Ram is a deacon in his church in the Philippines. He’s a part of the praise team. He’s president of the men’s ministry.
His life reflects Jesus. But it wasn’t always that way.
“I was saved recently, only about five years ago,” he starts. He grew up knowing of Jesus and even studied to be a priest, but he admits that he didn’t have a true relationship with Him. “I went to seminary, but after a month, I gave up and returned home,” he says. “It was so difficult and challenging.”
Often in the Philippines, people know of the name of Christ, but they do not put their full faith in Him. Many—like Ram—will wear amulets, an object believed to have special powers to protect them and their families. In reality, these are not protectors, but idols that open the door to darkness. It’s a dangerous mix when people speak the name of Christ but still worship these idols.
“I easily got offended whenever born-again Christians destroyed idols,” Ram remembers. “I was annoyed when these Christians said, ‘Throw your idols away; they are against the Bible.’ I actually got into a fight with them once because I was so angry.”
Ram met Grace, a born-again Christian, and the two were married. Over the years, Ram continued to attend his church while Grace and their children would attend an evangelical church. He practiced traditional rituals like kissing statues and continued to wear his amulet for protection. “After every Sunday service, I would go to my friends’ houses, drink alcohol, and gamble at cock fights,” he says.
One day, God got Ram’s attention.
There was a large Acacia tree near his home. Neighbors were convinced the tree was possessed by an evil spirit, but Ram didn’t believe them. They cut the tree down while his service truck was parked nearby. But after the tree was cut, Ram had a terrible feeling.
“I felt uneasy with my service truck,” he remembered. “It seemed like something was not right. I felt like something was living inside the truck.”
Strange things began to happen. He ran over his family’s beloved dog. The truck would drive itself in reverse. After he told his wife, she invited her pastors to come and pray over the truck. They did, and when they left, Ram had an out-of-body experience where he felt like he was floating. His wife discovered he was still wearing the amulet. She buried it in the backyard.
“We told the pastors what happened,” he says. “They told me to read the book of Psalms. From then on, I started reading the Bible.”
Days later, Ram was tormented by nightmares of evil spirits. He woke up screaming, then dropped to his knees.
“I told God, ‘Lord, you are so powerful. No one can win against you,’” he says. “I promised God that I would change. From then on, I attended my wife’s evangelical church every Sunday and participated in Christian seminars.”
Today, Ram is an active member of his church in Wao. He’s a prayer warrior who works alongside Lorijane, a Bible League-trained Bible study leader who leads 50 Bible studies in the area. Ram knows the importance of reading and understanding God’s Word and having a true relationship with Christ, and he wants to share that with his community. He will soon be trained to lead Bible studies like Lorijane.
“God changed me, and I made a promise to Him that I would never go back to my old way of living. Jesus changed my life fully,” Ram says. “When I was not a Christian, yes, I was happy, but I was only happy on the outside. Deep inside, I still had a burden. But when you are a Christian, your joy is inside and out. Once you understand the Word of God, you will have no more interest in all these nasty habits.”
God has raised up faithful believers like Ram to share His Gospel. Praise the Lord!