Junette Galagala-Nacion was raised in the Church, “not devout but God-fearing. I had my unorthodox concepts of God when I was younger, although I did not question His existence. Coming from a dysfunctional family, I had emptiness in my heart, a desire to belong and a yearning to be loved.”
During her freshman year in college, Junette prayed to receive Christ after attending an evangelistic concert. Through a dorm fellowship group, Bible study and a campus church, she was nurtured in her faith. “I began to develop a love for the Word and found warmth, friendship, and most of all, the nearness of God….Through the years, I came to understand the gravity of my sin and grew in my understanding of God’s grace.” She took a leadership role in the dorm fellowship group and also served as coordinator of a music team.
“My own Christian walk has been marked with seasons of personal struggle, but I am thankful that God remains sovereign and merciful.” After going on mission trips in college, Junette says, “God continued to give me a heart for the lost.” She took the Kairos course, looking at the world from God’s perspective, and says her outlook on life changed permanently. “The desire to serve in career ministry developed in my heart.”
After a long journey of prayer and seeking His will, Junette joined an organization that reaches indigenous communities through contextualized church planting and transformational development. Her husband, Herbert, also served in the same organization as a missionary sent by his church. Junette decided to pursue theological training in order to be better equipped for ministry.
She enrolled at the Asian Theological Seminary in the Philippines. She is in the third year of her Master of Divinity in Biblical Studies program. She says her studies have helped her understand God’s Word better, including each author’s angle in communicating who Jesus is and how to minister to different people. “Studying at ATS has not only resolved my curiosity to know more about God and the Bible, but it has taken me on a journey of personal transformation. I have also been changed through the proper knowledge and handling of Scriptures. At ATS, I have had the privilege of undergoing holistic training, which touches both the cognitive through biblical studies and the practical through service and participation in the community. This has helped me become a better minister of the Word and a more faithful steward of Christ’s love to my family and community….Kindly pray for wisdom, physical strength and tenacity as I undertake courses that are shaping my life and also pointing me toward the direction the Lord wants me to go.”
She says her training has greatly influenced all other aspects of her life, including her writing and media-related work. “I have become more discerning and conscious as I engage in Bible-related work. Although I still have a very long way to go in terms of becoming more like Christ, I believe that the teaching and counseling skills I have learned have also helped transform others into Christlikeness. It is such a privilege to be transformed and then become a channel for biblical transformation in the lives of others.”
Junette received an Overseas Council scholarship to complete her studies. “We are thankful to the Lord for allowing us to have Junette as one of the best scholars at ATS,” says Professor Noli Mendoza, Dean of Student Affairs.
Junette’s multiplication is widespread. Through her church, she facilitates two Bible studies, one for couples and one for young women; serves as a discussion leader for a series of evangelical Bible studies; and speaks in church teaching sessions, camps and fellowships. “There is unspeakable joy whenever I share what the Lord has taught me and listen to the life stories of my students.”
She serves as a devotional writer for Scripture Union and is part of a translation team that will translate the Bible into urban Filipino (or “Pinoy”) through the Philippine Bible Society. She is involved in editing a children’s Bible in Cebuano, another language in the Philippines, as well as translating a prisoners’ devotional.
“These ministry involvements continue to train and encourage me in pursuing [theological education]….Should the Lord will it, I intend to pursue further studies so I can eventually teach in a Bible institution….I continue to experience the daily goodness of God, His provision, His presence and His wisdom. I look forward to knowing Jesus more as I integrate my formal seminary education into my varied ministries, church life, family and personal journey of faith.”