Heart believes that a large part of living a life centred on the gospel is the willingness to lay down her own desires as a sacrifice before God. She compared the idea to the story of Abraham being willing to sacrifice his only son Issacc, when God asked

Generational gospel reach

Growing up, Heart saw her parent's faith in action. Their example sparked her decision to commit her life to Christ.

Heart Lim left her home and family in the Philippines to serve on board Doulos Hope, one of OM’s ships, with a plan to move to Japan one day and share Christ’s love. Modelling after her parents, Philip and Levy, Heart decided to step into a life of missions at the age of 21.

Heart’s commitment to missions did not begin with the ship or Japan. It started with her parents’ example and a simple prayer at her birth.

Philip’s call to mobilisation

Philip went into full-time ministry at the age of 19. After marrying Levy a few years later, they started a family and settled in Cebu. There, they helped start a church in the city and, years later, planted another church in another town and then built a family business.

Just as things were beginning to thrive in Cebu, Philip became aware of pastors and mission workers in a remote area of his country who needed someone to help disciple successors to lead the next generation of believers.

“We had a business and, of course, a church in the front of our house,” Philip recalled. “So, ministry and business at the same time were doing great. We gave up all that.”

Heart explained that her parents specialised in training and discipleship and remembered them praying for the Lord to provide someone to train mission workers to go to the least-reached areas of the country. “And then, the funny thing is, the Lord called them,” Heart said.

When Heart was 14, her family moved from Cebu to Palawan, an isolated area on a neighbouring island. Philip started a training centre specifically focussed on building up indigenous workers to equip the next generation of pastors and church leaders.

Growing up as the daughter of missions workers

While her parents were passionate about mobilising across cultures, Heart said it was never something they forced on her or her siblings. What they did do was instil the importance of each person serving the Lord in their own way and include their children in the work they did. “It wasn’t just their ministry,” Heart recalled, “But we were also actively involved in it.”

Homeschooled, she trekked alongside her parents to visit villages, helped in simple ways and saw what it meant to be a follower of Jesus. “Seeing [my parent’s] faith first-hand, I saw how God would provide in different ways, and it allowed me to see that God is alive and working in people’s lives,” shared Heart. “My parents did not impose their faith on me, but they demonstrated it — they modelled it — and it was their example that made me think to myself: oh, I want to experience the Lord for myself.”

Philip and Levy wanted their children to have a heart for those who did not know Jesus and incorporated this passion into their lives. On Wednesdays, their family held prayer nights focused on praying for countries around the world. One night, they learnt about Japan.

As her father read about the country, Heart was moved by what she heard. 

“I have always been fascinated by Japan. I watch their movies. I listen to their music and explore their culture, all for entertainment. But then he went on to read that there's less than one per cent of Christians in their entire population, that caught my attention,” said Heart.

Because of that prayer night, Heart decided to be one of the people that God could use to share His love with others. “It was the spark that ignited my heart for missions,” she said.

With a plan to one day go to Japan to share the love of Christ, Heart is currently serving on board Doulos Hope, the newest addition to OM’s Ship Ministry, to prepare herself. Working in reception, she interacts with people from various cultures and backgrounds and has learnt a lot about living and working cross-culturally. “I can testify that because I want to serve the Lord long-term in missions, going to the ship first is beneficial to that desire,” Heart said. 

When the ship was in the Philippines, Heart’s parents and younger brother visited, which was fun and comforting for Heart. She enjoyed having her parents speak into various areas of her life and seeing her brother serve as a port volunteer. The ship was the first time Heart was involved in ministry without her family and she said it was nice to have them see and experience her life for the past three months. “Everything that my family did contributed to where I am now,” she said. 

Inspired to mobilise

Heart looks to her parents for an example of what true commitment to the gospel looks like, but for Philip, the journey of fatherhood has not always been an easy road.

When he and his wife had Heart, he was filled with questions: “Do I really know what I'm going to be doing? What is fathering? Am I ready for this?”

He took to the Bible to find answers. As he read, it occurred to him: I can learn from my heavenly Father, Philip explained.

Philip said he has always tried his best to shepherd his children by discipling them daily and bringing them with him on ministry trips. Levy reminded Philip how important it is for him to live out his faith as his children look up to him.

“When I first saw [Heart] and held her in my hands, I immediately said: ‘Well, I don't know what I'm going to do, but God, do whatever You want to do with this child. I'll try my best to help [Heart] grow up into someone You want her to be.’”

Now, God is answering that prayer for Heart as she sets out to share Christ’s love with those she meets.

While Philip said it’s difficult to release his daughter to missions, he added: “If this is really God’s calling, then [she’s] in good hands.”

Philip finds a lot of encouragement in the fact that God, as his Heavenly Father, has protected him all this time and he knows the same will be true of his own children.

“We just commit her to the Lord, and we’re excited to see how God will use her.”

Please pray for Heart that “the fire in her heart would never burn out” and that God would use her to reach many people with the gospel.

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