Glory be to the Lord Jesus Christ for his great love and wonderful works for our lives. It has been long since the bondage of sin have enslaved me. The power of alcoholism had caught me by the neck until things seemingly offered no chance to become better for my family and me.
It started when I was still a teenager, now I am 28 years old. I was raised as an orphan. I worked hard to find ways to have the so-called ‘better life’ – I worked my way up from early years in school until I finished college. I consider myself a hard working man because, were it not for it, I would be very far from finishing my college degree.
I started my career as a journalist. And eventually was appointed as an editor-in-chief of a local newspaper here in Southern Philippines. However, being an orphan, what I wanted more than anything was to experience what companionship is, rather than material accomplishments.
First, I tried to mingle with people, lost people. There I begin to know what vices are. So I adventured to see what they could offer to me. The vices that interested me most were not drugs, but ALCOHOL. Considering myself an intellectual person, I chose alcohol rather than drugs because, I thought, it would be a lesser evil. For a moment I thought it was, but as it went on longer – days after days, months, then years, I found myself being tied with a bondage I could no longer take away from me. I then became addicted to alcohol. The longer I engaged in it, the bitterer it became in my life. For so many years, the sting of alcoholism wrapped me. So then I longed to be free from it.
I tried to befriend others in the society that surrounds me. Perhaps, I thought, they would lead me to my quest for freedom from alcoholism. However, no person ever satisfied me, instead it worsened the loneliness and pulled me away from the peace that I longed for.
Maybe, I said to myself, my personal relationship with others is just too shallow, so I must go deeper. Thus, I engaged myself to a lady in the hope that she can help me find the freedom that I sought for. Later, she became my wife. My high expectation for marriage failed when, two days after we were wedded, I found out that the companionship with my wife could not even help me. The woman that I expected to listen to me when I would give myself to alcohol became my worst enemy. Overtime she would reprimand me for my drinking; I would look at her face as the ‘devil’s advocate’. It was indeed a disaster.
So instead of clinging to my wife for the cause of our marriage, I gave my faithfulness once again to my compadre – alcohol. This is then where our marriage was wrecked, torn-apart, and shattered.
Whenever my wife would rebuke me of my drinking, then she would have the taste of my fist. I keep on hitting her – I hit, hit, hit, hit, hit her. Instead of becoming an ideal, she became a battered wife. Many time she would spit blood from her mouth. Lots of times she would find her nosebleed. And it was countless times that she would have felt the strength of my fist in her face.
When my wife was two months pregnant, I remember hitting her and she held her stomach because of the excruciating pain. I could still remember the words that came out to her mouth when she cried: “Honey, please could you not show your mercy even to your unborn child?”
Twice were the times that I thought she would miscarry our baby because of the hitting that I had been doing to her. I wanted to stop my drinking and stop my hand from hitting my wife but I really couldn’t do it. I felt pity on the child inside my wife’s womb, but I just couldn’t stop myself from hurting my wife.
I tried many ways to solve my addiction with alcohol but it was to no avail. I read lots of books on alcoholism, browsed through the Internet on the many solutions to this addiction, consulted physicians, but all these were to no avail. It instead worsened every passing day.
One day, while I was browsing in the web, I came across the websites entitled: www.carelinks.net and then www.bbie.org. The sites captivated my interest and I spent hours and hours reading the books there – --- I discovered that what I needed most is the true doctrine of the Lord Jesus Christ. It took so many of my tears to come to know that my ultimate need is the presence of God in my life, and my family. Later, after re-reading some chapters of Bible Basics and Living with Alcoholism, I went home and, for the first time, my wife experienced my warm embrace while telling her, “Honey, the true Jesus is all we need.” We spent that entire night in praying for God’s forgiveness, and accepting Him as Lord and Saviour in our family. That was the first time my wife saw tears falling from my eyes.
For the first time in our married life, and in my entire life, I experienced peace that I can’t described. After a long time of marriage, it seemed that our honeymoon stage in marriage had only just started – we eat, pray, hug, kiss, and sleep together. For the first time in my life I find that I belong to someone. In all my past life of alcohol and not knowing the Truth, I really felt alienated from everyone all those years.
The thing really amazed everyone that surrounds me. I stopped drinking and gave myself entirely to my family. Today, seldom is the time that my wife and I will not go anywhere together. I accompany her everywhere she goes. She now experiences that she has a husband.
With all those years, I found out that:
a. Marriage plus alcohol will truly give tragic disasters to every family – either the husband, wife, or children.
b. Commitment to each other is the most significant aspect of marriage (Were it not for my wife’s commitment for our marriage, ours will surely have been a broken home. Once I heard her pray, “Lord, you know that, despite of the aches that I experience from my husband, I really love him so much that I could nor leave him.”)
c. God is the only solution of every problems, frustrations, desolation’s, and crises of our lives. The quest for freedom from anything starts when we surrender our lives to Him.
With all these goodnesses God has bestowed upon our lives, Cecile (my wife) and I gave our commitment to surrender our lives in the ministry of the true gospel of Jesus Christ. From day-one, that we received and committed to God’s true gospel, we are continuously preaching to every family in our community – especially those families who were ruined by alcoholism. For almost three or four months now, there are already five families in our community who surrendered their lives to a quest for the true Lord Jesus Christ. And it is continuously growing.
We feel an urgent call. There are so many in our country that encounter the same problems and struggles. We know for sure that God called us to this ministry to administer the need of the millions of people here – who have deserted from the message of the true gospel and therefore are in bondage to the power of sin. We know for sure that there are husbands and wives out there that need God.
I resigned from my job, and also my wife, and we gave ourselves fully in the preaching of the true gospel. We are living according to our faith. As we answer God’s call for us in this area, we know it is seemingly impossible for us to succeed. But I would say, “The naked eye may impossibly saw it, but we have these eyes of faith.” We are living by faith.
My wife and I have this vision of establishing a ministry where every victim of alcoholism must be rehabilitated, especially those husbands of longsuffering wives, those who were in just our position. In our area, alcoholism destroys 70 percent of every home. It means it is everywhere. It destroys much more than drugs. This ministry also aims at educating people who, after receiving God’s providence of freedom, would surrender themselves to God and join me and my wife in preaching the gospel of God. These preachers, if there will be (and I know that there will be), I believe, MUST be educated with the untainted principle of the Bible as taught in Bible Basics.
I wrote this testimony in the hope that there is someone out there, within the four corners of this world, who would include us in your PRAYERS. Your prayers will be the greatest things that you can give to us. Or perhaps help us – my wife, in anything that you can and me. I thank God for my good friend Duncan and his wife Cindy for their prayers and support. For spending so much of their time for personally ministering to us. Truly, they let me feel that I have a family. My wife and my child means so much for me now because, as being orphaned, I have nothing in this world that I can call my ‘own’ except for them. So great is God’s grace that I couldn’t ask for more. King David says, “What shall I give to the Lord for all His benefits toward me?” For my wife, and me our answer is ‘OUR LIVES’.
Bro. Alfredo and Sis. Cecily (Southern Philippines)