Crazy you might say…but as you read through my testimony you will understand how I came up with that horrible idea. Thanks to God for Bro Eli, I was saved from satan’s claws
By Maya Crisol Buan
If I were to compare my life story with most people, I would say, it would most probably fall under those of so called “the few and the chosen”, unfortunately I wasn’t referring to that in a positive way.
I am actually reluctant to give away too many details in this story, for reasons that my life has been filled with shameful memories…so please bear with me if I may seem a tad reserved with details.
It all started when my mother who was an actress got herself into a messed up life. She married an untamed rich guy and bore him three children. She, being untamed herself, eventually grew very unhappy with him and his rich family as he grew more hostile and cold to her. Eventually she had an affair with another man, a journalist. She got pregnant so her husband threw her out of his, err…his momma’s house where they lived all throughout their short lived marriage made in hell, claiming that that baby in her belly can’t be his child. Next phase of her life, she lives with her journalist.
They lived as a couple, and my mother hasn’t changed. Even in her whale sized preggy belly she still manages to squeeze herself in the playing area whenever she and her friends have concerto (mahjong) which was most probably every day. Her journalist would often have to lock her up inside their apartment just to keep her from spending the whole day with her friends outside otherwise he would still have to fetch her with a gun all the time. My mother was that stubborn.
The journalist, who would turn out to be my father, was also already a family man, separated from his real wife and children. He and my mom were a perfect couple indeed. So then on March 5, 1970, at exactly 1:20pm I was brought out to this world.
Not long after that, events became worse. My father had to hide because of Martial Law. My mother was left alone with me while he was gone. As if that wasn’t bad enough, my mother became ill with leprosy. So now it was her time to hide herself away from the rest of the world including her journalist. But not without me of course.
So she again was thrown out from the world as she knew it. First, we lived in a hospital at Caloocan where I saw a vision of the devil himself.
I was four years old then. I slept on the floor with my yaya besides my Mom’s bed. I suddenly awoke and there I saw it – a huge shadow hovering over me. I knew it was a demon at once because it had two horns! I screamed and woke everyone up and the shadow was gone.
Strange, but I think that was when I just started living out my life. It was when I started storing memories in my head, and before then, all seemed vague.
Other strange and unfortunate events followed. My yaya made a failed attempt to commit suicide. We were once again forced to leave the hospital for financial reasons even though my mom’s illness still showed no signs of recovery. Then we lived like hermits in a remote place in Binangonan, Rizal.
Like Hermits I said? Nope, too bad for me, I was the one who had to face the world in my mom’s behalf. At a very tender age, already I was the one who had to beg my aunts and my father for financial support. I had to lie for my mom every time she needed extra cash. In my world outside our lanky, snake infested miserable abode, I had to bully the world alone.
My mother grew more emotionally unstable as her illness worsened. I became her shock absorber. Every day I had to endure the stench of her rotting flesh, listen to her demented counsels, put up with her sickening tantrums…suffer physical and verbal abuse! I cursed my life, I hated her, I hated everyone, I hated the world.
God? No, I could never hate God. I was often mad at Him yet I feared Him. I believed in His existence yet I didn’t understand God at all. I blamed everything on the world, and I also blamed it on God because I couldn’t understand how He, the most powerful Being, allowed me to be brought out to this cruel and sickening world…I was convinced I was one of God’s greatest mistake. I was ignorant and arrogant then.
By the way, my mother was a catholic and a spiritualist. She practiced spiritualism. She kept an Ouija board. She had a huge book which she calls Bible but which I never saw her read aside from chanting with the book while hovering over me whenever I was sick.
My mother made me go to church every Sunday. She was happy to know that I also took time praying to the groto. She even made me memorize all of the catholic prayers and we did rosary every 6pm.
My mother kept a frightening altar – three figurines in all: one of the Virgin Mary’s, one of the Christ the King’s and a headless Sto. Niño. It was right inside my bedroom.
Even though I went to our chapel, which, strange enough was called Sto. Nino Chapel, and pray to the groto every time I had the chance…I can’t help but feel creeped out every time I would accidentally lay eyes on my mom’s altar. I say accidentally, because I never felt comfortable looking at it. I avoided looking at it as much as possible.
Stranger things have happened to me but I find it useless to narrate it all anymore since I am sure you often see such experiences on paranormal movies.
To cut my long story short…
I grew up pretty attractive. My father became obsessed with me since he molested me when I was 10, attempted to rape me when I was 17, henceforth, he never gave up on his perverted ideas which he claimed “Biblical” until the day he died.
My mom died in 1989 and I was left alone at eighteen, got married, and had children. Got physically and verbally abused by my husband and my husband’s family.
In 1990, I had an unexplainable urge to read the Bible, and I got so engrossed I felt as if I was reading “Noli Me Tangere”, which by the way was one book I considered worth reading. I actually finished reading the whole Bible in one sitting! But of course I read it just as I would read any other Bestselling Novels.
