I found it ironic that while I was engaging myself in worldly pleasures, my yearning to listen to religious programs likewise became more intense.
By Mel Magdaraog
After finishing high school, I requested my parents to allow me to go to Manila. At first, they were reluctant but due to my insistence, I was able to convince them of my plan. Shortly after my arrival in Manila, I felt a strong desire to listen to the preaching of different pastors over the radio.
What I couldn’t reconcile that time was, although I had been listening to religious programs, I still found my way to cabarets in Caloocan City, not to mention the fact that I was a regular movie-goer that time. I found it ironic that while I was engaging myself in worldly pleasures, my yearning to listen to religious programs likewise became more intense.
The time came when I was able to listen to Bro. Eliseo Soriano in a program in DZBB entitled “Dis is Manolo and his Genius Family.” Nobody encouraged me to listen to his preaching. And from my continuous patronage of that program, I was able to see how Bro. Eli stood out among the other panelists there. The answers that he was giving to the people’s queries were all derived directly from the Bible.
I spent four years listening to him before I finally decided to be indoctrinated. Given that span of time, I learned a lot from him – doctrines which I never understood from my former religion. After having understood the biblical truths that Bro. Eli was preaching, I finally decided to join the Church of God because I wanted to be saved. I was baptized by Bro. Antonino de Castro on June 12, 1984 at the river of San Marcos, Calumpit, Bulacan.
After receiving baptism, I became desirous to study the Bible and become a church worker. Through God’s help, it was in November 1984 that I was first given my first assignment as a half-timer at the locale in Frisco, Quezon City. As a worker, I experienced all sorts of trials, one of which was my misunderstanding with my younger brother which lasted for almost a year.
This rift stemmed from our constant disagreements concerning his adherence to the erroneous doctrines of the Jehovah’s Witnesses. Of course, I was trying to make him understand from Bro. Eli’s preaching. During those times, I felt a very strong conviction that I should not let my brother insist in what he believed in. I knew very well that the religion I joined in is the true religion. Through the mercy of God, I was able to continue with my being a church worker. There came a time when even this particular brother of mine also started listening to Bro. Eli. Eventually, he also joined me in my service to God.
It was in 1985 when I started to reside in Apalit, Pampanga. I have witnessed the patience and perseverance of Bro. Eli in earning just to sustain the broadcast of “Ang Dating Daan” over the radio. There was one particular evening we were driving our way home from our broadcast over DZME, when Bro. Eli’s Mustang stopped at the Tabang Exit in Guiguinto, Bulacan.
Some kind-hearted fellows volunteered to pull the car up to Apalit. Unfortunately, when we had passed by the town of Malolos, even the truck that was towing us stopped because one of its tires was flat. That time, Bro. Daniel was with us, as well as Bener, Bro. Eli’s grandson, who was still small then.
It was in this particular instance that I witnessed how God delivered Bro. Eli from great peril. We were parked along McArthur Highway, and before us was the truck that was towing us. Behind us was another truck, whose driver was a companion of the driver that was pulling our car.
All of a sudden, there was another truck that was speeding towards our direction. It collided against the truck that was behind us, which in turn, crushed the Mustang being boarded by Bro. Eli and Bener.
The car was dragged towards the truck that was parked before us. In other words, Bro. Eli’s car was practically sandwiched by two trucks. But through God’s mercy, Bro. Eli and Bener didn’t incur bruises, even minor ones.
That was just one of the many occasions when I witnessed how God delivers our Preacher, and us, too, from so many dangers lurking all around us. Despite the trials that have come my way, I never thought of quitting my duty as a worker.
In 1993, I became an Officer-in-Charge. The very first division that was entrusted to me was the Division of Cavite and Rizal. When this assignment was given to me, I felt that I had to exercise extra caution in dealing with both the brethren and our fellowmen. In 1995, I was designated to the locale of Davao, and from 2000 up to the present, I have been tasked to oversee ADD Productions. I am very grateful to God because, despite my insignificance, I had been trusted to handle a very sensitive position in the Church. This duty, indeed, gives me immense joy in life.
I’m praying to God that He continue to guide us always to be able to perform our duties as faithful and as best as we could. I am thankful to God that until now, I am able to continue with my service to God, together with my wife, Sister Lucy, and my sons. I thank God for giving us Leaders, Bro. Eli and Bro. Daniel, who unselfishly care for the
First published in Believer Newsmagazine, 2005