Archive for the ‘testimony’ Category

JE # 101 – Sweet Return to Christ 2

Oktubre 4, 2008

Part 2 of 2

The Rebel’s Testimony

January 5, 2005, I was scheduled to go home in the province for a two-week vacation. While on board in a Superferry vessel, I laid out my plans for that year. I decided to be serious in my spiritual life. That day, I had a firm decision to follow Islam and be a Muslim for life no matter what the consequences are. That very same day, God revealed something to me. There was “something” that urged me to borrow the TV remote controller from the reception area for me to use in my cabin. I was led by the Holy Spirit to watch The 700 Club Asia which was being aired then on ABS-CBN 2. By the way, I’m a proud Kapuso and I seldom watch programs on Channel 2.

That episode has touched me. They featured a Muslim rebel who came to know Christ. Eventually, I found myself crying all throughout that episode. What was the story? I can’t remember. The Lord was telling something to me during that precious hour. There was an invitation to come to Jesus. Doubts on Islamic faith filled my heart. I was asking, “Is Jesus the truth or is this just a test on my faith in Islam? “

A Bad news

The next morning a “bad” news greeted my breakfast. The Islamic Library (that I planned to visit and do some research about this religion) was raided by authorities for ammunitions that could be used in terroristic activities were hidden there. That made me sad again. The Lord blocked my plan and it made me think that God wanted me to seek Christ and not religion. Two weeks later, I went to the library and found out that it has been closed after the raid.

The Talk

I gave up! This time, I wanted to know the person named JESUS. On the 22nd of March that year, a good friend by the name of Jun Tabilog ministered to my confused mind. The conversation ended up at 4 o’clock the following morning with this soul saying the sinner’s prayer. Honestly, I just wanted to impress Jun with that prayer. Deep inside me is a cry saying, “There is no god but Allah and Muhammad is his prophet.”

Dreaming Jesus

A few weeks later, the Lord Jesus showed Himself to me through a dream. I can’t remember any word spoken on that scene but the Lord’s message was very clear: “Come to me.” On that scene, Jesus was playing as Himself on the play. The dream seemed so real to me. While I was seating on the audience’s seat, the Lord drew closer to me, with blood flowing all over His body, He reached out His hand. I had no other reaction but to cry. Then I woke up. I wept very hard after this revelation and immediately wrote the whole thing on my notebook. This made me abandon my faith in Islam. But there was still another issue that need to be resolved – the Deity of Christ.

I believe that there are so many Muslims around the world who are experiencing dreams like what I had. God can show Himself to these people even without a Christian radio or a missionary around because He loves them.

Pastor Ed Lapiz Preaching

A message delivered by Pastor Ed Lapiz on an Easter Sunday has also encouraged with the Christian faith. It was a preaching that I’ve been searching till this very day. On that preaching, he taught about the foundations of Christian faith and I had no reason not to believe Pastor Ed. He was teaching 1 Corinthians 15. If I’ll hear that message again, I will share it with you because I believe that that message will strengthen our faith in Christ.

July 16, 2005

On a still and quiet Saturday afternoon of July, I reflected on the revelations mentioned above. Finally, I surrendered everything to God, my life, my faith and my future. This is the day when I accepted Jesus as my personal Savior and Lord. Everything was cleared up. It was already clear that only Jesus can save not any religion. Only in Jesus I can find peace of mind and heart. The Holy Spirit also enlightened me on the Deity of Jesus Christ. Pastor Ed’s voice was echoing then.

While on my knees, I realized how the Lord revealed Himself in different ways. God is great! He is awesome! As I experienced, God has proper timing for all of us. While He may allow you to experience something, while He may allow you to go away from Him at some point of your life, at the end of the day, you will still return to God. We have nowhere to go except God. In John Chapter 6, when everybody else left Jesus, Peter still remained at His side saying, “Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life. We believe that you are the Holy One of God.” David said in Psalm 139, that wherever we go, God’s presence is there, even in the darkest night. There is no place where God can’t catch us. San ka pa? May eternal life na, secured ka pa sa presence Nya!

If you hear the voice of God, do not ignore it. Listen, be still and obey. He spoke to me in different circumstances and He can speak to you through His Word, the people around you and through events. We just need to be sensitive.

Bren the Servant of God

Today, I joyfully serve the Lord through the Day by Day Music Ministry as choir member and back-up singer of Young Adults Ministry. I also handle finance tasks of Young Adults and Day by Day University Belt. Aside from ministries inside the church, I support various outreaches and administer InspiringEntries.com – a weblog determined to inspire readers.

TO GOD BE THE GLORY!

