Future Hope

It was summer 2011; I went to receive my fiancé at Chennai (TN, India) airport. I was thrilled to meet to her again because I just couldn't wait for her to see my parents in India.

Mildred, a Filipino whom I had fallen in love with, a woman who loves God and fears Him.

Back at home in Coimbatore (8hrs from Chennai), my parents and my siblings are readily waiting to see my girl. Bingo! There she impressed my parents on her very first day. (To have the traditional parents to accept a foreigner in the family is remarkable.) My parents liked her very much. The zeal, the passion for the lost and most importantly, the way she loved me and was willing to leave her family, culture and live with me.

It was unscheduled that my dad who being a Pastor, took us to another place in South India for a short mission trip. Mildred agrees and we had a great of ministry amongst kids and teens. One fine afternoon as we were driving back from the mission field to our base, I received a text in Ilokano (a language spoken in Northern Philippines). I didn’t understand a thing and so I passed the phone to her. Oh!! It was a scene that I didn’t expect. Mildred broke down in tears, she couldn’t utter a word, she was filled with tears of grief and sorrow. I took her aside and asked her, what happened? She replied, ‘My father is shot dead in the Philippines, I need to get back ASAP’. What? This is impossible! We rushed back to the city and said goodbye as she flew back to Manila on the very next day.

Mildred and I were asking ‘God, we are to be married in another few months, and now we have lost her father?’ She reached the Philippines and had completed the funeral of her father. Before the sorrow could be wiped of our minds and hearts, she calls me after two months and says that her grandfather had passed away. This is the second death in her family just in the span of two months. It was heart breaking!

One verse that caught our attention was, ‘All things work together for good to those who love God and are called according to his purpose’. We believed that there is a future hope and God will not let us down.

Things were going very fine. We had planned our wedding on Nov 23, 2011 in India. Mildred with her family came 10 days before the much awaited day. The wedding preparations were going very well. But our story doesn’t end here. The tragedy strikes again! “Sam! Sam! Get into the house now,” Mildred screamed at the top of her voice. I ran inside the house and saw my mother dead right in front my eyes. She was a heart patient and survived that disease for many years. That was her last day, last breath just 7 days before my wedding. Now, I was shattered into pieces, heartbroken, covered with agony and insufferable pain. Where is my God? Where is my helper? Whom I feared and worshipped? There is only 7 days for my wedding and I have lost my mother. My dad, my brother and sister were clothed in deep sorrow. Words could not explain the amount of pain we all went through as a family.

It was that moment, me and Mildred stepped in front and asked God for ‘hope’. God, we need you, we desperately need you. We can’t lose another one from our family. We have faced a series of death just before our wedding; we want to see that something good comes out from these agonizing situations.

It was then; we heard from God ‘There is a future hope’. He will not leave us as orphans, He cares for us.

Joseph M Scriven wrote,

‘Have we trials and temptations?
Is there trouble anywhere?
We should never be discouraged—
Take it to the Lord in prayer.

Can we find a friend so faithful,
Who will all our sorrows share?
Jesus knows our every weakness;
Take it to the Lord in prayer.’

We asked God for a new start. We asked that God would take away those sorrows. He indeed gave us a new start. We are right now in Bangalore, serving God in an amazing way. We are reaching out to the Orphans, the poor and more significantly to children and teenagers.

My dear friends, have you lost hope? You think that there is no solution? Come to Jesus, come to him just as you are. He will turn your mourning into dancing and your sorrows into joy just like he did it for us. He gave a beautiful daughter to us. We named her Bethany Flora. (Flora was my mother's name). She is a blessing and makes our life more joyful!

God is in control!

Sam and Mildred, India

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