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The monthly newsletter of Free Methodist World Missions

Saying Yes to Unexpected Opportunities

by Michael Jay Calado | Apr 2024 | Heartbeat, HB Asia, HB Philippines

My story begins in Baguio City, Philippines. I was 11 years old when the Free Methodist work began in our city. At an early age, I established a personal relationship with God and had the opportunity to develop my talents in a community of love and faith.

Although my primary roles in the church were as a worship leader and Sunday school teacher, I had a profound passion for digital arts. When the pandemic disrupted our physical gatherings, we adapted to gathering online through Zoom meetings and utilizing the live stream of the Philippine General Conference.

In 2021, as physical gatherings gradually resumed, many were still afraid to go out. I felt compelled to create a live stream for our church, allowing people to join our service virtually. I was no expert, but eventually, through trial and error and the guidance of the Lord, I made it happen. The experience of managing our church’s livestream challenged me creatively and deepened my love for graphic design and video editing.

At the same time, my family’s business suffered during the pandemic due to store closures, posing financial challenges. I was a college student but had to pause my studies due to finances. I resumed online classes while I worked in a call center for two years to help support my family. As the challenges persisted, balancing a full-time job with studies became unfeasible.

Despite my family’s financial challenges, I strongly desired to pursue my passion for digital arts. After much prayer, in November 2022, I quit my job, deciding to embrace whatever the Lord might have for me. Soon after, I met two key mission leaders in Asia. They had seen my work and asked me to edit a video for Free Youth Asia Connect, a gathering of youth from across Asia.

Another unexpected opportunity came at the beginning of 2023 when I was informed the Asia Area director needed someone to assist with video editing. I questioned whether I could do the job, but this was an opportunity I had been praying for, so I said YES. I decided to put my trust in God’s enabling power. I was nervous because I did not have formal qualifications or expertise, but others believed in me and encouraged me.

I am so grateful to work with FMWM Asia. This opportunity has expanded my territory and connected me with leaders from other Asian countries. I have been inspired and encouraged by their stories and have grown to appreciate the work of our missionaries and leaders who step out of their comfort zones to share the gospel with unreached people.

God is working in Asia! I am in awe! God is using our unique skills and cultural diversity as we collaborate for kingdom impact.

God has connected the dots in my life. The challenges, struggles and pain have been stepping stones, allowing me to meet the right people at the right time and contribute to expanding God’s kingdom in Asia as I help maximize technology for kingdom purposes. And to add to these blessings, God affirmed my decisions through His faithfulness in providing for my family’s needs. To God be all the glory!