I am sharing my testimony of how I was changed for the better when I encountered the Lord Jesus Christ. I like to thank Pastor Lim, Pastor Wee and Pastor Christine for this chance to share in the HOF, Davao. I am an army personnel, married, with one daughter and a son.
To begin with, I did not finish my education because it’s too expensive for my parents to send me and my sister to school. I completed only primary school. Both my parents were gamblers who quarreled and squabbled over money everyday. Doing my childhood days, I could only taste chicken during Chinese New Year. My grandma would give me a juicy drumstick, and I would sit at a corner relishing each bite.
As a teenager, I turned rebellious and started to join gangs to seek companions. I picked up all the wrong habits of my friends. My life was messed up. I joined all kinds of pagan worships, going into trance but never had peace to calm my soul. I just turned wild.
At 18, I enlisted into the army seeking a place to hide from the law. Back then, I was already convicted with some offenses, so it was ironic that I joined the army to escape my sentence. I signed on immediately so I could have a pay and a place to stay. During that time, I was invited to church. I agreed because I wanted to look at beautiful girls in the church. In a way, I was trying to look for a girlfriend. Then, I came to know a Christian girl. To please her, I followed her to church, and I accepted Christ in my life without commitment. We were going out for a month, and under one moonlit night, she asked me this question: “Do you love God or me?” Of course I said I love her. Then she told me to go and read Matthew 6:33. And that was the last meeting we had! I was so disgusted and confused.
Meanwhile, I was progressing in the army service. I was fully in control of my life with all the activities I enjoyed. Not long after that, I met my wife, got married and had two children. But my old habits were clinging to me like leech. I drank more often than I was at home with my family. Until one day, I got heavy losses in investments and gambling. I was fully in debts up to my nose. This time the devil came to “help” me. In my mind, he tried to make a deal with me. He clearly told me that he would pour in money and that I would strike big enough to carry me thru my losses. But in return, he said he wants the lives of my wife and two children. I sweat cold, and I said NO to the devil.
I managed to salvage my problem through the help of some close friends. But I turned more frustrated with my life. In my working place, I saw Christians reading the Bible in their room. That just made me more frustrated. I asked them all kinds of stupid question against their faith. I made them report to my office and enjoyed harassing them for period of time. One day, I summoned the four of them to my office. While they were standing in front of my desk, I flipped the Bible beneath my drawer to Deuteronomy and Leviticus. I started shooting them with chapters and verses and asked them to recite the words. I was mocking and laughing at them. Seeing their confused expressions really amused me. Then I was serious and asked them this question, “Do you pray for me?”
They all replied “Yes.” The first one said that he’s praying that I will be posted out of this place. The prayer of the second was that I will not come to work at all, and the third replied that he was praying to be posted out of this place in order not to meet me. But the fourth one replied that his prayer is for me to turn to God and attend church. Wow! This one really soothed me inside. But outwardly, I acted harsh. I shouted at him “You! Confined!”
Then came Wednesday morning. That fourth guy came to my office and invited me for special evening service in his church. I got so angry that I hollered at his gut to invite me. That morning onward, I was very troubled in spirit. So I puffed and drank all I could to control my nerves. By evening time, I went home early from work trying to overcome this feeling. But I could not, so I told myself, “Alright, I will go.” I changed and told my wife I am going to a church service. To my surprise, she laughed and laughed all the way saying, “Do you have a better excuse to go out with your friends than that?”
I went to SLF building where the service was held. I told myself that I am there just to get rid of that troubled feeling inside. I was ushered to a corner seat. I sat with my arms folded, determined not to give in to whatever may happen there. When the message was over, the altar call was given, and my body started to tremble. I was fighting within myself not to go down the altar. But, I could not contain my body. I went and fell flat on the floor.
When I woke up, I felt different. I felt great peace and comfort within my spirit. Something changed inside. But then, I returned to my normal self and started looking for the nearest exit, so I would not face my colleague that invited me there. Next day, I did not go to work. I was ashamed to face those I had harassed. Nevertheless, the next day, I met them and apologized. I began to treat them as my brothers in Christ.
Since then, in Sep 1995, I started to attend Evangel Family Church. My life began to change. I disengaged from my bad habits and wrong doings. I found the joy and happiness with my family. Throughout those times, my daughter came to know the Lord. She was followed by my wife, who was watching and checking whether I was real! All glory to God for His grace and mercy. We, as one family, are serving Evangel Family Church until now.
My brothers and sisters, tonight you have heard my testimony. I encourage you to grab the opportunity to serve God when it comes your way. Bring your friends and relatives and get involved in Church. 1 Tim 4 says let no one despise your youth, but be an example to the believers in word, in conduct, in love, in spirit, in faith, and in purity. Thank you and God Bless.