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My Life Testimony

Bro. John Ericson Soriano


It is an honor and a privilege to write for our very own Burning Bush and to share my life testimony as a Christian. Every time I am asked to tell how God changed my life, I am filled with joy to have the chance to impart my story. I cannot imagine how much God loves us that even we are not worthy, He has given us a second chance in life. We always hear from people, see on TV, or even read of many stories about Christians who once had dysfunctional life, came from broken family, and did terrible things before the Lord transformed their lives. But my situation is different. I grew up from a Christian family. I have a very good family, good environment; you could say that our family is one of the families that have good reputation in the church where we are attending. In the community or barangay where we live in, our family is well known since my father was also a military officer and one of the former president Marcos’ allies. At the age of 9 years old, I got to know Christ by attending Sunday worships and Sunday schools. We see to it that every Sunday all members of the family will attend the services which sort of became a tradition to us like any other religious Filipino families. As I grew up, I heard a lot of preaching, Bible Stories, and different life testimonies. In addition, I also attended many youth camps and for several times I have surrendered my life to God during those camps.

Tears really pour in my eyes whenever there is an altar call from our head pastor that would let anyone think I would completely turn my back on all my vices and bad habits. Whenever they see me active in the church and doing several ministries (attending young people fellowships, choir practices on Saturdays, young people’s activity of distributing tracks, sharing God’s word to the lost youth) sadly, I was also learning many vices with other young people in the church. Sometimes from our basketball practice with the church players, we head directly home to eat and by nightfall we stay in my room then begin drinking, smoking, and watch porn movies when all the while Mama at Papa thought we were doing Bible Study. This setup went on, church on Sundays and Saturdays, pretending to be holy, then on weekdays indulging ourselves in drinking sessions and other worldly stuff.

Then my Mama noticed my behavior and told me to surrender early on all my sins. But I did not take heed instead continued until attending church became so shameful that I decided to lie-low in the ministries. Somehow my conscience got better of me, reading the bible became harder as well as praying because of the kind of life I live. This went on until I had the chance to go abroad. To stop me from all my vices and to be far from my friends, my parents decided of sending me to Dubai which was alternative to placing me in rehab, with the intention that at least there I will earn. That was the initial plan but little did I know that I would be enlightened of what having an intimate relationship with God really means.

While in Dubai I was separated from my family and my girlfriend before now my wife, Dhorz. I thought there is no hope since I know that even she gave up on me, being fed up with all the things I did. Sadness and boredom led me to once again open and read the Bible. For few months I will be sober but would eventually go back to drinking since I am earning a bit and so I became my usual self again― a secret agent Christian as I regard. In spite of those, God is so good, after 2 years of work I went back to the Philippines and it was blessing that Dhorz and I got married. I became more confident that everything is just fine and it was perfectly okay to continue my worldly life. Then, Dhorz and I started our married life in Dubai where she soon after also found work. We were blessed with a child but that did not stop me. Still whenever I find time to drink I would drink. Whenever we have our vacation, I dedicate 1 day just for my “barkadas” to drink all we can.

Then the day came when I was terminated in my work. Though before that, we were able to find a new church here Dubai which was the BBBC through Sis Deds Celebrar who I met when she had some t-shirts printed. I read Back to the Bible which prompted me to ask if we can attend. Sis Deds arranged for us to be picked up and from then on we started attending the church. However, I could only attend whenever there is an occasion since I work at a hotel and I do not have a fixed schedule which did not allow for ministries and commitment to the church so I just went on with my usual life. Then all of a sudden I was terminated from work. I have a family to be supported but I had to go back to the Philippines and I was separated once again from my family. There, Papa, Biboy and I are the ones who stayed since Mama needed to be in Dubai to take care of Martha, my daughter. And here I go again; free to do whatever I want to do. For a year of my stay in the Philippines, there were lots of things that drew me away from the Lord. On the time that I speak to Dhorz and Martha I am reminded that I have a family. I was oblivious to reality that I was slowly drifting away from my family and most especially to the Lord so after finishing a short course in the Philippines I decided to be with family. I asked myself, why in spite of all my sins I am still alive. The Lord has a plan for me. Reunited with my family once more we were blessed to have another child, Matthew. But before that a person took the time to speak to me and have Bible Study with me. During that time I realized that I was not truly saved because I could not stay away from sinning. Pastor Erwin explained to me that to be truly saved is to hate sin. Heart to heart, Pastor and I talked. I admitted to him about my situation and all the worldly things that I love doing. He explained that if you are a true Christian you will hate sin and you will depart from it and Mathew 7:21-23 really got my attention and convinced me that I was not truly saved. What a wonderful truth that God is truly good to me. This passage speaks that you might think you are saved becauseof all the ministries, busyness in church activities, choir practice, and so on, butsadly doing the things against God’s commandments proves that one truly is not His.


I am blessed to have had another chance; it did not reach to the point of Him telling me, “Depart from me ye that work iniquity,” knowing that I am fully aware of the wrong things I am doing and yet I continue living a life without a true relationship with God.
That evening I recommitted my life to God. It was not easy, but the Lord helped me to forget and totally let go of my past. Now, I have strong relationship with God since I have fully surrendered my life to Him. Sometimes in there are struggles and tests, but let us use them to strengthen ourselves because those trials draw us nearer to God. I am grateful to our Lord that it was not too late for me and I discern the truth to be truly saved which is having a true relationship with God and repenting from all my of my sins. I forget and run away from my sins and started serving the Lord faithfully. Thank you so much to Jesus! I know that I am not a perfect a Christian but God is molding me more to be like Christ!

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