By Ruffa Davidas
In 2012, I first met the Capuchin Tertiary Sisters and on that same year I joined the Amigonian Youth. A year after, I became one of the Chu scholars through them. I enroled in Carlos Hilado Memorial State College in Bacolod City, Negros Occidental. I took t Bachelor of Science in Industrial Technology Major in Food Trades.
Back then, I had no idea who God nor the Lord Jesus Christ is. I did not know the importance of the Eucharist not until I became their scholar. That was the time that God was properly introduced to us, scholars, through the Catechesis, Sunday Eucharist, and the participation in the Church’s activities. As a scholar, I learned not only about God but also about life, being responsible to my duty and being a good Christian. In the beginning, it was not really easy when you are faced with life that you are not used to, like having daily duties and schedules but it molded me to be a better person and thanks to the help of the sisters that made life easier than I could ever imagine.
The presence and guidance of the sisters also helped me a lot in knowing and understanding God’s presence in my life and in my growth as a person and as who I am today. I am not just a person who was sent to school to get an education but I am proud that I was formed to take challenges, to overcome fears, and to be an example to others. I am a shy person but with the formation I received, I learned to stand in front of others.
One of the best experiences of being a scholar, was the opportunity to serve as a lector and commentator in our Parish which allowed me to proclaim the Word of God to others. I also learned to pray the Rosary, read the Bible and having experienced Him as my personal God. There were several opportunities to cook for the sisters whenever there have retreats. Those were the times that I have witnessed their simple yet joyful living as consecrated faithfully committed to the Lord. With those experiences, I learned not only to be mature in my faith but also to be mature in taking life’s challenges.
Presently, I am in Saudi Arabia working as a house cook. The tough part is that they are Muslims. The nation allows Catholics and Christians to enter the country as foreigners but doesn’t allow us to practice our faith openly. It challenges my catholic faith when they invite me to become one of them but at the same time leads me to tell them that “I was born Catholic and I will die as Catholic”. I expressed my thoughts that we have the same and only God but different ways of praising him. They all believe in Mohammad the last prophet of God and I firmly believe in Jesus, the Son of God. Whenever they tell me about Islam, I share to them about Catholicism too, and they said that now Muslims and Catholics are friends.
Thanks to the sisters because they were the ones who helped me understand what truly being a Catholic is. They helped me to have a deeper connection with God in the person of Jesus Christ. The Catechesis was a big help, I feel that my eyes were open and it helped me walk with faith and with all knowledge of my God. And because of that I am confident enough that I can make it here and in wherever I will be.
As the people around me continued sharing to me about their religion, to quote “our God is Allah, we were born Muslim”. I was adamant and said: I was born a Christian, and will die a Christian.