Tithing and God’s Faithfulness

Tithing and God’s Faithfulness

Will you trust God to be faithful no matter what? In this article, Adrian—a college student—shares how he obeyed God and experienced His faithfulness in his life.

I was in high school when I first heard the gospel. A campus missionary reached out to me and helped me know God more. It was through him that I began to grow more in my faith.

As I became serious in my walk with God, I heard teachings about tithing and God’s faithfulness. I knew nothing about tithing before, but as I listened more to His Word, I began to understand that it is an act of faith more than anything else.

After receiving Christ in my life, I immediately submitted to His Lordship, even in the area of finances. I know that whatever He blesses me with, I should be a good steward and give Him back a tenth, and even more. Whatever money I receive is—after all—His. It is not mine to begin with.

As a student who relies heavily on an allowance, it is admittedly hard to be faithful in giving the tithe. But every week, I make it a point to set aside what is rightfully God’s. Even if it is a challenge at times, God always provides and remains faithful to me. He always assures me that He is in control, and He knows how to meet my needs.

When I was in my sophomore year, my father got diagnosed with a chronic kidney disease. He could no longer work to provide for our family and my studies. It was a challenge to be faithful knowing that we were in a trying situation, but when I continued to obey God despite what we were going through, He also continued to provide.

Just when I thought that I could no longer finish school, a British couple offered to sponsor my tuition. It was something unexpected; I never thought that something like that would happen. It was amazing how God made a way for me to still go to school in spite of our family’s predicament.

Since then, God has proven to me that He will always remain faithful no matter what. Aside from the couple He is using to help me with my studies, He has also blessed me with a part-time job in an insurance company. Through it, I am able to bless my family as well.

As someone who was reached in the campus, I believe that God can use me to be a blessing to other students, too. I am currently a volunteer in Every Nation Campus in San Pedro, discipling and passing on the teachings I learned from my mentors and leaders about God’s love and faithfulness. I will finish school early next year, but my heart to honor God will continue even after I graduate.

“Bring the full tithe into the storehouse, that there may be food in my house. And thereby put me to the test, says the Lord of hosts, if I will not open the windows of heaven for you and pour down for you a blessing until there is no more need.” (Malachi 3:10)

Tithing allows us to grow in our faith and teaches us to trust God more even in the area of our finances. It strengthens our faith and enables us to give our worries to the Lord, believing that He is faithful. Let us continue to honor God and give Him what He deservesour trust, our devotion, and everything we have.

Accepting God’s Free Gift

Accepting God’s Free Gift

God reaches out to us in ways we often do not expect. Janevie, one of our Kids Church teachers in Victory Sta. Rosa, experienced this when a friend invited her to join a small group a few years back. Here is her story.  

It was a casual invitation. A good friend invited me to meet with her for dinner—her treat. As a high-school girl with limited food allowance, the idea of having free food for dinner sounded really appealing to me. I said yes and hurried off to our meeting place, not expecting anything.

The minute I arrived, though, I sensed that something was different. Aside from me, there were other high-school girls flocking to my friend’s table; they were all eagerly sharing stories about their faith in God. It was too late to back out when I realized that it was not a simple catch up dinner—it was a dinner with my friend’s small group (or what’s known as a Victory group).

Since then, I found myself joining them every week. At first, it was all about the free food and the idea of not having to head home right away. (It was a convenient excuse for me not to spend time with my family.) Though my heart and my head were never really there, I found it a good way to let the hours pass while half-listening to their testimonies.

But things changed quite unexpectedly. God gently nudged my heart.

As the months passed, I found myself suddenly becoming curious, eager to know more about God. I started attending regularly with a sincere interest to grow in my faith. I would spend hours meditating on the Bible every single day, meeting with people who were also hungry to hear about God’s promises. Not long after—that same year—I received Christ as my Lord and Savior and surrendered my life to Him.

Slowly, things began to change in my life. From a high-school girl clueless about Jesus, I turned into someone passionate about her Savior. From a daughter who was indifferent about her parents, I turned into someone who values her family and honors her elders. I was never the same again.

As I grew deeper in my relationship with God, He—at the same time—was also planting a new desire in my heart. One day, I boldly stood in front of our class and preached the gospel to my classmates. Never had I done something like that before. Suddenly, I became so eager to talk about Christ and became really passionate about reaching out to “old Janevies,” students who knew nothing about His goodness. The heaviness to spread His Word and reach out to young people just swelled in my heart—until I finally said yes to another “invitation.”

By January next year, I am making a commitment to reach the next generation by being a full-time campus missionary. I will heed His call and preach the gospel to more students who were once like me. It will be an honor and a privilege to do something I have grown passionate about—something that is exciting yet humbling at the same time.

It has been years, but I will always look back to the day I got invited for a free dinner. It was, after all, a free dinner that led me to God’s FREE gift of salvation—a gift far more valuable than anything else.

School of Campus Ministry holds 16th Commencement Exercises

School of Campus Ministry holds 16th Commencement Exercises

Last November 24, Thursday, our 16th batch of campus missionaries graduated from the Every Nation School of Campus Ministry. The 46 men and women who make up this batch were trained for three months, and are now entering their new season of full-time vocational ministry.

