“He has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim freedom for the captives, and release from darkness for the prisoners.” 
                                                                                                                                                                                                   – Isaiah 51:1

In 2007, I was on the brink of ending my life.

I experienced sexual abuse and I was suffering from depression, alcoholism, drug addiction, and sex addiction. But God called me for a mission. He showed me a vision where I was standing in front of hundreds of young people sharing my testimony of God’s faithfulness and how He took me out of my dire situation. The culmination of this vision happened in 2017 – a decade after my suicide attempt.

It was a year of breakthroughs as I started giving talks in different schools around Metro Manila in the Philippines. It was also the same year that God led me to Worldwide Discipleship Association. After one event, I met Rich Smith, a WDA missionary to the Philippines. We talked about our ministries and he introduced me to Restoring Your Heart. That was when the Lord gave me another vision – reaching the brokenhearted, lost, and captive women in society, not only in the Philippines but around the world. 

Then came 2020: Pandemic Year. After going through Restoring Your Heart lessons, Lee asked me to be part of WDA as their Associate Staff in the Philippines. When I said yes to WDA, I said yes to God’s calling. In February 2020, I became a part of WDA, then in March 2020, the pandemic spread all over the world. At the moment when we thought our ministries would fail, the Lord surfaced above us. WDA Leadership Institute started its online classes and I participated both as a student and a facilitator. The opportunity to lead RYH online brought me delight. At first, people were hesitant since everyone was adjusting to the situation, but eventually, we were able to form groups online and finish Processing Pain and Understanding Emotions during the pandemic.

Currently, I have four groups and three of them are online. Two groups are currently waiting for their leadership training, while the other two are in Understanding Emotions. God appointed me to lead groups for the women leaders of Open Door Baptist Church, the staff of Fresh Hope for Families, WDA women leaders in India, and college students supported by St. Mark Foundation. The Lord turned this pandemic around for me because of these women.

I ended up choosing Understanding Emotions: Lesson 4 – Feeling, Thinking, and Acting. I have a soft spot for this lesson because I can relate so much to it. We all want to process old pain so that we can have better actions. 

While we were going through Lesson 4, one member shared:

“When I was a child, I let my brothers and their friends sexually abuse me even if I didn’t like it. Now that I have a boyfriend, I easily give in to sexual pleasure because my body is seeking it. I know that it’s wrong to have sexual relationships before marriage, but I justify it by saying that at least I am experiencing from someone that I trust and not from someone who is abusing me. I feel loved when I have sexual contact with my boyfriend. I know it’s wrong, I confessed it to God and I’m ready to face the consequences of my actions. Because of this lesson, I now understand where my actions are coming from, and I will do my best to reframe my thoughts and feelings. I want to be fully committed to God and be busy with the ministries in the church so that I won’t be tempted. I might have been abused by my brothers, but I don’t want my behavior pattern to be based on my childhood pains.”

As I recall this recording, I shed tears for these ladies. The Lord knows where my foot is treading, He is leading me to these women – women with the same experiences as mine. The Lord has orchestrated these ladies to be part of the groups that He appointed me. Exactly as He cast in His vision for me, “reaching the brokenhearted, lost and captive women in the society, not only in the Philippines but around the world.” Every time we have RYH, I know that the room (even online) is filled with the Holy Spirit. I cannot speak and encourage without Him. The Lord has reassured these ladies, that no matter how sinful, dirty or unworthy they think they are, the Lord still sees them as His precious daughters. 

Dear reader, as you browse through this RYH Moment, I want you to hear God’s message for you right now. You are who you are for a reason. No matter what pains, losses, or mistakes you have gone through in this life, God has a purpose for you. You may not like what happened to you, but please know that the Lord is with you all the way. Even during times that you feel so far from Him, never once did he leave you nor forsake you. Now, let Him reign in your life. 

 

 

About The Author

Mabuhay! My name is Reign Astorga Bucsit, a Filipina, residing in Bulacan, the Philippines with my daughter and mother. I am a licensed Social Worker, public speaker, and children’s rights advocate. My scope of work is in Metro Manila and provinces in the northern part of the Philippines. 

 

Christian Growth Checklist

WDA has developed a unique way to help you meet people where they are and know where the discipleship process is going.  The Christian Growth Checklist provides a tool to identify where a person is spiritually and emotionally.  It lets people have a starting point in thinking about what they should learn, what areas of their growth might need to be improved.  Many people find that as they grow in their faith, life happens! I have the opportunity to learn and grow but I don’t have as much time to commit as I desire to that particular area.  Evangelism might be a good example.  Your church might be offering a class in evangelism and how to share your testimony.  Yet the week that you were to do that task you miss and never get that one skill down. The Christian Growth Checklist would help you remember that.  You would be able to go back and learn how to share you story.

The checklist isn’t a tool for spiritual arrogance or a method to make us feel bad about things we haven’t applied.  It is a map that shows the places we have journeyed on our spiritual walk and gives us ideas where we can go next.  The checklist isn’t a way for me to look at my friend and compare grades like we might have on a spelling test in elementary school.  This works well when you have a Life Coach who helps you understand and works with you make a plan and create situations to learn together.

We all know the Christian life is a long walk toward being more like Jesus.  Eugene Peterson wrote a book called “A long obedience in the same direction.”   I like that idea.  We are learning to grow in obedience to all the things Jesus wants for us today.  Tomorrow I continue to learn and then the day following.   The Christian Growth Checklist helps me take the first steps by  knowing where I have gone and looking toward next steps.

Enjoy the Journey!

The Christian Growth Checklist is available as part of our Life Coaching Manual and also available as a download at the WDA Store.