Margie's story

I grew up as a Catholic in the Philippines.  I was baptized, had first communion and was confirmed in the Roman Catholic Church.  Those were big celebrations in our family.

My mother instilled in us the importance of God in our lives by showing, or telling us, the right path to choose each day to be a good person in the eyes of God.  Mom did not push us but rather opened our eyes to the world around us.  I remember loving going to church on Sundays. We would all go to Sunday worship plus other services and events. It was always special.  We also prayed at home every day. At home we had an alter set up where we could light candles and do offerings.

We did not have Sunday schools but Catholic study was within the curriculum of the public or private school system.  When I came to Canada, my elementary school here did not talk about God.  It was so strange for me that there were also many different ethnic backgrounds and religions. I believed that Christians were only Catholic – Roman Catholic.

I never held a bible when I was growing up, I started reading the bible in high school, always one borrowed from friends or my sisters.  This went on until the year before I was married.

As I read through the bible I remembered all the stories from my early years while studying in the Philippines but, now as I read, I was more interested and excited about what I was reading.  The life of Jesus Christ was amazing.  After high school, one of my sisters, Emily was invited to a different church – a Baptist Church. She really liked to go there.  I was very adamant about not going to any church except a Catholic church. This was not my mother’s teaching but from my early school years.

Also, during this time my husband, (then boyfriend Eric) and his family invited me to come to Mount Zion, a Lutheran Church.  I liked it but, then again, it was not a Catholic Church.

My sister Emily attended bible study at the Baptist Church and was always encouraging me to join them – so I did.  I really enjoyed learning from the Word of God.  Then, as time went by, I began attending worship services at both the Baptist church and Mount Zion as I really enjoyed being there.

I realized then that although people attend different church services we are all praising the same God just in different ways.  I am so blessed that I always believed in God but now my heart was opened up and Jesus Christ was there.

I am a Christian and will always be.  I can praise God wherever I am, whatever Christian denomination I happen to be at and at any time.  I have freed myself from people around me who do not understand what Christianity really means.  All that matters to me is that I understand and that I am very happy inside that Christ was, and is, always there with me.

Getting to know Christ makes my life easier.  I have learned to forgive and to be humble even though it can often take time.  I have also learned to be at peace even in the midst of quarrels, weariness, illness, and the everyday hectic life of children and family.  My prayers now are different from those I prayed while growing up reciting all the necessary traditional Catholic prayers.

I always prayed from my heart for family and friends, however, now my prayers are also for those who have wronged me and that more people in the world will come to know and receive Christ in their lives.

My husband and I are guiding our children Eric and Karlis in their faith journey as Christians, making sure they learn and know about Christ and continue on the right path.

I like it here at Mt. Zion, I got married at this church, my husband grew up here.  Our children were baptized and had their first communion here.  They  attend Sunday school whenever they can with the wonderful Sunday school teachers Doreen, Bernice, Joanne, Tigisti, and of course Pastor Marlys.

I took on the job as the VBS Director last year, and will again this year, because I love looking at the children’s faces eager to learn about God.

With Pastor Marlys’ help I started a bible study here with my son Karlis and Tigisti and some of the Sudanese women and their pre-school children.  We are on a break right now but I look forward to starting up again.  We all have busy lives but whenever we do find the time to meet our spirits are always lifted.  We love learning the words of God, sharing stories and just having fellowship together.  We thank and praise God when we get together!  To me this is what being a Christian is!

Halleluiah! Praise the Lord!