Villaruel, Reden Joyce Cantor

Country: United Kingdom
Advance #3022799
Serving At: North West Methodist Mission
Home Country: Philippines

Reden Joyce Cantor Villaruel is an international Global Mission Fellow with the United Methodist General Board of Global Ministries, engaged in a two-year term of service.  

The Global Mission Fellows program takes young adults ages 20-30 out of their home environments and places them in new contexts for mission experience and service. The program has a strong emphasis on faith and justice. Global Mission Fellows become active parts of their new local communities. They connect the church in mission across cultural and geographical boundaries. They grow in personal and social holiness and become strong young leaders working to build just communities in a peaceful world.

A graduate of the University of the Philippines Diliman Extension Program in Pampanga (UPDEPP), Reden earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in applied psychology. She volunteered with United Women in Faith – Asia and Pacific, served as a research data collector for Compassion International – Philippines, and interned with P.H. Training and Consultancy and Skyline Hospital and Medical Center.

A member of a Full-Gospel Born Again Christian congregation, she leads music and youth ministries.“I am in charge of the organization of activities and programs, including the music/sound technicalities in our church services.” Reden said. “I also serve as a song leader and main guitarist.”

She described her spiritual journey.

Like a rollercoaster ride,” Reden said, “my spiritual journey with God has highs and lows. There are times when I feel so on fire and times when I feel so distant. But no matter what my season is, I never stop communicating with the Lord, acknowledging that I cannot continue my race alone.”

Growing up in a Christian family, Reden is the daughter of a pastor (her father) and a song leader and a Sunday school teacher (her mother). “They exposed me to community work and service as part of our ministry with the Lord,” Reden recalled. “I joined children’s and youth camps and volunteered for outreach activities in our church area. Aside from my community exposure, [my parents] also made sure to help me in my personal spiritual journey with God, introducing to me the importance of prayer, devotion, fasting and other important activities that will help me grow spiritually as a child of God.

“My desire in community and ministerial works has always been present,” she added. “I experience a different kind of joy having the opportunity to help other people and, at the same time, serve the Lord through ministerial work. I believe that God is close to those who are weak, poor and vulnerable, and so, it is with great joy to serve in ways I can to God’s community.”

Reden looks forward to the future. “Given my combined exposure and experience in church activities and in school as a psychology graduate,” she said, “I believe that God will continue to use me as his vessel to reach more people in need of help, for his greater glory.”

As a missionary, she is eager to share her knowledge of music, instruments and psychology. “If given a chance, I also hope to use my experience in leading groups and ministries in collaborating with churches and communities,” she concluded.