How a young U.S. Marine was called to become a member of the Iglesia ni Cristo
in the Philippines.

Home   Convert Stories-USA

  Inspiring Convert Story-14

"How grateful I am to God"

By Louis John Vecchitto
Locale of Norwich, Connecticut, U.S.A.

TO THIS DAY, I am still overwhelmed by the thought that God has called me into His fold. I was born on November 2, 1963. As a boy, I played, had fun, and went to school. I dreamed of becoming a US Marine. My life was pretty average but it seemed that every summer I would get hurt. My parents called me accident-prone. On May 10,1974, coming from school I went to my  friend's house along with the other neighborhood kids to play a game of tag. While playing, one of my friends and I bumped heads. I fell on the ground in agonizing pain. An ambulance was called and I became unconscious.

Two days later, I woke up in the hospital, My parents and my grandmother were there. They were very happy that I was already conscious. It was a serious accident. It had been a very painful year because my head injury had been giving me such painful headaches. Everyday, I would go to school with sandwich bags of aspirin and I would still go home crying because my head hurt so much. All my parents could do was to bring me to the doctors, but they could not really help me considering that the State of Connecticut did not have a neurologist at that time. When I had gotten hit in the head, they had to bring me to two different hospitals, and a specialist had to fly in for my operation.

Another part of my life change when, on February 22,1982,1 made it into the Marines. I trained as a machine gunner at the Infantry Training School at Camp Pendleton in California in May 1982. Upon graduation, I received my order for Marine Barracks Subic Bay, Philippines. Needless to say, I was very upset for two reasons, I wanted to be assigned to an Infantry Unit and I never really knew anything about the Philippines. Never mind where it was, I really had no clue. But I realize now that it was God calling me to go to the Philippines.

I was stationed at Subic Bay for the next 18 months. I was assigned to jungle patrol. We were known as Special Operation Branch. My patrolling the jungle of Subic Bay was exciting and full of danger. I learned to respect the snake very quickly and to run very fast. I also went to visit many places like Tarlac, Baguio, Angeles, and Manila. During my travels, I would always notice beautiful-looking buildings. They were everywhere. My good friend,  Noel Clemente, told me that those were houses of worship of the Iglesia ni Cristo, which I did not understand. He translated to me  as Church of Christ.

In May 1985, I returned to the Philippines after completing my active duty with the Marine Corps, Upon my arrival in Olongapo, I met with Noel. He was then married and had joined the Church of Christ, and was now a deacon. He invited me to this Church. I went to see what kind of Church my friend joined. While I was attending worship services, I had so many questions in my mind. I was amazed of how the ministers preached. I noticed that they did not produce their own Bible They used various Bible translations. All the questions I asked were finally answered. I'd been with different religions, but I said to myself that this one was so different and the teachings. were so clear, direct from the Bible. I thought it was kind of strange since the minister just gave me the answer with- out telling me a story or interpreting from his own. He could prove to me that this is really the Lord God's one and only true Church. I finally decide to enlist as a Bible student. The minister who taught me God's words was Brother Praxidio Ramboyong Jr. He would always ask me at the end of the lesson if I understood it and he would make me answer questions to make sure that I really did. I clearly understood because of the fact that they came from the Bible. On July 13,1985, I was baptized in Kalaklan, Olongapo City. I felt the Holy Spirit. I felt that our Almighty God forgave all my sins. I thank Him for guiding me back to the Philippines.

I remember when my mom and I were at a tag sale talking about my life when I was a child and how often I would get hurt. She told me that I had almost died twice, I was shocked be cause she never told me that before. Now l realize how grateful I should be to God. For the many blessings He gives me, I can never repay Him but what I can do is to serve Him faithfully: He has blessed me with an office in the Church and a beautiful wife - 

At present, I am a deacon and my wife, Emma, is a secretary in our locale in Norwich, Connecticut. We continue to pray to our Almighty God that He also call our loved ones who are not yet members of the Church, for we know that this is the way that we can all attain salvation. 


Source: November 2003, God's Message, p.28-29

  Back to Top
  Study, Examine, and Compare the
Iglesia ni Cristo