For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways,” declares the Lord. “As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts. ” – Isaiah 55:8-9

This scripture clearly shows how God’s thoughts and ways are way beyond anybody’s understanding. What man perceives as a great test, an imposing threat, a huge risk, or an insurmountable challenge, can often turn out to be a blessing in disguise or a miracle waiting to happen. Rodil Ocfemia, a disciple of ICOC Cavite in the Philippines and COVID-19 survivor , describes God’s amazing plan to reach out and baptize Emerson Domingo. Emerson was his wardmate in District Hospital, who was an asymptomatic COVID-19 patient, was baptized on August 21. The Evangelist Norberto “Bong” Aquino III of the South

Luzon Region and another brother who will be Emerson’s discipling partner served as witnesses.

“I am grateful to God because He used me in the midst of trial and inspire others even though I am a sinner,” said Rodil. He was discharged from the hospital after his July 4 swab test yielded a negative result. The father of four said he faced a lot of fears during his first day in the COVID-19 facility as he was alone in a room and was becoming anxious. With the Church’s constant encouragement to him, he accepted his situation and surrendered to God’s control and protection.

Rodil had to be transferred to the Bacoor District Hospital, which also has a blood bank since he needed a blood transfusion. That’s where he met Emerson. Just like what he did in the first COVID-19 facility, Rodil’s routine remained the same at his new isolation facility. He got up at 5 a.m. daily for his quiet time with God to sing worship songs. Rodil also engaged Emerson in conversations and eventually invited him to study the Bible and attend virtual worship services with him. After two face-to-face Bible studies, Emerson continued his studies virtually with some other brothers. Rodil said, “I’ve realized that God wanted me to reach out to him.” He no longer questioned God after his second swab test became positive again.

New Life

Even after Rodil’s discharge, he along with Kuya Bong and other brothers continued Emerson’s Bible studies. “When I received the result and it was positive again, I just prayed. I did not worry anymore. I held on to my faith in God that He is control of my life,” Emerson said. He said that when Rodil left the hospital, he prayed that God will give him strength to keep going and that he will get to know Him deeper through his Bible studies. Emerson was surprised when his fifth swab test already cleared him from COVID-19. He was at an isolation facility from June 9 to 19 then at Bacoor District Hospital on June 20 to August 8. After his 14-day quarantine at home, he made Jesus Lord of his life and went under the waters of baptism. Amen! God displayed his power in the lives of Rodil and Emerson who both received another lease on life after surviving COVID-19. While the experience made Rodil’s faith stronger, it paved the way for Emerson to find his way home to God.