I knew Christ from childhood. My mother is a pastora (a pastor) and I attended Sunday school. But life changed when I was six years old. My mother left and moved to Sweden. I stayed with my father, who was a gambler and an alcoholic.
At this point I had many questions. “Why is God doing this? Why am I in a broken family?” I made an effort in school to make my Dad proud, but my faith faded away.
Jesus was like a dream, someone I used to know. I wanted to see my mother again, who only visited every other year, on holiday. I felt abandoned and lonely. I wasn’t close to my brothers and felt like an only child.
I had a place on the roof and when I was 12 I began to pray there. Praying changed my life. When my mother next visited we went to my mother’s relatives for a holiday. But it turned out that this was a way to get me away from my father.
“I started to pray and that changed my life.”
My mother brought me back to Christ. I went to a Barangay church (a Barangay is a village or district of a city), I had food every day, I learned about the Bible and began memorising verses. This helped me to understand the Word of God and get to know Jesus.
During this time I went to a youth camp. That’s where I experienced revival and was transformed; anyone in Christ is a new creation. I had been through trials, but I had learned from them.
Two years later, when she I 14, I came to Sweden. Everything was new again – a new country, a new culture and a new climate. I had letters from my Christian friends, but while I adjusted to Sweden I looked for the way and the truth.
I met the youth group in my church and was impressed how they served God. I wanted to serve as well. Initially I was asked to take photos and video. Today I’m a worship leader, singing and playing the guitar.
“You learn how to serve God, by serving others.”
It can be challenging to be a Christian in Sweden. In the Philippines there is Scripture on cars and trucks everywhere, asking for God’s protection while driving. The national news program finishes the end credits with To God be all the glory. I was taught how to pray in school.
In Sweden there’s nothing like this. I was bullied in school because of her faith. But I can see a lot of curiosity. I play Christian songs at my work, and my colleagues are curious about my faith. I can also notice how my faith affects people around her.
The Bible is my vitamins, nourishment, oxygen, guidance, strength, wisdom, advisor and weapon in trial. It’s God’s story, but also my story. The Bible prepares us for eternity.