How young man from Seattle, Washington who experienced the love of the brotherhood in the Church became a member of the Iglesia ni Cristo.
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  Inspiring Convert Story-18

"I was called through the Brotherhood in the Church"

By Ronald Howell
Locale of Seattle, Washington, U.S.A.

AS   I   LOOK   BACK,   I  cannot help but shake my head and chuckle at the way my life had been before I joined the Church of Christ. Religion or anything relating to it was not even in my vocabulary. My    former     religious    beliefs,    if any were based on the words of a preacher who confirmed I was saved, but for me they were mere words. I always told myself that if I wanted to go to church it should be near my house in West Seattle. But typical of me, it never materialized. I recall my grandmother bringing me to church as a young boy. What was queer was the offering had to be done twice because they realized that there was not enough offerings collected.

Basketball   is  my   favorite  sport and I enjoy playing the game. One spring afternoon in 1999, I happened to join  a team in Seattle University comprising   Brothers    Kris   Dalit, Ronald   Depano,   Joel Remos,   and Ben Tiangsing from the Locale of Seattle. What was interesting was that we were victorious many time over.  After the game, Kris asked me and another friend to play for their Church's sports league. Without any hesitation, I gave him my number and expected a call back, which I did   not receive for  several weeks.  However, I was still interested in joining their team and even regretted not taking his telephone number, so that I could have called him up. When Kris finally called me up, I was ready to play and excited to hear that tryouts were starting at the Tukwila Community Center.

Other players who were not yet members of their Church like me were invited to attend Bible studies. My first attendance was in the Locale of Seattle, The brethren were very warm and hospitable. Nevertheless, I was still reluctant in joining any church.

The first game of the basketball season came and I admit that it changed my view of religion for the better. An exciting crowd cheered and hooted for their locales. I had never played in front of a huge crowd and was awed to see such fellowship among the locales. With this experience, attending the Bible studies became a regular activity for me, not only because I got to play but more so because I enjoyed being in the company and fellowship of the brethren.

What  was  very    interesting was my desire to hear more of tine teachings of the Church and to meet more brethren. The Bible studies truly opened up a lot of things to me. There I met KADIWA members who were very supportive during the entire time of listening to the lessons.

During   a   grand   evangelical mission  in  Everett, the ministers clearly   revealed   the  role   of  the Church of Christ in these last days in man's salvation. My interest to join the Church grew stronger that I attended the worship services every Sunday through the assistance of Kris who   provided  me  transportation. I then understood  the importance of attending the worship services regularly, thus I started  attending even   the   worship    services    on Thursdays. I believed then that it was time for me to be a member of the Church, thus I contacted the Light of Salvation president, Brother Buu Huynh, who enlisted me for Bible study on doctrines under Brother Pastor  B.  Palacios   Jr. He was patient in conducting one-on-one lessons for me, which helped me understand the doctrines without an iota of doubt in my mind.

Finally on the cool and sunny day   of   November   20,   1999,   I was baptized into the Church of Christ. It changed me completely from a person of the world to person of humility and love. Despite the countless trials, I have held on to my faith and continued praying for strength and wisdom to overcome these trials. There are more to come, I know, but t understand that faith has to go through fire to find out if  it is pure and genuine. My  prayers are being  answered because   I remain a member despite trials. It  is through God's grace and mercy that I was chosen to be among His people and it is through His love and compassion that I am now a Light of Salvation officer in Seattle the Pacific Northwest, KADIWA chairperson  of   the   Missionary Committee, and an officer of the locale's Sports League. I am now an  instrument in   helping   the Church Administration propagate God's words to let others have the same experience as I had through the brotherhood in the Church.

As I recall the lesson about the love of the brotherhood, never: will I forget the warm and sincere welcome of the first brethren whom I met during that first basketball game namely, Brothers Jayar Suelen and Eymard Lopez and the Valdez family who opened their doors to me and welcomed me as part of their family. Truly, all the brethren who helped me understand the teachings of the Church define the truth that the love of the brotherhood reigns in the Church of Christ.


Source: October 2004, God's Message, p.16

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