JESUS
and the Filipino Kids

An Amazing Testimony by Maria T. Nagel



Preface

The Philippines is a predominately Christian country, comprising more than 7.000 islands. God loves children and the Philippines has plenty of them. Some of the challenges Filipino children face include:

  • recruitment into armed groups
  • abduction
  • malnutrition
  • physical, psychological and sexual violence
  • child marriage
  • child labour
  • cyber violence
  • illiteracy

Many poor or disabled Filipino children are neglected and abandoned by their parents. They end up in orphanages, homes, on the street or in prison.

When God placed the Philippines project in my heart, I finally understood how much he loves us. God is in the business of bringing solutions to individuals, cities and nations and invites us to partner with him. Our wonderful God is constantly looking for individuals who will dream his dreams and fulfil his visions. How? By letting go of our own understanding and allowing him to lead us day by day.

One year before God gave me the assignment to share the Gospel in the Philippines, I had a dream. In this dream someone had placed two babies in front of my doorstep. When I came out, I knew I was going to take care of them. One baby was tiny and the other one was large. I said to myself: “Who will help me take care of those two babies? In the next scene I started running, because I knew that I didn’t have much time. I was running to find food for the babies and bring it back to them as fast as possible. While I was racing, evil people tried to stop me so I wouldn’t succeed in giving the babies their food.” When I woke up, the Holy Spirit explained to me that the babies represented nations, He wanted me to work with.”

I understood then that the smaller baby represented the Philippines and the larger baby represented China.

I went to the Philippines in the Summer of 2015. I had only shared my testimony with a handful of people. In the meantime a lot happened in my life. By the grace of God, I got married to a wonderful man and God blessed us with a new child. Last year December 2018, the Lord laid on my heart that it was time for my Philippines and China testimonies to be shared widely.

The testimony you are about to read, clearly shows that our amazing God doesn’t call the perfect and qualified. He trains and qualifies those He calls. Through faith in Jesus Christ EVERYTHING is possible.

May you be blessed by this testimony.
Maria T. Nagel | Vienna, Austria April 2019

Chapter One

Next Stop: The Philippines

I had been a Christian for two years (I was saved in 2013) when God sent me to the Philippines.

Shortly after I started a new job as a career advisor in a media institute, I was told the company would close for two weeks during the summer holidays. I asked God what He wanted me to do during my holidays. He replied, “Write children’s songs in Tagalog. There are not many Christian songs for kids in Tagalog.”

Since I didn’t speak Tagalog (Filipino), I figured I would write songs in English and have them translated into Tagalog. I asked God what He wanted me to do with the songs when they were finished. “Make animated videos for each song and put it all in DVD format. Go to the Philippines and give the DVDs free of charge to orphanages.” I had four weeks to complete my assignment.

In Austria depending on your work contract, you can receive double your salary in the summer. It’s called holiday money, or Urlaubsgeld in German. In the winter you can also receive double your salary. It’s called Christmas money, or Weihnachtsgeld in German. With my holiday money I bought my flight ticket to Manila, booked a hotel there, and paid for the production of my five hundred-plus DVDs.


- Manila, The Philippines -

Chapter Two

Tagalog Songs for Kids

On a Saturday afternoon the Holy Spirit inspired me to write beautiful songs in English. As I wrote them down I chose which ones would be translated into Tagalog. There were seven songs in total. The next day I attended a church service, and God pointed out to me the person who could translate the songs into Tagalog. It was a Filipino man I had never spoken to before. When I told him about my assignment, he said he was delighted to help. Less than a week later he sent me the translated lyrics by email.

Of course when I looked at the translation, I couldn’t understand a word. The Holy Spirit told me to simplify the songs. I tried to argue by saying I didn’t speak Tagalog and therefore couldn’t modify the translation.

“Trust Me,” He said. So I looked at the three translated texts, and step by step the Holy Spirit told me which words to remove. He kept on repeating, “Keep it simple. Keep it simple.” By faith I deleted words to keep the song simple.

