An Eye-opening Journey
Raymie Villanueva grew up in a small provincial community in the Philippines. He and his sisters were raised in the knowledge of God by a small community church, where he came to know the Lord Jesus Christ as his Savior. His exposure to the Bible at an early age gave him a solid foundation that became especially important for him once he entered college.
Raymie became involved in a campus ministry while studying engineering at the Technological University of the Philippines-Visayas. Here, his faith in God was challenged by the many questions raised about God, the Bible and Christianity, which he had never encountered before.
“I faced issues about the doctrine of election, the truthfulness of the Bible, questions regarding the sciences, questions from other religious persuasions, evolution, and many more.”
At one point, he questioned God, asking Him to prove Himself. To this challenge, God responded by directing Raymie’s attention to the resurrection of Christ.
“Because He lives, I learned to accept that there really are things that are beyond human understanding. If I cannot understand something, it does not mean it is untrue. It only means I don’t understand.”
With his newfound confidence in the God who lives, Raymie finished school at the top of his class. He even went on to get 8th place in the nationwide Mechanical Engineering Board Examination.
Although an engineer by profession, Raymie is also a gifted teacher. He was given a leadership position in his church’s teaching ministry. He had always wanted to study in a Bible school, but there was no Bible school accessible to him that would allow him to study while working a full-time job, caring for his family, and continuing ministry activities. He was overjoyed when he was introduced to Grace School of Theology by a Grace student. Finally, he can begin a journey that will take him deeper into the clear truth of the Bible and to possibly find answers even to the difficult questions he wrestled with as a college student.
“My Grace education is now instrumental in giving me my needed updates. Although what I am learning now is not a new take on the Bible and theology, many times, I encounter eye-openers.”
Although Raymie is challenged with time in his pursuit of a Master of Ministry degree, he enjoys the learning as well as the relationships that he is able to build through the use of technology.
“I am an online student, so relationship is limited to forum chats and emails. However, I am thankful that the teachers are really full of conviction about what they teach. They believe what they proclaim, and that is very important for me.The interaction with others creates a learning experience that will be fruitful for me in the education ministry of the church.”
I am thankful that the teachers at Grace are really full of conviction about what they teach. They believe what they proclaim, and that is very important for me.
– Raymie Villanueva, Grace Student (Laguna)