SCM Graduation-1

For the past eight years, the School of Campus Ministry has been training, equipping, and preparing men and women to be sent out, to advance God’s kingdom in the campuses. We are in faith that our new graduates will be living the vision of witnessing young people give their lives to Jesus, and help them make disciples.

SCM Graduation-3

Please pray for grace, strength, and fruitfulness for our new batch of campus missionaries! Let’s continue standing with them as they change the campus, and change the world.

Victory Pioneer Hosts Leadership Development Activities

Victory Pioneer Hosts Leadership Development Activities

Victory Pioneer held its leaders’ convergence last June 30 to July 2, 2016, and held an Engage event for senior high school students a week earlier, capping off leadership events that reached far beyond the walls of its center at the Robinsons Forum in Mandaluyong City.

Leaders and Interns Convergence

Last June 30 to July 2, 2016, Victory Pioneer held their Leaders and Interns Convergence at Forum Robinsons in Mandaluyong.

The three-day conference aimed to reinforce the culture of evangelism to interns and Victory group leaders by encouraging them to engage the lost.

Victory Pioneer leadersTo kick off the event, Every Nation World Missions Director, Pastor Jun Escosar, talked about the heart of why we evangelize. He stressed that evangelism is part of the discipleship process, wherein three relationships are included: relationship with God, relationship with fellow believers, and relationship with the lost. With love as the foundation and relationship as the conduit, “discipleship is never complete until the one you disciple reaches out to the lost,” he said.

On the second day, Pastor Jeff Eliscupidez talked about the Great Commission as a global mission. He encouraged the leaders to be part of the global mission by having both a passport and a Bible. As we reach out to other people, we are reminded that we don’t cause the change in other people, but it is God who does so.

To cap the conference, Bishop Juray Mora talked about the Father’s heart on the third day. He discussed Luke 15:20, which contains the story of the prodigal son. Just as in the parable, Pastor Juray highlighted the forgiving and merciful nature of the Father with the way He deals with His children. He also warned against attaching our value to the world, saying that our identity should only be found in Christ.

The convergence was also an opportune time for leaders and interns from different worship service schedules to fellowship with one another. To listen to the audio messages of the speakers, you may visit this link.

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Soar High Senior High

Last July 21, 2016, Every Nation Campus Pioneer held their first event for senior high school students entitled, “Soar High Senior High!”

From 5:30pm to 7:30pm, the Main Hall of Victory Pioneer was filled with 223 seniors representing different campuses in Mandaluyong. The aim of the event is to connect these students to mentors who will go through One 2 One with them, and to connect them to Victory groups.

Joysoar high senior highce Ching, a young actress from GMA 7, John Wilson, a basketball player from the Phoenix Fuel Masters of PBA Masters, and Krystle Yague, the voice behind McDonald’s “Tuloy Pa Rin” jingle, graced the event to talk to the students and perform special numbers. Joyce shared her experience of being persecuted when she was just starting as an artist, and her realization that there was a reason and purpose why God called her to be part of the entertainment industry, while John shared his testimony coming from a broken family and a sinful past, to a life of fulfillment and purpose in Jesus Christ.

Around eighty-three students responded to the altar call after Pastor James Macariola preached about purpose. These students are now being followed up by Victory Pioneer’s leaders, so that they can be connected to Victory groups and be discipled.

As a result of the event, most of the attendees invited their friends and classmates to the youth service the following day.

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Shepherding the Black Sheep

Shepherding the Black Sheep

“I debated many things with her,” Kath reveals, “but I couldn’t question her changed life.”

Twenty-two-year-old Kathlene Parungao shares how her close friend and discipler, Kara de Leos, steered her from her self-serving lifestyle to a life that honors God. The two girls met in college in a less than typical way. “I didn’t like her at first because she was dressed in a way that irked me. It’s probably a girl thing,” Kath laughs, “I knew she was a party girl like me.”

Coming from a Christian family, Kath knew about the gospel and salvation but, as with all the other members of her family, her knowledge didn’t translate to a changed life. “I thought Christianity was just about following a set of rules, looking good in the eyes of people, and going to church every Sunday,” she shares, “I never understood that it was about a relationship with God.”

Growing up, Kath would attend church out of fear that she won’t be saved if she missed a Sunday. Her so-called Christian life evolved around a “good works mentality.” For her, God was Someone too far to reach. Christianity was in her mind, but it never touched her heart. She never established the necessary foundations in her Christian journey.

During her teenage years, she harbored anger towards her parents and felt that no one really loved her. She started to fill her need for acceptance through her peers. “I did things that I never thought I’d do just so people could accept me or be friends with me,” she reveals. Soon, she entered into a wrong relationship, learned how to drink and smoke, and embraced the night life. Kath was branded the black sheep of the family.

Victory Group When she entered college, Kath became her worst nightmare. “Because of my rebelliousness, I brought a lot of pain to my family,” she confesses, “I’ve made my mom cry, my siblings, my lola, and probably even my dad! That’s how hardened I was.” She also started influencing other people with her wayward lifestyle.

