Locally Stranded Individuals Get Help from Volunteers

Locally Stranded Individuals Get Help from Volunteers

Hundreds of stranded travelers were housed in the Villamor Air Base Compound, Philippine State College of Aeronautics, and Philippine Army Gym after staying for days under a bridge near the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA). Most of them are Overseas Filipino Workers (OFWs) who were waiting for a ride home after their flights out of Manila had been canceled.

With the help of our generous donors and volunteers, some of our pastors and staff members visited them last week (June 12–17) to give food packs, mattresses, industrial fans, slippers, and face masks. A group of volunteers led by a couple from Victory Fort also went there to provide taho (soybean pudding) and ice cream to stranded OFWs.

 

 

Though most of them had to sleep on cardboard mats while waiting to be reunited with their families, they remained hopeful and resilient. They were ready to smile at everyone, in spite of what they were going through. As one volunteer put it, “Even in the toughest times, they were still smiling. It’s inspiring and humbling at the same time.”

Aside from contributing in our own little way to extend help, we also prayed for them and the people in uniform who had been assigned to ensure their safety. We are in faith that God will work in their situation and make a way for them to go back to their hometowns and families.

 

Though times are hard, we can continue to hope in God and be His hands and feet in these trying times. Let us believe Him to provide as we do everything we can, no matter how small, to help those in need and spur faith.

 

As of this writing, we have teams available to provide prayer, counseling, and debriefing.

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.

There’s Always Hope in God

There’s Always Hope in God

God can always turn a hopeless situation around. He can always bring hope in every circumstance.

Our family used to run a small contractor business. In 2014, we failed to get the payment for the projects we handled, so the business went bankrupt. It took a hard toll on us. We felt hopeless and at the end of our rope. We didn’t know what to do.

At that time, my husband wasn’t a Christian yet. But somehow, because of what happened, I got the chance to invite him to our worship services. I was pregnant then, so when it became hard for me to walk and leave the house, I didn’t expect him to continue attending without me. To my surprise, he continued to join every week. Little did I know that in the midst of what our family was going through, God’s Word was already working powerfully in his heart.

In one of the services, my husband received Jesus in his life and started joining a Victory group. It was amazing to see him experience God’s love like never before. Having a deeper knowledge of God increased his faith, and seeing his faith in God strengthened mine.

Later on, by God’s grace, my husband landed a job in an international construction company. It was an opportunity we never expected. Slowly, it helped us get back on our feet and pay our debts little by little. Though we are paying our debts until now, we are grateful for the grace of God that kept our marriage strong despite the trying situation we faced.

We are thankful to God for turning our situation around and more than grateful for the hope that my husband found in Christ. God’s love and grace displayed in our lives will always be more than enough.

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

There’s no situation beyond God’s grace. He can turn every hopeless situation into a powerful testimony; His Word will always minister to us and give us hope.

 

Rowena and her husband are part of our church, serve in Valenzuela, and lead a Victory group for couples.

If you have stories to share, please email them to stories@victory.org.ph or send them through the Victory app!

God in Our Midst

God in Our Midst

The recent election season elicited mixed responses online and somehow contributed to a growing divide in our nation. In the midst of various reactions toward the midterm election results, will we—as Christians—remain steadfast in our faith and choose to hope for our nation?

Below are some of the points from our interview with one of our pastors, Bishop Juray Mora, who encourages us to be the voice of faith and unity amid fear, hopelessness, and hostility.

 

Pause and Reflect

Battles are never won or lost on social media. One reaction will always elicit another reaction, and the chain will be endless. As powerful as it is, social media is limited; it will not allow us to put the whole context of what we say or believe on a single post or tweet. We have to pause and take time to think if what we’re doing is simply provoking a thought or provoking a negative reaction in someone else. We have to be sensitive and consider where all these are going: Will our reactions help the nation or will they cause an even wider divide among us?

Pray and Trust

Amid all the chaos and noise, we can go to God and call people to pray—not out of fear or anger, but out of faith. We should stir up each other and rely on God as we entrust to Him not just our own future and individual lives, but even the future of our nation. We should focus on Him and believe that He is sovereign. Someone bigger than all of us is in charge.

Commit and Act

As we rely on God, let us not wane in our passion to serve and see the nation transform. All of us have a part to play in setting a foundation that will allow the next generation to take it further than where it is now. If we want to bring change, we should not let our circumstances hinder us from being involved and from upholding righteousness wherever we are—in our marriages, in our families, in our communities. God can use us and provide an avenue for us to bring change in different ways.

Unite and Believe

It says in Proverbs 21:1, “The king’s heart is a stream of water in the hand of the Lord; he turns it wherever he will.” Whatever issues we have in our nation, God can make great things in our midst—little miracles—that we don’t expect to come. Instead of letting divisiveness reign, we can stand together and believe that the will of God will prevail. God’s purpose will be fulfilled through whoever is in leadership.

