Ryan Ermac

Pastor Ryan’s Testimony

Pastor Ryan and his wife Maricon along with his children Zech and Zariah.

Conversion Testimony:

I was born in a poor family in Cebu, Philippines, on September 6, 1986, as the eldest of two. During this period, my father was an unbeliever while my mother was a backsliding, Christian. Growing up was difficult due to the vices of my father which brought pain to my mother. On top of that, we were living in a difficult situation economically, always looking for what to eat next. During this time my father was a new policeman while my mother was a fulltime housewife who was striving hard to finish her college degree in education. 

When I was five years old my father heard the gospel preached in a nearby church. He repented of his sins and believed in the Lord Jesus Christ which saved and transformed him. As a result, he started bringing the whole family to church. This was the start of many changes in the family. There was no more crying and no more pain. My father’s transformation was miraculous and radical. My mother also went back to faith. As a young child, I grew up in the church as a part of the children’s ministry, participating in various Bible Studies, singing in the church choir, and attending every single activity of the church. I was pretty confident that I was a righteous person and would go to heaven since I was actively involved in the church.  If I was asked by people if I had God’s approval and love, I was confident I did because I was serving Him in the church. The pride and arrogance in my heart were undeniable.

However, our Church pastor, Rev. Dixie Bangcog, already sensed the pride and self-righteousness in me. He called me one afternoon in July 1997, we met in person and he shared the whole gospel message with me. I was shocked by the gospel. I did not know that the Bible actually taught that no one can be saved by his or her own good works. I was reading the Bible verses in Romans, and for the first time in my life, I came to God in prayer. I repented of my sins, believed in Christ’s work on the cross, and trusted my life to Jesus. Since then, I knew that I was a child of God, accepted by Him, not because of my own righteous works but because of His gift of forgiveness and salvation only in Jesus Christ. After a few months, I was baptized in water and continued serving in the church with a new identity in Christ. 

Calling Testimony:

While in college at the University of San Carlos, Cebu City, I was involved in various campus ministries and discipleship groups. It was during this time that I was immersed in ministering to fellow students through Bible Studies, leading discipleship groups, and street evangelism. My love for God’s Word and for leading people to faith increased tremendously. It was also during this time that I was actively involved in the pulpit preaching and teaching Sunday schools. I realized that this was something I wanted to do for a lifetime. This became my passion and my long-term goal, to spend my life in the ministry serving people, and contributing to the expansion of the kingdom.

However, this passion was almost lost when I graduated in college and focused instead on establishing my career. Eventually, I was successful in my career in the oil industry, becoming one of the youngest managers in the company nationwide. I lost touch with church and ministries, I instead centered my life on temporal things. But at the end of the day, I felt that something was missing. I knew that I was not right with God anymore, forgetting my very first love, and spending all my time at work. I was assigned in many places in the country and was out of touch with any church fellowship, small group or accountability group. This changed when  I was again assigned in Ormoc City, Leyte in 2011, I got married and settled there, and became part of a local church. There was a great need in the church to lead people back to God through preaching, discipleship, and evangelism. I sensed that God was touching my heart and wanted to use me in this way. 

What fueled and confirmed this sense of calling is when I discovered again the richness of the Word of God when I stumbled across the preaching of John MacArthur, John Piper, R. C. Sproul, David Platt, and Paul Washer. I was convicted and fell in love with God’s Word again and to the doctrines of the Reformation. I studied God’s Word and volunteered in preaching, teaching, outreach, and discipleship ministries. It was during this time that God cemented in my heart His call to ministry. The local church affirmed this calling and recognized the gift that God had given to me in preaching and teaching. 

In March 2013, I resigned from my job to pursue God’s calling. My family and I left Ormoc City, Leyte and went back to Cebu to enter the seminary and be trained and equipped with theology and ministry skills. During this time, my father went into full-time ministry as well. I volunteered to assist him through youth ministry, preaching and teaching. I became his intern and youth pastor. Since the local church, we are serving is in an urban poor area, I did not receive any salary to support my family. So I went on to become a bi-vocational minister, serving in the corporate world during the daytime while serving the ministry during weekends and studying seminary during some nights. 

I thank the Lord for my wife and family for supporting me in this call to ministry. Keeping everything in balance while still making God the center of my life during the difficult times, and the love and support of my spouse helps me stay focused. Most of all, the grace of God makes everything delightful and rewarding in spite of all trials and suffering. The greatest joy I have right now is Jesus and heeding His call in my life. I am a servant of God and my life is for Him alone.