The STSM Updates series will highlight current STSM trainees sharing about their experiences of the training process. This week’s update is from Shannel Yoo of the Philippines team!

Hello. My name is Shannel Yoo and I just graduated from UCSD with a degree in Human Development. Through God’s faithfulness and provision, I’ve been blessed with the opportunity to go to the Philippines this summer to obey the Great Commission.

As this is my second time going through the STSM program (first time to Uganda 2k16), I was already aware of all the training planned ahead of me. I knew the general construct of the program so the load of assignments and training was not at all shocking.

However at the same time, the idea of “returning” and “being a second timer” gave me a lot of burden – and honestly, I put a lot of the burden on myself. I found myself worried and anxious that I wouldn’t be good enough, and felt like I had to present myself a certain way. But through this humbling process of training and constant reminders of the gospel and who God is, I was rebuked.

“For if anyone thinks he is something, when he is nothing, he deceives himself.” (Galatians 6:3). I’m constantly reminding myself that I am not doing this for myself, but for God. We are so small and so full of sin, but by the grace of God, He sent Jesus to cleanse us from our sins. It is important to remember that I should be living for something greater than myself.

Yes, missions is a good way to learn more about yourself and really build your relationship but at the same time, we are called to go to glorify Him. God called us to go and make disciples because that is our purpose in life. He makes a path for us to glorify him and make His name be known.

Daniel Nam said, “Our goal in going to the nations is not to unnecessarily suffer but to preach the gospel.” It is easy to center this summer on how much you’re going to grow or how you’re going to get “wrecked”. However, the ultimate goal is ignored. As my team and I go out to the mission field, I pray that we’ll go out and be submissive to Him. I hope that we’ll strive to be more like Christ and really lay down ourselves for the sake of the Gospel. We can’t fathom exactly what Jesus did for us on the cross, but I pray that we’ll center our lives entirely on Him and be able to experience and even see a glimpse of what He did for us. If the gospel is number one in your heart, your actions will follow through.

Edwin Kim and Daniel Shim, the Philippines leader/co-leader, challenged us to read a chapter of Galatians everyday (the same chapter). Something that I’ve been wrestling with recently is being faithful and putting my full trust in Him. I learned that a true disciple is to be faithful and should pursue Jesus like his/her teacher. To follow Jesus, it requires commitment, dedication, and sacrifice. My faith has been tested countless times, and I tend to become restless when I don’t see any direct fruit. I tend to rely on my own strengths and understanding.

However, it is important to remember that we should remain faithful because he is sovereign. He is continuously watching over us and we are called to persevere and surrender to God. We are going out to serve Him, and not ourselves. Constant reminder: Through faith, we are saved. Thank You God for your love and for sending your one and only Son for us.

We have no more Sunday trainings and just finished Morning Prayer Week. Now, all we have before going off to our respective countries is Intensive Retreat. We leave in less than 2 weeks!! With the last week of training left, I’m excited to see how God will teach me more of who he is and how important it is to lay ourselves for the sake of the gospel. I’m also excited to see what He has in store for me and how I can experience His great and marvelous love for us.

I also ask that you would partner with my team and me in prayer as we go out to the Philippines because nothing is possible without prayer!! Please pray for the following prayer requests:

1. For my Philippines Team – For team unity and to seek His presence.

“Above all, keep loving one another earnestly, since love covers a multitude of sin.” (1 Peter 4:8) “Bear one another’s burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ.” (Galatian 6:2)

Pray that we’d be able to have loving hearts and remember God’s love for us.

2. For the people in the Philippines – That the people would have open hearts and be willing to hear the good news of Jesus Christ.

3. For Manang Chit (Missionary Contact) and the Projects – Please pray for her health and for her upcoming women’s conference and the Faith Project. In addition, please pray for wisdom and provision. Lastly, pray that she’ll be able to trust in his sovereign plans and provide her with everything she needs.

Shannel Yoo is a graduate of UCSD and an STSM trainee on the Philippines team. 

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