“A missionary traveled to Saudi Arabia, where she stayed with some Muslim friends. The lady of the house asked the missionary if she would come downstairs to see a new room she had decorated. Out of courtesy, she followed the lady downstairs where about 80 people had been waiting. The lady then asked the missionary to share with them about Isa (Jesus).
‘But isn’t that illegal in Saudi Arabia? Why do you want me to share with these people?’
The lady responded that they were all close family members or friends. And all were interested in the person of Jesus.
‘How has this come about?’ the missionary asked.
The lady replied, ‘You know that I have a Filipino housemaid. She sings all the time and looks so joyful. I asked her what she was singing about, and she explained she was singing songs of praise and thanksgiving to God for Jesus. I asked her to tell me more about Him. Through her witness I became a Christian, then my husband; then we shared the Gospel with these family members and friends. Some have come to faith; others are seeking. That’s why I want you to share with them about Jesus and the Bible.’
All this because of a Filipino maid singing praise to Jesus in a Muslim household in Saudi Arabia.”
Originally published on DesiringGod.com on September 24, 2011, by Global Executive Director and CEO of the Lausanne Movement Michael Oh: “From Every Land to Every Land: The Internationalization of Missions — Its Potential and the Price.”
A Higher Purpose
Like the housemaid who shared the Good News in Saudi Arabia, over 11 million Filipinos are dispersed across 214 nations, 2.2 million of which are in the Middle East and North Africa. They’re known as Overseas Filipino Workers (OFWs), working abroad as nurses, laborers, or in domestic roles to support their families back home.
CFO Josephine Ching talks with employees.
OFWs is a term coined in the 1990s, but Filipino Haggai leaders Andrew and Josephine Ching, together with national director of the Philippine Missions Association Pastor Lalano Badoy, Jr., are redefining the term as “Outstanding Filipino Witnesses.” Haggai has equipped 7,894 Filipino Haggai leaders to date, and Andrew, Josephine, and Pastor Badoy have their sights set on expanding this number by strategically equipping OFWs.
“I believe there’s a higher purpose for Filipinos to end Gospel poverty. Can you imagine the impact of 2.2 million Filipinos equipped by Haggai leaders?” Andrew asks.
Who’s the Boss?
As CEO and CFO of one of the leading printing and packaging companies in the Philippines, Andrew and Josephine have equipped an estimated 2,000+ men and women to share the Gospel more effectively, since their Haggai Leader Experience (HLE) in 2013.
CEO Andrew Ching inspects materials in his business’ warehouse.
Each claim that the other is the boss at their business. “He makes the decisions!” Josephine protests. “And she handles the paychecks!” Andrew quips back.
Josephine describes Andrew as steady, faithful, and God-fearing. He has a smile for everyone, and while he may be more content observing and serving others, God has drawn him out of his comfort zone to preach, teach, and lead the family business. Andrew describes Josephine as “Dragon Mom,” a term her children coined growing up in a disciplined, yet loving home. She’s petite, but Josephine commands the room with piercing eyes and quiet confidence.
Andrew speaks with an employee at the packaging company.
“Make sure you hold my hand when you leave the stage!” she tells Andrew when they discuss speaking at a Haggai event. He jokingly widens his eyes and holds up his hands in surrender, making Josephine laugh. They share soft-spoken jokes in Filipino.
The couple met at a youth camp in their 20s. Josephine was wearing pink shorts; Andrew was from the other side of the Philippines. Andrew asked her to be his girlfriend three days later, and to his surprise and delight, Josephine said yes. Four children, a puppy, and God-given business ventures later, these leaders are on a lifelong God journey of passing on their Haggai training to equip other Christian leaders — including men and women in uniform; police and military officers; government leaders; educators; music producers; trade partners; and church leaders in their home country and beyond — “to the land God has called them.”
Together, they are laser-focused on duplicating what happened in the Saudi woman’s home across the world.
One Shoe. One watch. Thousands Equipped.
In 2013, Josephine found herself “bored and starting to watch too much television.” She and Andrew knew they could do more for the Lord, and God paved the way for them to attend Haggai International’s first and only couple leaders experience.
Josephine would bake during her lunch hour to fill that time creatively. This blossomed into a prospering ministry and catering business, Marguerite’s Kitchen. “Who would expect God to grow and bloom this home passion for me?” Josephine shares.
During one session, a Haggai facilitator asked, “What is the most important thing you have with you? Bring it to the front.” Josephine looked down at her brand-new shoes and decided to give one as her symbolic offering at the front of the room.
The next day, the facilitator asked, “What is the most valuable or precious thing you have with you?” Josephine touched her silver watch, then placed it in front, too.
A few weeks later, Josephine would return home with her shoes and watch, forgetting about these two moments. Like all Haggai leaders, she and Andrew committed to equipping 100 leaders in the two years following their HLE. But God had planted a seed in Andrew and Josephine. First, Andrew wanted to make sure his children knew the Gospel. Then, the business owners began intentionally and purposefully holding Bible studies with their employees. Some employees were so impacted, they left to become pastors and full-time workers in ministry.
Children gather for a Bible lesson at a thriving church, planted by a Filipino Andrew and Josephine helped equip.
“God let us see people through the eyes of Jesus,” Josephine says. “If so-and-so is a believer, how do we introduce him to Haggai? If so-and-so is not yet a believer — I like to say ‘not yet’ because it is never a closed door with God — then we asked, ‘How do we share Jesus Christ with him or her?’”
After the HLE, the Chings knew their mission was to obey the last command of Jesus: bringing the Gospel to the ends of the earth. Today, they envision every believer becoming a world-class leader.
“God saw our offerings of service and time and resources, and He took us up on that promise,” Josephine says, wearing the same shoes she offered to the Lord nine years ago. “From that time on, the Lord has been and is still using these shoes to bring us from the north of the Philippines to the south and even outside of the Philippines. Places we never imagined visiting, where angels fear to tread! We didn’t even know that some of those places were not safe for us until people would call us crazy for going. Well, if we can be crazy for the Lord, what can we say? It’s all in God’s hands.”
When they returned from their HLE, Andrew and Josephine held Bible studies with employees. Some employees were so impacted, they left to become pastors and full-time workers in ministry.
The Chings say their life began in their 40s, after the HLE.
“We certainly cannot say that we are bored on this life-long, God journey!”
Written by Bethan Mingle