After PBTS

A degree accomplished is a step closer to the mission field…or so I thought.   


I graduated in a year heavily defined by the COVID-19 pandemic, which led to plans and shattered hearts. The unexpected turn of events placed me in moments of pause and slow paces. The slow and steady path may not always appear to be the most exciting option. Nevertheless, it was a worthwhile option that allowed more breathing room, and even more room for peace and calm.   

Along the way, I realized how God purposefully used these moments to draw me closer to Him. Beyond my idea of moving closer to ministry, these moments led me to the heart of ministry. God was letting me experience how I could still thrive despite locked doors. It is not only in action that one grows and flourishes. Finding rest and depending on God allowed growth and wisdom to flourish in my life. I was flourishing in isolation.  


I struggled with seasons of waiting. However, it was during those seasons that I get to see God’s blessing over my life.  It was in those moments of waiting that began to God heal. I was healing in my body, maturing emotionally, and learning spiritually. My sciatic nerve pain has subsided and no longer occurs. I have also been healed from my Corneal Ulcer. Upon discovering I had lattice degeneration in both of my eyes that may lead to loss of vision, I have undergone several treatments, checkups, and LASIK procedures.  It was a long journey, but it was a journey worth taking. I experience joy and peace in the knowledge that God is at work. I have learned to focus on Him more than the trial. And there, I found relief even in pain, even when facing the unknown. It is down those slower paths that I discovered they are beautiful and fulfilling in their very own way.  


In the midst of the frustration and chaos, in a surprising way, I was led to a deeper relationship with my home church and with a new missions organization. I was also given the opportunity and privilege to work among the Palawanos. I was and am flourishing with connections.  


 Serving in Palawan for a year, gave me experiences that I carry with me wherever God will lead. The people I have met and adventures into the unfamiliar are blessings I am grateful for. Every encounter was an opportunity to see God at work both in my life and theirs. Now, I feel glad that things did not turn out the way I planned it.

I am now being trained under my missions organization for the ministry ahead. The journey of obeying God’s call in ministry has just begun, and the work of Christ in me continues to grow. Now, I am slowly learning what it means to live the best of my life for God.   


A degree in seminary was only the beginning in experiencing God and flourishing in my call.

Alayla “Alay” Handog (MA-Miss ’20) is a full-time missionary of GCF (Greenhills Christian Fellowship) whose ministry is focused on discipleship and church planting. Her desire is to work among the least-reached and unreached people group in the Philippines and beyond. In partnership with NTCP (New Tribes Church Planters of the Philippines, Inc.), she has been receiving training and mentorship under the Equip Asia program. She looks forward to how God will continually guide and lead her to her next steps.

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