Grace That Abounds

Grace That Abounds

Falling ill in a time of crisis is tough. But God’s grace is more than sufficient to meet the challenges we face. Here is a story of a mother who battled a tumor during the pandemic—and got an answered prayer even before the midyear fast.


In December of last year, I noticed a lump in the lower right part of my abdomen. When I went to the doctor to have it checked, I was told that it was nothing to worry about. He assured me that it would eventually be resolved on its own, but it didn’t. After five months, the lump grew and tripled in size. It continued to grow and became painful over time.

I was advised to consult a surgical oncologist, but because of the pandemic, most doctors could only accommodate online consultations at that time. I had no choice but to endure the pain at home and wait. Being sick in a time of crisis was hard.

When our city transitioned to the general community quarantine, I finally had the chance to have it checked and go through a series of tests. To see its extent, I was told that I needed to go through surgery as soon as possible—but it wouldn’t be easy. It would be a complicated operation with no assurance of a good outcome. Knowing the risks involved and the possible cost of the operation, the whole ordeal became a test of faith for us.

Though it was hard to look for a surgeon who is capable of doing a critical procedure, we saw how God moved in our situation. Through the help of my obstetrician, who is also a Christian, I got connected to a doctor who made the operation possible last month.

Because of the nature of the surgery, which required a huge part of my abdomen and surrounding tissues to be removed, we knew it would cost a lot and could even exceed the amount quoted to us. Our insurance coverage had already been exhausted, and we didn’t have the resources to cover the bill—but God, once again, proved that His grace abounds.

Though we weren’t able to get the financial assistance we were hoping to get from charity agencies, offers of help from our relatives and friends poured in. The doctor who performed the surgery unexpectedly gave us a significant discount, too; though we overstayed for a few days, we still ended up paying less than half of the operation’s total cost. We were overwhelmed and amazed at how God provided for us.

The surgery was successful, and I was grateful to be alive, but while waiting for my biopsy results at home, I felt the operation’s impact on my day-to-day life as a full-time mom to my two kids. My eldest is a seven-year-old boy with special needs, while my youngest just turned four. Knowing that I could no longer carry them or take care of them like I used to broke my heart each day. It was painful and hard, but it also strengthened my faith. It made me appreciate the little things in life.

I realized that the simple things that I used to take for granted—like getting up from bed, coughing, sneezing, or laughing without being in so much pain—are actually a blessing. Even the work-from-home arrangement which allows my husband to stay home and be with me is a huge favor from God. Knowing that my family is safe and not battling a disease is already proof of His protection and grace. And that gives me comfort every day.

Just this month, a few days before our midyear prayer and fasting, God already answered my prayer. My biopsy results showed that the tumor was benign, so there was no need for me to go through chemotherapy. My oncologist was so happy to share this good news with me, and we were overjoyed. I cried for an entire day, grateful that the Lord had spared me from cancer and further treatments that could have made it all the more difficult.

Because of what happened, my perspective on so many things has changed. I’ve always known that life is short, but now it’s different. It makes each day special and each moment precious. It will be a long journey of healing for sure, but I find comfort in knowing that God had already seen me on that hospital bed even before He created me and knew the ending way before it happened. I know that He is faithful no matter what—and His grace will always be sufficient.

But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me. 2 Corinthians 12:9


Diane Angelica Tolentino is one of our Kids Church volunteers; she and her husband are part of Victory Fort.

Take Heart

Take Heart

There is power in prayer, even for situations that seem beyond our control. Here is a breakthrough story from our midyear prayer and fasting week about a woman who never stopped believing that God is at work in her family.

My brother fell into substance abuse when he was 16 years old. Since then, there was a radical change in his behavior.

For the past eight years, he was in and out of rehab, trying different treatment programs. During those years, he would unknowingly cause trouble in the family and say hurtful things to us. It filled us with so much pain, anger, frustration, and hopelessness. As the only Christian in my family, though I never stopped praying for him, it was beyond difficult to deal with everything and see his life wasting away because of drugs.

In November 2019, my brother was discharged from the latest rehab facility where he had spent a year for treatment. When he was sent back home, we thought he would be okay, and we could all have a fresh start. But last month, something happened again. And that incident caused so much pain to us, especially to our mother.

Though I had never really confronted my brother for anything he did in the past, at that moment I felt God nudging me to finally talk to him. I had gotten used to praying silently for him and for our family’s situation, but on that day, it was different. I sensed a strong leading from God to actively reach out.

When I talked to my brother, I found out that it was only in May of this year that he had finally quit—and the physical and psychological effects of that decision were taking a toll on him. His addiction had lingering effects that continued to manifest, even though he was trying his best to rebuild his life and start over.

