We’re gearing up for the new school year! Over the break, we invited our students to come together, through our leaders’ and youth camps across the country. These gatherings become a key milestone in their faith journey and build strong relationships within the church community.
Student camps highlight God’s love for young people. During the sessions, they understood the depth of God’s love for them and others, prompting them to live in a way that honors Him.
These fun and unforgettable moments help foster a strong sense of community among the young people, encouraging them that they are not alone in their walk with God.
They had a meaningful time building stronger and more purposeful relationships with one another. May these relationships deepen through continuous shared lives, accountability, and encouragement.
As they go back to the campus, may their burning passion for Jesus compel them to tell others about His great love! May God use them to be catalysts for change in our nation.
We thank all our volunteers and the rest of our church community for making all these possible. Together, let’s continue to change the campus, and change the world!
Even in the midst of a pandemic, we can trust God for provision and, in turn, give to honor Him. Giving is a matter of the heart. We give not because we have to, but because of God’s graciousness and faithfulness to us. This is our worship unto God. Like adding things to our cart, we have a choice about what we add to our hearts.
Join us in the next three weeks as we look at biblical attitudes when it comes to giving our tithes unto the Lord through different passages and stories in the Bible.Here is the schedule of our new series:
Week 1: The Only Person of Our Worship (November 15)
Week 2: The Main Purpose of Our Wealth (November 22)
Week 3: The True Proof of Our Offering (November 29)
We pray that this series will encourage you to continue to trust God and honor Him through your giving.
Due to the community quarantine, our worship services are temporarily online. You can join one of our online services on this list.
Our calling and mission as a church has always been to honor God and make disciples in every campus and every nation. Even with the recent pandemic and restrictions on movement worldwide, we make God’s mission for us a priority. While the world may have seemingly stopped, the mission continues.
Join us in the next two weeks as we discover the power of the gospel to transform not just individuals but also nations. As we study the book of Romans, our prayer is that like Paul, we will seek to preach the gospel where Christ is not yet known.
Here is the schedule of our new series:
Week 1: The Gospel’s Power (September 27)
Week 2: The Gospel’s Fulfillment (October 4)
We pray that this series will encourage you to participate in what God is doing in the nations by praying, giving, and going. Together, let us bring the gospel to every nation!
Due to the community quarantine, our worship services are temporarily online. You can join one of our online services on this list.
How would you feel if you were introduced to a new officemate and the person turns out to be a former student? Here is the story of a teacher whom God used to touch the life of a student, not knowing that one day, God would use them to accomplish His work together.
In 2004, I entered my first teaching job in one of the Christian schools in Zamboanga City. I remember being excited at the idea of making an impact in the lives of young people, and at the same time nervous, not knowing what awaited me. Maan was one of my students that year. Because she was a sweet and friendly young girl, I immediately became very fond of her. We would see each other in and out of school and just catch up. We would talk about what was happening in our lives and pray together.
Maan was in first year high school when she encountered God through a retreat organized by LifeBox, which is now Every Nation Campus. She surrendered her life to Christ and would have started her discipleship journey had she not been distracted by some of the cares of the world. She got disconnected from her church community and took another path. My path also took me farther away from her. I was sent by my school to Manila to pursue higher education. I left the school, but the desire to teach and be with students never left my heart.
After finishing my studies in 2014, I went back to Zamboanga to teach. To my surprise and delight, Maan was also in the same school, no longer a student but a colleague. Working with a former student seemed surreal at first, but seeing her passion and commitment to fulfill her purpose in life made me feel overjoyed and proud. I was also relieved to realize that the years apart had done nothing to weaken our relationship; it was easy to continue where we had left off. For six years, we shared our lives together and prayed for each other. We became closer as friends and co-teachers. We were so excited for this year—but then the lockdown happened.
At a time when people are saying that everything in the world seemed to have stopped moving, it became apparent that God’s power moved even more in people’s hearts. God used this lockdown to speak to Maan and draw her close to Him. She was reminded of the time she had encountered God as a university student. She started wanting more of Him in her life. By God’s grace, it did not take long for her to see the truth that God is all that she needed in the situations she was facing. She knew, without a shadow of doubt, that God was calling her back to Him.
