I was born in Guam, an island that is 30 miles long and 12 miles wide in the Western Pacific Ocean. I'm the seventh of 15 children and was told that would make me the superstitious one in the family. Growing up, there was a constant battle about religion and church between my mom and dad, which never got resolved. Though we never went to church, I did watch my dad reading, and studying and I was inspired by it.
I left home at age 18, without any planning, to marry a man I didn't know and to pursue my education. These were the darkest, loneliest years of my life. For nine years, I was beaten, battered, kicked, and threatened with guns and wires. I was held captive and unable to communicate with my family. Five months pregnant and with two kids in tow, we ran for our lives from their abusive father. During this time, my father died without knowing what we faced. We needed help.
We found it in some people God providentially placed in our path to deliver us.
In 1983 I was seeking for answers. I wasn't happy. Something was missing.
I watched my supervisor who seemed so at peace. I asked her why she seemed happy all the time. She responded, "I'm in love with Jesus Christ.” She told me I didn’t need a humanistic counselor, but a spiritual counselor. She gave me the phone number of some friends who might be able to help me. I wasn't convinced. But a week later, I made the call. They agreed to meet me.
I met with Joe and Ursula at their home. They were traveling missionaries. I told them everything that I could remember about myself, my past and the emptiness in my life.
We read scriptures in the Bible. They said Jesus died on the cross for my sins. I learned that I was born a sinner, and that I should be born again. They said faith is believing and trusting God without seeing. They told me that Jesus Christ, the Son of God, is the only way for me to be saved. And God's helper, the Holy Spirit, will come in to my heart, if I confess my sins. I was ready to give my heart to Jesus and to trust Him with everything. I confessed to God all the sins, disappointments, and pain I was carrying for thirty years. When we finished praying, I felt amazing! The heavy load in my heart was gone. I cried tears of happiness. I believe that the Holy Spirit came into my heart, just as Jesus promised. I was baptized on March 22, 1987.
I decided to follow Jesus, but, to be honest, being saved doesn't mean that everything is perfect now. We'll face trials of many kinds. In 2002, my youngest son (Tyrone) was murdered at age 19. It was the worst pain I had to suffer – to bury my child. I learned that the trials we face - like a broken heart, an illness, a death in the family, a lost job, are designed not to break us, but to bring us toward God. The Bible says that trials and sufferings help mold God's children into who He wants them to be. God healed me from the pain and grief.
Ultimately, the purpose of a believer is to worship God in everything we do. We are to care about other people and tell them about Jesus, because God longs for each person to be saved. I will be forever grateful to my supervisor Liz, who pointed me to Joe and Ursula who led me to be a strong follower of Jesus Christ. Amen!