Michael Soares: Pakistan. The city was Karachi. At 19, I got a lucky break in the bank, where I got like, a promotion. Could buy what I wanted, travel wherever I wanted, do whatever I wanted to do. As of today… it’s gone. Everything I worked for is gone.
So I grew up in Pakistan. Karachi, Pakistan.
Martin Zerrudo: Describe what life was like growing up in Karachi.
Michael: I was a Catholic then. I had fond memories as a young kid growing up on the streets. My father I remember I think I was 17, I was doing simple jobs working in a store and he didn’t want that as a future for us. The end goal was to be successful. It’s a Muslim country. There weren’t very many very successful Catholics. You could only get to a certain point. I said to myself, “I’m going to be the youngest VP if I can be a VP.” And that’s what my thing was. I want to be this, I want this. I want a driver driving a car for me, I want a driver driving my wife around, I want the best education for my kids. That’s what I wanted.
Martin: And over time Michael had accomplished all of these goals.
Martin: In your mindset, during that time, was there anything that you needed? Or were you like, “I have everything.”
Michael: I have everything. I was like on top of the world. Could buy what I wanted, travel whenever I wanted, do whatever I wanted to do.
Martin: Although Michael Soares eventually achieved success, he had to leave home due to political instability.
Protesters in Pakistan.
[On screen video. Source: YouTube.com]
Martin: He had moved to Canada, but lost everything.
Michael: So, basically where I am right now with what I have right now all started with about five or six hundred dollars in my pocket.
Martin: Was it easy?
Michael: To get a job?
Martin: No, just to transition.
Michael: Oh no, it was difficult. It was difficult. You got to remember I came from a life that maybe a week prior to landing in Canada I had everything. But then, when I came here, it was like, “Wait a second.”
Now everything was a struggle. Every single thing was a struggle. But we had to go on, right? We had to find a way to go on.
Martin: During this time, Michael tried to turn to his Catholic beliefs for comfort, which was a struggle in itself.
Michael: When I first came to Canada, yes, it was church and everything. I was very involved in church and everything. But then once I bought my first house, things started to change. Now I have a house, now I have a car. I have less time for church. No, you know what, I want to sleep now because I partied too late last night. I can’t make the 12 o’clock mass. Maybe next time, God will understand. I don’t need to pray, I don’t need to go to church. Ok.
Martin: Deep down, Michael knew he wasn’t truly succeeding.
Michael: I have a great life, I’m happy now, content. But at the same time, there were pieces missing. What was missing was the fact that while I had so much I just wasn’t at ease. I really didn’t know what it was, I just wasn’t at ease.
Martin: When he was invited to listen to the teachings in the Church Of Christ, something inside him lit up.
Michael: Things here started making sense as to why things are done this way and why believe in this and why we don’t believe in that.
Martin: Why did it make sense?
Michael: Because it was coming straight out of the Scriptures. It was the word of God telling me what I should be doing, and how I should be doing it. It was so different from the way that he had been taught as a Catholic. As a Catholic, there’s a reading out of the Scripture, but the explanations really didn’t make sense to me. Nothing made sense to me there.
Martin: In contrast, the clarity of the teachings in the Church Of Christ amazed him.
Michael: The fact that there is no three bodies in one. The fact that there’s only one God, and not three different gods or two different gods. Christ is the son of God, and His form is man not God as in the Father. And I remember driving home alone. I would replay these lessons in my mind and I started finding peace.
Martin: Since becoming a member of the Church Of Christ, Michael’s life is filled with the kind of success that cannot be compared.
Michael: I go, I pray, I meditate, I sing songs of praises, and listen to the teachings. Its just my time with God and I think I finally have what I’ve always wanted. Because whenever I leave worship service, I always feel content, I feel happy; you know, I feel complete. My advice is, attend the Bible expositions or the Bible missions. Because something in there will resonate in your mind, no matter which faith you come from. I have now come to realize in something greater which is my salvation. So, if that’s what you’re seeking, give it a shot, you’ve got nothing to lose.
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