I continued to preach our faith and defend our preacher whose reputation they were trying to malign. That very instance, I felt the power of God work.
By Noli Molero
To this day, I have not forgotten when I almost drowned the time my family and I went swimming. There was also an incident where I was almost mauled by a group of youngsters in Grace Park. Because I was all alone then, I just decided to run. I am truly thankful to God for saving my life from those incidents.
Before I joined the Church of God, I was quite mischievous. I was often anticipating occasions wherein I could apply the martial arts skill that I had learned from my instructor. I was also a drinker then, but fortunately I did not develop any interest in gambling.
In my 31 years of stay in Catholic faith, I became a devotee of San Roque and San Miguel. But it was when I fell ill that I felt God’s calling. My illness was not readily established then. I was brought to different doctors, even to quack doctors, but I did not get any better.
It turned out that my confinement was a blessing in disguise because it accorded me the chance to read the Bible. Actually, I didn’t have a copy of my own; I just borrowed one from my relatives. Before I started reading it, I prayed to God that He give me the wisdom to understand what I was about to read.
The day came when I finally got the chance to listen to Bro. Eliseo Sorinao’s preaching over DZBB in Manolo Favis’ program, “Dis is Manolo and his Genius Family.” That was in 1982. It was just accidental that I tuned in to this particular program.
That day, the many preachers of different religions as panel were tackling the topic on why God created man. Each one gave his part. I was so impressed with Bro. Eli’s performance, and from then on, I had become his regular listener. Because of the things that I had learned from him, eventually I decided to quit the Catholic religion.
After sometime, I got well. I was diagnosed to have suffered from schistosomiasis – a parasitic infection involving exposure to contaminated fresh water bodies through wading, swimming, or bathing.
I looked at my confinement as a means by which God would call me to this congregation. Each time, I became more eager to listen to Bro. Eli’s preaching over the radio. It took me two years of listening before I finally decided to undergo indoctrination.
When I left my former religion, I did not feel the slightest remorse, or regret; instead, I felt quite relieved. Simultaneous with my decision to leave my former faith was my decision to embrace the doctrines in the Church of God. This was where I heard the undefiled Word of God being preached. Aside from that, by listening to Bro. Eli, I realized how valuable life is. Through God’s mercy, in February 29, 1984, Bro. Teno de Castro baptized me in the river of San Marcos, Calumpit, Bulacan.
When I became a member of this organization, dramatic changes took place in my life. I no longer became vindictive, unlike before when I really saw to it that I would get even with people who had wronged me. I learned to be forgiving. And above all else, I developed a hope that one day, I would be rewarded of eternal life.
A few years after my baptism, my wife, Sis. Loreta, was likewise converted. I would say that our relationship as husband and wife became stronger because we were bound by the teachings of God which Bro. Eli taught us. We were truly fortunate for having been blessed with three wonderful children. Our eldest, Ahrleth, who is now a third year Med. Tech. student; next to her is Eliseo, and our youngest is Elidan.
From the very start, I had wanted to be a worker, especially when I heard Bro. Eli appealing to the brethren to help him in spreading the Word of God by entering the Workers’ Ministry. My attention was caught by his words, “Mag-aral kayo ng pagkamanggagawa” (Study to be a worker). And through the help of God, I succeeded in becoming one. I was first assigned to the locale of Area-G, Dasmariñas, Cavite in October 20, 1984. Later on, I had been assigned to different places.
As a worker, I went through so many trials in life. There were times when my family experienced financial crisis, not to mention the persecution that I received from my relatives when I joined this congregation. I had also experienced getting engaged in a discourse with the Iglesia ni Cristo (INC) members.
I was holding a broadcast in DYMM Tacloban City when, all of a sudden, Rizalito Ocampo and his cohorts came, speaking ill of Bro. Eli. And although they were armed with guns, I was never intimidated. I continued to preach our faith and defend our preacher whose reputation they were trying to malign. That very instance, I felt the power of God work.
I would experience great joy whenever I am able to be of help to Bro. Eli in my own small way – even by just driving. Somehow, I was also able to help him in our broadcast over DZMA and DWAD.
Honestly, there had already been a point when I had thought of quitting the Workers’ Ministry. Not because I no longer wanted to be a worker but because I wanted to ease him of some burden. There was a time when Bro. Eli was going through a serious financial problem. In order to be of little help to him, I planned to work so that he wouldn’t have to give me allowances anymore. But when I asked for his permission, he didn’t give me any answer. I interpreted it for a “no”. And so, I decided to continue performing my duties as a worker.
I have personally witnessed and felt how Bro. Eli cared for my fellow Visayans. Because of the example that he had been setting, I told myself that I, too, have to do the same. I also have to love my fellowmen. From the teachings of Bro. Eli, I have understood that loving one’s fellowmen means to lead them to the truth encourage them to serve God for them to attain salvation.
After several years, I was entrusted with a very sensitive duty. I became a baptizer. I wasn’t really expecting this, although deep in my heart, I was very happy because, despite my humble being, I had been tasked to perform a very important duty.
In 1993, I became an Officer-in-Charge. At first, I was a bit afraid that I might not be able to fulfill my duties well. But my fear vanished after praying to God that He direct my steps. From being an OIC, I was made a Minister-in-Charge in 2001. When this post was given to me, the more I become cautious of my actions, especially while performing my duties.
I want to be worthy of the trust that has been given to me. If, up to now, I am able to continue performing my duties, first and foremost, I owe it to God; next to God are our leaders, Bro. Eli and Bro. Daniel, who are always there to correct us whenever we commit mistakes; and third, to our brethren who continue to understand our shortcomings.
I am very thankful to God because, despite my being a “nobody”, I was entrusted of a very important duty in the Church. I always pray that I would be able to spend the rest of my life serving Him.
First published in Believer Newsmagazine, Feb. 2005