Bringing Hope to Homes

Bringing Hope to Homes

Michelle and her Victory group have been reaching out to families in a barangay in Santa Rosa, Laguna long before the COVID-19 pandemic. She and other Kids Church volunteers have been doing outreach programs in that barangay to minister not just to the kids in the area, but even to their parents and families.

When the coronavirus outbreak started and most regions were placed under enhanced community quarantine, one of the parents from that barangay reached out to Michelle and sought help from her group. When she told her Victory group about this, they immediately responded by giving donations. She was soon overwhelmed with all the help they were willing to extend to those families.

Though unable to involve her Victory group in the packing and distribution of the relief items because of the community quarantine, Michelle had all the help she needed from her own family. And to her surprise, what she thought as a one-time thing was soon followed by more donations from people who were all willing to bring hope to families in need.

Now, they have been sorting and distributing relief packs every week not just to one barangay, but to three barangays! God’s generosity overflowed through different people, and it was way more than they expected.

God’s provision also paved the way for them to be an even greater blessing to the kids in the area. Aside from the relief packs, they have also started preparing and distributing snacks for the kids in those barangays every day. And in order to continue what they have started prior to the lockdown, they brought their Kids Church classes online through a messaging app. Aside from the lessons and snacks, they also provide activities and crafts for the kids and their parents.

In this season of uncertainty, we can go beyond helping people in need by sharing the message of the gospel with them. Michelle and her group have seen the changes in the lives of the kids they minister to and even in the lives of their parents. And it’s what motivates them to continue reaching out.

Like Michelle, her group, and all the other people who are doing what they can to be a blessing, let us bring hope all around us. In spite of the crisis, we can be a channel of blessing because we trust that God will always provide for us.

 

Michelle Papa is a Kids Church teacher and one of our Victory group leaders in Victory Santa Rosa.

Saying “Yes” to God

Saying “Yes” to God

There are moments in life when saying “yes” to God is difficult. This powerful testimony of Jansen and his wife, Khamille, proves that following God is always worth it. Read how they chose to obey God, even if what He was asking them to do did not make sense at first.

 

I am married with two children. My wife, Khamille, just gave birth to a healthy baby girl last December 9, 2018. Though our child’s birth is a miracle and a wonderful gift from God, there was something far more special that God did in and through us before and after she was born.

In the days leading to her childbirth, my wife told me that God had impressed on her heart to give birth in a public hospital. She did not know why, but she knew in her heart that God had a plan, and she completely trusted Him.

When the time came for my wife to give birth, we rushed her to a public hospital. There were so many patients at that time, so there were no rooms available anymore. When she gave birth, a space opened up for her in a ward. There were six other patients there, so the room was a little cramped. It was a little uncomfortable for her, but my wife did not mind. While looking at the pitiful condition of all the other patients, we slowly understood why God brought us there.

One of the patients in the ward, Ate Emma, lost her baby while she was giving birth. We both felt her pain, so we took that chance to pray for her and encourage her. What she went through was not easy, but we reminded her that God is always with her, and she can seek comfort from Him anytime.

Aside from Ate Emma, we also met another patient: Louie. A blood clot formed in her brain after she fell from a motorcycle. Like what we did for Ate Emma, we prayed for Louie and preached the gospel to her.

After praying, my wife told me to give a portion of the money we prepared for her childbirth to the two women we met. I was hesitant at first since we also had bills to pay and medicines to buy for our baby, but God was very clear about what He wanted us to do.

After we agreed on helping the two women financially, I checked our bill and was so surprised to know that it was way lower than what we were expecting. Even though we already gave a big chunk of what we had to Ate Emma and Louie, we were still left with more! Knowing that it was God who made it all possible, we deemed it fitting to give them all the money that was left to us. It was a bold act of faith and gratitude.

Now, my wife and I are handling a couples Victory group at Victory Malate, and we know that God will continue to use us in every situation; we just have to make ourselves available and always say “yes” to Him.

And this is love, that we walk according to his commandments; this is the commandment, just as you have heard from the beginning, so that you should walk in it. 2 John 1:6

Sometimes, God asks us to do something we do not understand. It may not make sense to us right away, but we should bear in mind that He always has a plan. There is a bigger purpose for every little thing that He wants us to do. And as we obey, let us allow Him to be our Lord in every situation and in every area of our lives.

Beyond the Series: A Generous Home

Beyond the Series: A Generous Home

Pastor Lee and Jiji Concepcion share how they honor God in their family and teach their children to walk in the path of generosity.

 

How do you manage your finances at home in a way that honors God?

