When I heard Bro. Eli delivering the topic about salvation, I felt fear because I did not know if I would be saved. How I wanted to be saved!
By Ishie Jaye Damiao
I am a former catholic. My life before was worthless. I didn’t know what I wanted to do with my life. I didn’t feel happy, as if something was always missing. It seemed like I wanted to find out something but I did not know what it was. My friends thought that I was cheerful, religious and God-fearing, so they respected me much. Whenever they planned for a drinking session, they wouldn’t invite me because they believed that I was ‘holy.’
Sometimes, I felt irritated because that is what they thought about me. They didn’t know that deep inside me, I believe that compared to them, I was even worse. I was filled with hatred, envy and sadness. They did not know that I just doing everything to please people I was with. I actively participated in the “Youth for Christ,” but I was not happy. I was not satisfied so I decided to search for what I was looking for.
I wanted to honestly serve God so I tried different religions: Pentecostal, Born Again, and many others. I had so many questions in my mind but I never found the answers from these congregations.
I got familiar with the program of Bro. Eliseo Soriano because my father loved to listen to him through the Ang Dating Daan (The Old Path) program in radio and TV since I was a child. Something unexpected happened. This is the story.
When my father came back from Saudi Arabia, we were surprised when he announced that we will not attend catholic masses or YFC activities anymore because all of those were useless. He encouraged us to watch Bible Expositions. However, these things did not matter to me. I remember that before he left for Saudi Arabia for the second time, he talked to a church worker of the Members Church of God International (MCGI) and invited him to our house for a Bible Study. MCGI is called locally, Ang Dating Daan after their popular radio-TV program.
When I first listened to the worker, I was impressed because he knew the verses in the Bible and I heard something from him that I have never heard before in my whole life. Questions began arising in my mind.
‘Is this the one I had been searching for so long a time?’ ‘Is this the truth or is he just deceiving us?’
I was having second thoughts until my mother decided to undergo indoctrination with the Church of God. She wanted me to accompany her but she knew that I was busy studying. Later on, my mother and my sister were baptized after the indoctrination sessions. Then my other siblings decided to follow suit. As for me, I was hesitant. I thought to myself: my way of dressing would be altered. I didn’t want to let go of my conviction. I didn’t want my friends’ impression of me changed. Hence, I didn’t attend the on-going indoctrination.
One day, I was invited to attend the Church’s gathering. As I entered the locale, I was so happy when I met the brethren. I felt happy as they sang praises to God. I even cried. I felt something different but I couldn’t explain what it was. When I heard Bro. Eli delivering the topic about salvation, I felt fear because I did not know if I would be saved. How I wanted to be saved!
The following week, I attended the scheduled indoctrination. I was baptized as I had completed the topics. I felt so happy. I have never felt happier in my whole life that I thought that I was ready to die that moment. Thanks be to God!
As I counted years in the Church, many changes have happened in my life. I have learned to forgive and serve God. Every Word that comes from God gave me hope in the midst of suffering, tribulations, weaknesses and imperfections. It was only in this Church that I felt the true love of God. He is so good that He called me in His Church. I am still happy even if other people changed the way they treated me. I believe that I have a loving God that I can depend on any time and He will never forsake me.
Later on, I enrolled in the ministerial classes for aspiring workers as I wanted to serve God and be of assistance to the ministry. With God’s help, I hope that I can persevere and continue my duties in the Church.
The life in the true Church of God is full of love, hope and faith. Nothing can ever surpass this Church because this is the truth. Thanks be to God that all of my queries and troubles in life were all resolved in His Church.
TO GOD BE THE GLORY!