Anita, a Filipino woman from the Batad people group in North Luzon, today has a multi-faceted Christian ministry. She creates websites, leads church services, writes songs and stories and advises other local ministry leaders.
She remembers when it all began.
Her father got a job in Manila as a guard at the SIL* Linguistics Center, a home base for Christian missionaries. Anita was about 11, and was excited to leave her village and visit him in the city.
‘I learned how to do housework. They taught me how to cook and how to wash dishes,’ Anita remembers.
The family hosted a regular Bible study. ‘They called me the Lost Sheep because I was not saved,’ Anita says. At night they would say, ‘Would you like to pray with us, Lost Sheep?’
In the morning, Margaret would come to the room where Anita slept and say, ‘Hello, Lost Sheep. It’s time to wake up.’
‘Margaret would always tell me stories,’ Anita recalls. After we worked, we would sit together, and she would tell me stories about Jesus who loves me, and how he died for me.
The time came when Margaret was ready to accept. I just prayed that night and said, ‘I would like you to come into my heart and be my saviour.’ So I told them the next morning that I was not the Lost Sheep any more. And we had a feast!
Anita went on to become a translator of the Ayangan Old Testament. She has written many mother tongue stories and songs that she and others use to teach children in Sunday school.
Now 65, she recruits and trains young people to instruct others in building websites. ‘I am already so old, so I need a young generation to do that,’ she says.
She is a women’s ministry adviser for the 120-member Association of Ifugao Bible Churches. She directs a worship team in her home church, which has mother tongue services in both Ilocano and Ayangan. And she never forgets where it all began — with a little girl known as the Lost Sheep.
This story is from one of our partners, The Seed Company. Read the full story here.
*SIL is our primary partner organisation