I am Claire R. Dalupang. I am 36 years old and single. I live in the Province of Isabela, Philippines. Though this is not my hometown, God placed me here to start my first missionary ministry. I could say that people here are very hungry for God. Though many Christan churches surround this province, there are still many people who are not connected in any of these churches. Maybe that’s why God brought me here. Most of the elderly are very religious and hold on to their traditions. Perhaps, that was the reason God urged me to start with the youth, mostly teenagers. Though the Philippines is a Christian country, still many lack a real relationship with Jesus Christ.
I grew up in a Christian home where my mother is the one who instilled the fear of the Lord in us. My father used to persecute us at first, but when he experienced God himself, he also became a believer. As a child, even though I knew most of the stories about Jesus from the Bible, I never really surrendered my life to him.
On July 16, 1990, we experienced a strong earthquake in Manila. I will never forget that moment because, in the midst of shaking and fear, I encountered God. When I called on the Name of Jesus, I heard his audible voice saying “Anak, Hindi Kita iiwan ni pababayaan man.” (My Child, I will never leave you nor forsake you. Heb. 13:5). At that moment, I gave my life to Jesus and acknowledged Him as, not only my Savior during that time but also, the Savior of my soul. I began to believe that what is written in the Bible is from God because I heard His voice using the passage from Heb. 13:5 which I had never read before.
I began serving God at the age of 14, and during that time, I volunteered to give relief goods to those who had lost their homes in flash floods. I don’t know what was running in my mind at that time, but what I remember is when I saw the suffering of people, especially the children, there was a cry that remained in my heart since then. A cry that asks God what I can do to help those who are suffering.
As I matured, I learned more about Jesus and the church. And as I observe, I have seen that the hope that the world needs is given to the church through Christ. With that in mind, I consider that everything in my life is testing and a training ground for me that. God is using that testing to equip me to help the world to know about Jesus. My vision is to build many disciples for Jesus so that these disciples will also disciple people so that Jesus will be made known to our nation. That is why, I started with the youth on campuses and shared Jesus with them. I mentored them, and now they are starting to mentor youth, children and adults for Jesus.
I believe that God called me to be a Church Planter. I can say that the gifting, training, interest, and skills that God gave me are for me to become a missionary or church planter. This calling was not the kind of life I would have imagined that I would pursue. I was at the height of my career as an Inventory Planner in one of the multi-companies in Singapore, when God called me. I was actively serving in my local church at that time, and, for me, I thought that I was doing well in God’s vineyard. I was blessed in every way, in finance, in career, in my family, and in my church ministries. In short, I couldn’t ask for more for my life. But, while at my office desk, I was talking to God and thanking Him for all the blessings He was giving me. And that’s when He told me never to settle for something less. I didn’t understand it at first. So He began to show me that He wanted to use me to reach those people who have never heard about His love. So that they too could experience and enjoy life as I was enjoying it. I began to feel the deep love of God towards those people, and He brought me back to the cry He placed in my heart when I saw their suffering.
After few months, I decided to resign from my job and went back to my country and pursued the call He gave me. I don’t know how and what exactly to do, but I have faith that God called me for this so I must respond. I am blessed because my local church and my family support me in this calling. They believe that God called me for this. And in my two years of ministry here, I have witnessed the work of God in my life and in the life of those people who came to know Him.
Even though I know that God called me for this, I am fully aware that I also have to be equipped. Though our local church is giving us classes and training to become an equipped leader, I believe that I still need to have formal training to be fully equipped. I want to be sure that what I am teaching to the church is biblically sound and true. I believe that CLI can help me to become this kind of Christian leader. Please pray for me that I will be able to manage my time and have the wisdom to lead in the church.