How a 96 year old Catholic became a member of the Iglesia Ni Cristo  
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  Inspiring Convert Story-04

"It's Never To Late To Find The Truth"

By Leoncio Luna Tactacan
Locale of Fresno, California, U.S.A.

BEFORE THE OUTBREAK of the first and second world wars, in the far eastern reaches of the earth, I was born on September 8, 1908. I was born to a prestigious family related to one of the Filipino heroes, Juan Luna.

At an early age, I was groomed to become a loyal Catholic follower. I learned early that attending the Mass every Sunday was a necessity in our household. I was taught to pray the rosary, and to carry a cross with me at all times. Although I had questions about the Catholic faith especially on the practice on bowing down to images of saints, I still did what my parents wanted me to do.

At the age of 18, I found passage to the United States as a farm laborer in California. In 1926, I arrived in San Francisco, California. With little money and only my hard working hands to give me my daily needs, I set out to become successful in this free land.

After two years of working as a farm laborer and after saving enough money, I flew to the University of Chicago to get my education, and for two years I learned the ins and outs of automotive repair. After successfully completing this course, I flew back to California and opened an auto repair shop. This successful business kept me settled for about six years until I decided to join the United States Army. In the Army, I became a Sergeant Corporal. I was able to visit many places around the world, like Japan, Germany, Alaska, England and Australia.

Although the life I lived was filled with excitement and successes, I still felt like something was missing. I was searching for the true meaning of my life. Since I was a child, I did not like what I saw in the Catholic Church, especially when they bow down to images. It also bothered me that people who claim to be "religious and "accepting God" were doing the same bad things of the world. I had many goals in life, but this final goal I was not able to achieve until almost the end of my life.

In 2000, at the age of 92, I was introduced to the Church of Christ. Sister Monica Ramos an acquaintance, asked me to attend the Bible study on doctrines at the Locale of Fresno in California. After listening to one Bible study, I was convince that this was my last and most important goal, which I needed to accomplish before the end came. So, I listened to the Bible studies and attended the worship services regularly.

About halfway through my lesson, I fell ill. My weary body could not take the rigors of life anymore. Because of this, I had to stop attending the Bible studies and could seldom come to church services. Whenever I was visited and encourage to continue my studies of the Bible, my old and aching body prevented me from doing so.

It wasn't until Fresno Locale, held its memorable 30th anniversary celebration that I accepted their invitation to attend the grand evangelical mission. Sister Ofelia Sensano knew me and for years, had invited me to come back and listen. She was very happy that I finally accepted her invitation.

The grand evangelical mission was officiated by Brother Eddie San Gabriel. After revisiting the locale and listening again to the truth, I was inspired once again and wanted to finish what I had started. Knowing that I didn't have much time left on earth, I went to Brother Elias Mercado, the locale's resident minister, and announced that I wanted to again become a Bible student. This time I was set on the truth and nothing would stop me from achieving the victory I had wanted for so long to receive.

After doing all the necessary steps to get baptized, I eagerly wrote a letter to Brother Eduardo V. Manalo, respectfully asking our beloved Deputy Executive Minister permission to be baptized.

On April 21, 2004, at the house of worship of the Locale of San Jose, I was finally reborn, baptized as a member of the Church of Christ. At the age of 96, I feel that one is never too old to finally find the true meaning of life. It's never too late to find the truth that will lead to salvation.

I was asked, "Now that you are a member of the Church of Christ, what are you going to do now?" Clearly I said, "Follow."


Source: May 2004, God's Message, pp. 15-16
Note: Some words and phrases are in italics for emphasis.

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