FREE at last and, UNITED !
Posted by Maricris Diaz on 2013-Jul-02
I am a product of a broken family. My parents parted ways when I was just two years old. I was raised by my father in Masbate while my brother and mother stayed in Isabela. I have gone through series of miseries and it came to a point where I became numb to any emotional pain. I detached myself to anything that might hurt me.
Growing up, my father and I never talked about God, maybe because he was too busy or plainly because he does not know God at all. All I remember was that, he would always tell that there is God and I should never change my religion. I was born Catholic and I should also die a Catholic.
I met half of my family in 2005. This was the first time I saw them since my parents separated. My mom always tried to call or text me to catch up with the lost times. However, I didnÕt answer most of her calls and texts. Most of the time our conversations ended up in a fight. I donÕt want to be attached to them because I know that they might hurt me someday.
When I came here in Bahrain, I enjoyed life. I was so contented and happy with what I have and who I am. I find joy in drinking alcohol from evening until the next morning.
And then one day, I woke up feeling empty. Somehow I realized that I am not happy. I am yearning for something I do not know. One of my friends suggested that I might find the answers if I joined Singles for Christ. I met some of the members and I came to know that they were just as lost as I was. I prayed to God and He directed me to my two Christian housemates.
I asked them if I could go with them. I attended worship service with them on July 16, 2010. Sister Nelly Murillo shared with me the Gospel, then I attended CLASS after that. I got to know God more through CLASS. I became friends with my classmates who now became my spiritual family.
I let Jesus Christ enter into my heart in January 2011, the day before I was baptized. Since then, my life has been worry-free because I let God be the captain of my life. I donÕt feel empty because my joy comes from the Lord. I donÕt drink alcohol anymore. And most importantly, I now know what my purpose is, and that is, to serve the Lord. I now have a better relationship with my family. We communicate often. I try to call or chat with them as much as I could.
As a new Christian, I am hungry for God's word. I probably have participated in all seminars and trainings there were, since I joined BCF. My co-workers in CLASS ministry even tease by saying, "Lahat ng seminar napuntahan mo na, pwede ka na mag-share" but I would always refuse and tell them that, "Baby Christian pa ako eh, d pa ako ready" and they would just smile and tell me, "Hindi habang buhay baby Christian ka ha, tatanda ka rin dapat.""
When it was announced that there would be a seminar on "How to Share the Gospel," I signed up and attended all eight sessions. I also attended the 2nd batch of seminar which was conducted in August 2011. But I still did not use the tract that was provided to us due to my lack of confidence.
One Friday, during the worship service, Pastor Freddie was telling the congregation that the church has already equipped us with the seminars and tools on how to share the Gospel, but where are the fruits? I was dumbfounded. It was as if he was referring to me. That night, I made a commitment to the Lord that I would use the track to share the Gospel with my family since I was about to take my vacation.
When I went to Philippines in October 2011, every night, I would pray to the Lord to help me share the Gospel to my family. I would always bring the tract just in case there was an opportunity to use it. It was not easy to share the Gospel with people who knew the old version of me. One night, my brother said, "Ate, Christian ka na, di ba?Ó And I said, "Oo, bakit mo naitanong? He said, "Kasi nababasa ko mga post mo sa fb, puro bible verses." Then my mom butt-in and said, "AhÉkaya pala ang bait mo na ngayon. Di ka na masungit tapos lagi ka na tumatawag kasi Christian ka na." That was my cue to share the Gospel.
After sharing the Gospel, they uttered the prayer of acceptance. My brother then told me that he wanted to attend a worship service in a Christian church. We agreed to go to Victory Christian Fellowship at 1:00pm. The next day, I asked my mom to tell my brother that we would leave by 12:00 noon. Then my mom told me that my brother had already gone to the church to attend the 9:00am worship service. I was really happy and uttered a prayer of thanks to the Lord! I anxiously waited for my brother. When he came home, he was smiling with joy and there was spark in his eyes. We gather in the house and listened to his story about the PastorÕs preaching. He even told me that, "Ate, kailangan pala ng Bible, baÕt di mo sinabi? And I replied "Eh kasi iniwan mo ako eh, excited ka masyado." He said, "Bilhan mo ako ng Bible kasi sabi ni Pastor, yun ang weapon ko against Satan." I was filled with joy listening to my brother. It was truly amazing how the Lord moved in his life!
The next Sunday, he attended worship service. When he got home, he told me that he learned that he is living in sin because he and his girlfriend have been living together. He asked me if the Lord would still forgive him and I shared to him the verse from 1 John 1:9, "If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness." Thereafter, he made a decision to marry his girlfriend. Lord willing, they will get married by the end of December 2011. Every now and then, we would exchange verses from our quiet time or message from our respective Pastor's preaching. As for my mom, she started to go to a Christian church in Isabela. And by God's grace we will be able to share the Gospel to my father. As Acts 16:31 says that if we believe on Lord Jesus, we and our household will be saved.
To God be the glory!