Discovering the Hope of Jesus
Struggling with a critical illness, Emily was living without hope. That changed one day when Resonate Global Mission missionary Hensel Oh shared the gospel with her.
Hensel and her husband, Charles, are Resonate missionaries who work with Christian leaders in Manila, the bustling capital of the Philippines. They often prayerwalk their barangay—their local residential ward or district. One day, while Hensel was visiting children in a lower-income neighborhood of the barangay, she remembered that her aunt’s former high school classmate, Emily, lived nearby.
Emily, a 53-year-old single woman, was born blind in her left eye. When she was in her forties, she lost her vision entirely. Emily makes ends meet by working as a massage therapist. She is kind and generous. While her house is unfinished and not very large, she has opened her home to Lucy, a friend who has grieved the death of two husbands. Lucy and her seven children live with Emily rent-free and assist her with daily tasks.
Daily life has been more difficult for Emily lately. A couple of years ago she was diagnosed with breast cancer, and the tumor has slowly grown larger and more painful.
“Without being able to pay for medical treatment, she finally, reluctantly, reached out to her high school friends, who in turn started a fundraising drive for her,” said Hensel.
Hensel had heard about Emily from her aunt when the fundraising started. And while walking in Emily’s neighborhood, Hensel sensed a prompting from the Holy Spirit to visit Emily.
“I could not stop imagining what it would be like to have a serious critical illness and live with blindness while not having the hope of knowing Jesus,” said Hensel. “I knew that Emily had to hear the good news and realize that in her fight she was not alone.”
A few days later, Hensel embarked on the two-hour trek to Emily’s house—a trip that required the metro, a jeepney bus, and a motorcycle taxi. When Hensel arrived, she was warmly welcomed by Emily and Lucy.
“I visited Emily, hoping that aside from a small donation I gave for her fundraising needs, I could also share something that has eternal worth—the hope we have in Jesus Christ,” said Hensel.
Hensel prayed with Emily for healing. And after talking with Emily and Lucy and hearing their stories, heartaches, and challenges, Hensel shared the gospel with them. Like many Filipinos, Emily and Lucy had heard the name of Jesus before—but Hensel said they had never known personally who Jesus is and what he has done for them.
They were amazed by the story of God’s radical love for them and for all creation, said Hensel. Both Emily and Lucy decided to follow Christ.
The next day, Emily texted Hensel and said that she could not stop praising God!
“The three of us could not help being amazed at how God works, making it possible for us to meet that day,” said Hensel.
Knowing Jesus has provided comfort for Emily in her pain and grief. Emily’s cancer recently progressed to stage 4, and she has been hospitalized. She is in a lot of pain.
Hensel continues to meet with Emily and pray with her. She recently asked Emily if she was angry or bitter at God. Emily said no.
“I am not angry at God,” said Emily. “I am happy that I know he is always with me. And I have hope, even though my situation is like this. I am trusting God that my life is in his hands.”
Hensel and Charles ask for prayers for Emily. Please pray for complete healing.