“It will only be through discipleship that we can pass on the word.” Ambo Lingan of Victory Baguio shares how a relationship with Jesus changed his life, and given him a new perspective.
When I was a college student, my family had high hopes for me: take my board exams, pursue law, and establish my path to politics. There was just one problem: I was not prepared to take the next step for my future. I didn’t prepare for the exams, and when the exam days arrived, instead of going to the exam venue, I went to different malls and watched movies.
Fearful of my family’s response to my wrong decisions, I decided to mask my mistakes by attending the Tuguegarao church my oldest brother attended. I thought to myself, “Maybe if my brother thought I was like him, a born-again Christian, he would back me up with our mother so she would take pity on me and continue to support me.”
The first time I attended, I did not intend to take the service seriously. Just be quiet, I told myself, and see what’s in it for you. Well, something funny happened: I found the morning service so interesting that I ended up attending the afternoon service too!
I attended the next three Sundays after that. Little did I know that, in spite of my “grand scheme,” God had bigger plans for me.
One Sunday, the pastor called for an altar call for people to accept Jesus as their Lord and Savior. I stood up to make that declaration of faith. I felt something I couldn’t explain in the previous weeks I’d been attending, and it was more than just God’s peace.
Manuel, the man who approached me after my altar call, befriended me and built a relationship with me. He got ahold of me and got to know me better. He started asking questions about myself. I lied about some things because I was wary of him. “Just because we pray together doesn’t mean that I should pour out all my information to him,” I thought to myself. “It feels good talking to him, though.”
Manuel and I ended up having coffee several times. In those conversations, Manuel shared his life to me. I began to feel at ease with him. Slowly, because he shared experiences I could relate to, I started to take off my own mask.
It took time before Manuel shared about the Bible to me, and more time before he invited me to be part of his Victory group.
It was through my relationship with Manuel that I got to know Jesus. I discovered that He is not just my Savior; He is also my Lord. Jesus made the complicated simple for me. With Him, I discovered that I can start all over again. For all the things I thought was hard, He accompanied me and made it easy.
I’m grateful for Manuel who was bold enough to approach me and make time to build the relationship. If not for him, I would not have known about Jesus. And now, I’m excited to pass this on, and share the gospel to whoever God calls me to.