I am Justin Carl Dayao and I’m 24 years old. I am in my fourth year of studying a course in Science in Architecture. I am a recipient of the Community Programme.
I grew up as a practising Catholic and was the third among seven siblings. I lived with my father for ten years. I still feel sadness and hurt towards my mother who abandoned us.
The first time I came along to Cubao Reformed Baptist Church (CRBC) was when my sister invited me to join the Holiday Bible Club in 2008. When I graduated from High School I lived with my sister and started to regularly attend. I didn’t really listen. I thought doing “good works” was okay in the eyes of God and I didn’t pay attention because I blamed God for what had happened to my family. Sometimes I would ask myself, “Why did this happen to me? To my family?”
I kept all the pain and hurt deep inside me until I became an adult. I didn’t do well in school. I rebelled, stole money just to buy what I wanted and to survive.
I learned that I am a sinner through the preaching, youth camps and Bible studies. However, even though I was attending these activities, I still did not know our Lord Jesus Christ.
One day, my sister encouraged me to attend church but I was hesitant and frustrated to the point that I punched the wall (cement board) and it broke.
I have committed sins that I know are wrong and displeasing to the Lord. I even came to the point of wanting to end my life because of depression: I was feeling a deep loneliness and tired of everything.
Then one day, I had no money to pay for my fare so I decided to walk back home. While walking, I came to a realisation of the sins I was committing, and I asked myself, “What am I doing with my life? How am I before God? Why has it taken me so long to obey God?” I blamed myself for everything that had happened to me. I even thought of getting myself hit by a car to end everything, but at the same time I was afraid: where would my soul go? I remembered all that I had heard and learned, and the encouragement of the believers I have known. I regretted what I had done. I repented.
I now realise that God is so good and faithful in my life. The Lord has been merciful to me in spite of my sinfulness. Why would I end my life when in fact, He gave me life to glorify Him? He has blessed me with people who have been an instrument for me to know Him more and to understand His wonderful saving grace.
I realise now the wonderful providence of God. Everything that happened to me had a purpose and was not by accident; the pain I suffered as a child was not an accident; why I became a recipient of CCM was not an accident; that time when I was walking and reflecting was not an accident. It was all God’s way for me to know about the Gospel and know the Lord Jesus Christ and have a personal relationship with Him. That is why I am thankful for what happened to me and what I have been through, for without all these hardships, I would not be here.
For the remaining days of my life, I want to serve Him with all my heart and soul.
J C Dayao