By: Todd Matthews

A Purposeful Calling 

 March 25, 2024

When God calls His people to go, He does not call by accident- rather, He calls with purpose in mind. He calls with and for a mission. He calls for His people. This truth is incredibly evident in the story of Marie Bulacan and Elsie Portuna. Two women from the Philippines, who would meet because God was calling.

Since she was a young girl, Elsie lived in a small, bamboo house on the Dumagat Island. She lived right by the water, and each day was sent out to check the crops to see if there would be food that day. Whenever she could, she would help her father fish. Some days, there would be enough fish to feed her large family, and even sell some. Other days, after their arms became too weary and no fish seemed to come, they would give up and accept that they would not be making money that day, and they may not be eating much.

Despite her family’s poverty, Elsie felt as though she lived a simple life, and she never expected it to change. But, God was calling.

Across the Island, at the very same time, a woman named Marie Bulacan held a gift that she was called to give away. Marie is a Pastor in one of our Filipino churches, and the gift she had was the Gospel. The Good News that Jesus Christ had died for her sins, and desired relationship with her for eternity. But, this gift was not just for her, it was for all and she knew that.

Marie shared with the people in and around her church, but she began to feel a stirring to share this gift elsewhere. She began to feel a calling to the Dumagat Island. The Dumagat island is not an easy travel- it takes many documents, weeks, checkpoints, and boat rides to get there. Marie knew that she was supposed to go, but she was fearful.

Eventually, the Lord gave her the courage to go. And she went.

Unbeknownst to Marie at the time, but incredibly purposeful by God, Elsie Portuna and her family lived right where Marie felt called to go.

Marie knew that she was supposed to share her gift with them. She shared about Jesus and what He had done for them. Elsie’s family was the first family to attend her Bible study, and now there is a Church on the island. (remember this?)

Church gathering

Elsie and her family, faithfully serve the Lord and are now the caretakers of the Church on their small Island.

Not only that, but they do not have to fear for food anymore either because the food packages you provide have helped to put food on their table for days.

Since meeting Marie, and more importantly meeting Jesus, Elsie has seen the faithfulness of God. Recently, her husband was diagnosed with type 2 diabetes and went into a coma for almost 48 hours. It took them many hours of travel and waiting in the hospital. While waiting, she continuously declared and prayed for a miraculous healing for her husband. At exactly 11 am, her husband regained consciousness and miraculously survived. The hospital bills were also paid in full!

They now, both, continue to serve the Dumagat Church and share the gift that they received with other Islanders.

Some may say that Marie’s calling to the Dumagats was a coincidence, but I know it was a purposeful calling by God.

Thank you for helping fund missionaries like Marie so they can share the gift of the Lord and provide for the spiritually and physically hungry.

If you have not received the gift of Jesus yourself, please do not hesitate to reach out to me.

Would you consider helping us to continue reaching unreached tribes like the Dumagats?

Thank You. Together we are the feet of Jesus to the lost and hurting world. Together we are changing the world!

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