WHEN I returned to Davao after the NZ interviews, I constantly checked my email to see if any of the companies will send their offers. After a few weeks and dozens of emails with possible employers, I received a final offer. As the reality hit me, I became ambivalent and asked God’s direction whether to accept it or not, knowing it meant a lot of changes for us. First, although I might be earning more than working remotely as a Software Engineer for different companies in Australia, US and Canada, we would also need to spend more with the higher cost of living. We calculated our savings, which would turn out to be just 10% increase compared to our current savings staying in Davao.
Secondly, Cherrylene was about to give birth to our son Fargo. Accepting the offer meant leaving her with our 2 kids for 3 months, which is unusual for us being together 24/7. So I sought the Lord’s guidance. The next day, my reading plan was Mark 10; in verse 27 Jesus said, “Humanly speaking, it is impossible. But not with God. Everything is possible with God.” I continued reading verses 29-30: “and I assure you that everyone who has given up house or brothers or sisters or mother or father or children or property, for my sake and for the Good News, will receive now in return a hundred times as many houses, brothers, sisters, mothers, children, and property . . .” Right then and there, I had this unexplainable peace transcend in my body like warm water soothing me. Jesus’ words became alive, as we would have to give up the house we’re living in, our family and friends, and financial stability. Whatever familiar and comfortable for us, we had to surrender it all to the Lord. With inexplicable peace and blessing from my wife, I signed the papers.
With no delay, we started sorting our stuff and selling everything we had, including our brand new car. We moved back to my Mom’s house. Two weeks before I was to leave, Cherrylene gave birth to our son Fargo. Three days after, the reality was sinking in and I was getting really anxious for so many reasons. I had a bit of doubt about our journey and whether everything that I read and the experience were all just coincidental, that I was just making my own story. But my reading that day on Matthew 4 was Jesus’ temptation in the wilderness.
I noticed He was quoting verses mostly found in Deuteronomy 6 and turned to read it: “These are the commands, decrees, and regulations that the Lord your God commanded me to teach you. You must obey them in the land you are about to enter and occupy, and you and your children and grandchildren must fear the Lord your God as long as you live. If you obey all his decrees and commands, you will enjoy a long life. Listen closely, Israel, and be careful to obey. Then all will go well with you, and you will have many children in the land flowing with milk and honey, just as the Lord, the God of your ancestors, promised you.” The moment I read the first verse, I started crying! How personal God was in our journey, and His presence was undeniably real in our family. As I continued reading, I cried some more, because a land flowing with milk and honey reminds me of a place none other than New Zealand where milk and honey are abundant and two of their main exports! (To be Continued)