The lockdown did not stop Maan from starting her discipleship journey. For several weeks, we met online to go though ONE 2 ONE. When we finished that, we started our Victory group. Just last Saturday, August 29, Maan participated in Victory Weekend. God is indeed transforming lives, even in the midst of this global pandemic.
As a teacher, it is a privilege to be used by God to touch the lives of the next generation. We have been given a platform to effect change that will go beyond the four walls of our classrooms. God is calling us to be present in the lives of our students and to keep planting His word in their hearts, even if it does not appear to be bearing any fruit. In God’s perfect time, He will cause these seeds to grow.
Maan has started to share the love of God to her family. She is also eager to pray for the teachers and students in our school. How God sparked her passion in the most unlikely season will never fail to amaze me. We may not always understand what He is doing, but He is definitely calling us to be part of it. Just as God has used me to reach out to the generation after me, I know He will use Maan to reach out to the generation after her.
. . . but tell to the coming generation the glorious deeds of the Lord, and his might,
and the wonders that he has done.
Teacher Nida is a school-based occupational therapist and Values Education teacher in a Christian school in Zamboanga. She also serves as a Victory group leader in our church there.
As a church, we are called to reach the next generation—aka the future leaders of our society. This is why we value building relationships with them and setting them up for success. For the next two weeks, we will be looking at the lives of Saul and David, and how they viewed the next generation. While Saul disobeyed God, did not submit to His plans, and pursued his own interests, David served God’s purposes in his own generation (Acts 13:36) and paved the way for the next generations to succeed.
In studying their lives, we hope that we will intentionally set up the next generation to succeed in God’s purpose for their lives.
Here is the schedule of our new series:
Week 1: Saul and Jonathan (August 30)
Week 2: David and Solomon (September 6)
We pray that this series will encourage you to see our future with hope as we continue to make disciples and equip the next generation for God’s purposes in their lives!
Due to the community quarantine, our worship services are temporarily online. You can join one of our online services on this list.
God loves using young people to preach the gospel and make a difference in the world. Geoselle “Geo” Dela Cruz, a fresh graduate of tourism in University of the Philippines (UP) Diliman and a part of our campus ministry in Katipunan, proves that this is true. After posting her graduation picture on Facebook with a caption narrating her testimony, she was able to reach thousands of people online. It also led her to a unique opportunity to preach the gospel to a crowd she never had the chance to speak to before. Here is her story.
On July 13, 2017, I received a call from an unknown number, which turned out to be the head operations manager of a prominent health and pharmaceutical company in the Philippines. She called to invite me to speak in the company’s training summit for all South Luzon distributors and branch managers. As I heard this, I was surprised and overwhelmed. I couldn’t believe that they were serious in getting a fresh graduate like me to speak in front of executives and professionals!
My initial reaction was to reply, “Bakit po ako? Magsasalita po ako sa harap ng mga manager? Sigurado po ba kayo? Bakit po sila makikinig o maniniwala sa akin?” (Why me? I will speak in front of managers? Are you sure? Why would they listen and believe me?) The manager on the phone laughed at my disbelief and said, “Yes, iha! Ikaw ang gusto namin kunin na speaker.” (Yes, dear! We would like to get you as our speaker.) “We read your testimony in the graduation picture you posted on Facebook. We were so inspired, so we would like you to speak to our managers.”
I couldn’t believe what I was hearing! The manager gave me time to make a decision. I immediately prayed about it and asked God if this was a door He intended for me to enter. That night, I came across this verse while reading the Bible:
“Don’t let anyone look down on you because you are young, but set an example for the believers in speech, in conduct, in love, in faith and in purity.” (1 Timothy 4:12, NIV)
At that moment, I knew that accepting the speaking invitation was my act of obedience before God. It also became clear to me that the talk wasn’t merely for inspiration, but a chance to preach the gospel to a group of people whom I consider to be older and more successful than me. So with a nervous heart and trembling knees, I said yes to the offer to speak. I was terrified, but I cannot resist God’s call to preach the gospel, no matter who the audience is.
