More Than Just a Workplace

Written by: Fe Sagun (Exit Strategist at the Calgary Foothills Shelter) – December 3, 2018

What I am about to share is my personal testimony of how God blessed me with the opportunity to work here (at the shelter) and become a part of The Mustard Seed family – a place where I can be me.

I came to Canada as a total stranger in May 2009 from the Philippines. I left my family and my country to move to the land where God indicated that He wanted me to be. I didn’t know anybody at that time, but I wasn’t afraid because I knew that I had three bodyguards with me – the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit, and I knew that they are present 24/7.

Now, I’ve worked at a lot of organizations but The Mustard Seed is so different from them all. What makes it different? Well, for starters, I don’t work with co-workers who just say “hi and bye” or “how are you?” followed by an “I’m good” and it ends there. What I have established with my co-workers is a much deeper relationship than that. Here at TMS, my family is complete. I have a mother, a father, and brothers and sisters in Christ who are just as available in the good times as they are in the bad times. We encourage and pray for one another; we laugh and cry together; we support each other. It’s like this: “If one part suffers, every part suffers with it; if one part is honoured, every part rejoices with it” (1 Corinthians 12:26).

Let me give you an example of our family dynamics.

I was in a car accident in December 2017 and as a result, I was in real financial need. At that time, I had also just bought my plane ticket to go to the Philippines. In addition, I was paying my school tuition fees up front. Oh yeah, and my car was not insured for collision so I had to buy a new car out of my own pocket. At first, I told myself that everything was going to be okay. But as the days went on, I began feeling anxious about my bills. My payment for my tuition fees was due the next month and so I asked the school if they could grant me grace and allow me to make the payment before my graduation. I didn’t want to bother my biological family for help; in fact, I didn’t even want them to know what was going on because I didn’t want them to worry about me. But soon I began to feel desperate. So I cried out to God, “I need your help!”

And sure enough, He helped.

My birthday came around and I was surprised to be presented with funds from my Seed family – as in, my co-workers got together and fundraised to help me out! And even though I don’t like surprises, I couldn’t help but admit that this one was an amazing experience! What’s even more amazing was that the money they fundraised was exactly all I needed!

I felt so loved and was quickly reminded that God really knows what we need and the only thing we can do is ASK Him. God is good all the time and trusting Him during difficult times is not easy. If we are hurting, that doesn’t mean that God doesn’t care. He is hurting too! But in order for us to learn and realize that everything is going to be okay, that He has a plan for us (Jeremiah 29:11), and that He is molding us into the person He wants us to be, we should trust Him and have faith in Him – “For we live by faith, not by sight.” (2 Corinthians 5:7). God is IN CONTROL; for He made the heaven and the earth, the sea and EVERYTHING in it (Psalm 146:6).

Growing up, the only time my biological family was altogether under the same roof was Christmas Day and New Year’s Day; but then I moved out when I was 16. Instead of working together to raise up their children, neither one of my parents wanted to leave behind their career and so they decided to continue to work in separate places. My mother lived with her parents and my father worked abroad and eventually moved in with his family – close to the area where he worked – so I never really developed a strong relationship with either of them. So, I adopted parents and brothers and sisters to fill the basic needs that had not been met during the years of my childhood.

I thank God for giving me the opportunity to experience what it looks and feels like to be a part of His family, especially at work. I feel so blessed that God chose me to join His work here at The Mustard Seed. And I praise God for what He is doing in each and every one of us here. I cannot deny that God is indeed at work in this organization. I am convinced that God appointed me to work here at the Seed right here, right now, and that in part, He did so in order to bring me into a new everlasting family. This I proclaim boldly to the whole world. And the most important thing we do together as a Seed family is serve the Lord. I like the passage in the Bible where it says: “A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another: just as I have loved you, you also are to love one another. By this all people will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another.” (John 13:34-35).

To God be the glory!