We’ve talked about Luv-Luv a lot over the past several months. I emailed him a couple of weeks ago and asked if he wouldn’t mind writing out his story so that we could share it with all of you. Here is his story:
I grew up in a small village in the southern part of the Philippines. I grew up in a broken family with my grandmother and grandfather. When I was young, I worked hard to feed all our chickens and pigs and worked in the pasture with the water buffalo. I had to work hard on the hilly farm. Because the farm is far away from the community, I had to use my water buffalo as my transportation to buy food and groceries. When I was 17, I did things my own way and tried to find out on my own where my life was going. I had already stopped high school because I didn’t like it, I was bad in my classes and my grandmother was very poor.
At the time, I was living with my Uncle and working in his rice field when there was a seventeen-year-old guy from Florida that came to our house. He shared the Good News about Jesus, but I was not paying attention at that time. The reason why I didn’t pay attention was that was my first time to ever see a white person! The next day, another white guy showed up and he followed up by asking if he could start a Bible study with my uncle. He also said he wanted me to join. Because of these missionaries, I became a Christian when I was eighteen-years-old. From that time on, I’ve offered my life to missions. I don’t know where, I just know that I am willing to die to share with other people what was shared with me.
The advice the missionaries gave me was that I needed to finish my college in order to have more of an open door for missions. I didn’t want to go back to school, but God gave me direction to do my college, so I followed him. God also provided a sponsor for my college, so while I was in college I was able to have a part time job and on the weekend where I would work with missionary teams going out to reach unreached peoples. Every summer I would lead Filipino short-term mission trips, American short-term mission trips and also volunteer with medical teams.
I finished my college on March 30, 2007 with an agricultural degree. In April of that year, I got a job with the Philippines government. I enjoyed my time at that job, had a good salary, and was comfortable with my life, but I never forgot my commitment that I made to missions when I was 18. A missions organization asked me to work with them in Laos on a coffee plantation as a platform to share with Lao minority peoples. I quit my job and moved to Laos. My time in Laos was tough. It was my first time away from my family and it was hard to adjust to the food and weather. We lived on a plateau in the jungle and the weather there is really cold for Filipinos!
After my year in Laos, God called me to go to an island in ‘East Asia’. I stayed there for a few months, but things changed with my team and I moved further west to the Himalayan Mountains. I try to stay away from the cold, but most of my assignments are in cold places. I don’t know why. Maybe God has a message for me about the cold. Maybe He wants me to get used to it because maybe it is cold in heaven too. While I was in the Himalayas I did research with Arabica coffee in very high elevations. I also spent a year studying language. When I finished my year term there, I went back home to the Philippines to rest. While I was back home, God opened a door for me with Underground Coffee International. When I was in the Himalayas, my roommate there and I had a vision to use coffee as a way to share with unreached people.
This past November, God opened a door for me to visit the U.S. I didn’t expect to be able to visit the U.S. since I am an Asian from a poor family. Some of my friends told me that only rich people can come visit the U.S., but God showed me how rich He is and how He provides. My time in Texas was really good! I met a lot of good folks. While I was there, we spoke at some churches to promote Underground Coffee and the vision for reaching unreached peoples. I really enjoyed my time in the U.S. but I feel like I didn’t belong there. I feel like God has called me to the uncomfortable places where people have never heard about Jesus. One thing I love about Texas, people are very nice and they love God.
Now I am back here in my country. I am ready to go back to ‘East Asia’ for missions. Being a single guy, I don’t know what is ahead for me, but I am sure God has something in my future. I trust Him and that He will take care of me. I am comfortable here in my country and sometimes I get big job offers that are tempting to me, but I still hold on to the promise of God. I know He knows the needs of His children. The work in ‘East Asia’ is all pioneer work. For sure it is tough, but I believe that with God nothing is impossible. I am ready and willing.
Please go with me by your prayers.