During the day of the summit on July 27, I brought along David Laureta and Nikka Ojerio, two of my friends from Every Nation Campus in UP Diliman, to pray for me and help me reach out to the managers. It became a challenge for us to go to the venue because it rained hard and the traffic was bad. We thought that my talk wouldn’t push through because we were late by an hour and a half. Thankfully, the event organizers moved my time to speak to the latter part of the program. Instead of being discouraged by the unexpected turn of events, the three of us became even more excited and we felt God’s assurance that something great and powerful was about to happen.
I was nervous on the way to the summit. I even continued to edit my outline while we were on the road! But when we arrived, I felt an indescribable sense of peace, confidence, and comfort that could only come from God. It was as if He was saying, “Geo, you have nothing to fear. I have gone to this place before you. This place is mine. The people here are mine. I brought you here to claim this as your inheritance. Go and preach the gospel.” I cried deep inside because of the immediate affirmation from God.
When my session entitled “Dancing through Storms” started, I narrated my testimony and emphasized resilience and personal leadership as requested by the company. While focusing on what was asked of me, I also boldly included the Word of God in my presentation slides with the help of my leaders, namely Liane Silla, Lory Manalo, and Maj Yu. I talked a lot about Jesus. Some cringed when they heard the Bible verses, but I am sure it stirred something in their hearts because the Word of God is powerful.
As I spoke, I felt eyes critically observing me from head to toe. Their expressions seemed to say, “Sino ba ‘tong batang ito?” (Who is this young girl?) I chose not to mind the reactions and continued sharing my story about God’s faithfulness. I prepared an outline, but as I spoke, my words flowed in a way I didn’t expect. Even I was amazed! I felt that God was working in and through me. As I ended my talk, everyone in the audience started to cry! At that moment, I knew it was the perfect time to preach the gospel. I asked if I could pray for them, and they said yes. When I gave them the opportunity to accept Jesus as their Lord and Savior, six people immediately raised their hands. I felt that some were hesitant because they were shy, so I asked again. The second time I asked, almost everyone raised their hands! Even the organizers, technical personnel, and waiters at the back of the hall wanted to receive Jesus as their Lord and Savior! Around thirty people surrendered their lives to Christ that day. I had to stop myself from crying as I led them to a prayer of salvation. It was a beautiful moment!
After I prayed, the floor was opened to questions, so I stayed in front. Things turned out differently though. Instead of asking questions, the managers shared their insights from my talk. I will never forget the old man who was known in the company as the man with a stone heart. During my session, he cried like a baby! He even grabbed the mic during the portion for questions and said in front of everyone, “Geo, you are the first young person who inspired me!” I was close to shedding tears as I realized that no one can resist the love of God once they experience it. It can soften the hardest of hearts! Other managers also opened up about their lives and problems. They apologized to their teammates and thanked each other. They also started encouraging one another as a team! I am grateful for the privilege of witnessing the managers humbling themselves to appreciate their team. It was an honor to be a catalyst of restoration for their relationships at work.
After my experience that day, I wanted to share this testimony, especially to today’s youth. It’s about time for the youth to stop spending countless hours on beautifying social media feeds and living a carefree life. If you are a young person, I would like to tell you that it’s time for us to take a stand, claim our campuses, stand up for our convictions, serve our families, speak life, create a culture based on biblical values, stop conforming to the world, and preach the gospel. We are called to be an example, not only for the next generation, but also for older people.
I am a firm believer that the youth is the hope of the future. Know that we have nothing to fear, nothing to doubt, because Jesus, the King of all kings, is on our side! Take courage and rise up! #ChangeTheCampus #ChangeTheWorld
Geoselle’s story demonstrates that God can use anyone, especially young people, to make a difference. It is easy to dismiss God’s ability to move through people for reasons such as lack of experience or young age. We can see the opposite happening in the testimony of Geoselle. People’s judgments, even our own, will never stop God from changing lives and leading people back to Him.
From October 24 to 26, 2016, more than 260 Real LIFE Foundation scholars from Metro Manila and the provincial areas will gather for their annual National Scholar’s Conference. This event aims to equip the scholars for L.I.F.E. (leadership, integrity, faith, excellence) and to encourage them in their faith.
The conference is also a great opportunity for our Real LIFE scholars to be connected, build relationships with fellow scholars from other Philippine cities, and be inspired to make a difference in their own ways.
