A life long desire to teach, and serve the educational needs of poor children, led one woman on a journey that discovered the faithfulness of God to answer the deepest desires of our hearts. Here is the testimony of Pastora Linda L. Atanacio.
“Early in life, it has been my aspiration to become a teacher, especially to those who are poor… to the children. But I spent my younger years pursuing the desire of my mother, which was to get an education where I could quickly get a higher paying job with the help of a family member who worked in the government. I honored my families’ wishes but it was not my heart, and through my years of education and early working years there remained an empty spot inside me. I was looking for something… I was hoping… still hoping to fulfill my desire to become a teacher. I wanted to help children.
“Over the years I got married to a wonderful man, eventually resigned from any job that my early education prepared me for, and joined my husband in a new position of employment, and in hindsight, I realize God was being kind to me as my new salary was equivalent to anything I made before. We had three children and God was blessing me with a content life. But even through this part of my life I still felt a kind of emptiness… a longing and reaching for something… my desires still remained. I was depressed from time to time. My heart was to teach, and to help children realize their own desires.
“Then one day, and seemingly out of nowhere, some friends of mine shared with me the Word of God. I surrendered my life to God that day and instantly God filled a void in my heart. The zeal, joy and peace to share and teach the Word of God enveloped my heart. It was overpowering and positively overwhelming. I finally realized that God wants me to serve Him by sharing and teaching His Word. From 1988 up to the present, the fire and passion to teach God’s Word has never subsided.
“God knew the true desire of my heart, and knew the passion for His Word would lead me down a path in life that would ultimately fulfill my desire to become the teacher to poor children I longed to become. The fire to teach God’s Word would eventually prepare me give poor children a head start in life that opens doors to great possibilities.
“Presently, I am the Pastor of “Hope for World International Ministries in San Mateo, Philippines, which I founded more than eight years ago. And most recently, the desire in my heart to teach young children welled up inside my heart like never before. I wanted to set up a school inside my church that gave young children a good primary education, and also taught them how to grow up with God in their life. But I didn’t know how to set up this kind of program and opportunity for kids.
“I prayed to God…
“…And then God led me to Mission Ministries Philippines. This gave me the opportunity to learn, to be properly instructed on how to start and manage an early childhood education program for children. I was excited because God answered my desire to also become a teacher to the poor children, but not just their primary education teacher, but also a teacher of God’s Word so they “…grow in wisdom and stature, and in favor with God and man” – Luke 2:52.
“We registered our main church and satellite church as partners of Mission Ministries Philippines. By God’s grace, we set up our first school for young children. We named it “Hope Life Academy” – A Christian based primary education facility.
“With limited resources, we encountered several challenges in completing the requirements for the facility. However, God has been really good to us in several ways. Mission Ministries Philippines has provided assistance and guidance in many ways. And with the help of MMP, the young children we are teaching now have an opportunity to grow with hope for the future.
“And even through the challenges we meet, life is more content than ever before. God fulfilled my desire to become a teacher in sharing God’s word, and has now fulfilled my life long desire to teach poor children, which has become more rewarding as I am able to teach them about Jesus, and know this will bring them the best chance for a successful life.”