The following week I heard someone humming at my workplace. When I looked to see where the melody was coming from, I recognized a young Filipino man I had spoken to once or twice before. The next day I told him about my project. He said he was a Christian too and agreed to sing the songs. On top of that, he was a guitar player!

It was a Saturday afternoon when we met at my workplace, and he had forgotten to bring his guitar along—but coincidently we found a broken guitar lying there. No one knew who the guitar belonged to, so that’s the guitar he used. When I showed him the lyrics in Tagalog, I expected him to complain because I had deleted many words. To my surprise, he didn’t. He sang the songs as if he had written them himself. The seven songs were recorded in four hours.

I recorded, arranged, and edited the songs on my MacBook Pro X using a Yeti microphone and Logic Pro X software.


- Working for God -

Chapter Three

The Australian Setup

Most of my friends were telling me not to fly to the Philippines. They were concerned because I was traveling by myself, didn’t know anyone there, and couldn’t even speak Filipino. But I trusted my supernatural God—and that was enough for me.

In my transit flight from Vienna to Abu Dhabi another miracle happened. I was sitting next to a lady but decided to change to a seat I thought would be more comfortable. A stewardess saw me in the new seat and asked me to go back to my previous one. I was disappointed. Then the lady next to me introduced herself. She was from Australia and was traveling with her pastor husband back to Australia. She inquired about the reason for my trip.

She couldn’t believe no organization had sponsored me and that I didn’t know anyone in the Philippines. After speaking to her husband for a short while, she said, “If you run into any trouble in Manila or have financial difficulties, let us know, and we will send you money.”

Wow! God, You set me up to sit next to these amazing people! Thank You!

It felt good to be in the company of this lovely Australian couple.


- Vienna to Abu Dhabi -

Chapter Four

What's That

The waiting area where I was waiting to board my Manila flight was packed with Filipinos. Men, women, and children were speaking, playing, reading, standing, and walking around. After a short while I started feeling something weird. At first I couldn’t explain what it was. I looked around in search of something that could explain what I was feeling. Nothing strange caught my eye. The sensation intensified as more Filipinos came into the waiting area. After a while I realized what it was—it was pure love. I recognized it because it was the same feeling I had the moment I was born again. Pure love was emanating from all those who had a deep friendship and personal relationship with Jesus the Messiah. It was amazing —simply amazing.

After all, we were at an airport, not in a church meeting. I relaxed and allowed myself to bathe in the love vibes coming from all these Filipino men, women, and children.

Chapter Five

Manila

I arrived in Manila on a Saturday. My hotel (the BSA Twin Tower Hotel) was in Ortigas, a central business district. As soon as the Wi-Fi was connected in my room, I went online and searched for orphanages. I made myself a list and had it printed out at the hotel reception desk. I started my assignment the very next day. During my days there I usually left my hotel early in the morning and returned late at night.

After a few days God spoke to my heart and said I should also distribute DVDs to churches, daycare centers, schools, kindergartens, and everywhere else I could find children. I also gave DVDs to people I was sharing a bus, jeepney, or metro with.

I went all over Manila (north, south, east, and west) to reach my various destinations. Many of my destinations were not even on my list. I found them “by chance.” I traveled by bus, metro, train, jeepney, motorcycle, tricycle, taxi, and foot—always asking people for directions. Thankfully for me, they all spoke English. When I would share the reason for my trip, I usually received this response: “Why didn’t God send you to Africa? Africans really need help and you’re African.”

I would reply, “I don’t know. Ask God, not me.”

I noticed that after giving me directions or receiving the DVDs, the people would give me a concerned look and say, “Please take care of yourself. Please take care.” I found that very strange.


