I was to learn later on that the preacher taught his people how to dress according to biblical standards. I also had no idea that we were going to talk about the Bible and God’s commandments every meeting they had.
By Niña Armillo
I was about to enroll in college after graduating from high school in Polanqui, Albay in Bicol. But because of the clutter in our small house, I lost my report card (Form 138). I was so dismayed I could not enroll for the first semester because of this. I loved studying. I was a consistent honor student. I must continue studying, I told myself, but there was nothing I could do but stop.
We went back to Pasig where I was born and where I grew up. It was a huge, empty house where all of us used to live together, until we were separated by financial crisis. I was there again. It was empty because we did not have much house furniture and appliances. I understood we were poor already.
From a private school in Pasig, to a public school in Bicol? Yeah, right, we were poor. And I thanked God for us being poor. We had a simple, non-luxurious life, with simple thoughts and ways of living. I felt that God was using poorness, and my not enrolling into college in calling me.
After malling, my elder sister invited me, a brother and a sister to an indoctrination session in the local chapter of the Church of God in Pinagbuhatan, Pasig. In pants and fitted blouse, I attended that night, not knowing the Church doctrine about modest dressing. I was to learn later on that the preacher taught his people how to dress according to biblical standards. I also had no idea that we were going to talk about the Bible and God’s commandments every meeting they had. Although I had attended El Shaddai prayer rally in Manila and Amorsolo Building, Makati, I didn’t learn anything about the Bible from them.
The gathering started with the singing of the locale’s choir in their white and blue uniform. I loved how they sing, and from that night on, without any idea and knowledge of what this Church was about, I dreamed of being one of those guys singing in front of me.
They are good-looking, may I say, but that was not the reason why I would like to be with them. I dreamed of being a member of the choir because of the music they bring. And that, I know, is God’s music. I also felt that God was using my being a music lover in calling me.
Every night that I attended, there was an excitement in my heart what new songs I’d hear from the locale choir. Their accompanying musical instrument was an old electric guitar. With joy and amusement in my heart, little did I know that I was joining the choir in singing, just seated from where I was.
There were also sessions when the Metro Manila Choir of the Church of God and the East District Choir would sing their special songs. The melody and the harmony of their voices even encouraged me more that someday, I would like to sing like them.
I knew God was touching my heart through music then. I still remember the inspirational songs, the songs of praises and the majestic voices of the choir who sang for us during the indoctrination nights. The words of God as well, delivered through the songs of the pretty ladies, Sis. Therese Cuaresma, Sis. Vanessa Montante and Sis. Amy dela Peña made me realize how dirty my life had been. The lyrics of the hymns made me realize I was a nobody before God. I was to learn later on that those hymns were composed by Bro. Eliseo Soriano himself, the presiding minister of the Church of God.
June 2, 2000 came – the day of our baptism. At last, I would be a member! Nervous and excited were my feelings that time – from the delivery of the topic to the actual baptism rites in the water. When I surfaced from the water, I felt like I was walking on clouds. The feeling was so light, like I was stepping and walking on nothing.
Before the gathering was dismissed, Bro. Eli sang for us. It was so good to the feeling, it even touched my heart.
I didn’t know what my life as a Christian would be. All I knew was that I was going to start living as a servant of Christ, applying what I have learned in the indoctrination sessions. Thanks be to God!
And now, I have been made a legitimate singer too for the Glory of God!