My Testimony


My life before I met Jesus Christ was not that complicated. It’s not dramatic. I am a goody-goody person.  What I mean is that I am a very religious person before, and I am a member of the St Joseph parish choir (but I can only sing with my hands). It means I’m one of the guitarists. Not only that I’m part of the choir, I am an acolyte too (in tagalog-sacristan). In other words, it is seldom that I’m getting involved in an activity that is not good.

Out of curiosity, I tried to smoke and drink wine when I was a senior in high school. But I didn’t like how it tasted-I wonder what they wanted in those vices? I never tried drugs, and sex-I mean premarital sex. So generally, it’s not a bad life at all. What I enjoyed the most was to be active in the choir/church/and doing recollections with the Franciscan brothers. There was, in fact, a point in my high school days that I wanted to be in the Franciscan Order-in other words, to become a priest.

Imagine, you will call me Father Nonie Sables of the Vatican. So basically, that was my life before I met the Lord Jesus Christ.       


During the time that I was still an active choir in the Catholic Church in our place-I have this personal question. I’m not yet familiar with the doctrines of God during that time, and it was not taught in the church-because all we have to do was to practice for the songs that we are going to sing for tomorrow’s Mass.

My question is this: “if everything has a beginning as I can observe from my environment-where did God originate, or who made God, and who made the one who made God, and so forth. I didn’t even know that it’s a philosophical question. Even during that time, the way I prayed is not like reciting memorized prayers (I don’t even know the HAIL MARY prayer). My prayers were personal words that I would like to tell God. For example, “DYOS KO PA-BAITIN MO AKO PARA DI AKO MAPUNTA SA IMPYERNO” OR “GOD MAKE ME A GOOD PERSON SO THAT I WON’T GO TO HELL.”

“Where did God come from?” That was my unanswered question.

During my first year in college at the University of the East, in Manila, a lot of my classmates were involved in Campus Crusade for Christ, and they have what they call BS-or bible study. One of my classmates said to me, “Sables, would you like to join our bible study?” So, because I am a religious person, I like that. I did not know that will be the start of opening my life to God. At first, the lesson has no impact on me and just followed them in the prayer of accepting Jesus-I did not understand at all. For me, as long as you’re good, you will go to heaven.

But there was this trendy topic that time that caught my attention; The rapture and the second coming of Jesus Christ. I became curious about that and started asking questions and started to read pamphlets. One of those I read was the small booklet entitled “This Was your life,” it was the story of a man who died, and an angel reviewed his life before God. It is like you will watch in a movie house, but what you’re going to see is your life story from birth till you die. And God said, “check his name in the book of life.” The angel said Lord; his name is not in here. God said, “cast him in the lake of fire.” This led me to think deeply.

The following day, my classmate invited me to a film showing “entitled “A Thief in the Night” based on 1 Thess. 4-5. That’s about the rapture-in our modern term that’s “The left behind movie.” All the more I became convicted after watching that movie because I don’t want to be left behind. After the movie, when the pastor gave an altar call for those who would like to accept Jesus Christ-I was the first one to stand and prayed to accept Jesus Christ in my life-March 9, 1984, at around 10:30 pm. That’s how I became a believer-a Christian. The following day at home-I did only one thing; I read the four gospels the whole day.  


After I receive Jesus as my savior, there was this gradual yet fast change in my life and my perspective. Though I stayed two more months in the catholic choir, they found me and my language to be different. I started telling them about salvation and their need to be saved. I became zealous in witnessing. But it’s kinda offensive because the way I share before was like Jonathan Edwards, who would say, “You will go to hell if you’re not going to accept Jesus Christ.” But that was changed.  

There was no bible study in our school that I did not attended. I have grown in my faith (that was in school). Then after a year, I got involved in a Southern Baptist mission point in our place and became active there. That time, the mission church has adopted a program of accommodating missionary volunteers from the U.S. and will stay for the entire summer to help out in the ministry and as part of their exposure. Before they left, one of the missionaries gave me a book with a written dedication that said, “as I observed you in the ministry, I hope and pray that someday you will become a missionary or even a pastor” That was in 1986.  In 1998, I surrendered to God and decided to go on full-time ministry. I remembered that missionary named Bill, who prayed for me and I excitedly emailed him right away-he said he couldn’t believe it after 12 years; his prayer came true.

In 1999, I worked as a mission pastor of University Baptist Church, Manila. Then in June 2000, I decided to attend Philippine Baptist Theological Seminary, sensing the need to be equipped theologically if I am to minister effectively wherever God is going to use me.

While in the seminary, I also served as a pastor in a Southern Baptist church in Baguio City for three years.  When I graduated in 2003, I went back to my mother church University Baptist Church, and served as outreach pastor for four years. My family and I migrated to the US in 2007 and I am currently serving as Pastor of Grace International Christian Fellowship in Florida.