- Manila, The Philippines -

Chapter Six

The Cemetery Kids

One day while I was looking for a particular address, I found myself in front of a small house. The door was open, so I entered to ask for directions. Two ladies with children from ages seven to twelve were inside. The ladies told me they were volunteers who taught the children how to read and write. I told them what I was doing in Manila and gave them some DVDs. The kids were mainly orphans. They were living in cemeteries because they were the only places where they could live for free. The kids wanted me to sing the songs from the DVD and offered to help me distribute them throughout Manila. It was a sweet offer, but I had very little time left in the Philippines and tried not to visit the same area twice.

Chapter Seven

Brand New Nike Sneakers

On one occasion I decided to take a tricycle taxi to save some money and asked the driver if he knew the address I was looking for. Confidently, he said yes. It was a lie. He kept on stopping to ask people for directions. I was starting to dislike the guy.

“You don’t know where you are going, do you?” I asked.

He simply replied, “Just relax and enjoy the ride.”

How rude! I thought. “Well, it’s a very expensive ride. I could have taken a taxi for this price. We have been driving for fifteen minutes now and you still don’t know where the place is.”

“We will find it,” he responded.

Just when I was contemplating getting out of the tricycle, God said to me, “Look at his shoes.”

I looked at his shoes. They were old flip-flops.

God continued, “You know it’s very difficult for him to work with those shoes—especially during the rainy season.”

“This guy is already ripping me off, and I should give him more money so he can buy new shoes?”

“No,” God said. “You give him your shoes.”

“What? These are brand new EUR 100 Nike sneakers. I bought them especially for this trip. There is no way I’m giving him my new shoes. Besides, these are women’s shoes and I’m sure we don’t have the same shoe size!”

God continued, “Your shoes are grey and blue. A man could wear them too. Go ahead and ask him for his shoe size.”

Like a spoiled, annoyed child, I asked the driver for his shoe size. Of course—we wore the same size! Before I opened my mouth again, I was hoping the driver would answer no to my next question. I asked him, “Would you wear shoes like these?” I showed him my sneakers.

“Yes, your shoes are very nice.”

So I said to him, “Please stop the tricycle and let’s exchange shoes. I want to give you my shoes as a present.”

“What? Why?” he asked in shock.

“God just laid it on my heart that with the job you do, you need good shoes, especially when it starts to rain heavily.”

He didn’t know how to respond. I tried to convince him some more. Then he said, “I cannot give you my shoes. They are too old and too dirty.”

“Okay,” I said. “So take me to a nearby shoe store and I will buy a new pair of shoes for myself so I can give you these. Is that all right with you?”

He said yes—in total disbelief. We found a store close by and he helped me choose a pair of flip-flops. “Are you sure?” he asked me again.

“Yep.”

Believe it or not, after I gave the driver my sneakers, we found the place I was heading to within a few minutes. We had actually been going in circles for fifteen minutes! Surely God had done this on purpose so the driver could have shoes that would last him for a long time.


Chapter Eight

The Cemetery Kids

One Sunday I wanted to attend a church service and searched online for a church with good reviews. Christ’s Commission Fellowship (CCF) seemed like the place. As usual, I had a few DVDs with me. Pastor Tan Chi, the senior pastor of the church, delivered a powerful message that morning.

I wanted to personally give the pastor some DVDs. After the church service I asked to speak to him. After I had waited a while, someone took me into his office. The pastor, his wife, one of his daughters, and other people were present. Pastor Tan Chi asked me to share the reason for my coming, which I did. Then I gave everyone a copy of the DVD and left. I spoke with one of the staff members who was part of the kids’ department. She told me they were preparing a choreography for the kids but didn’t have all the dance steps yet. I offered to help. I was given the title of the song for the choreography and promised to deliver dance steps within the next few days. We met again on the church premises with a few others who were also part of the children’s department. We had lots of fun while I taught them my dance steps. Of course, each one of them received a DVD.

