Through Gates of Splendor by Elisabeth Elliot

To the world, operation Auca was a failed mission.
But for the missionaries, it was a mission accomplished.

This the first book I finished this year and what makes it even more special is that I finished it in less than 10 days! My personal librarian, my memory, would present a bad reading record for my 2017 and I hope that this would be the start of a healthy reading habit.

I am not sure if I should call it “bias” or based on preference but this book, unlike any other book, thrilled me to read each chapter. It was probably because, first of all, the first chapters totally blew me away. The testimony of the five missionary men and their wives challenged and inspired me. There were also parts where I just scanned it through and hadn’t understood and others I was dragging myself into. But it was faced with excitement to reach the next chapter and wait for the moments. Thank God for Betty (Elisabeth’s nickname as written in the book) didn’t write prologue or introduction because I am often stuck on this part of the book especially if it’s poorly written.

“I dare not stay home” was the first chapter’s title I fell in love with like handling a rose with its thorns. I was astonished reading Jim Elliot’s principles and reasoning that are no doubt from God. He said that he would not dare stay home while Quichuas (any group of Indian tribes in Ecuador) perish. It, surely, had been a long time because today most of the Christians think differently from him. Instead, we say “I’d rather stay at home than reach out my neighbor.” Of which, I am guilty. I was really rebuked of how self-centered I had become which was the opposite of what Christianity looks like.

It was also evident in the life of these men that they got their priorities right. I was awakened by the fact that our youth ministry was in this kind of state. The young people, sadly even as leaders, were so preoccupied with things that aren’t necessary and miss out some of the important essences of life. I have nothing against excelling in studies or a certain field but maybe we had crossed the line and put these on the top list.

Faith and compassion were the driving force that fuels this mission. They believe that called them to reach one of the dangerous tribes in Ecuador. They could not stand doing nothing especially when they know that the root of such behaviors came from fear and ignorance of the Truth.

This bravery of the missionaries came from their confidence in God. As Ed Mc Cully said, “We’ve already put our trust in Him (God) for salvation, so why do we not do it as far as our life is concerned?” This is faith in action. They believe God not just a Savior but their Lord and Master, well.

One of the things I love about classic books like this is that it is refreshing to read their perspective on love because I believe it was in their time when love was not yet perverted as ours. Before pursuing the ladies, the gentlemen prayed for the will of God and even consider its effect on the mission God gave them. Oh, how pure their intentions are. As a result, their wives also played an important role in their lives and their mission.

I knew that these men will be killed by their new friends as our preachers used to share their stories. It must have been a tragedy giving yourself to the people who would soon take it savagely. However, reading it from the perspective of the missionary families, it was as if they finished a race. They did what God called them to do and returned home with the Father.

I first thought that the title of the book, Through Gates of Splendor, was just about these men entering into the pearly gates of heaven as they had fulfilled their mission here on earth. At the end of the book, I realized that they didn’t just enter through the gates but they opened that gates for the Auca or Waorani people.

After reading and thinking through the book, I can help but ask myself, what am I doing with my life? What am I running after? What am I doing with my mission?





In life, transitions are inevitable. Leaving a season means entering another. As a fresh graduate, the changes seemed minimal until I stepped into my first 3 months.

Indeed, “adulting” is both exciting and difficult journey. The bills are just part of the bigger responsibility put on the shoulders of a young adult.

Deadlines are still there, not with papers waiting to be graded, but with projects anticipating results or, oftentimes, sales. I still study, yet, with no scheduled class or compulsory curriculum.

However, amidst all the challenges of “adulting” I remain confident as Jesus said…

“My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.”


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I know you change the atmosphere
Shifting the mood every time you’re near
But today I never felt so special
Like a child to whom fun is essential.

You said it’s okay to pour it out
If you’ve reached your tipping point.
To release that heaviness and mess
To Him who can turn it to be blessed.

You pat me on the shoulder,
And wiped every doubt and fear
Because even if you’ve given it all,
Know for sure that you’ll overflow.

Need a break from summer break?

