Faithful Women of the Lord
This International Women’s Day, we celebrate the contributions of four ladies serving faithfully in Our Daily Bread’s Kota Kinabalu office.
Clarensia Rongkos has been with Our Daily Bread for over four years. She started out in the ministry as an intern, before going to Bible college to study for a Masters of Divinity. Clarensia said of her earlier days, “I took time out to listen to God’s calling for me and to search my heart. I asked myself, what do I really want to do? What is my passion?” After Bible school, she joined ODB full-time as Digital Content Manager for the Bahasa Malaysia (BM) ministry. Together with her colleagues Marysia Jumit (BM Church Ministries Executive), Wendy Ho (Administrative Executive) and Lee Soo Yi (Chinese Language Editor), the team of four believe God has called them full-time to this ministry for His perfect plan and purpose.
The journey to ODB
For Wendy, whose hometown is Kota Kinabalu, it never crossed her mind to serve in ODB. “But God always has His ways when He wants to use you,” says Wendy, who had actually tendered her resignation by faith with her previous employer.
Marysia, on the other hand, is originally from Kota Belud and has served as a pastor in her church before joining ODB. She is now in her second year at the organisation. “I felt God opening a way for a ministry where I could help Christians and churches in their spiritual life and faith through Bible-based resources,” she says.
Soo Yi, the newest recruit in the team, was actually part of YAMI 雅米 for six years – the young adult arm of ODB – before deciding to join the ministry full-time. “By God’s grace, I realised this is something He wants me to continue doing, so I’m glad to have the opportunity to serve Him again,” she says.
Soo Yi, who hails from Sandakan, has written many articles on friendship, movies, K-pop and popular culture that have touched many reader’s lives, and her hope for every Christian, whether young, old, male or female, would be to stay close to the Lord always. “The most important thing is that we rely on Him to stand firm,” she says.
Identities anchored in Christ
Her colleagues echo her sentiment when they remark that the challenges for Christians everywhere can be quite similar. “Knowing my worth in Christ helps me to grow and live out my womanhood,” says Clarensia, who is of Dusun heritage and comes from a big family of seven children. “Knowing that I’m precious and God has a purpose for me helps me to be who I am today. And now, I want to share this fact and truth with others as well.”
Wendy agrees, saying that she fully embraces the truth that she is fearfully and wonderfully made as per Psalm 139:14. “I understand well that I’m created as a female not by mistake. I live life to the fullest as a Christian and I’m on the right path with God, because I have peace in my heart.”
For Marysia, understanding her identity in Christ has been a longer but bittersweet process. “Through reading the Bible, discipleship and mentoring, I learned to appreciate myself, knowing that I’m His masterpiece. It took me a while to understand that God accepts me as I am, and as a woman, I have no less value than a man. God can work in my life and use it to bless others.” Soo Yi agrees, saying, “No matter how I look or feel, I am still God’s beloved daughter.”
Encouragement to serve God full-time
As the four ladies would love to support women who are considering full-time ministry, their encouragement would be to talk to a pastor or mature leader, to keep praying and to keep seeking His guidance despite the obstacles that may come their way.
Clarensia observes that “If a woman wants to serve in ministry, whether full-time, part-time, or as a volunteer, don’t stop them just because they have kids or other commitments to fulfill. But pray with them and ask how we can support them spiritually, physically, emotionally, and mentally.”
Wendy agrees, saying, “I believe serving full-time is a calling by God.” She adds that more women would benefit from words of encouragement, mentorship and work experience if they are thinking about serving full-time.
Marysia has the same practical advice, suggesting that ministry exposure could be helpful, such as joining short mission trips with the church or volunteering part-time in a ministry that interests them. “Don’t let criticisms discourage you,” Marysia says. “Keep praying for God’s guidance and He will answer your prayers according to His time and will. He will also prepare your heart and everything you will need for what He has arranged for you.”
Are you thinking and praying about serving God in a full-time ministry? We can pray alongside you and uphold you in our prayers. Submit your prayer request here.
Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or terrified because of them, for the Lord your God goes with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you. (Deuteronomy 31:6)
You did not choose me, but I chose you and appointed you so that you might go and bear fruit—fruit that will last—and so that whatever you ask in my name the Father will give you. (John 15:16)
For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. (Jeremiah 29:11)
About the Author
Wan Phing Lim is a contributor to Our Daily Bread Ministries Malaysia. Born and raised in Penang, she studied Politics before turning to a career in writing. She loves coffee, books and films.
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