It is always good for a couple to have the same values in terms of finances. With us, it was clear from the start that we will honor God with whatever blessings He will give us. Thus, tithing is very important to us. Though we started our new life together being in debt, we agreed to pay off everything and still put God first by faithfully giving our tithes. Eventually, this mindset helped us manage our finances better and allowed us to pay off our debts.

 

How do you involve each other in your day-to-day financial decisions?

We know that we always have to work within our budget. If there are financial decisions that we need to make, we always try to sleep on it first—whether big or small. We avoid making impulsive decisions by praying and allowing some time to give us the clarity we need.

In everything, there should also be an element of faith. So out of faith, we do not say “no” to each other, but we set proper priorities and weigh what is important to us as a family. Jiji does not say no to big purchases, but she always checks if they are in line with the values that we want to live by. Doing so keeps us in step with our priorities and budget.

 

How do you instill the value of tithing to your children?

We do not want to deprive our kids of the joy of giving, so we introduced tithing to them early on. Even before they understood what tithing was, we—as parents—were already setting aside their tithes for the gifts they had received.

It was also intentional, on our part, to make sure that our kids learn the value of generosity: to know that we can give because we have an unlimited God who provides abundantly. As such, when we have opportunities to help others, we allow our kids to take part. Whenever our household help presents needs for her family (tuition, home repairs, medical expenses), our kids are always the first ones to help. Sometimes, on their own, they also proactively give to the church through Real LIFE, our building projects, and missions.

Seeing our children live out the lessons we taught them gives us great joy. The amount they give might not make a big dent in the actual need, but the joy they experience from being a channel of God’s generosity is a reward in itself. After all, it is not the amount but the heart of generosity that counts.

 

Pastor Lee serves as lead pastor and executive pastor in Victory Pioneer, while Jiji serves as the chief operating officer of Victory and Every Nation Philippines. They have been married for seventeen years and are blessed with five children—Daniel, Ian, Luke, Sabrina, and Andrew.

Beyond the Series is a set of interviews with Victory pastors on topics related to our sermon series.

Channels of God’s Generosity

Channels of God’s Generosity

Do you know that God can use us to bless others no matter where we are or what situation we are in? In this article, Victory group members who work in the same office share how God’s generosity allowed them to give food, encouragement, and gifts to a foundation in the metro.

 

It all started with a group of three officemates in a local company in Parañaque having the desire to know God more. Though attending different Victory locations, they decided to meet every Thursday in their office to study God’s Word and deepen their faith. Slowly, their group grew, not just in faith, but even in number. In just a few weeks, even their colleagues from other departments started joining their discipleship group meetings. They are beyond amazed at how God has been moving in and through their group.

A few months ago, one of the members who had recently accepted Christ in his life challenged everyone to put God’s love into action by expressing it to those who needed it most. Though clueless on how to raise enough funds to cover the amount needed for an outreach program, they—in faith—believed that God would let His generosity flow through them. Brimming with hope, they started to seek help from colleagues, friends, and family members who were willing to partner with them. They knew in their hearts that God would take care of the rest.

True to His Word, God soon provided more than what they needed. Before the event, they were still 80% short of their goal, but on the day of the outreach, God poured out His blessings beyond their belief. They were able to raise not just 100% of the budget, but 130%!

So on November 17, Saturday, their group—composed of 20 people, eight of whom are part of Victory Fort, Parañaque, Alabang, and Santa Rosa—visited a charitable foundation in Manila. Before the outreach, they held a feeding program near the foundation and blessed the people in the area. Afterward, they worshipped God together, shared His Word, and gave food and gifts. God generously provided everything they needed, and they felt honored and blessed to see the kids touched by what God was doing through them. Truly, it is a privilege to be used as an instrument to express His love and generous heart.

Currently, they are growing together in faith and serving God in their respective locations. They are also continually sharing the gospel with their colleagues who have yet to accept Christ in their lives. They know that it is God alone who enables them to generously share His Word and His overflowing love.

You will be enriched in every way to be generous in every way, which through us will produce thanksgiving to God. 2 Corinthians 9:11

We can grow in faith and generosity knowing that we have a faithful God who provides for us. It is only through His grace and generosity that we are also able to bless others and give beyond our capacity. No matter where we are, He can use us to be a channel of blessing and love to others.

Greed

Greed

“When John preached about repentance and generosity, (the Bible says) he preached good news to the people!”

The result of repentance is a changed life. Learn more about the message of generosity as a result of repentance in this blog post from Pastor Steve Murrell.