As a family, we used to hear Saturday mass at 8 PM but we were not able to sustain it. Growing up, I did not become a church-goer just like the rest of our family members. I could say I was one of the many victims of seeing perfection on churches only to be disappointed by the action of some of its goers.
On receiving Christ…
It was in November 26, 2010 when I was approached by ate Mhye in Freedom Park, UPLB. I was sitting in a bench there at around 12 noon to review for a quiz in my 1 PM class – STAT 1. Much as I wanted to ignore her, I did not. How can I refuse such a pretty face with a sweet smile and an angelic voice? Right there and then, as she finished sharing with me the content of the yellow booklet, I cried and received Jesus as my personal Savior and Lord.
Days and weeks and months after, I was introduced to my batchmates (2010) and soon found myself attending fellowship nights, having dinner dates with them, doing discipleship meetings, and tagging along with them as they strolled around the campus sharing the yellow booklet, even doing community services where part of the activities would involve sharing Jesus. The expectations from me and the fast-paced turn of events were so unanticipated for the uneasily adjusted person in me. I felt the pressure. AND IT WAS REALLY STRONG. The people around me, mostly long time Christians, of extroverted personalities, were so optimistic and driven and mission-focused that I had a difficult time coping up. My only source of comfort and connection was my discipler. Until one day, just when I was finally getting along way better, she broke to me a decision she had made – full time missionary.
Ate Mhye then referred me to ate Joy, who happened to refer me to another ate Joy as the first also chose to focus on deepening her Christian faith and the latter had to focus on her academics… until then that I got NO one to guide me with my Christian walk. I was not as heart-broken as I was when ate Mhye left me as compared to my ate Joys but it did not spare me into thinking that maybe I was not enough to make them stay or was that maybe I was not worth the commitment. But it was okay, it had to be okay.
On attending Church…
A dear friend of mine, Micah, invited me to a Christian Church near our campus. It didn’t stir up my faith or emotions or sort. I did not like it. But Micah, being the always persistent friend that she is, invited me once more. It was by the last quarter of year 2012 and apparently, I got carried away until I decided to join her in her discipleship group headed by Chin. It was at the same time I had a boyfriend who was strict enough not wanting me to attend discipleship meetings (conducive only past 7 PM after classes) because he wanted me home by nightfall. Having a weak foundation, backsliding became my response and I left the group by mid 2013. When I graduated in 2014 and started working, I still tried to look for a church nearby to attend to. I got one from the same building I work at, but wasn’t again able to sustain it as I am not a morning person. I still tried looking for another, until the last one I attended was in 2015 – the sister church of the one I attended in college.
It was only until March 12, 2017 when I got introduced to Amazing Christ-Centered Fellowship International. I will never forget that day that instead of going to an art gallery, I decided to go visit the Church… to give it a try. It’s been a couple of years since I last attended one and I was so nervous the moment I was already by the doorstep. It was more than like opening a gift because everything inside was full of surprises. Right when the door was opened, there was tita Cathy greeting me wholeheartedly even asking if it’s okay to kiss me and she did and she embraced me tightly. It was never my thing to look into strangers’ eyes and smile at them but as I went on, I tried to look straight into the eyes I deemed directed at me and I gave them my sincerest smile and his and hellos. I never felt so welcome the way I felt back then. Everyone was so intriguing yet so accepting and I fell in love with the Church.
I can never thank ACCFI enough of how they all take care of me up to this date. I am so thankful God blessed me with another family I never thought I’d ever meet in my entire life – a family that will bring me closer to God. Service starts at 8 AM every Sunday, with the Church being two hours away from our home. Yes, I am not a morning person but the motivation is there knowing that I am doing this not for myself nor for my Churchmates but for the Lord – this is the character these servants of God have instilled in me that I do things for Him and His glory.
“For where two or three have gathered together in My name, I am there in their midst (Matthew 18:20)”.
A christian blogger I met during an immersion shared me his entry – The Church – where he mentioned there, “But the church is not a place of perfect people. It is filled with imperfect ones who are as much capable of hurting or offending others (Tolosa, 2017).” We often look at churches in an ideal way that we overlook the fact that the people are what make up the church, so never will there be perfection. We just have to hold on to the reason that the people go to church to seek the Lord and let us never in anyway judge their imperfection as from time to time, all of us, old or new to church, will fall short of His glory. And only by His grace we’ll only be justified.