Always Faithful

Always Faithful

Do you believe that God is still the same God who performed miracles in the past? Have great faith as Reah shares how God stood by her family while her mother battled with stage four breast cancer.

In 2016, my mother was diagnosed with stage four invasive ductal carcinoma. She was already 57 years old, and her doctors felt that it would be pointless for her to undergo an operation because the cancer cells had already spread to other areas of her body. They advised us to just let her live the most of her life—with us, her family—because she might have only a few months left to live.

The news took us all by surprise. Before the diagnosis came out, Nanay would usually just complain about a headache or backache. It never occurred to us that she could have a growing mass in her body, much less a terminal disease. We did not know what to do.

One day, instead of sulking or losing hope, we all gathered in prayer as a family and asked one of our pastors in Victory Pioneer to pray for her.

True to our faith, when we went back to the hospital, the doctors told us that Nanay could still have hormone therapy combined with radiation. We knew that it would still be hard, but it was a relief to know that there was still something we could do. Any little hope we could get at that time was already a big thing for us.

Since Nanay is staying in Mindoro, she would have to fly to Manila for her treatments. Each time I would see her go through the treatments, I would feel so bad inside. It was always heartbreaking to see her in great pain. Seeing her in a helpless condition made me want to give up. But Nanay’s faith strengthened mine.

After a year and a half of treatment, Nanay asked God to let healing be His birthday gift to her this year. Before her scheduled bone scan, Nanay prayed with Tatay and claimed healing for her sickness. She was in full confidence that God would take away her cancer—regardless if it is stage four and her body is not young enough to respond to treatments.

Though impossible, in February this year, Nanay’s bone scan results came back clear. There was no trace of cancer. Not even a bit. It was all gone!

When the doctors saw her test results, they were all in disbelief. Just a few months ago, they requested another test (a PET scan) and like the first one, it came back negative, too. They, along with the rest of my family, are simply in awe of how God made an impossible thing possible.

Now, Nanay is living her life like she never had cancer. She is very active in the ministry and has made a decision to devote her whole life to Christ. Her resolve and unwavering faith in God inspired me to be strong in my faith, too. Each time I would feel the need to give up, I would go back to the time we prayed together as a family and remember how God has been faithful to us through everything. He was faithful then. He is faithful now. He will be faithful in the years to come!

“Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever.” (Hebrews 13:8)

Our God stands with us through all trials in life. He is the same God who performed miracles and healed thousands of people in the past, and He can do the same in our lives. He can make impossible things possible through His great love and grace. Let us not lose hope and believe that He is always faithful.

To Heal and Make Whole

To Heal and Make Whole

Cloyd Abejar’s younger sister, Athea, was born with a heart problem that could cost his family half a million to cure. The entire family held onto God’s word and believed the Great Healer to work in their situation. Find out how God exceeded their expectations in this encouraging story.

 

My mother gave birth to my sister named Athea in 2015. On the year she was born, she was diagnosed to have a septal defect. This means that there is a hole in her heart, and she would need to go through surgery a few years down the road to completely address her health condition. We were told that the operation would cost roughly half a million pesos! Hearing this news saddened me and my family, but it didn’t stop us from believing that God could heal my sister.

Last year, I continued to declare God’s power over Athea and acknowledged that He is the head of our household. As I continued to pray, fast, and hold onto His promises, He started to move in my family, especially through my parents. My parents whom I dearly call Nanay and Papa had different beliefs, but they started to call on the name of Jesus and claim healing for Athea through prayer.

A month after consistently praying to Jesus as a family, the cardiologist informed us that Athea does not need an operation anymore! The hole in her heart miraculously closed! The doctor even mentioned that the prescribed medicines had no capability to heal the heart, and the only explanation she can think of is God’s power through prayer!

Our entire family felt the overwhelming love of God. After experiencing this miracle and seeing His power at work, my parents decided to surrender their lives to Jesus. They now have a personal relationship with Christ, and are walking with Him along with people who will help them in their discipleship journey.

I want to encourage you with these verses in the book of Psalms.

For the word of the Lord is right and true; he is faithful in all he does. The Lord loves righteousness and justice; the earth is full of his unfailing love. (Psalm 33:4-5, NIV)

When the Lord promises you something, He is willing and more than capable to fulfill it. He deserves all the glory for what happened to my family.

Cloyd with his family (Photo from Cloyd Abejar)
His Works and Wonders

His Works and Wonders

As the Lord unceasingly performs miracles in the nations, He is also at work in the smallest details of our lives. *Beatriz, one of our cross-cultural missionaries in Central Asia, has been on the mission field for years. She believes that God will do wonders in that part of the world. Little did she know that God would start by working in and through her. Here is her narration of the recent wonder that God did in her life.

