Following God’s Voice Alone (A testimony from Odette Molina)
We hear the voices of our friends, family, neighbors, colleagues, and the media telling us what to do each day. With so many trying to get our attention and win our hearts, it seems impossible to just focus on one. But that’s exactly what Odette Molina did. She heard the kind and caring voice of God our Father and never looked back since.
Before her life-changing encounter with God and His Word, Odette Molina considered herself a people pleaser. She had many friends and went to church. Though she faced many problems at home, Odette lived a fairly comfortable life. “But there was emptiness in my heart,” she revealed. “I thought of committing suicide because I felt I had no purpose.”
One weekday night in July 1985, with the intent of ending her life, Odette looked for poison and her father’s gun. As she was searching for these items, she whispered to God, “Lord, I will give you time to change my mind. It’s almost quarter to midnight.”
She then began to look in a desk drawer for writing materials for her suicide note. Instead of pulling out pen and paper, Odette found herself holding a Gideons Bible. She opened its pages and stumbled upon Hebrews 13:5-6. She was struck by God’s line in verse 5 which says, “I will never leave you. I will never abandon you.”
Reading those verses was the turning point for Odette. She realized, “The Lord loves me. He will be the one to help me. When I heard the Lord speak to me, I felt different. I started crying.”
The day after her suicide attempt, Odette was walking along the street when the word “fellowship” displayed on a building caught her attention and stopped her in her tracks. Odette boldly asked if they were hiring because she was interested to apply. They told her to come back some other time.
“But God had a bigger plan,” said Odette. She shared the story of how, after she was turned away, she was recruited to work at a hospital in a country in the Middle East. Odette arrived at the clinic—it wasn’t a hospital after all—on October 20, 2013, along with six other recruited nurses.
Their employer was extremely strict and had the tendency to make disturbing advancements on the other women there. He threatened them so that they would remain silent about the maltreatment they received.
Being the only one who read God’s Word, Odette served as a spiritual mentor for these young ladies. She talked about how she would keep listening to prayer videos, praise and worship services, and other sermons on the Internet. Getting to hear these Bible-based messages kept Odette strong.
Though they chose to stay at first, Odette and her fellow nurses knew that their situation couldn’t be permanent. They needed to get home. But after being turned away by two institutions that she placed her hope in, Odette decided to be more aggressive in sharing her faith. While conducting prayer meetings at the roof deck, Odette would also empower her friends with Scriptures and reassuring promises from the Bible. Odette served as the bridge that allowed God’s strength to flow into the hearts of the younger nurses.
When the very institution that was supposed to help them get home told them, “Your case is hopeless,” Odette’s fellow nurses wept and broke down. But Odette faced that statement with courage and refused to give up. Seeing her friends at their lowest point was what pushed Odette to boldly advise them to finally surrender their lives to the Lord. The five nurses eventually gave in to God’s amazing love and sovereign power.
The roof deck became extra meaningful for Odette when she looked upon the stars and saw a unique formation in the night sky. “The stars formed the numbers four and five,” she recalls. Odette took the beautiful sight to heart. With much conviction, even if they didn’t have the permission to go home yet, she asked a travel agency to book flight tickets back to the Philippines set for April 5, 2015.
After a month, two out of the six nurses got their exit visas. A week later, two more got theirs. The fifth one followed soon after. Sadly, Odette remained without an exit visa. By this time, the six nurses had only five days to pray before April 5 arrived. For most people vs. Odette, it must have been easy to lose hope. But she held on to God’s faithfulness. She got her exit visa on April 3, 2015. All of them went home exactly on April 5, 2015.
Today, God’s work in Odette’s life continues. She established the Blessed Café here in the Philippines. What’s noteworthy about this café is the fact that she is able to use this venue for her ministry in sharing the Gospel. When asked about her extraordinary experiences—from her suicide attempt and escape adventures, up to her ministry in sharing God’s miracles in her life—Odette had this to say: I feel the Holy Spirit with me in every moment. I am brave. I have God. I can face anyone.”
This incredible journey all started with the Bible that Odette read. May her story encourage us to never tire of giving Bibles or supporting ministries that truly prioritize the sharing of God’s Word. We will never know exactly how God will direct the paths of others. All we know is that He will work amazingly and mightily in their lives.