Pao’s Story

 

PaoI thought that my time at Wrexham will only be to finish my university studies and get a Bachelor’s degree. Never did I imagine that God has planned for something so much more.

Looking back on it, it’s amazing how God orchestrated His plans and how each little piece of the journey fell into place. To be honest, I didn’t even think that I will be able to take up my last year of study in Wrexham. I was set on finishing my degree in the Philippines, until one day we were told that we had some issues with our course. They presented us options—and long story short, I flew halfway across the globe to finish my degree.

PaoAgain, I thought that the journey was just that—but God has bigger plans. I suppose it all started when me and my friends from the Philippines, Inah and Jeta, met Derek. We were all studying at Glyndwr University and staying at Snowdon Hall. When Derek knew that Inah and Jeta were looking for a church, he proposed to attend Gateway Church Wrexham. I was not yet a Christian back then, but I went with them since I didn’t want to be left alone.

From then on, God used Gateway to reveal more of Himself to me, to pursue me into a relationship with Him. He softened my heart, broke down my barriers and made me realize that the thing I have been longing for all this time is Him—that this great desire I have is only satisfied by Him and in Him. He made me realize how great and unconditional His love is, how abundant His grace is, how unchanging His mercy is. I surrendered my life to Him, and accepted Jesus Christ as my Lord and Savior.

PaoIt didn’t stop there. God also blessed me, Inah and Jeta a home away from home. He gave us a second family in Gateway. Even though we were literally on the other side of the world, God provided us a place that we belong to. We had this family to comfort, support and encourage us, especially during times when we were battling with homesickness. We had brothers, also Glyndwr students, who pushed us forward, both in our relationship with Christ and our studies.

That was almost 5 years ago. Although I am now back in the Philippines, a piece of my heart still remains at Gateway. I am and I will always be extremely grateful to God for all that He has blessed me with there—the family, lifelong friends, lessons, experiences, trials, and victories. By God’s grace, someday I will be able to visit them.