Hi everyone! My name is Omar Rushlive L. Arellano. I am 26 years old. I am from Quezon City, Philippines. I am a Registered Nurse. I graduated from Trinity University of Asia. I was an atheist way back in college. I don’t think it was based on the intellect, but more of the emotion. I had problems with my father, but what made me more atheistic was the problem of evil. It was so real to me in a sense that aside from the injustices I saw in the world, it seems that the Lord was absent in the life of my family.
One time came in my college years that we were basically not doing anything. This gave me more time to think about random things. God used it for me to realize how systematic the human body is. I had difficulty reconciling this with my atheism. So even though the problem of evil was unanswered, it made me think that there must be a God, but I don’t know which one. This led me to search and study different religions. It was amusing for me during those time that I found Christianity unique, in a sense that it’s the only religion I found where God would initiate in reaching out to man, not man reaching out first to God for salvation. I did not put my faith in the Christian God during that time.
One time came when a friend invited me in Nurses Christian Fellowship in our college. It was part of Intervarsity Christian Fellowship here in the Philippines, but the organization was made to focus more on nurses. A senior asked me where I was going when I would die, I said that I was going to hell. Then he asked me the favorite question of those who use the evangelism explosion method, “if you are in the gates of heaven with God and He asked you, “why should I let you enter into my heaven?” What would you answer?”
I told him (paraphrase), “I already told you, I’m going to hell! There is no need to ask the second question.” After that, he shared with me the gospel. He cited scripture for each point he shared with me. That’s when everything started to make sense and I started to put my faith in Christ that day. It was on October 2010. That’s when my journey started. It was not an easy journey, since I had many struggles with my faith and sins (that may be a story for another time).
My passion towards apologetics started when I read Dug Down Deep by Joshua Harris. If my memory is correct, I read about Ravi Zacharias there, then I got curious, so I searched about him in the internet. When Ravi came to the Philippines in the Unshakable Conference of Christ Commission Fellowship, that’s when I realized the gravity of what it means to contend for the faith. I prayed to God that I’ll study blood, sweat, and tears for Him.
The Lord gave me an opportunity to be part of an apologetics ministry. Our Chapter Director John Phillip Pesebre started a Ratio Christi Chapter in the University of the Philippines,
Diliman since 2014. I was able to serve with him since then. I’m thankful for the privilege, since the Lord used it for me to grow further in my knowledge and faith in God. He is currently on leave for recovery, and my contract for my work just ended, so I’m currently finding another job for me to be able to provide for my family (which means parents and siblings). I’m using our inactivity during the campus for the meantime for me to study more about apologetics and philosophy, so that I’ll be ready in case we resume again.
I just completed the Core Module last year, and am currently undergoing the Faith Seeking Understanding elective in RZIM Academy. I’m hoping to learn more from all of you in this forum. I pray that we may be able to edify each other more, for us to be able to worship God even further with what we will learn from each other. God bless everyone!