I could not forget the verse in Proverbs 1:23-30 wherein it says that if you are called by God, don’t hesitate and follow Him or He shall never be found again. I was praying all those nights to seek God’s answer to allow me to be a member of the Church of God.
By Nerissa Barao
I am Nery and I am 26 years old. I took up BS Tourism in ABE College and worked part time as an English tutor at Maven School.
Some people say that I am rich, snobbish and a man-hater. Well, all that I could say is that I am not.
I came from a broken family. My mom and dad separated when I was fifteen years old. On that same year, everything changed in my life.
My siblings and I studied in a private school then. Food was never a worry and money was always within reach. Our house was not that big but there were furniture arrayed along every space. My mom cooked really delicious food that was abundant beyond our needs.
I remember how my dad would bring us to movie theaters and let us dine in restaurants. We had a happy family then.
Dad retired from the bank in 1995 to finance a family business in our residence. We had our own car shop and water services. Everything seemed smooth and flourishing that time until my dad became cold and distant to my mom. I think that’s the reason why she left us and married another man. As soon as they separated, my grandmother (who is my mom’s mother), and her siblings took everything that my parents had. They even boxed us in our home. They built a house just beside us, blocking all the entrances and windows of our home.
I had terrible adjustments after the incident. I became reserved and shy. My knowledge and understanding became poor. I not only lost what we used to have but also my entity. I didn’t have friends and nobody was there whom I could cry out my emotions to. I left myself out from everyone else and did things that I wanted to do on my own.
I have an older brother who is gay and a younger sister. They had always been the center of attention in the family. However, they didn’t think so. They were sweet to everyone but I was not. Because I perceived myself as counted unimportant in the family, no attachments with them was my principle.
I am not snobbish in the way people see me. All I know is that until this day, I couldn’t respond to the reality existing in people’s thoughts.
By myself, I had found devotion in achieving goals. I enjoyed writing stories and became interested in learning foreign languages. I am very glad because the past did not somehow hinder my spirit to grow. Slowly, I learned to react properly to fellow human beings by waking up from isolation and depression. As I see it, I wouldn’t be the ‘Nery’ I am today without God. This was how it came to be.
My dad became a listener of Bro. Eliseo Soriano when he was just switching channels on TV. From there, he soon realized that he was not in the true religion. He attended the Church of God’s thanksgivings and soon decided to join the members. He would always bring us with him to every practice of worship like prayer meetings and other church services. Honestly, I hated it. It was tiring, boring and annoying for me because I was just 12 years old when he got affiliated in this church.
At the height of my vices like shopping, watching movies in theaters and enjoying my life as a happy-go-lucky girl, I found the Ang Dating Daan TV program hosted by Bro. Eli as a favorite. Even when everyone in the house didn’t watch with me, I would still catch the program daily by myself. I enjoyed listening to Bro. Eli preach as it was very much enlightening.
I will never forget those moments in my life when there was an evening that the Ang Dating Daan program was not aired; I was really sad, disappointed and teary. I missed Bro. Eli’s voice as he preached the Scriptures. I could not forget the verse in Proverbs 1:23-30 wherein it says that if you are called by God, don’t hesitate and follow Him or He shall never be found again. I was praying all those nights to seek God’s answer to allow me to be a member of the Church of God.
Then came a time that my dad was very surprised. I had asked him to come with me to attend indoctrination. I remember it was a July 13.
God answered my prayers and finally, I was baptized in the Members Church of God International on August 7, 1998.