More than Two Decades of God’s Faithfulness

More than Two Decades of God’s Faithfulness

Paolo and Gladys know that God’s faithfulness does not and will not stop in their marriage. When Gladys finally conceived after almost 10 years of waiting, she and Paolo held on to God and believed that He will remain faithful despite the impossibilities they faced. Know more about God and His faithfulness through their story.

Paolo and Gladys were already followers of Christ even before they met. They had known each other since college and became part of the same barkada. In 1996, both of them faced major crossroads in their lives that—unknown to them—would make their paths meet.

While Gladys was praying to God for clarity and direction about her desire to pursue missions, God promised her that He would not send her alone—she would go to the nations with her future family. Thinking it was unlikely to happen at that time because she was not in a relationship, Gladys sought God in prayer and believed that if and when it happened, she would be with a man who also had a heart for missions.

Meanwhile, Paolo—who had heard a challenge to go to missions in a retreat that year—was contemplating a career change. Like Gladys, he had a heart for the nations and was seriously considering going to the mission field. When asked to take work responsibilities in Southeast Asia, Paolo did not think twice and immediately accepted the role. He knew it would open doors for him to do missions.

After months of not seeing each other, Paolo and Gladys were reconnected and learned about their respective plans of going to the nations. For them, it was like hearing a revelation from God—an answer to a long-ago prayer. It turned out that Gladys was not the only one who was believing God for a partner in the mission field; Paolo was, too.

Allowing God to let His plans unfold in His time, Paolo and Gladys parted ways to do what God had called them to do first. Gladys left for Thailand to accompany a friend on a short-term mission trip, while Paolo traveled to different countries as part of his job. After they had returned, Paolo pursued Gladys and eventually won her heart. A few months into their relationship, they sought God in prayer to know His mission for them as a couple. And when it became clear, they exchanged vows in February of the following year.

Seeing how God had carefully crafted their love story, Paolo and Gladys were certain that no matter what difficulties they faced, God would lead the way and see them through. Believing for a child was one of them. Every year, amid different trials, they would patiently wait for God’s promise to be fulfilled. And year after year, their faith was tested.

Until it finally came.

After almost 10 years of waiting, Gladys became pregnant. It was her first pregnancy at 40, and it was highly sensitive. While carrying their unborn child, Gladys battled with hyperthyroidism, hypertension, and seven myomas. She was bedridden for six months—and it took a toll on their baby. As a complication of hypertension, their unborn child was diagnosed with intrauterine growth restriction (IUGR), a condition in which an unborn child is smaller than it should be. Because the baby was not growing at a normal rate inside the womb, the doctors told Gladys that it was at risk of certain health problems, and it might stop growing at some point.

Instead of losing faith, Paolo and Gladys sought God even more and devoted time to praying for their baby. Though there were many times that they both cried in pain because of everything, they still repeatedly went back to God in prayer and surrendered everything to Him.

On August 23, 2007, Gladys finally gave birth to a healthy baby girl named Sofia Therese or Pia. She had a Cesarean delivery at 36 weeks and six days. It was a full-term pregnancy! It was also a painless delivery all throughout.

Now, Pia is 11 years old, and she’s been a blessing to Paolo and Gladys. But more than anything, her parents know that she belongs not to them, but to the Lord. Last May 25th, Pia attended Victory Weekend for preteens, and although Paolo and Gladys had already attended Victory Weekend nine years before, they decided to be baptized in faith as a family—with Pia.

Paolo and Gladys’ family is a testimony of God’s faithfulness. He has been faithful to them for more than two decades; they know that He will remain faithful in the years to come. He will continue to be the author of their life stories as they await their next mission as a family.

“Let us hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering, for he who promised is faithful.” (Hebrews 10:23)

Paolo, Gladys, and Sophia are currently part of Victory Fort. Paolo has a small consulting business, while Gladys runs a school in Caloocan.

 

Believing God for the Impossible

Believing God for the Impossible

Seeing his whole family in church choosing to follow Christ was a far-fetched dream—until God did what He does best and made it all possible. Be encouraged as Junnel shares his powerful story of forgiveness and faith.

I was in high school when my father left our family. My mother, my younger sister, and I were all clueless on where he had gone. I spent most of my teenage years wondering where he could be, harboring ill feelings for what he had done.

Several years later, I learned that he was in jail. I visited him there not knowing what to feel. Being reunited with him that way somewhat intensified the pain I had been dealing with all along; it planted further seeds of resentment in my heart.

But God has His ways indeed. One day, a campus missionary visited our school and reached out to me. He preached the gospel to me and started spending time with me every week, guiding me in my budding relationship with God. Not long after, I surrendered my life to Christ and believed that one day, my whole family would do the same—no matter how impossible it seemed.

As I grew deeper in my relationship with God, He slowly took away the anger in my heart and replaced it with compassion, forgiveness, and love. I soon found myself spending a lot of time with my father, encouraging and building him up while he was in jail. During one of the court hearings for his case, he asked me why I was still extending love to him despite everything. Though emotional and in tears, I boldly took that opportunity to preach the gospel to him. Right then and there—in the middle of the courtroom—my father received Jesus Christ as his Lord and Savior.

A photo of Junnel and his father, Noel, during Victory Weekend.

Immediately after choosing to follow Jesus, my father was released on bail. He then made the most of his time outside jail going to the services and learning more about God with his Victory group. His new life with Christ also soon paved the way for his reconciliation with my mother. We are now living together again under one roof—as one family.

But God did not stop there.

Brimming with faith, my father did the most unexpected thing—he reached out to my mother and sister. He preached the gospel to them, and not long after, my far-fetched dream of seeing my family together, not just in one home but also in one church worshiping God, finally came to be. Now, every weekend, my whole family attends the worship service in Victory Lipa.

“God is not man, that he should lie, or a son of man, that he should change his mind. Has he said, and will he not do it? Or has he spoken, and will he not fulfill it?” (Numbers 23:19)

It is true that when God makes a promise—no matter how big or small—He is faithful to fulfill it in His perfect time. Do not give up, and do not stop believing God. He is faithful to His Word and always keeps His promises.