Charlie Alcala, Ex-Christian, Philippines
•    By Charlie Alcala
The current of life can drag you to a place you would never think of going.  Our fate is not in our hands, although it would seem to be; in its very veins are traces of handprint totally in contrast to ours.  I have learned this wonderful truth in my own personal laboratory called life.

My spiritual adventure started when I was a teenager.  Worldly life gave me no fulfillment so I turned my head to a different road-“Religion”.  I joined the Born-again movement and was very enthusiastic.  My passion brought me to full time ministry and I was trained to become a Pastor.  

Years went by, the challenges and my personal assessment in the church led me to question my faith.  What came after was years spent in struggle that eventually led me to distance my self away from the church and into the worldly life once again.  But maybe because I was really searching for fulfillment my craving for spirituality continued.  This time I experimented with other religions: Vaisnavism (a branch of Hinduism), new age philosophy, Buddhism then Islam.

What I found in Islam was totally different from what I heard in the news and saw in the movies.  I discovered that it is a religion of peace that seeks the betterment of society.  The laws and moral codes are there to forge equality, justice, and dignity among the people.  Islam dwells more on solving real life issues than ecclesiastical doctrines by providing practical solutions.  Upon grasping this wonderful truth I had no second thoughts, I told my online counselor over that I am going to be a Muslim.  

Immediately he asked my number and called me then guided me in my declaration of the shahada (the Testimony of Faith).  After that he instructed me to find a good Muslim community.  By the guidance of Allah I was able to find one here in Cebu, Alhamdulillah!

Now I am training to become a good Daa’ee (propagator of Islam).  The more I read about Islam the more I am falling in love with it.  There are more jewels to be discovered as long as we stay focused and look for solutions rather than burying our hands in the mud of negativity.  As long as we are determined, we will be successful.  Ameen! Ameen! Ameen!