I can still see it.

There was a bamboo hut I saw while traveling in a far-flung island in the country. Right smack in the middle of nowhere, with mountain ranges and farmlands around it, lay this tiny shack the size of your regular toilet.

I had to stop to take a good look, because it had a sign on top of it. And the sign was bigger than the house itself. I read it, in big, bold, bright, red letters:


Now they'd be in trouble if that were their central office.

Then boy, whoever put that sign had faith.

I actually felt like that bamboo hut when at fourteen years old, a prayer group leader 'prophesied' to me that I will preach to different nations all over the world.

She said she heard God tell her that in her prayers.


Me, an international preacher.


I'm not insane, thank you.

You see, I knew myself. I saw who I was every time I looked at the mirror, which I tried to avoid to relieve myself of unnecessary stress. I was a small-packaged, toothpick-structured, pimple-infested, grotesquely-formed, fourteen-year-old creature who also wasn't very bright. I was struggling in high school algebra, chemistry, physics, and Pilipino.

I wasn't much of anything, really.

Oh, I was a preacher all right.

At that time, I was already leading a small prayer group of thirty (30) people. Impressed? Don't be. My audience was um... a little bit biased. The regular members of my prayer group were the following: my mother, my father, my five sisters, their husbands, my nieces, my aunts, their husbands, my cousins, and the neighborhood dogs. Count that and you get thirty very loyal people with a few representatives from the animal kingdom.

International Preacher?


But listen. I'm now thirty-three years old. With lesser pimples; but with a receding hairline now. (I don't run out of problems.)

And insane has happened: I've preached to sooooo many nations all over the world these past years, I sometimes wonder if my next flight will be to a planet called Jupiter.

I'm not boasting. You see, I don't think I can. Ever.

I still see myself as that bamboo hut out in the middle of nowhere. I'm still that fourteen year old nobody.

All it had to take was God.

And a guy who failed in algebra, physics, and chemistry.

The truth?

Your past doesn't define your future.

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