From being a rebellious teen, Richard Garcia’s life turned around when he had a relationship with Jesus. Read about him here!
My mom first brought me to church when I was twelve years old. I guess you could say I was a “Sunday Christian,” because I only considered myself a Christian on Sundays when our family would go. Who I was the rest of the week was a different story.
I was the shy type, but I hung out with the “wrong crowd.” As a teenager, I partied, did drugs, and drank alcohol. Since my parents were separated, I’d lie to my mom about my whereabouts, telling her that I was sleeping over at my dad’s. The truth was, I’d be hanging out with my friends, doing other things.
Eventually, I had to drop out of school for two years because of everything I was doing. My relationship with my mom was strained—she stopped trusting me because of my lying, and it felt like we didn’t know each other at all. I wasn’t a loving older brother to my siblings, either—I bossed them around and often lashed out at them in anger.
All this time I was going to church every Sunday. I knew about who God and Jesus were, but I didn’t exactly have a relationship with them. I also had very few friends in church, and Noel, now my Victory group leader, was one of them. We had a lot in common and we were close in age, so I was comfortable around him.
My “old life” ended when I was invited to a summer youth camp in my home church, Victory Quezon City. There, I discovered that God is real, and I made the decision to give my life to Christ after six years of being a “Sunday Christian.”
I can say that my life now doesn’t compare at all to the “fun” I used to have. I didn’t realize that God loved me so much, and still does. He died so that I would have a full and abundant life.
It’s been a year since that youth camp, and my life has been so different from what it used to be. One of the biggest changes is how I relate with my family. I now see the value of family, and how it is my duty to prioritize them over other things.
My mom and I are now on much better terms. As a son, I opened up my life to her, and told her all about the vices and partying I did. She has forgiven me and I know that she trusts me now. God has restored our relationship.
As a brother, I’ve also learned to love and respect my siblings. I now correct them out of love, not out of anger.
I’m now back in school as a second year IT student, and I’m doing my best to be excellent in my studies. I’m so thankful that God gave me this opportunity to study, and I now believe that nothing is wasted.
In my life, I have seen how faithful God is, and I know that my part is to honor and worship Him with all that I have. I want to be able to share the same love to the people around me—not just with my family, but with my classmates, friends, and the world. God’s Word does not return to us empty!
Richard recently bagged Dean’s Lister honors at the Asia Pacific College. He is also an active LIFE group leader and music ministry volunteer at Victory Quezon City.