From a Woman Who Loves to Party to a Woman Who Loves to Worship God
Writer: Hanna Guigayoma
Cora Malaga has initially described herself as a happy-go-lucky woman, a party girl, and a worrier. She smokes when things get tough. However, she believes that she's still a decent person because she has never done anything wrong against anyone and their parents trained them to be very religious. They profess Roman Catholicism.
Realizing she needed Jesus
Her coworker once talked about God and tried to persuade her to join their church. But she doesn't see the point of having God in her life. However, she observes in her officemate's life that even when that person is dealing with great problems, she remains calm. "I saw how bad her situation was, but it was easy for her to live life," Cora stated. She realized at that point that when Jesus is present in our lives, our troubles become less burdensome, and we are not alone in carrying that burden. That's when she decided to go to her officemate's church, despite the fact that she didn't understand why.
In 1991, she accepted Jesus Christ as her Lord and Savior. It was at this stage in her life that she and her friend started going to church in Pacita. The first church in which she attended was located at Novaliches, Quezon City, where they were reached out to by families from all over the world. During the weekend, her friends invited her to Juana Thompson (St. Peter Baptist Church).
She arrived at Adelina 3, a subdivision located at Biñan, Laguna in June 1993. She longed for a church because she was going through so many difficulties and challenges at that time. Her officemate's life testimony reminded her that despite troubles, God can still provide peace in our hearts. In August 1993, she began looking for a church in Adelina. "Thank God," she expressed her gratitude. "I came across a sign that said 'Adelina Christian Fellowship'. They discovered a three-family home church. Their only activity is prayer gathering, until the church is moved to the Gumogda family's garage.
Turning point of her life
She went to an event named 'Turning Point' in 2000. That was also the turning point in her life when she truly accepted Christ as her personal Savior. As a result, she began to change for the better, and she also began to live a life dedicated to Jesus. "Before, I was simply a regular attendee," she explained, "but honestly, going to church is not in my heart." "I was once assigned to bring flowers to the Lord, but I completely forgot about it." She took the Lord for granted.
"Why me?" she asked the pastor when she was already designated as a Sunday School teacher. "I am a sinner and I am not worthy to be utilized as a teacher," she said. "We are all unworthy to serve God because of our sins," the pastor responded, "but who else is worthy to preach the Gospel?" Despite the fact that she lacked the qualification to teach Sunday School, she felt obligated to do so. "However, I believe it is rather risky to enter the ministry without going through the proper equipping process," Cora stated. "It could make a person feel compelled, which could lead to someone burning out of faith."
She was able to overcome it, because of God's grace. “If there's a will, there’s a way” as Cora says. "If you want to learn and be used by God, He will certainly be there for you," she said. "Because God's grace is enough for all of our needs."
She became a God-fearing Woman
She is an easy-go-lucky woman who believes that everything is alright since she was raised by her parents to be a pious person with moral values, but she was transformed into a woman she never imagined she could be when she gave her life to Jesus. “I realized that everything I do must be for the glory of God,” Cora remarked. She had no idea what it meant to be a God-fearing woman before. Why should we be afraid of God? But, the Lord taught her that any sin, big or small, is still a sin in God's eyes. “I now have a reference to God, even if I just committed tiny mistakes which no one knows and sees, but I know God sees it”, she added. “But we are still in the flesh, we are not perfect, we still sin, but the difference is that we already fear the Lord and are mindful that He is keeping an eye on us.”
How did she control her anger?
She had a dispute with a coworker once because she was accused of something she had never done. She wanted to scream and confront that person, but instead she typed down all of her fury on paper, tore it up, and threw it away. At least, she was able to express her anger without breaking God's law. She always declares that she is a new creation and that her previous self is no longer with her (2 Corinthians 5:17). Anger has always made her emotional in the past. When she allows Jesus Christ to take control of her life, God's conviction is the only thing that makes her cry. She used memory verses to combat negativity in her life so she could get a good night's sleep. Before, when she can't sleep, she used to smoke and go to parties with her pals. But, despite doing everything she could think of to help her, she still felt the weight and uncertainty of her life. She was astounded at how God is absolutely working now that she had surrendered everything to Him.
What made her stay?
Cora's primary motivation for staying at Adelina Christian Church (ACC) is the Lord Jesus Christ. She had previously only attended various churches, but ACC is the only church where she has truly grown not only as an individual, but also in her relationship with God. She had an assumption that every Christian has the same wonderful qualities and will not cause others to stumble. However, when the church faced various challenges, such as some members departing due to personal issues, all of her conclusions proved to be incorrect. “Not all Christians are growing spiritually and living according to His righteousness because everyone still has their own weaknesses,” someone said. She realized that people who are spiritually weak and strong are mixed together inside the church to extend a helping hand to one another. She openly admitted that she had considered leaving the church at one point. “If you leave, who will stay in the Lord and stand and fight for Him?” a pastor asked.
“My commitment to the Lord is the fundamental driving force to stay behind all of the lessons I've learned from my experiences at the church,” she stated. “Despite the fact that our church and my home are in the same subdivision, I have yet to fulfill my commitment to God, and how much more so if I chose to leave. It has seemed that I am trying to flee from the Lord.” She promised God that she would stay in the church for the rest of her life since she believes she is serving God rather than the people. The Lord, on the other hand, is just using individuals to form and mold us into His image. “We are still in the process of transformation, and God's work in our life is still not finished,” Cora added. “When it comes to the Lord's learning and process, there is no end until He finds us purified.”