How a young Catholic man from Philadelphia became a member of the Iglesia ni Cristo
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  Inspiring Convert Story-13

"I have found what I was looking for"

By Dale Michael Schrader
Locale of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, U.S.A.

I WAS BORN on   July 13, 1954 in Philadelphia,  Pennsylvania,   the City of Brotherly Love—a place of history, teeming with customs and culture much well-known for the diversity of the people living in it.

My parents raised me in the Catholic faith. Although my family was not an avid follower of its traditions and beliefs, this was the only religion that I knew while I was growing up. Yet, even at a young age, I had always wondered about the lessons taught to us in Catechism classes. Most of the teachings I heard, for example, the divinity of our Lord Jesus Christ did nothing to convince me to be devoted as a Catholic. Instead, the explanations given by the priests, or lack thereof, only led to me conclude that it was not the true religion.

I  tried attending the services other churches to fill the void of religion in my life. But after listening their doctrines, I came to the conclusion that there really was no one true church. At that point, I wouldn't say that I totally gave up, but I decided that it was easier not to belong to any church at all.

Upon  graduating   from   high school,  I decided to forego a college education and go to work right away. I always prided myself in being a hard worker and I knew that with dedication I could be successful. In 1976, I found a job in sweater factory where I met Brother David Salvador and Brother Evangelista, members of the Church of Christ They were the ones who first mentioned the Church to me and eventually invited me to attend a worship service. My first reaction  was to turn down their invitation because I did not want to be disappointed. I was convinced then that the Church to which they belong was just another one in a long line of churches I had seen before. I   casually told them that I wasn't interested.

My reluctance did not deter them from constantly inviting me. In every conversation that I had with either of them, the subject of the Church always seemed to come up. At one point, Brother Roger asked me what religion I belonged to. I told him that I was a Catholic. Upon knowing this he told me the unscriptural teaching of my church. What he said deeply offended me. Even though I was not a devout Catholic, I could not sit idly and have my religion be disparaged. Right then and there, I told myself that I would accept his invitation just to prove to him that his church is not the true church either.

The following night, I attended a Bible study conducted by Brother Andy Suarez at the house of Brother David. The lesson was about the messenger of God. I listened intently and I made sure that I understood everything so that I could turn the table on him with questions. When he finished preaching, I jumped at the first chance to inquire. But Brother Suarez not only answered all of my questions satisfactorily but he also answered every one of them directly from the Bible. This was something that I had not seen in any of the other churches I had been to. Brother Suarez had full command of the Scriptures and he was right in front of me reading the answers to my questions directly from the Bible. Afterwards,! knew that this was not just another church.

Immediately, I decided to attend instructions on biblical doctrines to find out more about the Church of Christ and its teachings. In time, I enlisted as a doctrinal instructee. Little by little, with every lesson I heard, I became enlightened. I could not wait to be baptized, for I realized that I had found what I had been looking for.

On June 24,1978,1 was baptize in the house of worship of the Church of Christ in Long Island City, New York. After being disappointed for so many times by the different churches that I attended, I finally belong to the one true Church. There is no doubt in my mind that I am in the right course that will lead me to salvation.

At present, I am a deacon in the local congregation of Philadelphia. I have also been blessed in my family life. I am married to Sister Asuncion a deaconess, and we have a son, Mark, who is a choir member. Together, we have dedicated ourselves to the duties entrusted to us.

I have dedicated myself to let no obstacle stand in the way of performing my duty. I know this to be a blessing from God.


Source: April 2006, GOD'S MESSAGE, p.32-33

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