 

 

Juray Mora serves as a bishop in Every Nation Philippines, which provides spiritual leadership for Victory, Every Nation Campus, the missions work of Every Nation in Asia, Every Nation Leadership Institute, and the Real LIFE Foundation. Juray is married to Deah, and they are blessed with six children: TJ, Iya, Sophia, Juliana, Celina, and Raymund.

More Like You

More Like You

Who do we look up to and aspire to become? In this article, Elmo recounts how God gave him the grace to follow Him and be molded into His image day by day.

I grew up in Tondo, Manila with my family. Unlike most kids, I was introduced to smoking, drinking, gambling, and other illegal activities at a very young age. Seeing people being consumed by vices became a normal thing for me. I saw it every day while growing up.

Aside from doing things that I saw being done by the people around me, I also started putting so much value on material things. I thought those things could make me secure and happy. I thought my image depended on the things that I possessed.

When I reached college, a friend invited me to attend a worship service at Victory Katipunan. I didn’t know why, but for some reason, I kept going with him. I started attending weekly, until I became really interested to know God more. All along, I was unaware that deep down inside, I was actually seeking God—there was a void in my heart that no vice or any material thing could fill.

After a few months of attending our worship services, I accepted Jesus in my life and got connected to Victory Malate. I joined a Victory group, finished ONE 2 ONE, and went through Victory Weekend. I also started serving every Sunday as a volunteer in our church, but for some reason, I knew a part of me was still struggling in my relationship with the Lord.

In 2017, I got an offer to work in UAE. Just a month after I arrived, I received a call from my mother. It was the worst phone call ever. My father was dying, and he didn’t have much time left. That news broke my heart and knocked some sense into me. I prayed and cried out to God like a son pouring out his emotions to his father. For the first time, I surrendered everything to Him. And it was during that time that I became really serious with my relationship with Christ and received Him not just as my Savior but as the Lord of my life.

Though I lost my father just a few days after I fully surrendered my life to Christ, God gave me the peace and grace to accept his passing. I may have lost my earthly father, but I gained a heavenly Father who will stay until the end.

God’s love filled my heart like no other vice or material thing ever could. His love inspired me to walk in His love and be like Him in every aspect. And there’s nothing like it. Nothing compares to being able to reflect Him in the way I live my life. There’s nothing I desire now but to be more like Him every passing day.

Now, I am part of our Every Nation church in Abu Dhabi. And I am blessed to be a witness of how more and more people are coming to know Christ and desiring to be more like Him in this part of the world.

The world will offer us so many things that will influence us on how we should live our lives and whose image we should try to imitate. But nothing comes close to a life lived according to God’s plan. Nothing comes close to a life lived for Him and a life that reflects His image.

Loved by a Great God

Loved by a Great God

When Angelo battled with suicidal thoughts in 2016, God’s love gave him hope in the midst of the chaos and silenced all his blaring thoughts. Here is his story.

Everything started when my father was diagnosed with lung cancer in the third quarter of 2016. My brother was suffering from depression then, and my sister was reviewing for her board exam. Not wanting to add further burden to my siblings, my mother and I decided to keep my father’s condition between me and her.

Unknown to my family, I was also dealing with so many things at work and in my personal life at that time. A lot of painful and difficult things happened in my workplace; it came to a point where I did not even want to go to work anymore. Problems kept piling up; it felt as if everything in my life was in utter confusion and chaos.

That’s when suicidal thoughts started plaguing me on repeat. I could not think straight anymore and negative thoughts started to consume me, but I still refused to open up to anyone. I bottled up everything inside me.

On April 8, 2018, God knocked some sense into me. Instead of allowing myself to be alone with those thoughts, I went out of the house and told myself that I should take a stroll somewhere to shake them off. But as I was about to withdraw the last money I had left in my account, my ATM card was captured by the machine. Left with not much option, I decided to just head home again. I took a longer route and eventually passed by an old mall. At the back of it is a terminal of a bus company heading north—and its name suddenly reminded me of my sister who’s attending in Victory Caloocan.

I immediately messaged my sister and attended a worship service with her. My heart was really heavy then; I cried and wept throughout the entire service. I knew it was God talking to me that day. He was telling me to find what’s good and beautiful in the midst of all the chaos and noise.

After that, I surrendered everything to Him. I lifted up my hands and cried out to God. I sang away every dark thought and allowed Him to replace the unpleasant thoughts with the beauty of His grace.

And I never looked back after that.

Now, I am part of a Victory group and continuously growing in faith. There are times when I still make mistakes, but God always proves to me that He is faithful; He never gets tired of bringing me back to Him. He is the best gift I ever had, and I will be forever thankful to Him for saving me and giving me a new beginning.

Life is precious, and my life is so valuable to Him. I am deeply loved and valued by a great God.

“Because you are precious in my eyes, and honored, and I love you…” (Isaiah 43:4)

We are all loved and valued by God. We are all precious in His eyes. Any dark or negative thought cannot take away the great love that He has for us.