In 2018, God asked Daisy Callanta to take a bold step of faith. A human resources executive in the Philippines, Daisy was already juggling a demanding career and the responsibilities of being a mother to a child with special needs. As the wife of a pastor, Gospel ministry had always been an important part of her life. But when she attended the Haggai Leader Experience (HLE) in 2018, something shifted.

“Haggai changed my life. It has helped me see clearly God’s Kingdom calling and purpose.”

The “purpose” God called her to through the HLE was a brand-new career. After more than 20 years of success in the corporate world, including a robust leadership development program of her own, God was calling Daisy into full-time ministry.

“It was not an easy decision considering that I was the breadwinner of the family. No one walks out on a lucrative, successful career when you have kids and a family to provide for, and a husband who has recently lost his job. But when Jesus calls, He makes it clear. When He calls, our response must be to obey immediately. The hardest part is taking the first leap of faith. But the wonderful thing is knowing Jesus will catch you. Radical obedience leads to radical grace.”

Daisy Callanta

As soon as Daisy decided to leave her HR position, God provided a new job for her husband. Within a few months, their ministry, Jesus HUGS, was born. The organization’s mission statement is to “end Gospel poverty and see people saved, redeemed, freed, and transformed by the love of Jesus Christ, one hug at a time,” and their programs include a leadership development called “Lead Like Jesus,” a campus ministry for local college students, and a compassion ministry serving special needs children and their families. Since 2018, Jesus HUGS has served hundreds of individuals and families across the Philippines and this year they will move into a brand-new facility in the heart of the Filipino city of Tagaytay.

Daisy at Dwelling Place Church in Novaliches, where she was invited to preach during Sunday Worship.

For Daisy, God used the HLE to propel her into this bold new season of life, and she credits the principles she learned in her equipping for the rapid, early success of the ministry.

“The friends and mentors I have in Haggai have been instrumental in having a deeper relationship with the Lord. Our ministry means nothing unless we spend time with the Lord. The power behind the ministry is in close and deep relationship with Jesus Christ which can only be achieved when we put Jesus above all else, and learn to fully surrender and yield to the Holy Spirit.”