Bernard, 38, is a high school graduate and a solo parent.
He is an employee in the head office of his Barangay, working as a street sweeper. On the side, he is a dealer of a powder vegetable juice drink.
He lives in Marikina City.
To protect the privacy of his loved ones, we did not include Bernard’s last name in his story which he wrote in Filipino. Following is the English translation.
I HAVE been a fairly good and loyal Catholic.
I joined a Cursillo Class in Marikina in 2002. I attended the Basic Bible Study (BBS) of our parish church in 2010. In November 2013, I was part of a Parish Renewal Experience (PREX) seminar for a rediscovery of our faith and a strong recall to belonging to the Church.
I was also part of the Singles for Christ seminar also in Marikina, in 2014.
By now, you must have noticed that I had attended a number of faith gatherings. That’s because I felt lonely. I felt there was something lacking in my life. I felt I needed God so I was out searching for Him.
It all started when my wife left me for another man. Our children were then in their teens— the boy, 15 years old, and the girl, 14.
Since then, my life was nothing but in shambles.
I stopped praying and I disobeyed just about each one of the Ten Commandments.
I joined a gang and a fraternity. I learned to use drugs. Since my wife left me, I began to hate women and I sought revenge by having an affair with a married woman.
As a consequence of my messy life, I lost my job. Without money, I went to my father for help. He scolded me for my foolishness, with such cruel words, I felt like killing him.
I went on to look for a job and found one as an attendant in a gasoline station. With my reckless ways, it didn’t take long for my employer to fire me.
I then worked as a volunteer worker in my barangay’s head office with a measly P3,000 allowance— the only money I had to support my children.
All these I kept from my parents and siblings, as I wanted them to think I was doing all right, I was strong. But in truth, I was really weak. Amid my tough stance, despite my wicked ways, there was a part of my being, a place in my heart, that said that I must already stop my wrongdoing. Gradually, I realized how I had destroyed my life, how I had already neglected my children.
So, one day, I just found myself talking to God. I told Him, “Lord, help me out of this mess I am in. Set me free from my foolishness. Send me a woman who would lead me back to You.”
God heard my prayer. One day, I met her— sweet as her nickname Sugar, who became my best friend.
I found out she was going through her own spiritual journey.
Finding The Feast
In her quest for spiritual nourishment, Sugar found The Feast. When I met her, she was already attending Feast Bluewave Marikina, and she brought me there on March 23, 2014.
On my first day at The Feast, an usher welcomed me with a brief, yet so strong, it felt like a manly bear hug— and at once, I felt like it was God lovingly welcoming me, telling me, “Come, my son, come close to me. Let me make you feel my love for you. I’d been waiting for you for so long, and I am very happy that you’ve come back to Me!”
I felt tears in my eyes, but I stifled them, as I didn’t want people to see silly me so emotional.
Since then, I’ve been attending Feast Bluewave regularly. It is at The Feast that I found my good self. Hearing the inspiring talks, I decided to fix my life.
I thank God that through Sugar, He brought me to The Feast. I thank my brothers and sisters at Feast Bluewave for accepting me and loving me with the love of the Lord. They are so humble, so friendly, and so good to me.
I am so grateful I found The Feast that now I serve there as an usher. I am also a member of the Singles Ministry and the Rainbow of God’s Ministry.
Gradually, God has been changing me to the person He wants me to be.
Back to the Church
I’ve learned so much at The Feast about life and my faith. The Feast has well taught me that I remain a loyal Catholic to this day.