And the world would be a beautiful place to live in – no selfish desire and no war.
By Marivic Ilagan
I am grateful to God that I finally belong to this wonderful congregation after walking for such a long time in the confusing ways and teachings of my former faith, the Catholicism.
I would like to share how God worked His ways over my life, how despite my stubborn resistance, I am now officially being called “sister” in the congregation. I’ve never felt so happy in my life!
It was my father who first introduced me to ‘Ang Dating Daan’ which I instantly rejected. In my mind I thought it was just another farce religion from people who are after their own fame and the money of the people. In addition to that, my father easily trusts people.
For instance, his friends caused him to become a victim of bogus agents who promised to get him a job abroad; they ran away with his money. In my mind I did not want to be like him who easily believed just anyone. However, God had proven me wrong!
I went through with my life a decade after that first introduction, following the blind catholic faith. I ignored my father’s constant nagging about going for indoctrination in the Church of God though I was not living my life with any purpose at all.
Throughout all those years, I was living in constant anxiety. I slept and woke up with worries. One day, I realized that there was something wrong with my life that I couldn’t figure out. I felt like crying for no reason, but I knew something was terribly missing.
I attempted to read the bible and was determined to find an answer. However, I had no luck as I could not even grasp the meaning of the verses I read. Hence, I read it just for the sake of reading like I did any other book
God has been so good to me throughout my life since I started working in Singapore. He protected me from falling into grievous sins and temptations, and most of all from harm. Looking back to where I was before, I realize that He has been with me throughout and never in a single moment left me. I am ashamed of myself whenever I remember the way I behaved and treated people including myself with neglect.
In 2008, my friend got a flyer for a free computer lesson. I went along with her without me knowing that it was offered by The Old Path congregation. I was surprised when I saw the picture of Bro. Eli Soriano!
I couldn’t believe it! What a small world! My pride suddenly hit me big time! At that moment, I remembered my father. Well, anyway, they offered the lesson for free and we are happy, of course. In Singapore, everything is so pricey no way is one able to find such generous offer. They even gave us free meals!
Not bad, but the evil in me thought there must be a catch and I wasn’t wrong. Someone suggested a bible study but I was hesitant. I thought to myself that I will stand firm in my belief. However, God had intervened and I forgot where I was standing ‘firm’ totally.
The thing that really got my attention was the attitude of everybody. Every time my friends and I came for the indoctrination, not a single person had an air of pretention. They were all helpful, cheerful and polite. That showed and told more than a word could.
I slowly took to heart everything I learned from the doctrines. They have given me the motivation to read the bible without me getting tired easily. My hardened heart slowly opened up and it was amazing I could see the words more clearly.
Being away from my family, I felt vulnerable so somehow I got my sense of security from religion. I’ve been to different churches but none of them taught me like Bro. Eli does – pure and complete. Looking back, I realize that this is the kind of teaching and the organization I long to be. I feel grateful for having known God and for leading me to a church that has a sense of brotherhood and care for each member. The teaching in this church, I believe, is what humanity needs to hear and learn. And the world would be a beautiful place to live in – no selfish desire and no war.
A couple of days before the baptism, I felt a strange kind of emotion that I cannot explain. I was happy and sad at the same time, uncertain – all mixed up. But I know now that the way I see the world has changed.
I am now more aware of myself, the people around me, and the way I do things and react to challenges. I would say that I am a changed person. God’s word has become a double- bladed sword to me. It has taught me patience and discipline.
While before, I was a lost soul looking for happiness in all the wrong directions, always worried about the future, money and my family, it is not anymore.
I am at peace now because I have learned to trust God in my life. I let Him take charge and lead. His words become my guiding light; I am now stronger inside. His promise of everlasting life has given me the strength to work hard and carry on with my daily task with hope and joy.
When I let my father know that I was scheduled for baptism, he cried tears of joy and praised God. After all, I am the first in the family to join him in the Church.
All praises and glory be to God for entrusting His wisdom to His present Day Disciples –Bro. Eli and Bro. Daniel, together with church workers in spreading the gospel of God to world. I will be forever grateful to God for them. May the Lord help them throughout their life’s mission in making the Word of God known to all.
Greetings from Singapore!