 

I am quite healthy, and rarely get sick. I have never undergone surgery or experienced what it is like to be confined in a hospital. Whenever I return to the Philippines, I undergo general medical examinations every year.

It came as a shock to me when I experienced irregularities in my monthly cycle for the first time while I was staying in Central Asia last November 2015. It became normal again when I came back to the Philippines. At first, I did not see the irregularity as a serious concern; I thought it occurred merely because of stress.

When I returned to Central Asia in March 2016, I bled continuously for the next two months. At that point, I decided to consult with two doctors, who were also my friends. They prescribed a pill that stopped the bleeding and helped regularize my cycle until October 2016. After which, the bleeding did not stop until the end of the year.

My friends suggested that I return home for an emergency physical exam. When my doctor sat down with me to discuss the results in February 2017, I was shocked to learn that I had an ovarian cyst. As the doctor described the cyst and what I would need to do, so many questions flooded my mind. “How can this happen to me?” “What will happen to me if this develops into something worse?” These thoughts were recurring and becoming more terrifying.

As I left the doctor’s clinic, I went to a coffee shop to cry and talk to God about the diagnosis. I needed Him more than ever, and I knew that He is the only One who could help me. After a few hours of resting in His presence, peace filled my heart. God comforted me with His words from the Bible. I chose to focus on who He is and what He can do, rather than magnify my health condition.

After seeking the Lord, it became clear to me that practical medication and spiritual declaration are needed to overcome this challenge. I asked my friend, who is a nutritionist, to help me with my diet. As I returned to Central Asia, I had to be mindful of what I ate and had to take the prescribed medication. At the same time, I declared healing over my ovaries and claimed God’s promises of healing every day. I also asked my family and prayer partners to stand with me in this battle.

As I continued to believe God for healing, He reminded me of the word He gave me at the beginning of the year—wonders. He promised that he would show me many wonders in life through scriptures in the Bible like the verse in Job chapter 5.

“He performs wonders that cannot be fathomed, miracles that cannot be counted.” (Job 5:9, NIV)

After I found out about the complications in my health, I held onto the promise of wonders from God and asked Him to make me brave and see me through until the cyst disappeared, which was what I was asking Him for. I believe that God is a miracle-worker, and He is able and willing to heal me. There were times when doubt would creep in my heart and I would feel discouraged. But I would always counter these kinds of thoughts with the truth in God’s Word, and choose to be brave. I resolved in my heart that God already healed me as He had promised.

When I visited the doctor again after a few weeks, she showed me through ultrasound that there are no cysts in both my right and left ovaries! She meticulously checked twice and confirmed that there is no cyst at all. I could not help but shout praises to God inside the room! I was so happy that I pranced all the way home. God proved to me once again that He is faithful! My heart was filled with joy and gratitude! The victory is truly ours. We just have to claim and declare it no matter what the situation is. I met with my friends and celebrated the miracle with them.

This experience made me realize three things about God. First, He is true to His word. Second, the victory is ours to declare, we can claim it through Him. Lastly, He is a miracle-worker. As long as you are breathing, believe that God already healed you.

 

We believe that this is just the beginning of the wonders that God will do in the life of Beatriz and every place she will go to. As she ministers and resides in Central Asia, we stand in faith that God’s signs and wonders will accompany her.

How about you? When was the last time you experienced God’s miracle in your life? If you have not experienced one yet or if it has been long a time since God showed you one, remember that His power is always available and at work in your life.

 

* Name has been changed to protect our missionary in this article from religious persecution. The image featured in this article does not represent our missionary in the featured creative access nation; it is a royalty-free image from Unsplash.com.

Daring to Believe for Miracles

Daring to Believe for Miracles

“I said yes, even if I had no idea what I’m supposed to do.”

These were the words of Troy Alvarez, a 17-year old student at Lyceum of Alabang, who joined our Dare to Believe prayer and fasting week last January 2016. On the first day of fasting, he felt God speak to him to pray for someone in church. It was the first time he heard God tell him to pray for someone. He didn’t know any special prayers, and he didn’t know how to approach strangers. Still, he said yes.

The next day in Victory Alabang during the first session of prayer and fasting, he scanned the crowd for someone he could pray for, and his eyes fell on an elderly woman. He couldn’t shake the feeling that this woman had cancer. Troy prayed for confirmation from God, and a feeling of certainty washed over him. “This is her. God wants me to pray for this woman,” he told himself.

