Transformation_God Gave Me a Community_EL

Transformation_God Gave Me a Community_EL

God Gave Me a Community

I found my sense of belonging when I started serving in the production “Longing”.
By Eugene Yong, Eternal Life Assembly

Before I came back to Christ, I was longing for a community of acceptance. As I jumped from groups to groups, I had never stayed long with the friends I made throughout the years. I did not see my purpose in life and that life is meaningless to me. I was going through my life day by day aimlessly. Gradually, I fell into depression and had suicidal thoughts from time to time. It was because I was affected by how society had treated me and how I viewed things in a negativity way. I prayed from time to time for a stable community which could accept me for who I am.

A Friend Reached Out to Me

My interest in film-making actually led me back to Christ. I met a friend, Joshua, through my sister, and he asked if I wanted to be involved in a short web series called “Longing” produced by a church. At first, I was skeptical due to my bad experience with my previous church. However, because of my interest and I heard the concept summary of the project, I felt that it was aligned with my own longing for God and a community. Therefore, I agreed to the project and everything started to took off from there.

On the first day, I met Jireh who was the project producer, and he greeted me warmly. I was surprised because I have never felt that kind of welcome at all. As the production started, I felt joy and more joy, day by day even though the production was tiring because I love the people who were involved in the project.

I felt a sense of family among the crew. They treated everyone like family and it did not matter if you were inside or outside the church. Subsequently, by the end of the production, I was ready to dive head-in into this community but something held me back: I was afraid because of my past experience.

First Steps Towards A Loving Community

After the shoot of the web series was over, I was invited to attend the viewing of the first episode of “Longing” in Eternal Life (EL) Assembly. I accepted the invitation. It had been years since I attended a church service and the feeling was way different from the first time. I attended the church’s morning service. I felt warmth and peace instead of awkwardness and discomfort.

I remember that, at one night, I took a cab home with Jireh and I began asking more about EL. After that ride home, I’m sure that this IS the community I was looking for.

At the last viewing of the series, Jireh invited me to their youth camp and I said I would consider. Actually, I wanted to go because I wanted to experience the spirit of community again.

At the second day of the youth camp, there was an altar call. I was overwhelmed by so much love and comfort from God and the people who brought me to the front of the altar area. I broke down there and cried throughout the entire altar call.

Jireh came down and ask me to pray with him. I felt God’s presence behind him and cried even more because God’s presence was so strong and it gave me the assurance that I have found my belonging in this community at last.

I Found What I Wanted

They are the community that I was always longing for in the past and they accept me for who I am.

I was deeply convinced by my experience that day and a week later, during the Christmas event with the youth ministry, I publicly announced that I wanted to settle into EL and called it my home-church community. Later, I was introduce to my cell group and they are a loving bunch. They are the community that I was always longing for in the past and they accept me for who I am. I want to thank my pastors and friends who have guided me in coming back to Christ.

I want to thank God for planning the path for me to go back to Him and for using my interest to do that. After rededicating my life back to Christ, I have seen many changes in me. I finally found a purpose; my life does not seem so grey, but is full of colors; I am able to control my emotions better now; my depression is slowly being healed and I am grateful for God in what he has done for me.

Years back, I prayed to God for helping me find a nurturing community, acceptance and love. God is indeed faithful. He kept his promise and answered my prayers. I really want to thank God for being my promise-keeper and walking with me on this journey of faith.

Throught it all, I have finally accepted the past bad experience and moving on to the new path that God put me on. I pray that my testimony can touch the people who are going through a similar situation.