Hello, My name is Destiny Kuo. I was born in Seattle, Washington and raised in Vancouver, British Columbia. I am so privileged to share my story with you.
My journey started when I went to DTS (Discipleship Training School) at YWAM (Youth With A Mission) in August 2009. It helped me realise that all that I needed was to live dependant on the Lord’s plans for me. Our performance does not determine if we can be used by God, but our willingness to give our lives completely to Him does. I grew up thinking I could just do something that I found enjoyable, but nothing in this world gave me complete satisfaction. Then I realizedfulfillment that lasts an eternity is more rewarding than anything this world has to offer. I was brought up Christianbut my life was not geared for His glory. It was just before I left home when I was led to give my life back to the Lord. It was not my life alone to live. At the time, I wasn’t living to please God but to please others and myself. It was then that I realized that if I started aiming to please God that my life would benefit others. And that was the beginning of an exciting journey that gave my life purpose.
The first commandment is to love the Lord, your God with all your heart, soul, and mind.. and the next is to love your neighbour as yourself. I don’t think I’m wrong to say that our society tends to have it backwards. It’s time to couple Christianity with being like Christ. He humbled himself as a servant when He should have been treated like a King. He Carried His cross out of love. He wanted to see the reconciliation of mankind.
During the 5 months of DTS, I had 3 months of lecture phase which prepared and equipped us for the 2 months of outreach ahead. The main focus was to set ourselves apart for God to work through our brokenness in order to heal the broken hearts of others. Our group was split into two and I was part of the team that went to the Philippines. I knew in my heart instantly that this is where I was supposed to be.
We spent 1 month doing outreach in New Zealand and another month in the Philippines at a base known as, YWAM Olongapo. The city is located 3 hours driving distance, west of Manila. This ministry is focused on getting prostitutes out of the bars and off the streets to start a new life through community living and being part of a 2 year discipleship program. They have a similar teaching method as DTS but their focus is offering girls working the red light district an opportunity to start afresh.
God broke my heart for those girls who were caught up in poverty and injustice. Most of them sell their bodies just to provide for their family’s daily needs. These girls desperately need to have an encounter with their one true Father who is the Source of provision and love. It’s faith in Him that will set them free from the lies and trap of unjust poverty. Jesus even hung out with the lowest of society including prostitutes and He loved them.
Our focus is to spiritually disciple the girls based on biblical principles and counseling them in a Christian community to overcome their trauma and shame of their past lives. Our DTS focus is to reach out to the bar girls who either wait around outside or dance on the stage waiting to be selected by a customer.
Our strategy in this ministry is to show these girls that the true love they so desire does not include compromise. It’s our job to show them His unconditional love for them so they can come as they are and have Him be the one to transform their lives. All we can do is open up the door of opportunity for them.
During our interaction with bar girls, we invite them out for beach parties where we play games, have food and fellowship. After that we share our testimony of how God has redeemed us and this is our opportunity to ask if they would want to receive the same salvation. Most Filipinos are from a Catholic background but lack the intimacy of knowing their Lord. It’s so amazing to see them when they finally make the connection and respond out of love instead of religion.
When I graduated from DTS I could not stop thinking about the amazing experiences we had in the Philippines. We got word that one of the girls that came out to our beach outreach party had decided to join the discipleship program. She was 16 yrs old at the time and had used her sister’s ID to work at the bar. (Legal age is 18) We were overjoyed to hear God working in her! She was brought up Muslim but is now baptised and turning her life over to her Saviour.
After DTS I lived for a year in Australia. Through this I learned to live on my own for the first time and I saw God provide for me miraculously. During this time He was preparing me to come back to the Philippines. At the end of my time in Australia one day I prayed for Him to give me clear direction on whether I should return to Canada after a short trip to Olongapo or if I should stay there. That very day the Lord confirmed that this was His plan for me through a student in Hillsong college. It was Olongapo.
When I arrived back in YWAM Olongapo even though I had a strong conviction that I was supposed to stay there I still didn’t know how this was going to work. The mission seemed so much harder without a team with me. But after a couple of months of staying there, I reluctantly but out of obedience, said to the Lord, “Your will be done.” and signed up as staff on a 2 year contract. There were just so many needs to be met and not enough missionaries to carry the load. How could I leave? It was not easy especially being without a team and learning to adjust to the culturebut I received God’s grace to continue to reach out to many girls that crave the Father’s untainted love. I know that this choice set me free to be who I am.
As a missions team coordinator at YWAM Olongapo, I am encouraging others in North America to partner up with me whether in prayer or being the hands and feet in our ministry or where ever God’s calling you to. Maybe you are supposed to go. The harvest is plentiful, but the workers are few. May the Lord prompt your heart as you follow me on my journey. Thank you so much for many who have and are continuing to support and encourage me during my faith journey overseas! May God’s favour be on your lives and increase your blessings because of your investment and obedience to His work locally and globally.