I went here in Manila in 2006 to find work; I stayed at my cousin’s place. I could remember he was so excited to invite me to the church he was attending, Victory Ortigas. My previous experience with a Christian church made me hesitant about his invitation, but since I’m staying at his place for free I gave it a chance. At the back on my mind “do I really have a choice, he might just kick me out of his place, and I’m cornered”.
He brought me to the Friday night youth event, Thank God nobody called me in the stage and welcome me to the Spiritual family, which was my experience in a previous church, I was set up my friend, told me he is just to get something inside, he made me followed him inside and there was an ongoing event so I stayed at the far back of the crowd, then out of nowhere my name is being called to the stage and being welcome by the attendees. Oh boy what did my friend get me into and I was like What Duh? After the introduction and welcome I went back to back part near the door and left the place. That was some experience I can never forget.
Since I had this not so good experience my mind was expecting the same sort of happening but it was not. The preacher was cool and dropping jokes (Patrick Mercado), but really made sense. They didn’t have this part wherein visitors are called in front and be asked to introduce myself. I had fun and my perception change.
The next Friday, my cousin my was out on duty and I’m alone at the apartment, I was bored and decided to attend the Friday youth, expecting to be entertained, I sat on the last row facing the stage. Same as the previous event the preacher drop sense-ful humor but this time the message was hitting me as if my heart is being squished. The preacher asks everyone to stand up and raise hand of those who would like to accept Jesus in their life. I was weeping like a baby while my knees were trembling. This was the moment I said alright from now you on you take control, I surrender, and I give you all my hatred, pains and life. I had back pain that day but as I raise my hands in acceptance, I felt an extraordinary heat that started at my lower back that spread into my entire back after that the pain was gone.
Whatever it was, I said to myself I’ll never let go of it. Jesus found me; this was the start of a new beginning.