I HAVE a good friend, a successful businesswoman, whose entrepreneurial achievements here and abroad are outstanding by any standard. A much-sought after lecturer and speaker in both the private and public sectors on various topics dealing with global trading, she enjoys sharing with others her inspiring entrepreneurial adventures. For a time, she was also hired as an international consultant of the United Nations Development Program (UNDP) and the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC). One of her global assignments then was the promotion and marketing of goat skin in North Korea. She recommended to the government of North Korea the shipping of the goat skin to Valenzuela, Metro Manila, which in turn will manufacture the goat skin into finished high-fashion products like bags and shoes. Imagine a lady, holder of Bachelor of Science Degree in Home Economics from the University of the Philippines (UP) in Quezon City dabbling in global trading like manufacturing and tanning of goat's skin from one country to another?
* * *
This lady entrepreneur in her late fifties and married to a British national with four beautiful children used to be a buying agent and merchandising manager for soft goods (like garments and textiles) of many well-known retailers worldwide like May Department Stores and WACO trading.
* * *
I have known this lady for more than 20 years. The past two years or so, I have been seriously trying to share with her the Gospel whenever we go out for lunch with some friends; or whenever we see each other at various trade fairs organized by the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI). Frankly, I never got the chance to share with my lady friend about the Word of God as I was always outtalked by her with her fantastic entrepreneurial stories. Saddened by my failure to share the Gospel with her face to face and my failure too, to encourage her to spare some time to read the Word of God - I decided to try another approach. Why not text her every day with short inspiring Biblical verses and let the Holy Spirit do the rest? This way, she cannot interrupt my text messages with her interesting stories on her entrepreneurial experiences. That's exactly what I did - religiously and without fail, I texted her every early morning for more than a year Biblical verses that lift up our spirits like, "In the multitude of anxieties within me thy comfort delight soul."
After a week or so, my lady friend started sending feedback like, "Oh, Nelly I love the Bible verse you sent; or "Nelly, I am now attending Bible sessions with a small group." Later: "Nelly, I am regularly attending a Sunday worship service now." With excitement, she finally says: "You know what? I have volunteered to be an usherette during Sunday worship service." Unbelievably, my friend's spiritual growth was phenomenal. Her faith in our Lord God has tremendously increased as days and months passed by. But as her spiritual growth kept on growing, so her breast cancer (on remission then) became more active.
* * *
Last September 8, 2012, my dear lady friend, Marian Nash died at the National Kidney Center. Marian is now with the Lord. No more human pain for her. No more physical suffering. No more business stress. A few months before her death - how Marian talked with reverence, with passion, with joy, and with excitement about her love for our Lord God! What a transformation! What a blessing! What a miracle!
I am sharing this story about Marian Nash to remind all of us about the need to slow down in our worldly pursuits and spend more time to enhance our spiritual life with our Lord God; about the need to share the Word of God with others... even by cell texting. We can no longer share the Gospel when a person is dead. Lest we forget, our worldly life ends anytime, anywhere, since our times are in God's hands (Psalm 31:15). After all is said and done, "What profits a man if he gains the whole world and loses his soul." (Luke 9:25) Life is so short. Only a breath away.
* * *
This column continues to give out copies of the Holy Bible for free to those who cannot afford to buy their own copies. If interested, please send your letter-request to Ms. Nelly Favis Villafuerte, 5233 Fahrenheit St., Palanan, Makati City. Kindly mention if it is the Tagalog, English, Cebuano, or Ilocano Bible that is preferred.
Be joyful and forgiving!