Anyway, what struck me most were the verses about how graven images are abominable to God. From then on, I considered myself without a religion. I haven’t heard of Ang Dating Daan or Bro. Eli then.
Soon after, I left my husband and brought all my children with me. I entered prostitution in 1994 at age 24 at an exclusive Men’s Club, raised my children with the money I earned from selling my body. I tried drugs and soon became an alcoholic, eventually progressing to being a suicidal psycho.
Through all that, I have always been guilt stricken. Behind all that, there’s a light deep inside me that kept me from being totally corrupted. It’s hard to explain and too lengthy to go on with details but most people who knew me and even I myself, was baffled at how a good heart inside me was kept intact.
You see, although I was already living a high lifestyle doing dirty job, I never really became greedy for money, which has set me apart from the rest of my colleagues…which was also why I was bound to fail in my chosen career.
All the money I get, I give for my children’s comfort. Despite my wretched job, my urge to help everyone in need, even strangers, was stronger than ever. Yet all my attempts to save for the future or invest in something, to secure our future so I could finally stop working live a decent life, failed.
In 2000 my husband filed for annulment because he wanted to remarry a born-again woman. By 2002 her new wife flew to Japan and left him to see through her one son out of wedlock and her one son with my husband. Right after she left, my husband made attempts to get back to me, saying he would again file an annulment and remarry me. I refused because I feared him so much and also because he already has a son with his new wife. I made an oath never to ruin any family’s life.
In 2006, at age 36 my husband succumbed to an illness. His wife came home just in time for his death. Naturally his new wife took over all his properties and just months after his cremation she renamed my husband’s Hardware Store after her Japanese boyfriend’s name. My children were left with a measly 700 pesos each month until they reach 21 years in age.
In the same year, on one of my intoxicated moments while watching TV, I accidentally saw Bro. Eli Soriano for the first time. I was shocked when I heard him boldly uttered the word,”Gago,” (Fool!). I decided right there and then that I liked his style, I thought… this Preacher is Cool!
I have always considered bold and brave people cool. Hypocrites are uncool. I would watch him often whenever I was at home, although I barely recalled doing that because I was always drunk. It was only that my sons told me years later.
One night I decided I am better off dead and that my children would be better off without a shameful mom. I was already 36 years old and still in prostitution, no life savings; I was just too tired and too frustrated to go on. I was succumbing in self loathe, self pity and anger. The hundred plus dark poems I wrote all through out that year can attest to all my agonizing torments each and every waking hour of my life.
That very night I notified my Aunts in the states about my plan through letter via airmail! (It’s because all I have with me is their home address in California, I didn’t even know their full names). I asked them to take responsibility for my children.
While writing my suicide note, I was watching Ang Dating Daan program but I wasn’t really absorbing the things Bro. Eli was saying because I was heavily intoxicated that night. Still, I just kept on watching…I don’t know but I felt a certain calmness just watching his program. Then suddenly their contact number began scrolling on the screen, and I contacted it immediately. I was crying and I just asked where their nearest church from my place was. And I asked other things which I could not recall afterwards.
The next days were maddening, excruciating…I was about to conclude my tragic life…tragically! What a fitting end.
A week or so after, surprisingly and for the first time, my aunts called me on the phone and were very shocked upon knowing all the things I had gone through alone. Then they told me that I need not work anymore, and that they would support my children’s education.
I couldn’t believe my ears!…I have long prayed for this day, to be saved from my wretched job. I have always wanted to quit working, but I couldn’t, because I had no other option. I wanted to give my children a comfortable life – the life I never had. And I did that well until nothing was left of me, just a tattered soul.I felt so dead inside ….. But now God has finally heard me! After all those years in darkness, God is now going to save me! My heart was screaming in joy!
That day was truly unexpected. Never in my wildest dreams did I see that coming. It was a feeling of total liberation. It was more than like winning in a lottery!
Since then, I stayed home taking care of my kids and all I did was study the Scriptures and watch Ang Dating Daan. I never missed an episode. I even leave the TV on while I sleep. My nightmares and my drinking habit ceased altogether. I have never been more peaceful than before. I knew our Father in heaven has forgiven me! He showed me mercy!
It made me so happy to know someone like Bro. Eli, when before him I thought I was alone in all my beliefs…I thought I was strange, I didn’t think like the rest of the world did and because of that I was miserable, lost and lonely. But God has confirmed my convictions through Bro. Eli; He even taught me new and wonderful things through him.
Because of God through Bro. Eli, I learned humility and inside me grew a strong feeling of gratefulness and trust in our Creator.
I thank God for sending Bro. Eli to me. Often I would even think of Bro. Eli as the Elijah of my life. Last June 12 2008, I was baptized in The Church of God.
To God Be the Glory Forever and Ever Through Christ Jesus our Lord!