The scholars will hear from different Victory pastors, namely Pastor Joseph Bonifacio, who will talk about leadership; Pastor Gilbert Foliente, who will speak about integrity; Pastor Joey Bonifacio, who will expound on faith; and Bishop Ferdie Cabiling, who will tackle the topic of excellence.
There will also be workshops focused on different course tracks like engineering, accountancy, communications and information technology, and business management. These sessions will be done in a classroom set-up, with the goal of preparing our students for their respective fields after graduation. Every Nation campus missionaries will also speak to our high school scholars about identity, character and developing good habits.
We are in faith that when our Real LIFE scholars go back to their respective homes and campuses after the conference, they will be refreshed, energized, and encouraged to live lives of leadership, integrity, faith, and excellence, and inspire others to do the same!
If you would like to know more about Real LIFE Foundation and make a difference in the lives of these scholars, visit RealLIFE.ph
Clarisse Tagayun is a thirteen-year old high school student who volunteers at KIDS Church in Victory Pioneer. Her parents, Cris and Lhite, actively serve in church, and their passion rubbed off on Clarisse and her siblings.
“I became active in church last year,” she shares, “I started teaching in KIDS church.”
She soon got connected to a Victory group, where she met her Victory group leader, Rachel Ching. Fueled by her passion to talk about God’s word, Clarisse would volunteer to lead their Victory group when Rachel was not available. Seeing this desire in Clarisse, Rachel empowered her to lead by letting her facilitate their group. “I was nervous because I didn’t know what to do,” she reveals, “But I would just study the Victory group material and my parents would help me. I prayed to God that he will teach me to facilitate.”
The desire to preach the gospel continued to grow in Clarisse’s heart. Discipling pre-teens felt natural for her. It was easy for her to relate with people in her age group and talk about things they have in common. Last May, she she met Florence Panizales, an elementary student who wanted to know more about Jesus. Wasting no time, Clarisse immediately led her through ONE 2 ONE.
Encouraged by her parents and inspired by Florence’s openness to know God more, Clarisse also started engaging Florence’s parents, Willie and Reggie. She was able to connect them to a Victory group for couples, led by her parents. Asked if she felt scared engaging people older than her, Clarisse said she was nervous but she knew she was also fulfilling God’s calling for her. “Age is just a number,” she says, “Being young, you could show lots of people that even if you’re young, God can still use you.”
Her efforts certainly bore fruit. Today, Florence has undergone ONE 2 ONE, and she is excited to be part of the next Victory Weekend for pre-teens. At ten years old, she has started preaching the gospel to her friends and classmates, and she is now leading a small group in her school. Her parents, Willie and Reggie, are growing in their faith, meeting regularly with a Victory group for couples. They have also undergone Victory Weekend recently.
Asked how she would encourage other people to make disciples, Clarisse strongly recommends getting discipled and joining a Victory group, “Discipleship is important and your Victory group would be there to help and listen to you.” As young as she is, Clarisse has fully embraced her calling to make disciples. She doesn’t see the person’s age, instead she focuses on their need for a Savior. “God wants us to have a relationship with Him,” she states simply, “He wants it for other people, too.”
Clarisse agrees that the youth is the hope of the future. As early as now, she is expectant of the great and mighty things God will do in her generation. “It doesn’t matter how young you are or how old you are,” she says, “God called us to make disciples.”
“Frats, drugs, alcohol, and pornography,” twenty-year old JD Perez enumerates, when asked what ruled his life before he met Christ. Violence was so ingrained in his character that hurting other people was the norm for him. “I would beat up a guy just to prove I’m not afraid of him,” he shares.
His temper and misguided behavior estranged him from his family. His relationship with his siblings deteriorated, and he was disrespectful towards his elders. Instead of attending classes, he would spend his time at a computer shop to play video games all day. The rotten condition of his heart manifested through his words and actions. “I would chain smoke, get drunk, curse a lot, and beat up other people out of spite,” he shares, “I was the perfect example of immorality.”
With no regard for his future, JD exploited various vices and lived a hedonistic lifestyle. He became such a troublemaker that his neighborhood started treating him like a criminal.
His turning point came during his third year in high school, when a friend invited him to attend a worship service for young people. That’s when he met Jomari Badiong, the guy who would eventually disciple him and become his mentor.
When he heard the gospel for the first time, JD discovered God’s radical love. “He completely took hold of my hardened heart and He taught me how to love and forgive,” he says.
