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Part 1- A Journey of My Quest for the Truth:  My Struggle and Agony


Brethren in Christ, before I begin my testimony, my name is Cherrie and I am working as Patient Administrator in one of the leading private hospitals in the UAE.  I have spent the last 15 years of my life in this country.


Let me start by sharing with you my most favorite verse in the Bible.  I always feel comforted whenever I am reciting these lines because I believe that through these powerful phrases, I finally found home.


1 Corinthians 6:19-20

 What? Know ye not that your body is the Temple of the Holy Ghost which is in you,

which ye have God and ye are not your own? For ye are brought with a price

therefore glorify God in your body and in your spirit, which are God.


I always believe that you cannot say that you have reached your final destination unless you are finally home.  Home is where peace and contentment resides.  It is where you can find warmth, comfort and acceptance.  Home is where the heart is, as they say.  Ironically, every journey also starts from home.  The beginning of a journey tends to coincide when a man begins to wonder what lies behind our own home’s door.


I was born and raised by devout catholic parents and grew up believing in God as defined by the catholic teachings.  I was a regular attendee of the Sunday and Wednesday masses and have learned to love singing church songs by heart.  I have familiarized myself with many different saints that I tend to never run out of ones to pray to for specific problems and specific needs.  I lived my life believing that everything will fall into its proper place as long as you are living a modest life, not causing any trouble to other people and still find some time to fulfill your religious obligations.


I always consider myself an introvert person.  I am aware of what is happening around me and I care for the people I love yet I always incline to lack the enthusiasm to show and express how I feel.  As I grow older, I started to wonder and look for a deeper meaning of life.  I begin to ask more questions and notice that there is void in my heart that continues to grow.   I start to seek new meaning for what I considered home and wondered if I could find it elsewhere.


That is when my personal journey begins…


When I come to UAE, my first job is in Ajman, in a company owned and managed by locals.  There, I have a chance to study about Islam and I embrace it as my own faith for quite some time.   When my 3-year contract come to an end, I manage to transfer to Abu Dhabi and find new job that somehow makes me forget everything about Islam.  I spend the next 6 years working in Abu Dhabi where I am reintroduced to Jesus Christ by a lady who invites me and a cousin of mine to watch videos about they are claiming to be “the good news.”  Out of curiosity, I have opened my searching mind and heart for answers for a long while.  This continues until I join their group “KINGDOM OF JESUS CHRIST.”  I never try to question their intentions or research their background as I believe them and trust that what I am doing is for my spiritual rebirth and for the Glory of God.


I stay with the group for three years and I am one of their most active members.  I learn to motivate myself to offer personal, to some extent, financial sacrifices to fulfill my role as its loyal follower. I even serve as a leader of a small group of people who does regular meetings to profess the teachings of that organization.  I experience selling different food items along the busy streets of Hamdan in an effort to augment its coffers.  I am made to believe that commitment to the organization and loyalty to what they claimed to be the son of God, “Pastor Apollo Quiboloy,” is the right way of glorifying God.


Blinded by this false notion of loyalty, I even reach the point that I go home to the Philippines to attend what they claim to be an important event dubbed as “Sons and Daughters of God in the Kingdom Nation” which is held in Davao.  I go there convince about its importance that I nearly forget to spend time with my own family.  I don’t even care about my own comfort that I leave the comforts of my company’s accommodation to live in a lowly worker’s villa.  I am helpless; the group already has convinced me to give up my personal convictions, to doubt my own instinct, and not to trust my own capacity for a sound reason.  Until, I wake up one day feeling an urge to pray for God to give me the strength and wisdom to discern the truth from what seems to be a complete madness.  This time I pray calling God and not the name of a living person who claims to be God.  From that very moment I realize, that I am deceived, so I turn away and never ever look back.



Part 2 - A Journey of My Quest for the Truth:  The Joy and Fulfillment


After what happened, I swear to never easily trust others again.  I learn my lessons about trust, the hard and painful way.  Hence, I am convinced that there is only one to trust to and that is, myself.  The experience keeps me from trusting any religion.  Worse, it forces me to stop praying, as it only reminds me of the pain and disappointments.  I am suddenly living a life which is lonely, empty and without purpose.  Now, I recall these days as the darkest chapters of my life.


My journey goes on as I work in two other companies.  First, a contracting company in Dubai where I work for 4 months but is later terminates due to the economic recession.  The next one is where I finish a 4 -year contract but I am forced to agree to receive a separation benefits far lesser than what is legally stated by the labor law.  My former employer even insists that I will be held liable for a company violation and pay for the given penalties even if it is not my fault.


I spend the next three months looking for a job until I am offered a job contract in Abu Dhabi only to be told at the last minute that the job has already been given to someone else.  It is an unfortunate event that turns out to be a blessing since the opportunities that I later have here in Dubai proves to be the most significant set of gifts that I receive from God.


The series of blessings that I receive started when I am invited by Edward and Kring to attend a prayer meeting.  I fully trust them, as my brother’s closest friends here in Dubai, so I immediately compel to join them considering it as the perfect chance to know God again and learn about His love and grace.  Right there and then, I know I have finally found home.  I rediscover my old self and instantly find the peace of mind that I am longing for a very long time.  It is also during these times, when I receive a call for a job interview, afterwards being hired by my current company.


I continue attending activities of the BACK TO THE BIBLE BAPTIST CHURCH regularly.  Seeing how sincere and hard they pray for each other is a life-changing experience, something I have never experienced before.  Pastor Erwin and Pastor Ian are people whom I admire, as their words never fail to provide me comfort and their presence make me feel the warmth of a family – a home.  I am so blessed to receive Jesus as my Lord and Saviour one day while attending a bible study and finally have my public declaration of following Jesus through water baptism last June 7, 2013 at Mamzar Beach.


Now, I can say that I am home again after so many years I have spent seeking for answers from many places and from a lot of people.  Through God’s grace, now I know that home is truly where your heart is.  Home is a place within you, in a place where the Holy Ghost resides.  That is the reason why I am greatly thankful to BBBC family for helping me find the key that will unlock the door to the home, which has always been there.  Until now, I am still overwhelmed by how great and loving Jesus Christ is.  With His continuous guidance, all my fears disappear.  Not even the news about a potentially malignant cyst and lump has moved me.  I know my faith in God can move mountains and is the reason why I am healed.


Let this testimony of mine be a living proof of the love of God for each and every one.  May our Almighty Lord, through His Son, Jesus Christ, our Savior pour His blessings to the Back to the Bible Baptist Church continuously, so we can serve God more effectively and untiringly.  We can lead others into their salvation.  Let us constantly be reminded that we are on the right path so we must do great service to God.  May we all have the strength to help others find the key to our Home!  TO GOD BE THE GLORY!


And ye shall seek me, and find me, when ye shall search for me with all your heart.

 – Jeremiah 29:13



Sis. Cherrie A. Tuquero


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