Summer vacation is supposed to be a break from paperworks and a time of relaxation but it doesn’t mean to be a time of laziness. It is a time of rest but we should take note that too much rest can also be dangerous because instead of preparing us to be more productive, it makes us too lax and complacent.

As exciting as it sounds, summer vacation and long weekends can also be a breeding ground for idleness. I don’t mean that we do nothing. It’s just that we don’t do anything worthy. Like staring at the Television all day, checking updates from some youtubers or scrolling at your news feed over and over again. Then, at the end of the day, wonder how time fled so fast!

The Bible admonishes us in Ephesians 5:15-16 to…

Look carefully then how you walk, not as unwise but as wise,
making the best use of the time, because the days are evil.

We should be wise where we invest our time because it is a gift we freely receive but we cannot generate. My mentor would often say that we don’t need extra time because we all work under the same 24-hour clock. What we need is wisdom in using it.

Which made me realize that we really need is a break from…

  1. “If only” syndorme
    “If only I have…” “If only I go to…” “If only my parents are like this and that…” “If only this country…” and the list goes on! These words paralyzes us thinking that we can olnly do something if some of these are met. But the truth is the opposite.
  2. “Someday” syndrome
    “I will make a difference but not today, maybe someday.” We should be careful in delaying things because we don’t no when is the due date and, surely, we don’t want to come the season of regret.

How to break from the idleness cycle?

  1. Ask God for His will
    Instead of filling your daily planner with your agenda, seek for God’s agenda for you on your daily schedule because discovering and doing God’s will for you is like hitting the bulls- eye and winning the jackpot – nothing more, nothing less.
  2. Aspire to inspire others
    While God gives specific assingments, all of these have common characteristics – it is motivated by and aimed at loving God and loving others. Doing things for others and with others reflects a life saved by grace.
  3. Act now
    Like Queen Esther, we are called for such a time as this. We serve and worship a God who’s on the move. We, too, are expected to love now, to forgive now, to serve now, to be the salt and light now, and to share the love of God now. Not tomorrow, not someday but today!

The best day to start changing the world is not on New Year’s day. It is today!

The Sand & The Soil

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Growing up in an island created in my heart a special place for the ocean, where time moves in slow motion as I stare at it and where my imagination goes beyond it’s horizon. I definitely love the ocean, the sand, the breeze, and almost everything in it. It is a picture of humility, harmony and endless possibility.

But today, I was reminded by God that no matter how I love the sand I must learn to let it go. With that, I know that it won’t be easy. After all, not everyone finds letting go as an easy task.

Why let go of the sand?
God wanted you to get out of the sand because your season there is finished. He wanted you to put the sand behind because He it’s to take up the soil. The soil is where planted seeds bud, grow and develop. From a seed it can grow to a tree with an unimaginable size. A tree that blooms flowers that are absolutely majestic. Most importantly, a tree that bears fruit.

This is a reminder that Jesus wants us to walk upon the water and calm the raging sea through His name but He also said in…

John 15:5
“I am the vine; you are the branches. If you remain in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing.”

 We need to be deeply rooted, grow & mature and bear fruit.

He has overcome!


“You want the promise of a pain-free life?… There isn’t one.” – Sophia, The Shack

There’s always a battle in this world – battle among nations, battle between opposing parties, battle between good and evil and a battle within. In a battle, pain and suffering are always present.

As I was talking to my friend who’s undergoing a difficulty in choosing between a righteous life, where we follow God and according to His standard, and a life away from God and doing the same sin over and over again, I told her a revelation I got at that moment:

“Choosing between good and evil is like a boxing match and this earth is the boxing ring. Whatever side you choose, both will be hit, will be bruised, will experience pain and might even get a serious injury. But defining moment inside the boxing ring is the proclamation of the winner.

It’s the same with life. If you follow God there will be troubles, storms, tragedies and persecution. If you live outside the will of God and continue sinning, you’ll experience every kind of problem and painful situation, too.

The distinguishing factor is the result. Do you want to fight where you know you can win? Or are you fighting knowing that you’re doomed at the end?”

I want to fight knowing that I’ll win and it encourages me all the more to follow God and live with Him as my Lord and Savior! I hold on to what Jesus said,

“In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.” – John 16:33 NIV