Through <a href=”http://facebook.com/one2onediscipleship”>One 2 One</a>, JD learned of a Father’s love that is unconditional, steadfast and eternal. Faced with such overwhelming truth, JD couldn’t help but share how God transformed his life radically. He started preaching the gospel to other people, risking persecution and being called a hypocrite. After all, he was the neighborhood troublemaker.
“The gospel changed my life inside out, but I wasn’t content to be the only one experiencing God’s life-changing love,” he shares, “I had to share it to other people, no matter what.”
With encouragement from his mentor, Jomari, he felt empowered to start his own Victory group. Today, JD leads two Victory groups, and mentors college students aged 17 to 19 years.
He considers discipleship very important and stresses that a healthy relationship is a big part of it. “When you disciple someone, you discipline them because you love them,” he says, “After all, God doesn’t just want to see us saved, He wants see us changed, too.”
In the future, JD yearns to lead more people to Christ as he pursues his dream of becoming a Mechanical Engineer. “My mentor is so passionate in sharing the gospel, even in public places, that it rubbed off on me!” he exclaims. He is in faith that if God can change his hardened heart, He can also change the lives of his brothers and relatives, who have yet to know Christ.
“Discipleship is a catalyst of change!” he declares.
Victory Pioneer held its leaders’ convergence last June 30 to July 2, 2016, and held an Engage event for senior high school students a week earlier, capping off leadership events that reached far beyond the walls of its center at the Robinsons Forum in Mandaluyong City.
Leaders and Interns Convergence
Last June 30 to July 2, 2016, Victory Pioneer held their Leaders and Interns Convergence at Forum Robinsons in Mandaluyong.
The three-day conference aimed to reinforce the culture of evangelism to interns and Victory group leaders by encouraging them to engage the lost.
To kick off the event, Every Nation World Missions Director, Pastor Jun Escosar, talked about the heart of why we evangelize. He stressed that evangelism is part of the discipleship process, wherein three relationships are included: relationship with God, relationship with fellow believers, and relationship with the lost. With love as the foundation and relationship as the conduit, “discipleship is never complete until the one you disciple reaches out to the lost,” he said.
On the second day, Pastor Jeff Eliscupidez talked about the Great Commission as a global mission. He encouraged the leaders to be part of the global mission by having both a passport and a Bible. As we reach out to other people, we are reminded that we don’t cause the change in other people, but it is God who does so.
To cap the conference, Bishop Juray Mora talked about the Father’s heart on the third day. He discussed Luke 15:20, which contains the story of the prodigal son. Just as in the parable, Pastor Juray highlighted the forgiving and merciful nature of the Father with the way He deals with His children. He also warned against attaching our value to the world, saying that our identity should only be found in Christ.
The convergence was also an opportune time for leaders and interns from different worship service schedules to fellowship with one another. To listen to the audio messages of the speakers, you may visit this link.
Soar High Senior High
Last July 21, 2016, Every Nation Campus Pioneer held their first event for senior high school students entitled, “Soar High Senior High!”
From 5:30pm to 7:30pm, the Main Hall of Victory Pioneer was filled with 223 seniors representing different campuses in Mandaluyong. The aim of the event is to connect these students to mentors who will go through One 2 One with them, and to connect them to Victory groups.
Joyce Ching, a young actress from GMA 7, John Wilson, a basketball player from the Phoenix Fuel Masters of PBA Masters, and Krystle Yague, the voice behind McDonald’s “Tuloy Pa Rin” jingle, graced the event to talk to the students and perform special numbers. Joyce shared her experience of being persecuted when she was just starting as an artist, and her realization that there was a reason and purpose why God called her to be part of the entertainment industry, while John shared his testimony coming from a broken family and a sinful past, to a life of fulfillment and purpose in Jesus Christ.
Around eighty-three students responded to the altar call after Pastor James Macariola preached about purpose. These students are now being followed up by Victory Pioneer’s leaders, so that they can be connected to Victory groups and be discipled.
As a result of the event, most of the attendees invited their friends and classmates to the youth service the following day.
“I looked down on myself,” confesses sixteen-year old Angel Gomez when asked if she had always thought of herself as a leader, “I kept overthinking and I didn’t want to get out of my comfort zone.”
