God is real in the midst of pain
"Son, business is not doing well, I am afraid that I cannot send you to school this year."
I could not forget the pain in my dad's eyes when he uttered these words. I was graduating from highschool then but our financial condition was getting worst. Our house was empty and was "for sale". There was no food in the ref, or I would say I could not find the ref anymore.
One night my four younger brothers were pretending to be asleep in one corner of the house but I can hear them sobbing. We have not eaten for a couple days then. On the other side was my dad, intoxicated with wine. In his hand was a 32mm revolver. He put a bullet on it, pointed its barrel on his temple and pressed the trigger. The gun didn't work. He tried it again, but nothing happened. Our eyes crossed and I saw frustrations, helplessness, hopelessness in his face. He closed his eyes and I saw his finger moved to press the trigger for the last time. I then saw his hand fell, still holding the gun... and started snoring. Whew, I was glad he was so drunk that he fell asleep.
I was so angry with God! I questioned His very existence. I challenged Him to speak to me if He was really real and explain to me why we were experiencing what we were experiencing. I was then reminded that if I want to hear God, I have to read His Word written in the Bible. That night I read the four Gospels and a portion of the book of Acts. That fateful night prepared me to encounter God in a very personal way.
Two days after this experience I met Tony. Tony explained to me that God loves me so much but I was separated from the holy God because of sin. Yet God made a way to restore our relationship by sending His son Jesus to die on the cross in my place, to pay the penalty of my sin. However, I need to decide to receive this gift of personal relationship with God through Christ. That day in March 1984, I received Jesus Christ as my Lord and Savior by faith. I put my trust in Him and asked Him to make me the kind of person He wants me to be.
That was my first and last meeting with Tony and that was the most precious 30 minutes I had in my life. We recovered financially eventually and was able to graduate in a prestigious private university. Looking back, that painful experience was used by God to prepare me for a deeper relationship with Him. Now I could say that I never regret experiencing poverty and pain because through that God became so real to me!