I want to share a story with you how I became a witness of Emie’s decision to be baptized. My first time I met Emie was when we visited Limbasan church on Sabbath 6 month ago. She volunteered herself to translate for Andrey. Just after worship was done, I came to her and asked if she would agree to go with me to the village of Lapiak and help me with the kids program. Even though I had already asked another girl to join me, I just felt I should ask Emie too. The next day, after we finished our kids’ Bible study in Lapiak, she asked me if we could start the same study in her place because there are many kids that will be happy to have something like that. And so we did. In the morning we would go to Lapiak (15 km on a bumpy jungle road) and then in the afternoon we would do it in her place (it is part of Limbasan, and still a jungle). The kids there were so attentive to the Bible stories. Even their parents were showing interest. Since that time Emie has been pretty busy every Sunday. The whole day long she is helping me in conducting our Bible studies for children. Even though she has small 3 and 4 year old kids of her own and even if it’s raining, she will still come for the children’s program. She never looks for excuses and never asks for anything like money for gas. I would say, she took this ministry devotedly. When it was time to start our evangelistic meetings in Mainit, Emie somehow and for some reason, moved to live there in Mainit just a couple days before. Even in that I could see God’s providence. I had my children’s part in the meetings every night. Somehow my translator lost her voice in the first night (it was not a surprise; we had more than 100 kids) so I texted Emie to help me , and she agreed gladly. Thus she was helping every night from 5pm to 11pm, never tired. And miraculously God kept our voices working every night. I was really surprised when brother Nitz (our bible worker) asked me to talk with Emie about baptism, since I thought she already was baptized! I decided not to push her, instead I told her my story, how I came to Christ. The next night during the kids program, one little boy came to us with a handmade guitar and he sang for us. When he was singing I could feel a reverence and presence of God, even if I couldn’t understand the words. I could see my hundred plus, usually screaming and noisy kids, sitting perfectly quiet at that moment. Emie also felt the same way, she told me later that she was deeply touched with the song. The words in the song were about how soon Jesus is coming, and it was asking, “Are you ready?” The next night Emie seemed so thoughtful. Actually it was the last night of our evangelistic meetings. Then she said to me that she couldn’t sleep last night, she was thinking about the song and about what I was telling her of my experience with God (I told her that at one point God seemed to be asking me, “You know so much, what are you waiting for?” Emie said that she was ready, and she wanted to be baptized tomorrow. Oh, what a joy it was for me to hear that news! I couldn’t keep my tears any more, I embraced her and we wept together in unison. Now Emie is a member of the Adventist church. She is still busy every Sunday with the children’s programs, but now it takes more sacrifice, because she is coming from Mainit 20 km away every week by herself! Praise God!
By Tanya Mershalova
PAMAS Palawan Missionary