Every day after school, Kath and her friends would go straight to Greenbelt to hang out and drink. It became their routine, until one day, Kath was overwhelmed with feelings of guilt. “I heard a voice ask me if I was really happy destroying my life and lying to my parents, she reveals, “It asked me if I was happy trying to live up to the world’s standards.” Faced with reality, Kath had to be honest with herself and accept that she wasn’t really happy. She knew that if she kept up with her lifestyle, it would only be a matter of time before she crashed and burned.

“I knew I needed help, so I started praying,” she says, “I prayed every single night: God save me.”

Kath eventually transferred to De La Salle University, seeing this as an opportune time to start on a clean slate. Unfortunately, without a strong foundation and by relying completely on her own will, Kath was swallowed by temptations and ended up reverting back to her life as a party girl. In her new university, she felt that it was still her old life.

Until one day, she noticed something different in Kara, the girl in her class who annoyed her. She felt the feeling was mutual. She knew Kara partied hard like her. “But when I saw her again, she was different! She was dressed modestly and her face was radiant,” she exclaims, “I felt that she had a lighter spirit, and that really got me curious. So, I stalked her online!”

Kath found Kara’s blog, wherein she wrote how God saved her life. Being a party girl herself, Kath related so much to what she read. She sent a message to Kara on Facebook and asked her more about her transformation. It was a call for help, and Kara answered right away. She invited Kath to the La Salle cluster of Every Nation Campus Philippines, where students gathered for Victory group meetings.

“I was so shocked because people there were so kind even after knowing my story,” Kath shares, “I didn’t feel judged. I didn’t feel that I had to do anything to be accepted.” It was a far cry from her experience of pleasing people for approval. From her life-changing encounter that day, Kath was connected to a Victory group.

Kara started leading her to ONE 2 ONE, and patiently walked with her in her new Christian journey. “I saw her relationship with God and how she was so deeply in love with Jesus. So, I prayed to God, ‘Lord, I want that kind of faith, too.’”

Kath started reading the Bible, in faith that God would speak to her, too just like how He spoke with Kara. She would read His word everyday, always praying for Him to speak to her. Until one day, she got her answer. “I couldn’t forget the day God finally spoke to me! All my questions were answered. It all made sense, she reveals, “That encounter is the encounter I always go back to whenever I feel the urge to give up. God spoke to someone as small as me. He had me at my worst and still chose to love me. What a personal God!”

This encounter stoked a fire in Kath’s heart. She felt an overflow of love that she had to share with other people. She went back to her previous church to inspire her friends there that it is possible to have a relationship with Jesus. She also started leading others to One 2 One, until she was able to create Victory groups in high school and in La Salle.

Kath VGHer family, who initially persecuted her, also started attending church after seeing the dramatic change in Kath. After years of praying for them, Kath is ecstatic to see them being discipled. Her sister has just undergone Victory Weekend, while her brother just finished ONE 2 ONE. Their mother now attends a Victory group and Kath is excited for her to start ONE 2 ONE, too. “I thought reconciliation was impossible,” she confesses, “But it’s happening now by God’s grace.”

Recently, Kath was given an opportunity to go on her first mission trip to India. She couldn’t help but be amazed at how God uses her for His mighty purpose. Three years after she met Kara, Kath still helps in the campus even after having graduated for a year already. “Imagine, with my previous lifestyle, I was so close to doing drugs, until God sent her to me. She took a chance at me before the world could! If she delayed her obedience, I would probably still be the old me.” With this, Kath realized that every second counts.

Throughout her journey, she learned that the youth can make or break the future of this nation. She admits that it’s not an easy journey to lead other people, but for her, there’s nothing that compares to winning the souls of young people for Jesus Christ. She is in faith that one day, the young people she’s discipling will choose to honor God and stand for what’s right wherever they’re planted. <

“I realized being a Christian is more than having a religion, but it’s a relationship with Jesus. It’s as real as any relationship we have now.” From being a black sheep, she is now sheep of His pasture, a disciple of Jesus who was lost and has now been found.

Change is Coming at Ignite 2015!

Change is Coming at Ignite 2015!

On June 2-4, more than 14,000 world-changers from 34 countries all over the globe are converging for Ignite 2015, the Every Nation Campus Conference. We are excited as these students encounter God like never before in three days of equipping and empowering at the Smart Araneta Coliseum.

The Every Nation Campus Conference is held every two years. This year marks the first time Ignite will be held in the Smart Araneta Coliseum.

After this conference, we are looking forward to hearing stories of God’s awesome work in the campuses and nations of the world!

Please stand with us in prayer for the following:

  • Protection, provision, and expectant hearts for the delegates leading up to the three-day conference
  • Safety for our international delegates as they travel to and from the Philippines
  • For God’s power to come in an awesome way
These students are on fire to reach their campuses, families, and nations for Christ!

For more details on Ignite 2015, please visit ignite.ph. Keep posted on conference updates by following them on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.