Growing up in a Christian home, the daughter of a pastor and saved at a young age; my spiritual development and my childhood development were combined. I was surrounded with stories and lessons about Jesus and God.
At around the age of 6, I surrendered my life to Jesus Christ. I liked to read the Chick Tracts because they were comics. However, my older sister informed me that they weren’t for fun; I was supposed to get saved! She then showed me using the tract how I was a sinner that deserved hell, but Christ paid the penalty of my sin.
God is holy. The idea behind the concept of holiness is “separation.” God is separate from everything that is sinful and evil. He is without sin and cannot tolerate sin.
When man sinned, we became separated from God. There is no one righteous, not even one. Everyone has sinned; we all fall short of God’s glorious standard. God’s standard is holiness, perfection. And the penalty for our sin is death. This death is not just physical death but also eternal death which means eternal punishment deserving for our sins.
But because of God’s great love for us, He sent His Son Jesus Christ into the world not to condemn the world, but to save the world through Him. God requires holiness. Jesus lived that holy life for us and sacrificed Himself as payment for our sins so that everyone who believes in Him shall not perish but have eternal life.
What must we do then to be saved? Jesus said to repent of our sins and turn to God. Believe in the finished work of Christ and surrender our life to Him. Salvation is found in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given to mankind by which we must be saved. Only by the grace of God through saving faith in Jesus Christ alone.
As I grew older and could understand more of life, my understanding and walk with the Lord also grew and deepened. I was surrounded by good mentors that poured Scriptural truth in my life. In my teen years, God was consistently working in my life to draw me closer to Him. I increasingly differed from my friends in their standards and their lifestyle choices. When my best friend fell pregnant at the age of 16, it was the final split. I no longer tried to hang on to friends that consistently pulled me towards the worlds’ way of thinking. I would choose to follow the Lord even if it meant I didn’t have a best friend. Being an introvert, I placed a high value on having one close friend to connect with, but God knew that and has since provided people in my life who have stood by me through the hardest times of my life.
In high school, I was pursuing studies to be a veterinary. However, God called me to be a missionary (not yet specifically to the Philippines) and I initially said no. I wanted to be a vet and not leave home. However, God used the song “Shout to the Lord” to remind me that the mountains bow and the seas roar at the sound of His name and who was I to say no to my Lord? From there I was committed and went to Bible School. Throughout the 4 years, the Lord led me step by step to eventually join the Philippine Field. There were plenty of challenges, fears, excitement (raising support, going into the “unknown”, etc.) but God was faithful every step of the way to comfort and guide me.
God’s gracious love to me is what I live for. I am completely undeserving of His grace but He has poured it out in my life. So I serve Him in any way He shows me. This has led to me serving in the Philippines since 2006 as a missionary in a variety of roles.
God is faithfully working on me and is using circumstances and His Word to mold me to be more like Him. I know that whatever happens in my life is for my good, even if it is not pleasant all the time because God causes everything to work together for the good of those who love God and are called according to His purpose for them.
Satisfy us in the morning with your unfailing love,
that we may sing for joy and be glad all our days.
Hi! I’m Christina Canapp, a believer in Jesus Christ saved by grace. I grew up in a Christian home in the States, moved to the Philippines in 2006 as a missionary with New Tribes Mission (now New Tribes Church Planters of the Philippines) and have served in a variety of roles. I ‘m blessed to be where I am.