Biggest Breakthrough

Biggest Breakthrough

Edlyn Celestial of Victory Antipolo shares how her long-ago prayer was answered last year and became her biggest breakthrough to date.

I came to know Christ eight years ago. One of our campus missionaries in U-Belt presented the gospel to me, and not long after, I made a decision to accept Jesus as my Lord and Savior.

Since then, for the past eight years, I would pray and fast at the start of each year and believe God for my family’s salvation. I wanted them to experience the same joy I felt when I came to know Christ. As such, since 2010, my faith goal has always been the same: to see my entire family in one church, choosing to follow Jesus.

In 2016, Victory planted a church in Antipolo. Though it is just five minutes away from our place, it was not until May 13, 2018 (Mother’s Day) that I mustered the courage to invite my family to our worship service. Not knowing what to expect, I was filled with overwhelming joy when my father responded to the challenge of the pastor at the end of the message. I had no idea that a big part of my long-ago prayer would be answered that day.

After accepting Christ in his life and going through Victory Weekend in August, my dad took different discipleship classes to grow more in his walk with God. His bold act of faith eventually inspired my mom and my younger brother, too. Just three months later, they also made a decision to follow Jesus; they finished their Victory Weekend last November.

After eight years of praying and waiting, my long-awaited faith goal became my biggest breakthrough to date—and since then, there have been many more. Currently, even my uncle’s family is regularly attending a worship service in Victory Antipolo; he and his wife are also now part of a couples’ Victory group.

Though I never saw it coming and lost faith countless times, God proved to me that He had never forgotten His promise.

And they said, “Believe in the Lord Jesus, and you will be saved, you and your household.” (Acts 16:31)

God’s gift of salvation indeed extends to us all—it is made available to anyone who has faith in Him. Let us not grow tired of praying for our loved ones and believing God for breakthroughs this year.

 

 

Alive in Christ

Alive in Christ

Celine fell into cardiac arrest and flatlined for nine long minutes. While all the doctors and nurses were calling “code blue,” her husband, Mach, called out to God and chose to believe that He is bigger than death itself. Below is her powerful story of being revived—physically and spiritually—in Christ.

After giving birth to her first child in 2005, Celine was diagnosed with hyperthyroidism. She went under medication for a while and bore two more children. She had been on and off medication because of that.

In 2013, she had a hyperthyroidism scare, but she ignored it and went along with her life as if she had nothing to worry about. At that time, she was dealing with so many things in her business and personal life. She was stressed and there was so much anger and unforgiveness in her heart. It seemed as if she was living a double life—expressing her faith outwardly in church, yet failing to let go of all her ill feelings inside.

In July of the same year, while Celine was still harboring unforgiveness, an indescribable pain washed over her. She was in so much pain for two nights. The following morning, she woke up sweating and throwing up. She lost her vision, had seizures, and soon fell unconscious. Her family thought she was dead.

At the hospital, the doctors informed her family that she had brain swelling and temporary blindness due to posterior reversible encephalopathy syndrome (PRES). She stayed in the intensive care unit (ICU) for five days with so many complications. Her stomach bloated like an eight-month pregnant woman, and water went into her lungs before she fell into cardiac arrest. She flatlined for nine minutes.

While she was being revived, her husband never gave up and kept holding on to God. Soon, Celine was miraculously revived, but she eventually fell into a coma. For eight days, her husband, along with their friends and churchmates from Victory Katipunan, relentlessly prayed for her to regain consciousness and recover. Though all her organs were slowly failing at that time, and the doctors were telling her family that there was a very slim chance that she would live, her husband pressed on and even encouraged all their friends and relatives who were already losing hope at that time. He believed in his heart that God would bring her back fully recovered.

After more than a week of being in a coma, Celine regained consciousness but still stayed in the ICU for a month and a half. Her situation was beyond difficult and the pain seemed too much for her to bear, but God provided for everything she needed—He miraculously provided for her hospital bill and surrounded her with people who tirelessly visited her every night to pray for her and worship God. And even though her faith was already failing at that time, her husband’s remained strong—and carried her through all the painful days. A big part of her was unbelieving, but her husband fought unbelief and trusted that God would turn things around.

After almost two months, Celine was discharged from the hospital. She had to continue all her medications at home, and her family had to set up a mini hospital room for her. All the while, she felt defeated and weak. It was a tormenting process for her. But in the darkest days of her life, God’s Word gave her light. She had become dead spiritually, but His promises gave her hope and life. She learned to declare His goodness and His power over her situation every single day. Slowly, she became fully dependent on the Lord and realized that His grace is always sufficient for her. She also finally learned to forgive and let go of all the bitterness she was harboring in her heart for years.

Now, Celine is not just alive physically; she has also been revived from a spiritual death that sapped out the life from her for years. She is now very much alive in Christ.

“For as the Father raises the dead and gives them life, so also the Son gives life to whom he will.” (John 5:21)

Only in Christ can we find hope and a life worth living for. His power remains alive even in the midst of death and suffering. Let us allow His Word to live in us and fill us with so much love.

Great Faith Series

Great Faith Series

Let’s enter the year with great faith in our great God! As we begin 2019, we will study the faith of men and women throughout Scripture that will inspire and encourage us to believe God with great faith this year.

Here are the topics for our upcoming six-week sermon series starting on the first week of January.:

  1. The Hebrew Believers
  2. Enoch
  3. Noah
  4. Abraham and Sarah
  5. Moses
  6. The Others

Let us all have great faith, and believe for great things from our great God in 2019!

See you at our worship services in Metro Manila or at any of our churches across the Philippines!