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Thursday, April 7, 2016

Testimonial By Maurelline of St Mary's Cathedral, Sandakan

Compiled by Suzanna Hon
My name is Maurelline Gonzales Semana. I am sixteen years old. I'm one of the participants in the RCIA process. In these sessions our facilitators guide, share their experiences and knowledge about GOD. In this journey of faith, they explore with us to experience and discover that God is in our midst and has a part in our life.
Before I join the RCIA, there are lots of things I don't know about GOD and the church's teaching. I don't even know how to overcome my problems. When I was young, I used to go to the Catholic Church with my family. Things changed when I grew older, my family rarely go to church and this makes me feel bad because I feel I'm far away from GOD. However my dad often prays in front of the altar at home. I think it's different from attending the mass where I can listen to the homily from the priests. My brother and I had wanted to join Sunday School but we do not have transport to go as my dad is busy working. We waited until last year where we are old enough to enroll in the RCIA process.
Everyone in the RCIA is helpful and friendly especially the facilitators. I am happy and feel blessed for the opportunity that I can join the RCIA, even it is not the Sunday school I longed for but at least now I have a chance to learn more about GOD. I've learned so many things about God, the Catholic Church and the catholic teachings.
From young I encountered many problems in my life. I faced many trials, challenges and temptations. I do not know how to solve and go through with it. Life was meaningless to me at that time. I used to think I have no blessing in my life, feeling useless, unlucky with problems of all sorts in studies, finances, friends, family and most of all is my dad's illness. My dad has colon cancer. I need my dad in my life and I'm afraid of losing him in my young age. Our hearts broke into pieces when dad was diagnosed having colon cancer. I feel God is so unfair, why HE gave me endless problems in my young age. I even feel that GOD did not even listen to my prayer and did not answer most of them. I am sad and disappointed.
Now in RCIA , I begin to understand we have to pray with sincere heart in faith, trust and perseverance. God will only fulfill what is good for us and God will answer our prayer in HIS time and will only give what is best for us. Problems are to make us strong and mature spiritually in our life. 
Later in RCIA, I experience changes in my life. I am relieved because they taught me how to overcome my problems. I learnt how to accept the truth and appreciate the gifts from God, believing that HE will lead me to the right path. They taught me to not to give up easily because there are always ways to solve our problems if we have faith and trust in God, putting my hope in Him as HE is the only one who can help me. I pray for my dad with the belief that he will receive healing. I hope my dad will fully recover one day. I love my family and I don't want to lose them.
Thanks to our facilitators because they had spent their time and taught us how to become a better person, to overcome our problems, to have faith in God, to know the Sacraments and the Holy Trinity. They shared their experiences about how God had touched and changed them into a 'new' person. I believe God will help me.
I am a changed person now and I know that God is the reason behind it. I pray that God will continue to guide me after my baptism. 
Happy Easter and God bless us all. 

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