My name is Roseann Gallardo, 23 and this is my encounter with God.
I am the youngest child having 1 girl sibling. I grew up in a devoted Roman Catholic family. At age 6, my father went to Saudi Arabia to sustain the needs of the family. Since then and until now he always go back and forth abroad which I think positive as a father responsibly provides for the family’s basic material needs but somehow negative because as I grew it creates in my heart a strong longing and the need of a father’s genuine love. Because of this I drink into wrong source of love, contentment, satisfaction and happiness. I was involved in a premature relationship which, in the end, hurts me from within. I grew up meeting the standards and high expectation of people that I forget to live and enjoy life. I was too serious of building my future and career for security sake that I forget God at work and His abundant power to provide and one could satisfies.
After graduating college, I found proving myself to the world that I can get anything in my own ambitious thinking and self – worth. Within a year I’ve been in 3 jobs aspiring for more and more money and been dissatisfied with my life yet still ended up worst, tired, unhappy, miserable, unloved until I meet Jesus and surrendered my life to Him being my Lord and Savior. For the first time, I understood what really means to have an intimate relationship with the Father in Heaven (that before over 20 years, I don’t think really possible & been doubting if it really works for me). I grew up blindly with the knowledge that, Yes, Jesus died for my sins to be forgiven. He was hanged in the cross, & experienced so much suffering and so I have to do things and live life perfectly as how he lived His life, because if not, I will not be qualified for salvation until I earn it with being good to people as a child, a citizen, student, woman and the like. I grew up with the knowledge that salvation is based on my performance and not by grace. That is really bad news. But then I figured out I was wrong.
God in His gracious nature saved me. He uncovered my eyes and realized the true meaning of salvation. I thanked God that He has taken me out of the darkness and put me into the light having a new life. The gospel of grace is at hand and Jesus death is good news. We have been saved by grace through faith. At the very time that I tried to live my own and helpless, God reached his hand saved me. I realized I am a sinner and have no good lives in me. I need a Savior Jesus. I decided to receive Christ, which was the first time I experienced being embraced by a true father. I was baptized in water in June 2010, but the change and renewing of the mind is not an instant. God continues to work in my life as He reveals Himself to me the truth of salvation and living a life with Him. I continue to know Him more through the Bible doing devotions and being accountable with my leaders in church.
One day, in desperation to know God’s leading in my life, I’ve been in the peak and a cross road in making a decision that would change everything. God wants me to step out my faith and follow Him. October 2011, God wants me to let go of everything I hold and follow him. He wants me to resign from my job and be a volunteer in the church. It was the time when my faith was tested. From that time, I know it will not be easy but I decided to obey God and trust him in Proverb 3:5-6. I know it means taking my cross and following him would mean losing my life, getting rid of myself. I know it is good for me, but it takes humility and in-depth revelation of the benefits of the cross that will make us change our hearts, mind and life into a total surrender in the hands of our Creator.
January 2012, I became a church volunteer. Trials come along. Surely, people around me persecuted and accused me of being insane of exchanging my life and status over being a volunteer in the church. They see no future being in the church as the world sees it. The most difficult part is that my own family couldn’t support me with this. They too, don’t understand my decision to the point that they made me choose over church and the family but I stand still to God and choose God in His leading to me. I stand and trust Him as refuge and strength, my banner my ever present help in times of need. Trials come along the way, in times that I have nothing but God. They turned me away but God remained faithful and true. He watched me affectionately that He knew and provided every need I have. His grace is sufficient and His mercy is new every morning. He healed my brokenness and made me whole, being justified to the Father not by my works but what Jesus did in the Cross. I am forgiven and loved. With this, I cast forgiveness to the people who had hurt me and learned to love them as much as God loves me and them. He restored me from within that I was freed from the baggage of the past. I don’t have to live in the past because God has plans for me in Jeremiah 29:11.
For over 2 years now, I serve God in church, being full time as I joined missions into the different areas of San Fernando La Union and been involved in evangelistic activities in reaching and leading people to know and receive Christ. Surely, being a follower of Jesus is not always easy but truly better is one day in His courts than thousands elsewhere. Because I believed that He is faithful and true, the people around me slowly changed. My sister, who was one of my persecutors, was converted and baptized last February. She went back to Riyadh as a nurse with a different perspective in her calling and stronger faith in God who saved us by grace through faith. My family is now more open with the gospel and being more positive and dependent on God.
God is really moving in my life, family and people around me. Only He can change a hard, dried soil into a fertile one, ready to plant a seed. Now, I am growing in faith with the father’s love. I am leading church Multimedia Ministry and leading people in discipleship as I too, am growing in love with the Lord. I do not boast on what I have accomplished or what I have now, I boast the one who lives in me and worked in my life. This is all glory to the one who worked in me and through me.
When I encountered God, my life has never been the same. It’s a 360 degrees turnaround for the better. Being with people is always been my passion. And the desire of my heart to go for missions intensified since I became a volunteer at church being part of evangelistic events and also by volunteering in Logos Hope ship last June. Within those times that God talked to me being involved in global mission. Each day, I get interested to know God’s leading and been praying to God to where He wants me to be.
After the mission experience in Logos Hope Ship, I continued being in the ministry and been doing missions at different barangay of San Fernando. Each day my heart for mission grows deeper and sometimes very overwhelming emotionally because I don’t know how to start but I know God remains true. I understand that being involved in global mission would mean I have to leave my family, church and people around me for as season but also fueled by the love and deeper trust and dependence with the Lord. He is able to fall things in their proper places and hold things in His hands. God is in control and He is able to work things together according into His plans. He is faithful and true.
Honestly, I don’t know how to go along with this; I don’t how to be in global mission but I thank God that He is leading me along the way until I talked to my Pastor and he referred me to ITeams Philippines. Step by step I trust Him to where he leads me. Day by day God is working in my life, getting me ready. Being also in the Logos Ship is still my heart but God knows better than I leading me to step in the fulfillment of God’s bigger purpose and plans. He is true to His promises and will not break his covenant. He is not finish yet. He is a great big God. I am excited to what God is doing. I really can’t afford to be out of His will and this is the start of something new. This is a challenge I have to take but also a victory finished at the cross. God is telling me to act out my faith. He is able.
ROMANS 4:17 This happened because Abraham BELIEVED in the God, who brings dead back to life and who creates new things out of nothing. (NLT).
Everything shall happen in His time. Now I am encouraged by the love of the father and by the people around me supporting and willing to respond to the call. This is a new challenge yet greater is He that is in me than in the world. I choose to be in His will and pursue my mission calling.