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From Riding a Water Buffalo to Driving a Jeep Trail Hawk

“For it is God who works in you to will and to act according to his good purpose” (Philippians 2:13).

My dream since I was a kid, to become a missionary.

My parent’s meager income from the farm allowed them to open our home to visiting missionaries, pastors, brethren from other congregations, and Bible Seminary students.

In the farm we delivered the coconut products to town dealer using a water buffalo and a horse. My father held the horse’s lead. I held the water buffalo’s lead. In going back to our farm home I rode on the buffalo and Dad rode the horse.

I love to pray, dream, and study. Mom taught me at the early age of four to write my name and read books. My parents encouraged me to visit and sleep over with educated and successful relatives. When I went home Dad probed me with questions.

At the age of thirteen, I accepted the Lord Jesus and was baptized.  I felt the unexplainable inner joy and peace in my heart. With my new found experience my longing to love and serve Jesus Christ got stronger.

My Dad had requested me to pursue a secular degree so I could help support our growing family’s budget. My love and respect for my Father halted my dream to be a missionary.

I worked as Forester at the Bureau of Forest Development for six years. I financially supported my younger siblings schooling.

Several investors persuaded me to manage their business of buying and selling minor forest products. For few months the business gave us extra income. One Saturday evening, our customers at the flea market in Manila ran away without paying me.

I started skipping work because of my fear of facing my business partners. I moved from friend’s home to another friend. I cried to God, “Lord, please guide me. I will follow you. Do as you please.”

God’s mercy became real to me as my District Forester granted me a job promotion and moved me to another District Office. My boss did not blame me and granted my monthly pay check even I had irregular attendance.

I performed well at my new work place but discontentment triggered me. I knew that I need something different.

I prayed, “Lord Jesus Christ help me. I do not know what to do. Lead me as you please.”

One day, I accompanied a friend to a friend’s Dad’s wake.  A lady was talking about her job overseas with job opening in one of the richest Islamic country in Asia. She told me, “If you send me your resume I can help you.”

I sent her my resume. In less than a month there was a job offered to me which included the money for processing my papers. I worked as a Technical Staff in a Landscaping and Ground Maintenance Company.

My love and desire to serve the Lord was rekindled as a group of Christian overseas workers invited me to join their group. I started teaching Bible studies and shared Jesus to people even though religious police would have arrested me if they found out.

Something radical happened one Sunday evening after dinner in our volunteer Indian Pastor’s housing. He challenged us, “You Filipinos are enjoying your comfortable life in this country while most people in your country are dying without a personal relationship with Christ.”

It was like a dagger to my heart. I recalled my dream to be a missionary. Fear at the back of my mind about quitting my job meant I would not be able to support  my siblings. “Lord Jesus I will trust you and obey your will in this matter. Please take care of me and my siblings. Do as you please.”

When I submitted my job resignation, my Managing Director offered me, “Lilian if you stay in my company I will grant you a fifty percent profit sharing from my 100 acre turf and spices plantation.”

“Sorry, I am decided to go home and serve in the mission.” It was the toughest decision I ever made.

I served in the mission field in the Philippines away from home for three years without a job and by faith. My Lord supplied me with the food, clothes, and other basic necessities in an extraordinary ways.

One Sunday after a worship service, a lady invited me to join their Preachers and Christian Leaders Meeting. Most of the preachers advised me to have a formal training to succeed as a missionary. The President of the Cebu Bible Seminary offered me a scholarship to enroll at Cebu Bible Seminary.

After graduation, they offered me a teaching position. Before I decided, I went to the Touch of Glory Prayer Mountain for a forty days prayer and fasting (bottled mineral water only) to draw closer to Jesus and know His plan for me. By God’s mercy, I was healed from fear and bitterness and had a new clarity and firm resolve. Instead of going back to an Islamic country as a missionary I became a Faculty member of Cebu Bible Seminary in the Philippines. Within few years I became the Academic Dean, an Intern Supervisor, and the Vice President.

I enrolled at Cebu Normal University Graduate School to enhance my teaching and supervising skills. Several of my friends met their husbands through the Cherry Blossom Dating Catalog. Sasheen picked my husband-to-be from the same catalog.

I had decided to be a single till my friend’s persuasion and my parent’s persistent prayers collided with God’s mercy for me to get married. My marriage to my precious husband landed me in Utah where the Lord uses my life in a prayer ministry and discipleship.

I will cherish forever my younger days of riding on a water buffalo dreaming and praying for God’s blessings while fulfilling my lifetime mission of sharing the love of Jesus.

May my riding on a water buffalo (carabao in the Philippines) journey to driving a Jeep Trail Hawk inspires you to dream and trust Jesus the Promise Keeper. Contact me at www.lilianhosfeld.com so I can pray with you.

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