“Being Called to God’s Mission” by Maevie Ortiz

Every Friday night young adults like me would just like to relax, grab a drink and rant about epic failures of the week. Normally, after these Friday night-outs with friends, I would extend my sleep the next day. But when asked by one of my friends, what my agenda will be this Saturday…I proudly said I will be visiting friends from MCJ (my 2nd time). Lo and behold judgments came after my statement. One of my friends said, “I’d rather go on an outreach with orphans or old folks than sinners”.

Instead of defending the residents I’ve encountered in MCJ, I just asked if they would want to try it themselves so that their perspective towards these “least brethren” would be different than the usual stereotyping. I’m not sure how I handled that awkward situation but I knew in my heart that tomorrow’s experience would be something worthwhile. Initially, I was a bit swayed by the idea of extending my sleep. I was still deliberating before going to bed until finally I woke up early the next day with a 6am text message. Thanks to one of my SYA friends who texted me to be reminded of the extra red shirt she requested and informed me that she is already on her way to our agreed meeting place. Besides this anonymous guardian angel from SYA, the recent learning I gained from Thursday’s prayer meeting certainly gave me that push and natural high to obey God’s call to do His mission.

And so we arrived in MCJ that Saturday morning. What kept me curious is the thought that this has been an on-going contest 3 times in row. Being an avid Master Chef fan, I wondered how it would look like if I am physically present, witnessing the thrill of cooking and (best part) tasting.

For this year, 12 cell groups participated. Specific ingredients were distributed per table and a communal area was provided for other condiments/supplies that all groups might need as they prepare their sumptuous meals. It was an exciting sight seeing them strategically dividing their group members in the preparation of their three entries: appetizer, main dish and dessert. I assumed the role of an “all-around” runner and I LOVED every single part of the experience. No one dictated or even limited me to do certain tasks and I just followed what I thought seemed appropriate given a certain situation. I willingly assisted in the fair distribution of ingredients while joyfully giving words of encouragement to the residents. At the same time, I was injecting humor through dancing to the groove while the cooks and prepare their appetizing meals.

These maybe simple gestures that were left unnoticed, I am not even sure if they remembered who I was. But regardless, what mattered most was that I left the place with a full heart. I knew right at the moment I stepped out of MCJ that “going beyond the usual Saturday” and going beyond my comfort zone was definitely well worth it. My trust and commitment towards service worked and I thank God for the experience of His mission through my experience of what it is like to willingly share time, talent and treasure without even waiting to be acknowledged or thanked. I am truly grateful to God for this beautiful experience of community. Cheers to more service! 