“Darwin is my comfort zone. This city is so familiar to me. I have no ambition of moving to another place or even traveling to other states here in Australia.” Emma expresses this sentiment to me. We are on a virtual meeting. I am here representing FMWM-Asia, providing some form of encouragement to our Asian missionaries like Emma, who are out there doing God’s work.
Emma Betonio Agarao, or Pastora Emma to most of her Filipino friends, is a Free Methodist cross cultural worker in Australia. She came in 2000 and started a fellowship in the city of Darwin. Although she came with a bachelor’s degree in theology, she started off as a bi-vocational church worker, pastoring this group during the weekend and working office hours during weekdays. The group is called the Light and Life in Jesus Christ Church Ministry (Free Methodist Incorporated) and was registered in April 2001. This fellowship grew into a church of 50 or so members who come from the Aboriginal communities and many other ethnic groups.
During our online meeting, Emma testifies of God revealing His plan for Australia through a dream. After the affirmation of various church members and the confirmation of the “voice of the Spirit of God,” she is starting a new work, a church plant in the metropolis of Sydney. She will be moving there this March, to live close to her son and daughter’s families. She shares with me that “God had already laid [out] His plan and I must obey Him because He is my Master, and the Holy Spirit is my strength, and His presence is my comfort and [He] assures [me] that I am not alone doing the work of God.”
I praise the Lord for cross cultural workers like Emma, who take a step of faith obeying God and going to different places to start new fellowships.
Emma, together with her husband, Rodolfo, are Filipino missionaries assigned to Australia. They have two adult children, Rodeo and Christen Joy. Please pray for the new work in Sydney, Australia.