu. That’s why I praise Him for you😢 — because you fear and love the Lord so much.

We’re transitioning, adjusting to different directions/mission fields God is leading us to. But what gives me peace and confidence is that I know wherever He takes us in this world, that even our once a month catch up becomes a little less that the usual, when we all get so busy doing ministry works, we do have One Goal. Christ. Jesus. Always.

Thank you for being my spiritual momma. Thank you for not giving up on me & for showing me that discipleship isn’t boring and stiff, for teaching me that though it requires so much dying-to-self & sacrifices, in the end, it is worth it — because it is done with, for & through Christ. With all that you are & you are yet to become, I praise & give glory to our Maker. I love you, Steffi G.!

“Many women do noble things, but you surpass them all.” Charm is deceptive, and beauty is fleeting; but a woman who fears the Lord is to be praised. Honor her for all that her hands have done, and let her works bring her praise at the city gate.” Proverbs 31:29-31

Advertisements

My Heart & BibleMesh

Today, I finished my Bible in Missional Perspective 2month course in BibleMesh, BibleMesh is a a site for theological courses to help Christians grow in faith and make disciples in the local churches. To learn more about it, you may check the website: BibleMesh.com

A year ago, it was introduced to me by my discipleship group leader, Steffi. She encouraged me to take the courses and join the class with my other brothers & sisters at The Fellowship. (To learn more about The Fellowship: come to CCF Eastwood, UpperRoom every Monday at 7pm😉). I initially didn’t want to participate in it, during that time, I was still distracted and struggling with my former job, but I still said yes to Steffi without fully being committed to it. To cut the long story short, it took me over a year to finish the course. Just today. Praise God I did.

Bible in Missional Perspective helped me understand the Bible in summary better than I used to. I can conclude that men are truly evil, God is truly good, and Christ is truly Lord of all. If He isn’t Lord of all, He isn’t Lord at all. Understanding the creation, the fall of man, the solution to our problem is overwhelmingly good. It inspires me to better serve my King Jesus, not because I’m a nice girl, but because He’s a nice God, w/ a good-good-Father. Looking at it, through the lens of a Filipino lady who grew up with a Catholic background, the knowledge of what He’s done is very simple, but not everyone has understood it, because not all eyes were opened, NOT YET. And that’s the goal, to get Him known, to get people to see what we see. I know, it’s only Grace that does that, Grace initiated by His love through us, Christians. Mannn. I pray I’ll be able to do my heavenly job well. Sometimes we find the gospel so basic, sometimes (we think) we get too familiar with it that we forget its essence. And most of the time, well, in my case, most of the time I’m pridefully wrong. Repent! Gosh, it was humbling. Shame on me. I was too prideful to not want to study & learn. But thank God for finally making me finish the course. I didn’t even get a perfect grade with my test, but I’m just happy with the knowledge I’ve gained.

I’m emotional as I write these things, and it’s okay, the overflow of my emotions will subside, but I pray that the overflow of my love, adoration and longing for Him doesn’t. By Grace, through Faith, in Christ. Always!!! What a beautiful God I have! I want to learn more. I want to know Him more. I want to learn how to love like Him even more. Christians, let’s all die together, & be filled with Christ.

Let me end with these verses from my favourite follower of Jesus, Paul:

“I affirm by the pride in you that I have in Christ Jesus our Lord: I die every day! If I fought wild animals in Ephesus with only human hope, what good did that do me? If the dead are not raised, Let us eat and drink, for tomorrow we die.

Therefore, my dear brothers, be steadfast, immovable, always excelling in the Lord’s work, knowing that your labor in the Lord is not in vain.” 1 Corinthians 15:31-32, 58