I didn’t understand the significance of those images in my growing years
By Marieta Gelva-David
I first saw the light in this world in the 27th day of July 1962 at the mountainous area of Sitio Patag, San Francisco, Bulan Sorsogon – end part of Bicol Region.
I came from a family of upland farmers wherein we lead a very basic way of life. My father and my dear mother worked together in the upland farms which we call “Gasak” where they plant different kinds of crops including coconuts and abacas. They do not have daily earnings only but to wait for the crops to bear fruits until harvest time. Then that’s time that they could have money to buy all the basic needs for our daily living.
We were born with a Catholic faith, beginning from my great grandparents down to my generation. I could still remember when I was a kid, that during the Christmas or the Holy Week season I can go to town to enjoy and join the season’s celebration. But that was only what I know of my faith. The idea on what we are doing was not clear on my understanding. We worshipped God through different images even if it was no longer the image of God but those of the saints whom I did not know. I didn’t even know and understand the significance of those images in my growing years.
As I grew up and became mature, there were so many questions in my mind which remained unanswered especially when I was still in my teenage years up to my mid-twenties. That time, I was with my relatives in Pangasinan. I lived with them because they were sending me to college until I finished my course on BSE/Ed major in Library Science.
My uncle was an INC (Iglesia ni Cristo) convert. After a year of being a member of that sect, he tried to convince us to be indoctrinated even if we were unaware of what his beliefs were. So we obeyed because he was our guardian and we had to follow his rules.
Thereafter I became a member of the INC (Manalo) including my 3 brothers and sisters. But it lasted only for at least 8 years. I voluntarily left the congregation because of some personal reason. And I have noticed many wrong teachings and practices in that faith.
The ministers and workers of that church are using their youth to convince non-believers who wanted to join them. One thing more that I cannot accept is that for them, Jesus Christ is just an ordinary man. When they read verses from the Bible they could not even explain it clearly to the members.
In my case, I can say that I am a God-fearing person because I am always afraid of committing sins. In my mind, I was still looking for the truth; something that will answer my questions. When I left the INC, and joined the Born Again Christian, for me it was again another experience. But I did not stay long in this sect because I found their teachings had no depth. Their faith is very shallow, they just sing and dance and praise God in a very light manner.
I found out that they were just after the gain, the money that they collect from the members and even from their visitors which they called “love offering.” I also left that sect immediately.
I had no religious affiliation for almost a decade since I left all those religions that I joined. But I felt I was disconnected to God that time.
Until I’ve heard about a man name Bro Eli Soriano who was called the most sensible preacher of all time. I first saw him on television where he was a guest in that particular T.V. talk show, the title of which I cannot remember anymore. What I remembered was that he was asked different questions by the host and I admired him in his way of defending his ideas. He answers questions straightforward. He speaks the truth guided by the Holy Scriptures.
For me, this man wants to be heard by the whole world. He wanted to be questioned by his listeners because he is always prepared to answer whatever questions people would throw at him. He was the only preacher I know who preaches the truth about the existence of God, the importance of man to God and almost everything that has life including the things unseen made by God.
I started hearing his preaching on T.V. and on the radio. And very often I listen to him and even wrote what he says especially when he reads the verses from the Bible.
Thereafter, I realized that even if I don’t see him and directly talk to him, he suddenly convinced me with his teachings. I know it was his power of preaching ability that made me realize the truth about the true Church which he leads.
So after a few months of listening and joining the Bible study, I was indoctrinated and I decided to undergo baptism. I did not think twice. I told myself, “God is here and He is calling me to join this group. I must join them or else my soul would be at a loss forever.”
It was on the 30th of December 2005 when I finally underwent baptism. Glory be to God that I am now a member of the true Church that the Bible teaches. I pray hard to Him that I may endure to the end and hold on to Him.