Friday, October 26, 2012

Friday feature: Update from Melisa Serata

I wrote about Melisa in our first "Friday feature" back in September. While I hesitate to revisit her ministry of abstinence education in the Philippines since other partner pro-life ministries haven't yet been featured, her news is too good to keep to myself.

It came out rather casually in a Facebook chat last week. I knew she'd been very busy with mission trips and asked how they were going. In the midst of one trip at the time, she said things were going well and mentioned there were some newly trained abstinence teachers.

That statement piqued my interest. I was curious about how many she had trained, imagining it would be a dozen or so. To my surprise and amazement, it's more like dozens! 104, to be exact.

I wondered if they had to raise their own support, as Melisa does, and she said, "Some of them are college students, some of them are married, and some pastors. Most of those who are interested to start, the church is behind it so no need to raise for support."

It's encouraging to learn about this partnership with pastors and others -- a huge development! Gone are the days when Melisa worked alone and was sometimes weary. Well, she still could grow weary because the needs are go great, but rewards of her labor are starting to appear.

One other thing she said was even more exciting: "I was very happy to know that most of the students who heard [the] abstinence [message] are contacting the pastors and now they are attending Bible study. Isn't it great? Thank the Lord!"

Yes, that is wonderful news, because abstinence educators are allowed to share the Gospel as well as God's plan for sex in the public schools, and many students make professions of faith along with pledges to remain sexually pure until marriage. It's good to know these are genuine commitments, reflected in a desire to grow in Christ.

I knew you'd want to hear about that.

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