I am the youngest of twelve children and grew up in a gracious big family in the Philippines with an overwhelming poverty it was not the pleasant experience. There was a surreal scarcity of food, love, and relationship with our family. I remembered when I was 7 years old, a crisis gradually emerged in my life, socializing with other kids in school and neighborhood was the difficult thing. I was bullied with my physical condition and at home, my Father was not a good provider and would mistreat my Mom.
As a young boy, I didn’t have that good father and son relationship. I witnessed how people in my neighborhood would bully me at the same time I saw with my own eyes, how my father abuses my mom. At this young age, I also noticed this oppression of the middle-class people to the less fortunate like our family. In my teenage life, the hatred and anger had gradually built up in my heart and as I began to go to Catholic Church and learn more about it I came across to this question “why this God they talk about never care about us?”. I mean, my family was chaotic, I don’t feel anybody cares for me and our situation. For this reason, I began to spend most of my time with our dogs, cows, and goats in the bush where it became my friends and also find my peace.
My mom promised me that she would not leave me until I’ll finish high school despite her emotional and physical torment from my dad. Few years passed by, it was my high school graduation day and right after the graduation my Mom and I took off and move to the city. Further years have come by, my dad came and starting to mistreat my mom again and that moment I knew and told myself someone must end this problem, “enough is enough, my mom does not deserve all this”. I had thought that I’m going to kill my dad in the most horrific way to satisfy my anger and to put an end to my mom’s agony, but my dad ran away.
My dream was to go to a law school, and I thought that’s the only way to fight oppression so, I listen to the other’s opinion and my brother said I don’t have the money and I was not qualified. So, I didn’t pursue the law school and at the age of 23 I received a job offer in the United States, but I didn’t have the finances I need to accept the offer to go. Yet, I was determined and believe that this opportunity was for me. I know God is working for me but I don’t know how he functions and where to find him. I mean, I hated religion, when I heard Born Again faith, and other religious organization it just irritates me so bad. Yes, I went to the Catholic church to pray but I hated their rituals, ceremonials and other forms of worship.
For one whole week, I was desperately looking for money and I was able to borrow money from different people although it still wasn’t enough to pay my plane ticket to go the United States. One day, my elder brother who disappeared when I was 3 months old emailed me that he was going to pay for everything. He said “come to America, I haven’t seen you and you haven’t seen me. I will meet you at San Francisco airport if you see someone looks like you, that would be me…” So I was so excited I booked my flight and everything but when I was in the Philippines airport, there was a terminal fee I wasn’t aware of so I sold the last thing I have, my phone. So I flew to America, met my brother for the first time and got my first job overseas.
I don’t want to be broke financially again. So, I saved and prepared for my destination as I finished my contract in America and I was able to work in Singapore at the casino. There, I witnessed the horrific lifestyle of the billionaires all over the world, those who wasted their time and money in gambling. It doesn’t matter what they would lose or won their behavior is just different. It struck my heart and realize that money doesn’t bring joy and happiness.
And finally, through the help of my good friend in Calgary, I came to Canada, not in Calgary but in the lovely small city of Lloydminster. I was invited to a small congregation Potter’s House Church, it was long 3 years process attending that church to finally surrender my life to Christ. When I know Jesus, He also allows me to understand that my anger, pride, hate and all this rebellious mindset is not His will. These things that I got from my childhood, it was not easy to wash away but only through His grace by faith.I declare and receive Him every day as my Lord, my Saviour. Now I faithfully serving this local church with confidence, as God continues to do His work through my life.
Life has a purpose and meaning…
God bless you