Growing up in a Christian family, Angel heard the gospel at an early age. By 2007, her family started attending Victory, which eventually introduced her to KIDS Church. By the time she was ten years old, she got discipled and met her first mentor, who also became her Victory group leader. “I grew up a Christian,” she shares, “But it was at Kids Church where I finally understood the gospel.”
Fueled by her newfound passion towards Jesus, Angel would attend prayer meetings and discipleship conferences, apart from the usual worship service. It was during those times that she developed a yearning to share the gospel to other people and mentor them, too. “I would stand up every time the pastor would pray for those who want to be Victory group leaders,” she reveals.
She eventually transitioned to another mentor when she moved on from KIDS Church. Now a teenager, the thought of leading other people her age became more daunting, but Angel couldn’t ignore God’s call. Empowered by her Victory group leader and encouraged by her parents, she finally started doing One 2 One with her friends.
“I kept thinking, ‘I can’t do it yet’ or ‘I’m not good enough,’” she shares. “I was worried that I wouldn’t be able to lead well. But when I finally stepped out of my comfort zone and took a step towards what God wants me to do, He made me see His greatness!”
This year, Angel stepped out in faith and started leading her own Victory group, composed of girls in their preteen and teenage years. Whenever she needed coaching, she would consult her parents, and asks them to comment on how she shares the Word. Angel didn’t take her new role lightly. For her, it’s a privilege to be called to lead.
With her Victory group, she learned the importance of journeying with other female Christians, and being accountable to them. For Angel, being able to share her life, and being part of other people’s lives, too, is a blessing. “I like encouraging other people and walking with them in their Christian life,” she shares, “It’s also really fun!”
A volunteer worship leader at Victory Greenhills’ Kids Church who was part of the worship team at the Every Nation Campus 2016 Conference, Angel believes that she needs to step out of her comfort zone more by making disciples inside her campus. She credits her Victory group leader for making her realize that she can lead, not because she’s qualified, but because God qualifies those He calls. “I may not be there yet, I may not be the best, but I am reminded that despite who I am, God is still using me,” Angel declares, “He chose me, and He’s willing to use me!”
“I debated many things with her,” Kath reveals, “but I couldn’t question her changed life.”
Twenty-two-year-old Kathlene Parungao shares how her close friend and discipler, Kara de Leos, steered her from her self-serving lifestyle to a life that honors God. The two girls met in college in a less than typical way. “I didn’t like her at first because she was dressed in a way that irked me. It’s probably a girl thing,” Kath laughs, “I knew she was a party girl like me.”
Coming from a Christian family, Kath knew about the gospel and salvation but, as with all the other members of her family, her knowledge didn’t translate to a changed life. “I thought Christianity was just about following a set of rules, looking good in the eyes of people, and going to church every Sunday,” she shares, “I never understood that it was about a relationship with God.”
Growing up, Kath would attend church out of fear that she won’t be saved if she missed a Sunday. Her so-called Christian life evolved around a “good works mentality.” For her, God was Someone too far to reach. Christianity was in her mind, but it never touched her heart. She never established the necessary foundations in her Christian journey.
During her teenage years, she harbored anger towards her parents and felt that no one really loved her. She started to fill her need for acceptance through her peers. “I did things that I never thought I’d do just so people could accept me or be friends with me,” she reveals. Soon, she entered into a wrong relationship, learned how to drink and smoke, and embraced the night life. Kath was branded the black sheep of the family.
When she entered college, Kath became her worst nightmare. “Because of my rebelliousness, I brought a lot of pain to my family,” she confesses, “I’ve made my mom cry, my siblings, my lola, and probably even my dad! That’s how hardened I was.” She also started influencing other people with her wayward lifestyle.
Every day after school, Kath and her friends would go straight to Greenbelt to hang out and drink. It became their routine, until one day, Kath was overwhelmed with feelings of guilt. “I heard a voice ask me if I was really happy destroying my life and lying to my parents, she reveals, “It asked me if I was happy trying to live up to the world’s standards.” Faced with reality, Kath had to be honest with herself and accept that she wasn’t really happy. She knew that if she kept up with her lifestyle, it would only be a matter of time before she crashed and burned.