After praise and worship, Troy started approaching the woman but before he could get near her, he was suddenly overwhelmed with fear and uncertainties. He couldn’t move a step forward and found himself retreating to his seat. Doubtful and defeated, Troy headed home instead. During his commute, there was a gnawing feeling inside him. He couldn’t take his mind off the elderly woman who needed his prayers. “I could feel there was something wrong,” he confesses, “I didn’t obey God because I was thinking more of what other people would say. I didn’t trust Him.” Feeling humbled, Troy prayed that the woman would be there tomorrow and he resolved to approach her, so he can do what God has been telling him to do.

The next day, Troy immediately looked for the woman. God answered his prayer, because he had no difficulty finding her. Gathering courage, he approached her and introduced himself. He found out that his name is Ester, and she was fighting breast cancer. At the time she met Troy, the cancer had spread to her lungs.

“I asked her if I could pray for her,” he narrates, “I told her that God has been telling me to pray specifically for her.” As Troy was praying, he suddenly felt very cold and goosebumps overwhelmed him. He felt the presence of Jesus in their midst. He shared with her his life verse from Mark 11:24, “Therefore I tell you, whatever you ask in prayer, believe that you have received it, and it will be yours.” Before long, he found himself crying with Tita Ester. “After praying for her, I was speechless and I felt really cold,” Troy shares, “I felt a mix of emotions, but the most overwhelming thing is the joy that is overflowing in me.”

The next day, Troy went to church again and the first thing he did was look for Tita Ester. To his dismay, she wasn’t in church. Troy couldn’t help but worry and feel anxious about her absence. Remembering how he felt Jesus’ presence yesterday, Troy was comforted. At home, he continued to pray and fast for Tita Ester’s healing. He knew nothing is impossible with God. He is sovereign, and He can cure any sickness in a blink of an eye.

On the last day of prayer and fasting week, Troy prayed to see Tita Ester once again. To his relief, she was in church and he ran towards her once he saw her. Tita Ester was in high spirits. She had wonderful news that she couldn’t wait to tell Troy about. Doctors were dumbfounded to discover that the cancer in her lungs seemed to have disappeared!

Upon hearing the news, Troy felt a wave of peacefulness wash over him. God did not only give him front row seats to witness a miracle, but He used him to be an instrument of blessing to someone he didn’t even know when the week began. Troy wasn’t spared from the voices in his head telling him that his faith is not enough to heal, but he clung to his life verse and was reassured that God can do the impossible. Ester’s daughter, April, agrees; her mother recently underwent laser surgery to remove a small tumor discovered in her brain.

“Though we know Mom’s fight with cancer isn’t completely over,” she shares, “we know that the victory is already ours because of Jesus. We’re so blessed because God gives her so much strength; she’s a fighter.” Ester’s courage has made quite the impression on Troy.

“This experience taught me to be brave,” Troy shares, “It showed me that when God declares something, it will happen. We’re not the miracle workers, we’re just the instruments, so we need not fear. We just have to dare to believe.”

Believing for the Impossible

Believing for the Impossible

Claud's weddingTheo Cañeda didn’t expect to meet the love of his life during the time that his business was going bankrupt. When he was introduced to Claud by a common friend in church, he was smitten. “I found out that she works in the church,” he shares, “and I was attracted to how devoted she was to her calling.”

Without a regular job, his finances were in shambles, which made him hesitant to court Claud. Nevertheless, he prayed for her, gathered his courage, and pursued her. The two started a relationship, and eventually talks of marriage started coming up. By the end of 2014, they were engaged.

“We decided to get married,” Theo says. “Despite the challenges, we knew we wanted to get married.” At the start of 2015, the couple prayed and fasted for an overflow of provision for their upcoming wedding happening in a few months. Amidst their preparations and several months prior to their big day, Claud was diagnosed with polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) and a benign tumor called myoma. This is a condition that imbalances a woman’s hormones, leading to the formation of ovarian cysts.
Claud and Theo

Claud was crushed. She was about to get married, and was hearing of the very real possibility she would never have children. Theo was heartbroken at how the news saddened Claud so much, but he never lost hope. He comforted his future wife that he loved her, no matter what, and reminded her that God is sovereign. “A lot of tears were shed,” Theo reveals. “She even asked me if I want to push through with the wedding.”

This ordeal brought the couple closer than ever. They cried, prayed, and fasted together for God to deliver them. Faced with Claud’s condition, and with their wedding day approaching, Claud and Theo also realized they didn’t have enough money to cover their wedding expenses.

The couple cried out to God, and He responded. Two months before their wedding, Theo’s business bounced back from bankruptcy and started doing well. Provision started pouring in, and before they knew it, they had more than enough to pay for the wedding they want. “Everything was covered,” Theo exclaims, “We were able to have a joyful, debt-free wedding!” Pregnant pic

After their wedding, the couple was in faith that they would have children, despite Claud’s condition. They consulted different doctors, who recommended procedures to make pregnancy possible for her. To their dismay, the procedures were very expensive. “We were on our knees believing God for the impossible!” Theo reveals.

