Whenever processions were being held, I would carry graven images. All the while, I thought they were acts of piety.
By Don Capulong
I grew up a Catholic. This was the religion that I was exposed to. As a member of the Catholic Church, I was very active. I attended masses regularly and I always participated in most of the church’s activities. Whenever processions were being held, I would carry graven images. All the while, I thought they were acts of piety.
After 15 years, we became members of the Born again group wherein I became a choir member. With the short stint that I had in this group, I felt some joy but, nevertheless, something was still missing.
I was yet looking for something. That was why when I got the chance to listen to Bro. Eli, I felt something unexplainable – the strong desire to listen more to him.
I was able to listen to Bro. Eli in 1984. That was in Cabalantian. I was invited by the brethren in Betis to listen to him. When I did so, I immediately saw how different Bro. Eli was from the preachers in the group that I was a part of at that time. For one, Bro. Eli was citing verses from the bible, and everything that he said had a Biblical basis.
Although I was listening to him, I still smoked and I was often in the company of my peers. But despite this, I felt God’s calling through his preaching. After three months, I decided to undergo indoctrination and finally turn away from my former faith. I felt that the Church of God is indeed the congregation that is of God. It is the organization that is guided by God because nobody has succeeded in disproving any of the doctrines that it upholds.
I truly admired the way Bro. Eli defended the teachings of God. He is incomparable. I believe that he had been sent by God to this dispensation. Through the help of God, I was baptized on February 7, 1985 by the river of San Marcos, Calumpit, Bulacan by Bro. Antonino de Castro.
In the early going of my service to God, I, too experienced trials. My former friends and acquaintances started to avoid me; the members of my family likewise persecuted me. But with the grace of God, these trials only strengthened my faith in God. I decided to join the Workers’ Ministry at age 18. The youths in our locale (Betis) were the ones who persuaded me to become a worker. I attended the ministerial classes regularly, and I enjoyed it very much especially that the one giving the discussion was Bro. Eli. Finally, in November 1987, I was given my first place of assignment, which was the Locale of Talimindok, Magalang, Pampanga.
There came a point when I almost gave up being a worker due to the many problems and all sorts of persecution that came my way. When I presented my predicament to Bro. Eli, he advised me to continue. His words gave me courage and confidence to go on with my service to God despite the travails that I was experiencing. I had been assigned to different places like Bulacan, Cavite, Rizal and Metro Manila.
Some years later, I met Sis. Liezel who, right now is my helpmate in my service to God. I am very thankful to God because He blessed me with a wife who is always with me in all my undertakings. I am also grateful to Him for giving me two daughters – Yeye and Sid – who are also our source of joy and inspiration. Problems and obstructions that have come my way did not hinder me in the performance of my duties; and this is primarily due to the unfailing support and constant reminders of our leaders.
I became a District Servant in Pampanga division for three years. On August 24, 2002, a very sensitive duty has been entrusted to me, and that is to be a Baptizer of people who are going back to God. I was not expecting that I would be given such a very important duty. Typical of anybody who has been tasked to perform a very delicate function, I, too, was a bit worried that I may not be able to handle it well. But God never forsook me.
In 2004, Bro. Dino Hilario, Bro. Bong Bodeña, and I were appointed as Officers-in-Charge (OICs). I really couldn’t explain how I felt when I was given this responsibility. I was surprised and nervous at the same time. I felt I was not worthy of the position, but later on, I realized God’s loving kindness. Like what the song composed by Bro. Daniel says, “Ang mundo’y hindi naging mundo kundi dahil sa Kanya, at hindi ako magiging ako kundi dahil sa Kanya.” (The world wouldn’t be the world without Him, and I wouldn’t be me without Him.)
Great changes have taken place in my life since I became a member of the Church of God, especially so when I had been tasked to perform God-given duties. I know now the importance of life, and how it should be spent wisely. I believe that the best way by which we should spend our lives is by serving God.
I thank God for giving me clearer understanding of His teachings, through the instrumentality of Bro. Eli who is always there to support us, and Bro. Daniel, who always helps us to perform our responsibilities better. I strongly believe that no matter what happens, no matter how great the odds are that may come our way, God will always be there to help us attain our greatest dream, and that is the eternal life.
First published in Believer Newsmagazine, Feb. 2005