Let me share my life before. When I was in high school, I was engaged in extreme violence and illegal drugs. I was actually expelled from different schools because of gang war and drug pushing. I really like what I was doing before as it made me feel free. Late night hangouts with friends, high moments, drunk moments, brutal fights, sexual acts, those things made me feel free and I was addicted to it. My parents did their best to discipline me but I was the one who did not want to follow. For how many years I live with that kind of life and I thought that was the best for me.
Last 2015, I was able to attend the World Youth Congress in Bulacan because my mother wanted me to attend. It was not actually part of my plan because I was not really into “godly” things, but because of that congress I was able to encounter Jesus and believe in Him. After that congress, I really tried my best to overcome my addiction with drug. This was really difficult as there were a lot of days that I feel would weird because my body was trying to find the drug effect that I was used to. Because of that, I learned to pray every time I’m tempted and eventually I surrendered all these sins to the Lord.
There was this one time that a full time missionary asked me to come with him for a mission trip in Maasim Sarangani. That was my first time to stand in front of people and share how God changed my life for the better. Ever since then, I continue to go to mission after mission at different areas of Mindanao to serve His people. God brought me to different places with different situations but each mission gave me a freer spirit and joy inside my heart. Serving God became my escape to drugs and prayer became my spiritual medication.
Now, I’m currently serving as a mission volunteer of Mindanao, It’s hard and exhausting but I can say that this is the life like no other. There may be difficulties and challenges in mission, but the Lord continues to fill my heart with joy and continues to make me a better and holier version of myself.
Marven Saniel is currently a Mission Volunteer at MFC Youth serving as the Mindanao Servant