November 2005, during my college year, one of my classmates invited me to a Christian service as they call it. A Christian service which is not familiar to me but since he has been good to me, I decided to go with him. I came with him in double minded and confusion if it right to go with him because somehow it is against to my belief. I said to myself, “Anyway, I will just try”. So, I went with him and there I met new born again friends. I just go with the flow. I sang unfamiliar songs, so on and so forth.
During the message time was a very memorable time for me. The pastor shared about Genesis. I don’t understood what he was talking about. That was my first time to hear a message delivered by a pastor. I might not understood the story but there was a small voice I heard from the Lord and it was repeatedly spoken to me saying, “Where are you now?”
I tried to look back myself. I remembered the time when I was a little boy; selling “ballot”, “penoy” and “chicharon” (Filipino street foods) in terminals; walking in the rail roads and selling foods; experienced how to be a baggage boy in seaport; looking for plastics, bottles, iron metals, bronzes and papers under the houses in squatter’s area even in canals; and worked in “peryahan” just to earn money to help my parents and to have my “baon”. 1.50 pesos is the highest amount that my parents could gave to me for my snacks. I remembered the pain I had every time i see my friends and our neighbors. Our neighbors were kept on mocking us and told us that no one from us will graduate in college and even in high school because we are 8 (eight) siblings including me and my father’s salary is not even enough for our daily food. That’s why there was a time that we skipped meals. Most of my friend don’t let me touch their toys and even watching it was prohibited. My parents can’t afford to buy me some toys. They never brought me in Jolibee (Filipino fast food). As i remember, the first time I ate in Jolibee was when I was in college. I thought before that Jolibee is for those celebrating their birthday. I patiently wait for my birthday but every birthdays I had,timing that my parents don’t have money so we haven’t visited Jolibee. This was start of my anger to people and most to my family. During that time, I wished I wasn’t born. I even said that God is so unfair.
Poverty and anger to my family, friends and neighbors pushed me to pursue my study. This situation inspired me to do something in my high school years. I don’t want to be poor so that no one could mocked us anymore. I became popular in our school. I became president for ten or more organizations per school year. I became president of the big and known organization such as Freshmen Org., Sophomore Org., Junior Org., Senior Org. Math club, so on and so forth and also part of Students Council for three consecutive years. I also earned honors and merits and I received several leadership awards and service awards. I became very popular in the five campuses of our school.
As I continue to look back, still the question, “Where are you now?” remained in my mind. I asked myself “Yes, I became popular and had many accomplishments but why still there was discontentment in my heart? Why am I looking for something?” I felt emptiness. At that very moment, I realized that I was in the world of emptiness and self-fulfillment. I realized that I don’t have right to boast and I have nothing to boast. I discovered that I need Jesus in my life, the only fulfillment of my life. There i started to learn to forgive the people that mocked me and did sins against me including my parents.
After that service, I felt eagerness to know Him more. I decided to attend church service and came to know Him. I attended a summer camp of Word in Hope Legaspi City and there I totally surrendered my life to God. It was April 14, 2006 when I personally accepted Christ as my Lord and Savior.
Few months later, I joined IVCF ministry where i gained most of my trainings and was used to changed me little by little to be a servant of Him.