(In Kapampangan language with English translation)
Anyang cayanacan cu, mengarap qng maging sacristan, cabang pagsilbyan que ing pari queng banal a misa. Pane cung isipan na metung qng cabalyerung magsilbi qng Kristung Guinu, kapamilatan na ning pari. Anyang ca labing-aduang qng banua, mica oportunidad qng macapacyabe queng awsan dang ‘Knights of the Blessed Sacrament’. Asna qng cagalac at catula queng panaun a iti, pauli na ning pangarap qng maging metung a cabalyeru, ampo sacristan, mitupad nala. Careng anggang Sabadu at Domingu, pane qng atiu queng pisamban, magsilbi queng banal a misa.
Mirinan cu naman oportunidad a pagaralan ing Catequismu na ning Catolico Romano. Buung lub cu yandug iti angga queng miras qng kolehiyu.
Manibat anyang canyancan ku angga keng meging bayung tawu, inandug ke ing sarili at oras ku neng Sabadu at Domingu, panigaralan deng catecismu kabang magsilbi keng banal a misa at deng sablang sacramentu.
makanita pa murin, madacal ku pa murin cutang tungcul queng casalpantayan cu bilang metung a Catolicu, atin cu pa murin tacut at pamagduda. Mitatacutan qng ecu miras banua, pauli na atin lugar a pamalaguan dang purgatoriu. Amanu da pin, metung yng lugar a caralumduman, na agyang ginawa qng kayapan anyang mabie ca, oneng micasala ca, queni ca miras.
Milabas yng mapilan a banua at pane cu pa murin a e isip ing macanining cutang. Anyang dinatang mu rin ing casaquitan queng bie, isipan cu pa murin iti.
Menintun qng tawung malyari qng acasabi, at mangadi para canacu. Minawus cu queng 700 Club, pauli na ning pamanintun qng tawung buri qng acasabi. Ini na pala ing pamagumpisa na ning pamagbayu qng canacung bie.
Itang tawung casaba cu queng sumangid a linya, casaba que angga queng pamangailangan cu. Inumpisan que caring canacung casaquitan queng bie, abed a reng anggang suli na malyari qng isipan. Cabang casabi que iti, yapin nap ala ini ing maging maragul a pamagbayu queng canacung bie. Inambus ne ning canacung casaba ing mayap a balita na ning Apung Guinu. Iti ya ing pecamasanting a dulut a tinggap cu manibat queng Apung Guinu. Mengadi cami at tinanggap que e Cristu queng canacung bie, bilang canacung Guinu at Talapangabus. Mecaramdam qng labis a catiwasayan at cayapan queng panaun a ita. Panandam cu ing pangayatyu na ning Apung Guinu, mebating queng isip cu ing alang casiguraduan.
E miglambat, me cumbira ku queng metung a Bible study. Anyang minuna, mag adua qng isip maquiabe, pauli na ning ecu sane careng macaniti. Pamakilaban que iti pauli na ning capaniwalan cu bilang metung a Catolicu, salungat la queng tuturu da queng Bible study a liban cu. Oneng king pamamunta cu quening grupu a ini, mibuclat cu caisipan queng catutuan na ning Biblya, ampon nung macananu yang magagamit ing Biblya queng pamanuru da.
Mapilan a bulan caibat cung tinagun queng Bible study, tinagun na cu mu naman queng ‘worship service’ da at caibat me binyag na cu mu naman anyang banuang 2013. Meca pacyabe na cu mu naman queng ‘Men’s ministry na ning church. Carin ku mirinan pamikatagun a manimuna mu naman queng bible study para careng lalaki. Ngeni, magsilbi cu naman capamilatan na ning pamanuru cu careng anac edad 8, queng Sunday School. Mipnu cung tula at galac cabang magsilbi cu queng Apung Guinu, capamilatan na ning gagawan cu.
Metung cu pang tawung macasalanan, cabang atiu cu queng catauan a iti. Oneng meging malinis cu queng arapan na ning Apung Guinu, at micabus cu careng casalanan cu, capamilatan nang Hesukristung cacung talapangabus.
“From Altar Boy to Altar Call”
During my childhood, I wanted to become an altar boy who serves priests in the Mass. I used to imagine I was like a knight in front of the altar serving Christ through the priests. When I was 12 years old, I had an opportunity to join a religious group of men called Knights of the Blessed Sacrament. I was very excited as my dreams of becoming a ‘knight’ and an altar boy was finally fulfilled.
Being part of this group also gave us an opportunity to study the Catechism of our faith.
From grade school all throughout college, I dedicated much of my time during weekdays and most especially weekends in studying about catechism and serving in Eucharistic events and other Sacraments.
Despite my devotion, service, and everything I learned about my faith, I still had fears and uncertainties. I was afraid I might not go to heaven. We were taught that even if you lived a good life but had unconfessed sins then you would go to a place of total darkness.
Even as a young professional, I still pondered on this. Until came a time when I was at my lowest. I needed someone to talk to and someone to pray for me. It was late at night and there was no one I could speak with so I tried calling The 700 Club hotline just to look for someone to talk to.
The person on the other line talked to me for as long as I needed. I told her about my struggles at work, at home, and every problem I could think of. I also told her of my fears and uncertainties about the afterlife. This became my turning point. She shared the Gospel with me and I prayed with her over the phone as I accepted Jesus Christ as my personal Lord and Savior. It became a calm and peaceful moment.
Shortly after, I was invited by a friend to attend a Bible study. At first, I was hesitant since I was not fond of attending such gatherings. It was a struggle especially that some of my religious beliefs were contradicted causing me to question our facilitator’s doctrine. But due to persistent attendance, my mind was opened to Biblical truths. I became convinced of the truth because of the logical, reasonable and systematic way Bible passages were taught. Also with how the Bible was used as a reference in all of the teachings.
After several months of attending a Bible study, I started going to Worship services and was eventually baptized in 2013. Afterward, I became involved in a men’s fellowship which gave me an opportunity to lead a Bible study group. Currently, I am serving in Sunday school where I teach kids aged 8. It is a joy that I could serve the Lord through this ministry where we can express our love for God by meeting the needs of others while doing what we enjoy.
In all these, I have learned that salvation is not about our own goodness, works, service, intellectual knowledge or anything else we can offer to God in payment for our sins. The Bible says: “The wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.” (Romans 6:23) The penalty of sin is death — eternal separation from God and the wrath of His judgment. If we can gain salvation on our own merit, then there was no need for Christ to die.
Jesus, the Son of God, took on the form of man, lived a holy life, and paid the penalty for our sins on the Cross so that those who believe in Him are made righteous through Christ’s righteousness and have eternal life.
Salvation is given to us only by the grace of God through saving faith in Christ alone. Ephesians 2:8-9 says: God saved you by His grace when you believed. And you can’t take credit for this; it is a gift from God. Salvation is not a reward for the good things we have done, so none of us can boast about it.
I am still imperfect as long as I am in this earthly body and I still experience struggles but I am made righteous with God because of the sacrifice Jesus Christ did on the cross to pay for my sins once and for all.
For God so loved the world, that He gave His only Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have eternal life. (John 3:16)
This life testimony was written by Thon Esguerra. He has been working as an IT consultant for 13 years. He is married to Michelle Esguerra for 2 years and they are both actively serving as Sunday School teachers in Greenhills Christian Fellowship, Ortigas.