From a reckless youth, immersed in a worldly life, through that single moment, that fateful night, I was changed – by the words of a stranger then.
By Francisco Trance Jr.
It was ten years ago when I first heard Bro. Eli. I was fourteen then. During those years, I was a lad immersed in a worldly environment – an environment filled with vices and unhealthy habits. Though my conduct during those years was somewhat undesirable, I kept a keen interest in my studies and was a vigorous and I should say “forceful” person in my class. However, through my religious interests, God changed me forever.
One day, I was watching TV from morning till night. After flipping channels randomly for some time I came across a show which I never saw before. It was “Bro. Eli’s program” at first I thought it was just another “boring-religious-show.” I was about to change channel when he began discussing or should I say refuting Darwin’s theory of evolution.
Instantly, it got my attention. In my wildest dreams I never thought that a religious program could tackle scientific matters, much more confront a well respected person in the scientific world.
After those few hours of discussions on that program which I later found out to be called “Ang Dating Daan,” I felt I knew something which nobody knew, and have discovered something which was entirely new. From then on, I was an avid “fan” of Bro. Eli every Tuesday and Friday. I would watch him every time he was on.
One time, a notice was aired that the program will conduct a “Bible Exposition” in my city of Calamba, “Rizal’s birthplace.” Quickly, I urged my father to accompany me to that occasion and to ask questions to the event’s host personally.
It was my first Bible Exposition and my first time to ever ask a question to a person who is frequently seen on TV. Anxiety filled my body as I waited for my chance to be called. All sorts of questions I wanted to ask raced through my mind and kept me occupied enough that they needed to call my name twice for me to hear that I was next.
I stood up nervous; seeing him this near was incredible for me. At last after I composed myself, I asked my question, “Where was Christ during His youth up to the time He first preached the Gospel?’
Immediately after I asked my question he gave an answer: “He was just there.” Bro. Eli gave me many verses in the Bible confirming that Jesus never left Israel. “He was a carpenter,” he added. Applause, applause, applause. A convinced and happy lad sat down.
After the event, I was invited to attend indoctrination. I happily agreed along with my father. And that was the beginning of my affiliation with the Church of God.
From a reckless youth, immersed in a worldly life, through that single moment, that fateful night, I was changed.
By the words of a stranger then.
But a dear brother now.