The unexpected closure of the Baguio Mission spurred various reactions from concerned members across our fellowship. But to those who were acquainted with Sis. Katrina and myself, and had knowledge of the special relationship that we held, the new assignment given to me was even more intriguing.
“Is there a chance for the two of you to pursue your former ties?”
“Are you still in love with her?”
“Why did the two of you break up?”
“Well, this must be a good sign from Heaven. God must have reunited you here for a purpose.”
I can’t blame them because I knew that my decision to restrain the cultivation of romance appear so unreasonable to the natural man. It can be argued many times over that there is really nothing inherently sinful about what they call “love.” But then, who am I to decide for myself? I am a servant of God. His will be done. Not my own.
Sis. Katrina originated from Pangasinan but she studied Accountancy in Baguio, the Summer Capital of the Philippines. She was introduced to me by one of the ladies in our church during a District Convention in 2003. Later that year, I received a call to full-time church service but it was not until April of the following year that I was dispatched to my first missionary venture.
After our first month in Baguio, our team experienced temporary dislocation from May to August until we settled in North Sanitary Camp near the city limit. Sis. Katrina was attending a review school in Baguio that time in preparation for her licensure exams. She shared the apartment with us for two months to help us with the rent. But she transferred to Manila so she could better focus on her review. Our being together had become a major distraction to both of us.
Though we were miles apart, we still managed to maintain our connection and even got closer to each other through phone calls and text messaging. I got her “Yes” a month before her exams last year. She failed to get her license but she found a job in Baguio, bringing us even closer to each other both in the geographical and emotional sense.
The relationship did help us in ways too lengthy to enumerate but it also had its down side. It drew my attention from the work of God. I began to neglect prayer and Bible Study. My passion became divided. I failed to win souls and establish the work that was entrusted to my hands.
Little by little, the Lord made me realize that I had to choose between our relationship and the Kingdom of God. It wasn’t easy to let go at first, especially on her part, but wisdom prevailed and we split up, surrendering ourselves to the plan of God.
She left Baguio in November and came to Manila to attend review school. Thereafter, I thought that I could focus on the work of the Kingdom. But I suffered from depression, guilt, frustration and doubts in the last few months of 2005.
On the first week of January this year, I informed Bro. Ronaldo of my decision to give up Baguio. We changed plans and he assigned me to work in a young church here in Manila where he is also the pastor. It is the same church that Sis. Katrina currently attended!
Only time can tell whether I am going to consider reviving my former relationship with Sis. Katrina again. Right now, I just want to focus on serving God. For though Sis. Katrina was my first romance; Jesus is still my first love. He is coming soon and I want to be really prepared for our marriage in Heaven.
Hopefully, I would see Sis. Katrina there and perhaps I’ll hear her say, “Thank you for teaching me to give more value to the kind of love that knows no end. Here in Heaven, we shall be reaping what we have sown on Earth – the seeds of love planted in self-denial, faith and sacrifice. We watered them with our own tears and sweat – sometimes even blood. We endured the heat and withstood strong winds in order to sustain the life of love. We waited…We continued to hope…We died believing…
Now, amidst the glory of the Light of Life – the Author of Love Himself, let me put into words of deathless tone: It’s still worth it all, my brother… Thank you… very much…”
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