Our featured speaker is Ryan Villanueva from YA Ministry. He has become ready to share God’s goodness in his life. That was 2008, when he became an attendee/ believer here at Church of God. At that time, he was so passionate that he always wanted to be here in the church, enjoying the fellowship with his small group and leaders. That was up until the year 2013 when he experienced joy when he became a Born-Again Christian. When the year 2014 came, the story of his Christian journey was changed. From experiencing joy in his life as a Christian to the opposite which makes him felt lonely at that time. He felt extreme sadness since he’s alone in a boarding house here in Dasmariñas since he’s originally living in Bacolod. He was staying here by himself away from his family and relatives.
That same year of 2014, problems came to his life, one after another. That time he felt alone when he experienced a problem in his job. He had a huge debt to pay that he didn’t expect since he became a co-maker of his workmate who resigned and he was left with a huge amount to pay and he had to accept and pay for it. After that, his father who was living in our province became sick. He doesn’t know how he could visit him since he was staying here in Cavite. Then, there was a conflict in the ministry in their small group where there was a misunderstanding with each other. From those experiences, he felt alone, sulking in sadness until he became depressed. That time, he was just focusing on his problems. He felt that his life has no value, no future and no one is loving him. One night, while he was in his bed before going to sleep, he felt something heavy. Something very heavy is laying on him that he couldn’t explain or determine what it is. He’s trying to push this feeling away but he can’t. It could be a spirit at that time that is knocking on him. He couldn’t breathe and he wanted to run away. So he went outside of the house and stayed there from 1 to 4 AM. He’s just gazing his eyes from far away, feeling depressed. He felt really sad as if there was nobody around him at that place. It was just him. It came to a point that he couldn’t take it anymore. He couldn’t deal with his problems and sadness anymore. Then, he first attempted suicide. He took a lot of drugs at the same time and thought that was the end of it. But then, he just falls into sleep.
He was thankful to God because He didn’t permit for his life to be taken away. When he woke up, thinking that he’s already dead, he continued to live his life in sadness. A thought came to him; “What if, I will try to attend an ExCEL service?” That time, he was so desperately crying to God; “Lord, I wanted this feeling to be removed! It’s too much!”. He didn’t know why it came to his mind to attend an ExCEL Service. That Saturday morning, he rushed going to church to attend. He remembered going inside the church still feeling depressed and during Praise and Worship, he was still feeling sad. His praise and worship became alive during the part of the service where everyone would pray personally. He was talking to God; “Lord, this is the time that I wanted to talk to You! Because I’m very tired in this life and I don’t know what to do anymore. I give up! LORD, IKAW NA BAHALA SA LAHAT.”
That time, he was asking God even though he’s broken, to never let him go. He was crying hard, shaking while he was kneeling and praying. He felt like something or someone was shaking him. He asked God to embrace him because it felt like something was breaking in him. He thought he coule never recover. After the ExCEL Service, something felt different to him he started to feel bright and light. Starting from that moment, he has started immersing himself in reading the Bible, making devotions since he was doing it in the past. When he experienced depression that’s when he stopped.
He started praying with thanksgiving to the Lord and attending fellowships. From there, it has continued to change. God has been changing him little by little and removing the sadness that he used to feel before. After seven or eight months, his leader in the ministry told him that he’s going to be a core leader. He asked the Lord why, since he just recovered from depression. Now that God has entrusted him to do a task, He was very amazed at God because eventhough he was back then, undergoing through something, God still trusted him. He accepted the challenge and became a core leader.
God is indeed amazing and He is good in Ryan’s life! Because that time when he became a core leader, blessings keep on coming after another. He has been blessed with more small groups and these has kept on growing. And the greatest blessing of all, is God has allowed him to have his own family. If God did permit his suicidal thoughts at that time, He would never meet his wife and would have a child. He is now very thankful to the Lord that He has continued in using him in the ministry and has allowed him to share this testimony to His people.