With the guidance of Bro. Eli, I learned that there is no law that is difficult for him who loves God
By Richelle A. Santiago
I love to watch the sitcom Bubble gang before, especially so that one of the segments in the program was called “Ang Dating Doon” (The Old Place).
I became interested with that portion because it was so hilarious. Later, someone told me that there is an original program where they got the concept and Ang Dating Doon became a spoof of that program. I got curious since then.
In 1999, mom was watching TV. She was switching channels since she could not find anything sensible to watch, until she found a TV program in RPN9 entitled “Ang Dating Daan” (The Old Path).
We were fascinated with the program because of the way the host, Bro. Eliseo Soriano, was preaching. He is so brave and bold when he speaks – unlike other preachers that I have heard preaching on TV. We realized later that this was the program being spoofed in Bubble Gang!
For about three to five months since then, we would tune in at 3:00 pm at RPN9 to watch “Ang Dating Daan.” Then came a time when an invitation was announced in the program for the opening of a mass indoctrination in all coordinating centers of the Church nationwide. My mother was so enthusiastic about attending that mass indoctrination and so she got the contact details from the coordinating center in Iligan City where we lived. She went through the indoctrination sessions and finally became a member of the Church of God International. This is the Church where the TV host of Ang Dating Daaan named Bro. Eli preached.
After my mother’s baptism, another batch of indoctrination was scheduled in the coordinating center of Iligan. My mother asked me to come and attend. I did not hesitate since I was an avid viewer of the program on TV.
My sister came with me in the first four sessions of the indoctrination and then dropped out until I was left alone to attend. There were only a few sessions left when I had to ask myself if I will still pursue with the doctrines and be baptized. My father told me that I should be sure if I wanted to and if I am ready to be baptized.
For a moment then I wasn’t really sure what to do. But after some deliberation, I decided to continue and I was baptized when I was 17.
I remember then that the doctrine about the modest apparel was the most difficult for me. I could still remember the hard times I had in getting out of the house wearing a skirt for school. But because of God’s teachings written in the Bible and the guidance of Bro. Eli, there is no law that is difficult for him who loves God. I eventually grew out of uneasiness and it was easy for me to follow that law. Thanks be to God, that until now, as a woman, I have never disobeyed the law of proper dressing.
Being at the peak of my youth, there is also pressure in the company of my friends. After my baptism, they noticed the drastic changes in my attitude and my personal appearance. They were always curious on how I look, why I do not trim or cut my hair, why I don’t wear pants, why I don’t eat this and that – those sorts of things.
I admit, there were times that I doubted myself if I can continue, but because of the constant reminders of our preachers, Bro. Eli and Bro. Daniel, I grew stronger in faith. I believe that I follow the doctrines not as an obligation but because of love. I have proven that what is written in I John 5:13 is true, saying that “For this is the love of God, that we keep his commandments: and his commandments are not grievous.”
Bro. Eli is incomparable. I have seen different pastors on television, but I could not stand to watch and listen to them longer than 2 minutes. Not even knowing the word of God yet, I knew that what these pastors are saying are just lies.
However, when I heard Bro. Eli, even at a young age, I knew that he was telling the truth. And that is what compelled me to listen and follow.