AUTHOR:  Asia Directors, Ariel & Paz Acuna

The purpose of Asian Youth Ablaze is to give a foretaste of a life and ministry in an actual mission field, especially to those who attended the Asian Youth Ablaze mission conference, whose heart was awaken for mission. Every year, we go to the nations of Asia with the heart to penetrate the region with the Gospel of Christ and for the short – term missionaries to see the needs of the nations and the heart of God toward those nations and to where God will send them for long – term missions.

Our heart is to see those who have joined this mission trip to become long–term missionaries in those nations. For the past 2 years, the student team has been to Vietnam, Cambodia, Thailand, Laos, Myanmar, India and the Philippines. 

The following is a first-hand story of National Missionary, Edwin Joseph Sotomango Villagomez

All of us are in search of our purpose here on earth.

Many people are still figuring out what it is. While some of us, in some way, knows the calling God has placed in our lives.

About 4 years ago, God is leading me to serve full time in church. I know it would cost me everything in my life; my work, my business, my relationship & my personal dreams. But what choice do I have? If I know that life circles around God, then the best decision is to submit my life to Him even if I know deep within how much pain it would cost me.

In short, I said YES! However, I don’t know what to do, I don’t know where to go.
All I have is a verse that was stuck into my mind:

            “How, then, can they call on the one they have not believed in? And how can
            they believe in the one of whom they have not heard? And how can they
            hear without someone preaching to them? And how can anyone preach
            unless they are sent? As it is written: “How beautiful are the feet of those
            who bring good news!” Romans 10:14-15

Then the journey began. 

God did a quick work in my life when He started to open doors for us to do local missions in campuses & empowering other Youth Groups through Youth Ministerial for evangelism & discipleship; in our church, in our province and different parts of the Philippines.

I thought i was the full extent of what God can do in my life. Later on, I realized that it was just the beginning of the journey!

            May 2012, God opened another door for us through Asian Mission Outreach to get
            exposed to what God is doing in Asian countries specifically Thailand & Laos. It was our
            first mission beyond the Philippines. 

God made me realize that there is a bigger mission field beyond our nation.
            The nations will be our next destination.

January 2013, during the first Asian Youth Ablaze, I received a prophetic word,
            “I saw your heart. It burns for the nations.”

November 2013, during the Global Pathway Conference, I received a deeper revelation about Acts 1:8,  through OUR speaker “Dr. Jerry Williamson”, that we are called to be a witness to our Jerusalem, Judea, Samaria and to the ends of the earth SIMULTANEOUSLY!

January 2015, God opened another door and I was appointed to mobilize Philippines for 7 Nations Mission Outreach through our network of churches and CBI centers. It was a level up experience! I never imagined being appointed to do such a thing. But GOD did!

And still, there is an inner voice saying, “This is a small part of what God has instored.”
God gave me this verse:

“Today I will begin to make you a great leader…They will know that I am with you” Josh 3:7

Sometimes, we already know that there is a deep calling within us. But God knows that we, His people, are somehow looking for a way to confirm or reconfirm that calling. And so, God uses circumstances in our lives & people surrounding us to confirm that call.

God used so many seminars and ministry exposures in my life, but I would say that God certainly used Asian Youth Ablaze, AMO short term missions and Global Pathway to trigger my life for long term missions. He pulls the trigger at the right time!