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Life Changing Experiences of Christians – Part 1

3 Reasons Not To Be Here

I am here to show you the power of God. I am here because I was healed yesterday. I am here to tell you about my miracle.

First, I came here for an entirely different purpose; I came here to look for my ex-fiancée whom I was to marry last November: to call her, to ask for forgiveness, to marry her, to elope this very minute.

A second reason for me not to be here is that I had no plans until Friday, 10 am. The SFC (Singles For Christ) International Conference was to start that day at 5 pm. God gave me no traffic in Manila. Would you believe I made it to the airport 10 minutes before the ticket counter closed!

The main reason why I should not be here, however, is the most painful reason that I can think of: I would have killed myself 2 nights ago. I had my gun. I was on the 23rd floor. I had two options: bite my gun and shoot, or throw myself from 23rd floor. I was all set to do it. I was so desperate. The girl that I finally wanted was so disgusted with me. I was so depressed that I wanted to kill myself.

How stupid. For those of you who don't know me, I am not a bad looking person. Some say I am handsome. I am tall. I have my own business at the age of 32, earning millions every month. Why should I kill myself?

My answer is because I was so miserable and had no peace despite all that I had. Because, no matter how rich, no matter how powerful you are, no matter what you have if you do not have love of God in your heart and in your spirit, you are a failure.

I never felt that I was forgiven that night and you can imagine how lonely, desperate and desolate I was. The girl I was supposed to marry last year never loved me anymore. I don't know. She may never forgive me because I was the lousiest boyfriend for 8 years.

What truly saved me is what God gave me - His love.

There's a lesson to be learned from all of this. You must have God take charge of your life for you because our purpose for being created is to love and serve the Lord. Believe me, no matter how intelligent and powerful you are, it means nothing because you will always fail without God. By TonyPet Albano.

I Have A Choice

At our Power Camp, I experienced how it is to clean the chicken's droppings from their cages, how it is to cut off their heads, skin and gut them. I experienced how it is to clean the fish and cook my own food.

While I was cleaning all those chicken droppings I realized that if I will not take my studies seriously then this is what I will be doing. The workers there no longer had that choice. They needed to eat so they took whatever work they could get.

Most teenagers nowadays take for granted the opportunities they have. They don't take their studies seriously - it isn't too important for them. They don't care.

While I was working there I realized I had to take my work seriously, which is my studies. If I do not take my studies seriously I will end up where I had worked. It is difficult work there. You lack sleep. You easily tire from carrying the heavy and dirty stuff.

My studies are my opportunities. I do the best that I can. I realized that I have a choice. I have a choice to be successful or to be in a difficult backbreaking job. This will happen if I will do the best in my studies. By Paolo Maipid

How To Start CFC

We joined the Couples for Christ (CFC) in 1985. I had been a household head when I immigrated to the U.S.A. in April, 1990. Being in a foreign country at that time, I had to make a lot of adjustments due to the culture of the place. Deep within me, however, is the CFC culture.

I started searching for CFC couples in my area but nowhere could I find any nearby with whom I could relate to. I nourished myself spiritually by daily reading of the Bible and praying in solitude. The hunger for a prayer meeting kept haunting us; so, as husband and wife, we just prayed together in the CFC format, and went to mass almost daily at a church near our residence.

The Lord, in His goodness, did not allow us to stay that way. During the celebration of the feast of Our Lady of Lourdes in February 1994 at the Windelyn church, we met a couple, Francis and Babette Cruz, who also had their CLP (Christian Life Program) in the Philippines and who did not have any household in Cleveland. We agreed to hold a weekly prayer meeting in our respective homes alternately; the prayer leader would just be the host couple.

Later, we met another couple Kiko and Leyte Madamba, who also joined us in our weekly meeting. These meetings went on for several months until we were joined in by several friends - invited guests: Ernie and Lily Santiago, Sanny and Fe Singh, Willy and Auring Barcelona, Conrad and Mila Cacho. This was our way of evangelizing our friends.

Upon our suggestion, we subsequently conducted a Christian Life Program for them in September 1995. Arch Tunnell, the CFC Chapter Head in Cleveland, Ohio supplied us the CLP materials as well as most of the resource speakers who came mostly from the CFC Cleveland chapter of Arch Tunnell. Francis, Babette, Auring and myself, however, each handled a topic. More or less we had the same arrangements for two other subsequent CLPs. All the guests finished the CLP, including another couple whom we subsequently evangelized - Ben and Thelma Ortega. That was the first CLP ever conducted for the Filipino-American community in Cleveland. CFC Cleveland up to then was composed of all Caucasian Americans. I became the first household head of the group.

Before immigrating to the U.S.A, I prayed for discernment together with my wife. I felt that God probably wanted us to bring CFC to the Filipino-American community in Cleveland and also help evangelize people in other places we go to. We feel we are still doing our part in the massive effort to renew the face of the earth! By Frank Paras

Continue to Part 2

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