It is impossible that no powerful being is taking control of everything.
By Bong Bodeña
One time, one of my peers, Bro. Sonny Catan, invited me to listen to a religious program – that of Mr. Manolo Favis over DZBB titled “Dis is Manolo and his Genius Family.” It was on that program that I first heard Bro. Eliseo Soriano. By listening to the doctrines being preached by Bro. Eli, I had understood the essence of the material and spiritual things, and their absence often made me sad.
The Catholic priest had never taught me the right way of serving God. I found respite only after I had listened to Bro. Eli’s preaching. I knew from the start that nobody could ever prove wrong the faith and the teachings of God that he was propagating. So, I continued listening to him.
Once, after taking drugs, I went to a store where I used to buy beer, and there I sat for sometime. All of a sudden, I looked up the sky and the vast space caught my attention. It suddenly entered my mind that our world is very minute in comparison with the vastness of the universe. And it was impossible that no powerful being was taking control of everything.
All of those things were proving to me the existence of God. All the things that we see above are but confirmations of what Bro. Eli was preaching. It just took me a few months of listening to him before I finally decided to join the Church of God.
After undergoing indoctrination, I was finally baptized by Bro. Ato Tobias on August 17, 1991 in the river of San Marcos, Calumpit, Bulacan. Since I became a member of the Church, great changes happened in my life. All my vices vanished – from taking drugs to gambling and drinking liquor.
Typical of any new member, I also went through several problems. I experienced persecution, harassment, and all forms of obstructions that were all aimed to prevent me from serving God. For one, I had to bear the wrath of my parents for a long time. But despite all of those things, I was able to continue with my service to God.
Through my constant listening to Bro. Eli, I was inspired to enter the Workers’ Ministry. There was an occasion when I heard him say that God is not a respecter of persons, and that He does not play favorites. Because of this, I developed a desire to become a church worker. My first assignment was the locale of Malabon.
Because that was my first time, I was quite nervous when I stood and spoke before the brethren. That time, I felt that I was not worthy to stand in front of them. But through God’s help, and through the guidance of our leaders, up to now, I am able to continue performing my duties in the church.
As a worker, I had my share of ups and downs. I also went through some crisis. One of them was when I lost my job. It was a big ordeal for me and for my wife, Sis. Cecille. Our only child, Richelyn, also became sickly. This caused us much sadness, but through God’s mercy, we were able to overcome all of them.
As days went on, I began to realize our greater obligations. If there is one thing that I hate most, it is when people get angry with me. However, I think, that’s easy to happen because we cannot please everybody. This is one reason I try to be strong. There were also times when I thought of quitting the Workers’ Ministry, especially when it seemed that I wasn’t able to please other people. But I heard Bro. Eli say, “It is God who works and only He has the power to remove a person from his post.” So, instead of passing judgment on myself, I simply continued on with my service and left everything to God. I feel great joy each time I celebrate my birthday in spirit.
I became an Officer-in-Charge in January 2004. Honestly, I never thought that I would be entrusted with this position. My only dream was to continue with my service up to the end. When I was given this duty, I also had my fears. I was worried that I might mislead the brethren. However, I believe that it was God who put me in this position, and it is Him who could remove me from this post. Besides, He had commissioned our leaders to oversee us and to teach us the rightful manner of serving God.
Now, I fully understood why Bro. Eli and Bro. Daniel hardly rest. And it is because they see to it that nobody among the brethren would be led astray by people with wicked intents, and to save the people who are still outside this congregation. As far as I am concerned, I am not worthy of this duty. Nevertheless, I do not want to judge myself because in doing so, I might sin. Through the mercy of God, and through the guidance of our Preachers, I will continue with my service.
First published in Believer Newsmagazine, Feb. 2005