November 1985 – Agatha Xaris Villa was born to a young couple pastoring Praise Centre Church (along Harrison – Manila). First born of three children – you can already guess how the first third of my life was like.

1990 – we moved to the city of Davao (in Mindanao) where I spent the best four years of my childhood. The sights, the sounds, the experiences I had there would be the stuff of my fantasies (for years to come).

1994 – We then moved back to the grunge of Manila where everything went downhill for a good while (HAHA).

I think much of my life from 9 – 12 only appears as a dark shadow in my memories (even though I remember most of earlier childhood years ). And not without reason too. It wasn’t a pleasant experience.

April 1999 – Everything changed. My eyes are opened and I meet my Saviour.

2000 – My world changes again when my parents reveal that we are moving to pastor a church in Hong Kong. I didn’t know then, but my life was never going to be the same again.

November 2004 – My parents gave me a “Berakah” – releasing their rights over my life and publicly announcing that their daughter was now in full hold of her own life. They said, I was ready. I was trusted. Oh, but they couldn’t have been more wrong.

I plunge into depression and I have what can only be described as a fast descent to death. I became disillusioned with the Church and became an advocate of the “anti-established religion” movement. I had gender-identification issues – which I tried to resolve in secret. I was still heavily “involved” in ministry – heavily, but superficially. I became deeply addicted to pornography and was lost in other compulsive cycles that controlled my life for the next 3 years.

I suffered in silence under the grip of bondage. Until…

February 2008 – A miracle happens. The Lord opens a door and I experience what it feels like to jump off a cliff onto the unknown. I decide to leave and cleave my old life. I undergo seven months of intensive renovation, a mental/emotional/spiritual detoxification.

September 2008 – A milestone is reached when I finally “came clean” with my parents. I was tempted to just bury my bones in an undisclosed location – hoping that they would be forgotten forever. But it became very clear that this was a step that was crucial to my restoration. It was the hardest bit to swallow. It was yet another cliff I jumped off.

February 2009 – I come clean with the church and give out my testimony. Wide eyes and gasps were heard before sobs broke and for the first time in my life, I feel like I could do anything. This was what freedom felt like.

October 2010 – I have an epiphany and cannot sleep. The Lord gives me release that things were different now. It was time to lay “Agatha” to rest.

Back track: Agatha comes from the Greek word for “Good”. And indeed, all my life, I had tried my best to be good – to meet the expectations of those all around me, to seek the favour of everyone… it was a never ending pursuit that would always end up in disappointment.

Things were different because for the first time I understood that there was more to life than the pursuit of excellence (i.e. when was I gonna graduate from just being “good” to being the “best” — never).

November 2010 – A quarter century old – I decided to throw a “funeral party”. Not a lot of details are given – I wasn’t sure what I was doing myself. All I knew was. I wanted to make use of the time to tell everyone that the “Agatha” they knew – the one who lived for everyone’s approval – was no more. I had wanted to be publicly baptized (as was the custom in the past) but it was too cold.

A short testimony was given and I unleash the unthinkable. I ask my family and friends to thereto call me “Xaris” – which is Greek for “Grace”. Not a description – but an ambition. To be a person living By Grace alone.

2011 – Things are looking up.

I graduated from The Open University of Hong Kong after five long years and am now enrolled in the University of Hong Kong for a Post Graduate Diploma in Education (which took half a year in admission procedures)(crazies!).

I am about to enter into my 7th year of employment as an English Teacher at CCC Heep Woh Primary School. And this coming school year, I now have MY OWN classroom, spear-heading my own 2-year-pilot program sponsored by the EEG. (crazies).

Church of God Community Hong Kong – my beloved family – has moved to a more permanent location in Sham Shui Po. The most derelict area of Hong Kong.

What does the future hold? I really don’t know. Like I said in my quick profile, I have dreams but I have only ONE plan – to follow Christ no matter what.

One thought on “About Me

  1. Hi Agie,

    What a pleasure your mum and I have for the privilege of raising you up to love and honor him and to be involve in building the church for that great Marriage Supper of the Lamb. We love and bless you in the Lord…dad

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