After 19 years of ministry in Konyak Baptist Church Association, my husband and I decided to pursue further study because, as Church leaders, we needed more knowledge of the Word of God to feed His people. Therefore, my husband requested that our church grant us a study leave with sponsorship. They did not grant sponsorship, but they granted study leave with half of his salary. This meant we could not afford to take our children with us, so my husband and I decided to leave our three daughters with my parents.
During family prayer time, my husband and I shared the situation with the children. We told them we love you, but we cannot afford to take you with us. Therefore, let us pray continually so that God may work something out for us.
Early the next morning, I went to church for my devotion. To my surprise, my three little girls were already there in the church praying with tears, “Jesus, please bless our parents and give money to them so that they can take us with them.” Hearing their soft voices asking God to grant their prayer, as a mother I became emotional. After prayer, while going home I asked them, “Do you believe that God will answer our prayer?” They smiled and said, “Yes, Mom, the Word of God says, ‘Ask and it shall be given to you; seek and you will find; knock, and the door will be opened to you.’”
As a wife and mother of five kids, I made a decision for us to stay together. If we die, we will die together. If we are alive, we will all live together. I put my trust in the Lord saying, “I surrender my children and everything to your hand.” I shared this with my husband, and then we all went together to the Philippines. I believed that God would arrange for his people to support me and my children. Indeed, God prepared many good people to help and support my family. When we have faith in God, He is available for us.
God led me to continue to pursue a Master of Arts in Christian Education in Manila. I faced many challenges during my studies. As a mother, I have to take care of my children, concentrate on my studies, and accompany my husband to the immigration office every three months for my family visa renewal.
One evening I became so depressed thinking of the difficult situation for my family. My heart tempted me to discontinue my study and go back home to India instead of enduring with my children in the Philippines. I prayed, “Lord, please don’t let my faith be shaken. Help me to trust in you. I believe that you will do something in my life, and I will keep on sharing your faithfulness to the people wherever I go.” I read the word of God in John 15:7 to comfort my heart, “If you remain in me and my words remain in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you.”
And I remember the person with whom I used to share my prayer requests – former BWA Women President Dr. Ksenija Magda. She texted me, “Sister Yumah, how can I pray for you?” I replied to her, “Please pray for me and my studies as well as for my family.” She sent me a one-time offering collected during the Croatia Baptist Women’s church service. I thank God for her life, that she is someone who understands and knows the heart and suffering of people. Also, I received encouragement from one of my classmates – Katrina from Germany who was working as a missionary in Hong Kong – and friends from the United Bethel Church in Manila. They supported me and my family in many ways. Praise the Lord! God used many people to support me in my studies, and as a result I graduated. While this time was challenging in my life, it encouraged me to trust in God and I give thanks for how he has worked in and through me.
C. Yumah Konyak ministers to women at Mission Centre Baptist Church (Nagaland, India).