A few days later I wanted to attend a Bible study at one of the CCF branches next to my hotel. When I arrived at the place, I found several groups seated at different tables. I approached a table and asked if I could join them. One of the group members said something I didn’t understand, so I went to the next table. Again I asked if I could join the group for the evening. They said yes. The group leader was a Pastor Eric, who told a heartbreaking story. He had a good friend from Nepal who had stayed some time in Manila. Five days after the man returned home to Nepal, Nepal was hit with a 7.8-magnitude earthquake. He lost everything he had owned and worked for. This man’s story was sealed in my heart. I stayed in touch with Pastor Eric, his wife, and the people from this group until I returned to Vienna.


Chapter Nine

Under His Wings

Two days before I was scheduled to fly back to Vienna, God told me to send DVDs to Christian radio and television stations in the Philippines, which I did. On the day of my departure I still had some Filipino money left and decided to buy Bibles in Tagalog and distribute them to the hotel staff. I took a taxi to the airport and, of course, shared my story and gave the driver a DVD. When I got out of the cab, the driver waved his hand good-bye and said to me, “See you in heaven, my friend!”

In the airport’s waiting area I sat next to an older man with a very friendly face. He was Filipino and wanted to know what I had been doing in his country. I told him. He asked me if I was not afraid. “Why afraid?” I asked.

“Manila is a very dangerous city—especially for tourists and women traveling alone.”

“Really?” I asked in total shock. “I didn’t know that. I went all over Manila during these two weeks—night and day. Everyone was always helpful and nice to me.”

He shook his head. “Manila is very dangerous. There are a lot of bad people, drug addicts who attack, rob, rape, and kill. My brother was attacked and killed by a taxi driver. He was still young.”

I looked at him, still in shock. “I’m so sorry to hear that about your brother. I really didn’t know Manila was dangerous. I took taxis several times and the last taxi driver even told me that we would see each other in heaven.”

He looked puzzled. “A cab driver said that to you?”

“Yes,” I replied.

It was time to board the plane. When I sat down in my seat, I leaned against the window. I was still in a state of shock. I said to God, “You sent me to such a dangerous place? I can’t believe it.”

God said calmly, “My daughter, aren’t you safe in the plane on your way home? I kept you protected under My wings”

“Oh.” I said. “That’s true. I’m on my way home and You have protected me.” For the first time I understood why people had given me concerned looks and asked me to please take care of myself.


- Covered in Protection -

Chapter Ten

The Nepal Connection

About a week after I arrived back in Vienna, I received an email from the Australian couple I had met in the plane on my way to the Philippines. They wrote, “Hi. How are you? How was it in the Philippines? We want to send you one thousand Australian dollars to use as you wish. Send us your bank details.”

Wow! Immediately I thought that this money could help the Nepalese man whom Pastor Eric had mentioned during Bible study. I sent the Australian couple my bank details and told them how I would use the money. I contacted the Nepalese man on Facebook and sent him all the money. That’s how amazing our God is! The Nepalese man said he would also use the money to spread the gospel because a lot of people whose loved ones had been killed during the earthquake had become depressed.

Weeks later I received emails from people at the Filipino radio and television stations who were delighted about the DVD and asked for permission to play the songs on their programs.

They especially liked the songs: Anong Oras Na? (What time is it?), Kilala Mo Ba Si Jesu Cristo? (Do You Know Jesus Christ?) and Sumama Ka Sa Akin (Come with me).


Conclusion

When God gives you a vision, an idea or a plan, He will confirm to you in many ways that the idea came from him and help you all the way. My trip to the Philippines is not only my testimony, but a demonstration of how amazing God is and an invitation for you to renew your faith in Him.

When you say “yes” to something God has placed in your heart, God will:

  • fight for you.
  • do the impossible for you.
  • train you.
  • give you fresh ideas.
  • teach you to see things from His perspective.
  • connect you to the right people.
  • supernaturally protect you.
  • take care of your needs.
  • reward your faith and obedience.

Through your faith and obedience to do what God placed in your heart, you will witness:

  • how wonderful and powerful our God is.
  • how lives are being transformed and impacted.
  • ... and much more!

God is Waiting


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