There were times Claud would think she was pregnant, but they turned out to be false alarms. The couple experienced a rollercoaster of emotions. Then suddenly, the couple’s world rocked further when Claud’s father passed away. Amidst their grief and frustration, Claud and Theo clung to God more. “The Lord will replace anything we’ve lost,” Theo declared.

It was a slow and painful journey, but God soon provided a silver lining. A month after Claud’s father passed away, the couple found out that Claud was pregnant. The two were ecstatic, but they decided to keep the information secret until a doctor confirmed their discovery. After her check-up, the doctor did confirm that Claud was indeed pregnant, and they weren’t having just one baby, but two! Claud was pregnant with twins! twins

In a few weeks, by faith, Claud will give birth to two healthy babies. “I have just experienced the goodness and faithfulness of God first hand,” Theo declares, “He made me experience a miracle only He can make! Indeed, we can dare to believe God for the impossible!”

Update (June 27, 2016): We are so excited and pleased to let you all know that Claud gave birth to two absolutely adorable baby girls! We celebrate God’s faithfulness and pray for the continued health and safety of the twins. Congratulations, Theo and Claud!

Jenny’s Miracle Babies

Jenny’s Miracle Babies

jenny-and-carl-dyJenny Ang Dy of Victory Greenhills shares her story of how God provided a child for her, despite multiple miscarriages and difficulties. May you be encouraged and inspired as you read her story!

Two months after my husband and I decided to start a family, we received the best kind of news—we were pregnant! We were so excited to share this with our family and friends. However, we lost that pregnancy a week after we found out.

We found out that I was pregnant again a few months after that. This time, we were more fearful than joyful. My worst fears were confirmed when we lost the baby again, just four weeks after we received the news.

During this time, several friends were also expecting to have kids. I was in so much pain after losing two babies, I didn’t want to do anything that reminded me of my loss. I refused to attend baby showers and children’s parties. Other than that, I refused to accept the fact that I couldn’t have children.

After many tests and doctor’s visits, I discovered that I had an immune condition where my body did not know a pregnancy when it happened. My body recognized a growing embryo as a form of cancer, and would produce antibodies to attack it until it wouldn’t survive. I really wanted to have a baby, and sought answers by learning all I could about this condition and put my faith in doctors. I even turned to traditional medicine, wanting to leave no stone turned.

All this stress also took a toll on my career, which I had to put on hold because of all the time-consuming treatments I underwent. My husband and I spent close to a million pesos on tests and medications. I felt like I was losing control over my finances, my work, and my life.

One day, an old friend invited me to a Victory group. I had grown up a Christian, but knew so little about God. When the gospel was shared to me this time around, I had a greater understanding of who God is. He is not just a provider and a healer—He is also my Heavenly Father. I sought for a deeper understanding of who He is. The more I read the Word, the more I became at peace.

My husband eventually joined me in attending church and Victory group. We started trusting and believing God together to grow our family. He began changing our hearts—it was like He infused us with fresh faith to believe Him for my healing. Other than that, He gave me a deep joy in my heart. Despite my childlessness, I began celebrating with others for their seasons in life. I also stopped going to different doctors, and made a decision to trust God for the child He would give us. We were in faith that He would provide for us, in His own time.

One day, after an extended trip with my husband, we discovered that we were pregnant, again! I admit it was a challenge for me not to feel anxious and afraid all over again. I’m thankful that I had my spiritual family standing with me in prayer. Every time I would feel fear, I’d claim God’s promises over my life, and ask for His protection for the baby and myself.

After a total of five miscarriages, God gave us our first baby, Catie, in April 2008.  God’s promise to my husband and I had come to pass.

Today, Catie is now seven years old!
Catie was born healthy in 2008.

After Catie, God blessed us with two more beautiful and healthy girls, now aged six years old, and 20 months. Each pregnancy I encountered is a different story. I can now say that the journey of trusting and letting go is a continuous process. My husband and I continue to rely on God’s grace to be able to steward them well.

The Dy family today
The Dy family today

Truly, anything is possible with God, and miracles still happen in this day and age. His plans are greater than our plans, and nothing can separate us from His love. As we surrender and declare His Lordship over our lives, He remains faithful. His will always prevails!  

Miracles Still Happen (A Story on Healing and Provision)

“Miracles still happen in this age and time . . . God is able and His hand is never too short.” A few years ago, Tina Melendres’s son, TJ, was diagnosed with a congenital heart disease. Watch this video to know how God healed her son and provided for the finances that their family needed.