A Compass for Life
Kisha Guinto: There was one point in that journey of exploration within religion and I did not believe in God – because if other religions I’ve tried anyways, there must be nothing in this world that does exist that will make you feel something. That’s what I thought, until the Church [Of Christ].
My name is Kisha Guinto. I am 21 years old and I live in Swansea, Wales. My childhood wasn’t your typical sheltered and complete family. I didn’t really have my parents by my side. I had to almost be a mother and father to her [my sister] and, don’t get me wrong, I don’t regret that. I think I did lose my innocence a little bit in my childhood. It’s harder because it’s not really expected as a child, is it?
My parents, when I was a child, they both moved to two different countries when they separated. I think they are aware of the emotional damage it caused for the both of us, me and my sister. It was shameful to even want to get to know us because of that.
My mom petitioned us to go here to the UK for a better future and a better life. I think it was the best decision for us, well, because I wouldn’t be here if it weren’t for that, I don’t think.
“An Observant Child”
There was this one time where I remember attending the Catholic service. I looked at my parents and, well, they were asleep. There were a lot of people actually asleep in that service. I did question myself as a kid, well, “Why are they not paying attention?” Honestly, it felt like people were there just to be there.
I was quite an observant child. I would look around and observe people and how they were acting around, and the presence inside the space, it feels different.
“No Commitment in Catholicism”
After that honestly odd perplexing realization I had as a child, I was curious [about] what other religions had to offer. I was baptized in Catholicism but, because there is no commitment in Catholicism, you can go to other religions and actually listen and sit down. I did try. I was looking for something like, “Maybe I’ll feel something when I’m here, maybe I’ll feel something when I’m there.” I didn’t feel anything.
Interviewer: So, did you always feel that there’s something missing?
I did lose hope and I did not believe in God when I moved here. Because, if other religions can’t do it, or the ones I’ve tried anyways, there must be nothing in this world that does exist that will make you feel something. That’s what I thought, until the Church [Of Christ].
I moved to Swansea, and it was around the time I joined the Church [Of Christ]. Swansea surroundings I think honestly reflects how the atmosphere of joining the Church [Of Christ] and the journey in the Church [Of Christ] has been for me.
It was different because it was also around the time that was the most meaningful turning point in my life. I wouldn’t have gone to the paths that I did if it weren’t for that awakening.
A lot of people can talk. And you can listen to a lot lectures, everything, you can listen to it, but the difference that the Church Of Christ has is whilst you’re listening to it, you feel it in you, like you can’t with [anything] else. You’ll hear a word, or a phrase, or something that honestly will compel you to pay attention even when you don’t know it.
“Looking for a compass”
Interviewer: How and when were you introduced to the Church Of Christ?
Honestly, it wasn’t even part of the plan. But I think I did always question, why people said these certain negative things about the Church [Of Christ]. Why is everyone so opposed to it, so strongly? What are they actually teaching? And I did get curious, and, at that point in my life I was honestly looking for a something as a compass for where I wanted to go, where I should be going, what path should I be on.
So I attended two worship services, the same ones, just to make sure that I wasn’t delusional in the first one. It was weirdly accurate to what was happening in my life, weirdly. And I didn’t know how they knew or even if they knew, but iwas the same one. It felt stronger honestly.
And I was skeptical, yes, I was skeptical at the very first worship service that I had because it was so, “That can’t be true!” “That’s too timely.” I mean, I’ve been to other religions, but not like that.
-Can you tell us why it was timely, what was the lesson about?
The lesson was about family, surprisingly. My relationship with my mom at that time was very broken, it wasn’t fixed. And it taught me the values of how a daughter should be and how I should be, how I should be treating my mom, and why certain things, certain trials happen to families. And it honestly gave me clarity that nothing ever would have, even a book or a therapist would have, I don’t think. It just gave me what I exactly needed at that time and that was very peculiar to me because I’ve never experienced that in my life.
“Where is the truth?”
I think people, definitely in other religions, can be truly devoted to it without actually even knowing what they’re devoted to. And the fact that Brother Felix [Y. Manalo] used to be in another religion before, the fact that he had the courage to question it, I think was honestly that turning point where you also make yourself question,
“Is this the truth?”
“Should I be here?”
“Where should I be?”
“Where is the truth?”
I kind of let go of the idea that maybe there is one true Church in this earth that will honestly speak the truth to you and will make you feel something that never has before. But, to my surprise, because I didn’t really expect it, there was, there is.
“Surrendering to God”
Interviewer: What did the Church Of Christ cover that was missing in your life?
The Church [Of Christ] alone, and the worship services, and just God alone honestly, that offered me a compass in my life that I don’t think is replaceable. Whereas, in terms of family that I’ve always been looking for? No, I do love my family. But, seeing the brethren and how they are in the Church [Of Christ], that is what family is like, how they treat you. And that’s honestly rare because I think a lot of cultures and traditions do value blood and they won’t treat you as one if you aren’t. But the fact that it’s so easy for the brethren to do that, they’re the most caring, most attentive people I have ever met. And they’re very gentle even the least judgemental as well.
I used to overthink a lot. I used to be anxious about the future. But ever since joining the Church [Of Christ] and developing and settling in the faith, you learn how to surrender to God, and God’s plan for you.
The way I view the world now is, I have peace of mind that I probably wouldn’t have before if I didn’t join. It’s very different because peace, it’s something so underrated but something so important.
My advice for people my age, don’t be scared to ask that question to yourself: “Where is the truth?” What is the truth?” Because if you don’t take that leap of faith, that one tiny bit of courage, to even question it, to look for it, to seek for it, you will never ever be fulfilled – and that’s one of the worst things you can do to yourself.