Ephesians 5:14 (NIV)
This is why it is said: “Wake up, sleeper, rise from the dead, and Christ will shine on you.”

I was born in a poor family of four children. My parents worked in the factory four kilometres away from our place. My dad bicycle pedaled to work every day while mom walked with fellow worker’s going home. Life was so tight with my parents to support us to pursue our career, so I worked in a confectionery factory in Metro Manila a year after I graduated high school in 1970.

In my younger age; I was excited to explore the freedom of being separated from my parents. I found more friends, different environments, and new trends to socialize and live aimlessly. For me, life was full of exploration and relationship was just a game.

One day at work I had a debate with my co-worker about religious belief. In my mind, I had to win the argument about God as I was brought out in our belief that was different from him up to the point that I denied Jesus as God.

It was a lengthy debate that time and I didn’t pay attention to safety in my job that led to an accident. Boiling water came out from cooking machine I operated and burned three quarters of my body. I was rushed to a hospital with pain and anguished about intense heat all over my body and shortness of breathing along the way to emergency room.

Too much thought came into my mind; my heart was pumping so fast, should I see God, should I leave my love ones or live in uncertainty? I was confined for three months in deteriorating condition. I could see lonely and worried faces from people that visited me as a sign of leaving this world for the unknown. I was disturbed by the tears coming from the eyes of my caring family.

“My God please forgive me; I beg you to give me another chance; I’m not ready yet,” I prayed.

Tears and sadness overwhelmed me. I knew there’s heaven and hell according to what I heard that scared me. I knew there was God but where was my assurance? Which door should I come in, heaven or hell? I was not sure praying to the saints would save me and do ritual things would help! I believed there was God, deep inside me, I was looking for Him, who‘s going to tell me how, but I would pray anyway and anyhow hoping He can hear me.

For few weeks in hospital bed, I started to lose weight and I couldn’t talk anymore and my voice was fading probably because of blood, and fluid came out of my skin everyday. I had this little hope in my heart that God would hear my prayer. As time passed by, I had a good rest finally. Slowly, I regained my strength; my body started to respond to medication. The doctor and the hospital staffs were doing fine and another month later I was out in hospital.

Years went by, and my life was so empty. In 1986 my sister insisted me to visit her church, so I came just to please her. During worship service tears was flowing in my eyes. The preaching was about me, and the forgiveness of my sins was paid by Jesus on the cross.

When I heard the altar call “salvation today, you never know if there is tomorrow,” the pastor said “Just raise your hand if you feel too embarrassed to come forward,” he continued. I saw the truth about Jesus.

I said “yes Lord Jesus, I need you in my life, forgive me of my sins, come into my life!”

Tears continued to flow for joy that I finally found the true meaning of salvation. It was the deliverance from power of sin. God was so patient to wait for me to open my heart.

Until now, God remains faithful (1 Corinthians 1:9). He promised that He will never leave nor forsake the believers (Hebrews 13:5). He has many plans for me but when the time comes I know when I leave this world I will be with my God in heaven because of this faith within me. (Luke 23:42-43).

Contributed by Mhar D

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