Life Verse

“I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me. “

– Galatians 2:20

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JE # 100 – Sweet Return to Christ 1

Oktubre 2, 2008

Part 1 of 2

If there’s one more story, aside from God’s love story to His people, which I love to share, it is my own story. My story of enlightenment – my conversion. The Lord has been so good and faithful to me that He never gave up on this soul.

Background

Let me give you a brief background about my family. My mother is 6th among 10 siblings of not so wealthy Chinese clan and all of them were rooted in Mindanao. My father, on the other hand, is a native from Negros Occidental. He’s the youngest among three siblings and had moved to Mindanao to look for greener pasture. To cut the story short, my parents met and later get married.

I am the first fruit of their love.

I grew up with different religious belief. My father being a Roman Catholic while my mother as an evangelical Christian, I often witnessed them quarrelling on matters involving faith. I embraced Catholic practices but there were so many questions on my mind that I kept on looking for answers. I think the answers only became clear when I started reading the Bible at age 10.

Discovering Islam

During my teenage years, I’ve heard people preaching about Islam. They said that Christianity is false, that Jesus is not God, blah blah blah…And yes I’ve proven their claims. They made me believe what they believe! All those years I kept my faith in the Muslim God and in Muhammad, the prophet. It was only on my college days that I revealed I was a Muslim. I spent my undergraduate studies in Mindanao State University – a university where I met a lot of Muslims and Balik-islams.

University Life

On my first year in the university, God allowed me to stay in a cottage managed by Christians. There, I learned the basics of faith, salvation, and discipleship, among others. We were required to attend their activities – Bible studies, worship services, etc. But, there were also times that I made some excuses to spare the activity.

When second semester came, I decided to move out and lived independently. I looked for a placed where I can go home anytime, sleep anytime I want and go wherever I want to go. That was the life that I wanted to have. That was also the time that I met some Balik-islams. I’ve observed their way of life. I’ve studied books on comparative religion written by Muslims and I was convinced then that Islam was indeed the true religion. Islam, being a way of life, taught me the do’s and don’ts and encouraged me that it was the religion that I’ve been looking for.

Shahadah

February 12, 1999. That was Friday and I decided to join the Friday Prayer. I thought I was only an observer on the worship that they regularly conduct. I was surprised when the Imam called and ordered me to stand in front of hundreds of other worshippers. He told me to say the Shahadah – the declaration that there is no god but Allah and Muhammad is his prophet. Once these two sentences are said by heart, one will become a Muslim. It is a declaration of faith.

I repeated the same sentences for five times because I had difficulty in pronouncing Arabic words. After that oath, I imagined how the heaven rejoiced for my conversion to Islam.

Strong Faith

Everyone eventually found out about my decision. My parents and Christian friends discouraged me to join that religion. After four months, I stopped joining with my Muslim brothers in their activities. But I already developed a strong faith then. I prayed secretly and I’ve gone to the point of wanting to die for Allah to advance Muslim faith.

Afraid of losing support from my parents, I lived my life as if I was a Christian. I became one of the leaders of Joshua Movement. I led cell groups and minister to other people. I even shared the gospel.
On special occasions, like birthdays, I would secretly go to a mosque and pray. Included in my prayer is the freedom to practice Islam. This has been my lifestyle for many years, even when I transferred here in Manila. I was outwardly a Christian but inwardly a Muslim.

CPAR Days

The Lord is so gracious because He’s always bringing Christian friends wherever I went. During my CPA Review in 2003, I met a lot of new Christian friends in CPAR. There was a scene in my life that I couldn’t forget. One time, I escaped our Friday Fellowship in CPAR ( CPA Review School of the Philippines ) to look for the Golden Mosque in Quiapo and join the Friday Prayer. I was asking God that time to show me the mosque. Since it was the first time that I went to Quiapo all alone, I asked God to show me where the mosque is located.

I want to worship You

“I just want to worship You. If You are the true God that I should worship, show yourself. Show me where the mosque is.” These are the words that I silently uttered. I found no mosque. Frustrated, I went back to the Review school. When this scene flashes back on my mind, I can’t help myself but cry because I realized God’s moving in this episode of my life.

Doubts

God also allowed me to find the mosque that I had been looking for. When I found it, I was filled with joy! But the feeling was not the same when I was inside the mosque. I did not feel the presence of God every time I bowed and almost kissed the floor. It was as if I was bowing for nothing. Doubts began to fill my mind and my heart. I had so many questions that need to be answered.

The greatest question was:
“Am I worshipping the true God? ”

I think God has put those doubts for me to seek Him.

Bitin?! Abangan ang Part 2.