The whole time I was listening to him, I was also praying and seeking God for wisdom. God’s grace gave me the courage to ask my brother if he wanted to talk to a pastor and seek professional help. I thought he would say no, so I was really surprised when he said yes. I knew it was God working in his heart.

After that conversation in June, I fasted and sought God in prayer. Soon, my brother talked to one of our pastors in Victory Fort, and just this week—on the first day of our midyear fast—he consulted a psychiatrist, too.

There have been a lot of changes in my brother’s behavior since then. He used to lock himself in his room for days and not talk to anyone; now, he’s beginning to warm up to his friends again. It is my prayer to see him surrender his life to Christ someday, and I know that I just need to keep trusting God. He has His way of dealing with our hearts in His own perfect time. Witnessing the change in my brother now is already a miracle and an answered prayer.

Seeing how God is moving in my brother’s life, I am in faith that there is also hope for those who may be going through the same thing. God is close to the brokenhearted, and there’s no limit to what He can do. We can’t give up praying for those who need God, relying on His grace as we patiently wait. God never gave up on us; let us not give up on our loved ones.

Be strong and courageous. . . . for it is the Lord your God who goes with you. He will not leave you or forsake you.” Deuteronomy 31:6


Ana is part of Victory Fort. To maintain their privacy, we have not included a photo of Ana’s family. 

Answered Prayer

Answered Prayer

Sometimes, God answers our prayers in ways we don’t expect. His grace appears to us in the midst of grief, frustration, and disappointmentand always sees us through.


When my husband and I got married in April 2017, we prayed and believed God for a child. We had always wanted our firstborn to be a boy, so during our midyear prayer and fasting week in July 2017, we asked God for a son. The following month, we were beyond thrilled to find out I was already pregnant with Luke, our firstborn.

Luke was unexpectedly born at 23 weeks and one day. Because he was born prematurely, he had a very low chance of survival. Every day, the doctors would prepare us for the worst, but we refused to give up. The first few days were good—Luke was very active and we were hopeful—but on the sixth day, things took a turn for the worse; Luke developed intestinal problems and other complications.

After giving birth for the first time, it was hard to face the possibility of losing our child. While still in the hospital in January 2018, we attended prayer and fasting services via live stream and cried out to God in prayer every night. There was great emotional turmoil inside us, and it was crushing our spirits. But knowing that God was with us, we held on to Him and did everything we could—until the day we finally bid goodbye to our son. Luke passed away 20 days after he was born, leaving us with a glimpse of parenthood and a lot of questions, but a deeper relationship with God.

A few months later, in July 2018, we found ourselves in the midyear prayer and fasting service again. It was bittersweet to be standing there once more, believing God for another child, but we had faith that He would answer our prayer in His perfect time. In September of the same year, I learned that I was pregnant for the second time. I was filled with so much joy, but a big part of me was afraid. Old fears started to resurface—and later became real.

On the 24th week of my pregnancy, I was rushed to the hospital because of bleeding despite all the precautionary measures that we took to prevent preterm labor or miscarriage. I was placed on complete bed rest in the hospital and spent Christmas there with my husband. We did everything we could so our baby could stay in my womb for a few more weeks and develop further. Every day was a battle between succumbing to our fears and fighting one more day.

After months of fighting in faith, waiting, and praying, Jenna Everly, our second child, was born at 27 weeks and 3 days.

Though seeing our daughter filled with tubes, poked with needles, and hooked up to machines inside the neonatal intensive care unit (NICU) broke my heart in different ways, I knew that each day we were there was a blessing. Yes, I was scared of losing another child, but in the midst of all the questions and fears, God revealed to me that this life is not about me or us. It’s all about Him, His purpose, and His grace.

Every day for almost three months, I would visit Everly in the NICU to provide milk for her, carry her, play worship songs, and pray for every inch of her little body. My husband and I could not have endured those months without God. It was His grace that carried us through.

Finally, on May 12, 2019 (Mother’s Day), Everly was discharged from the hospital. She’s now healthy, happy, thriving, and with no impairments! Celebrating her first Christmas with the whole family was so memorable and meaningful. Her first name Jenna means God’s grace, while her second name Everly means brave. We chose those names because we believe that we can be brave in the midst of trials through God’s grace.

Every time I look back on what we’ve been through for the past two years, I am reminded of God’s faithfulness and love. I know He has beautiful plans for Everly and my family, and His unfailing grace will always see us through.

For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.”Jeremiah 29:11, NIV


Jem is one of our Victory group leaders at Victory Fort. She and her husband, Edd, are blessed to share God’s amazing story of grace in their family.

If you have stories to share, please email them to or send them through the Victory app!