“I knew I needed help, so I started praying,” she says, “I prayed every single night: God save me.”
Kath eventually transferred to De La Salle University, seeing this as an opportune time to start on a clean slate. Unfortunately, without a strong foundation and by relying completely on her own will, Kath was swallowed by temptations and ended up reverting back to her life as a party girl. In her new university, she felt that it was still her old life.
Until one day, she noticed something different in Kara, the girl in her class who annoyed her. She felt the feeling was mutual. She knew Kara partied hard like her. “But when I saw her again, she was different! She was dressed modestly and her face was radiant,” she exclaims, “I felt that she had a lighter spirit, and that really got me curious. So, I stalked her online!”
Kath found Kara’s blog, wherein she wrote how God saved her life. Being a party girl herself, Kath related so much to what she read. She sent a message to Kara on Facebook and asked her more about her transformation. It was a call for help, and Kara answered right away. She invited Kath to the La Salle cluster of Every Nation Campus Philippines, where students gathered for Victory group meetings.
“I was so shocked because people there were so kind even after knowing my story,” Kath shares, “I didn’t feel judged. I didn’t feel that I had to do anything to be accepted.” It was a far cry from her experience of pleasing people for approval. From her life-changing encounter that day, Kath was connected to a Victory group.
Kara started leading her to ONE 2 ONE, and patiently walked with her in her new Christian journey. “I saw her relationship with God and how she was so deeply in love with Jesus. So, I prayed to God, ‘Lord, I want that kind of faith, too.’”
Kath started reading the Bible, in faith that God would speak to her, too just like how He spoke with Kara. She would read His word everyday, always praying for Him to speak to her. Until one day, she got her answer. “I couldn’t forget the day God finally spoke to me! All my questions were answered. It all made sense, she reveals, “That encounter is the encounter I always go back to whenever I feel the urge to give up. God spoke to someone as small as me. He had me at my worst and still chose to love me. What a personal God!”
This encounter stoked a fire in Kath’s heart. She felt an overflow of love that she had to share with other people. She went back to her previous church to inspire her friends there that it is possible to have a relationship with Jesus. She also started leading others to One 2 One, until she was able to create Victory groups in high school and in La Salle.
Her family, who initially persecuted her, also started attending church after seeing the dramatic change in Kath. After years of praying for them, Kath is ecstatic to see them being discipled. Her sister has just undergone Victory Weekend, while her brother just finished ONE 2 ONE. Their mother now attends a Victory group and Kath is excited for her to start ONE 2 ONE, too. “I thought reconciliation was impossible,” she confesses, “But it’s happening now by God’s grace.”
Recently, Kath was given an opportunity to go on her first mission trip to India. She couldn’t help but be amazed at how God uses her for His mighty purpose. Three years after she met Kara, Kath still helps in the campus even after having graduated for a year already. “Imagine, with my previous lifestyle, I was so close to doing drugs, until God sent her to me. She took a chance at me before the world could! If she delayed her obedience, I would probably still be the old me.” With this, Kath realized that every second counts.
Throughout her journey, she learned that the youth can make or break the future of this nation. She admits that it’s not an easy journey to lead other people, but for her, there’s nothing that compares to winning the souls of young people for Jesus Christ. She is in faith that one day, the young people she’s discipling will choose to honor God and stand for what’s right wherever they’re planted. <
“I realized being a Christian is more than having a religion, but it’s a relationship with Jesus. It’s as real as any relationship we have now.” From being a black sheep, she is now sheep of His pasture, a disciple of Jesus who was lost and has now been found.
As a movement, Every Nation has always given emphasis on making disciples of the next generation. We believe in reaching the campuses because we believe that every student has a chance to change their lives through the gospel, and in the future, positively change the world too.
That is why we celebrate this recent milestone for one of our churches in a restricted nation in South Asia. Last June 30, they launched their first youth service, which is also the first worship service catering to young people that happens on a weekly basis. Typically, churches in this nation can only hold a youth service once a month. Scheduled at 7:30 PM, the service aims to accommodate students after their classes, before they end their day.
We believe that God is opening new doors into the mission field for the next generation. We are in faith that many young people will receive Jesus as their Savior, and will be discipled through these services. Let us intercede for our Every Nation church in this restricted nation as they break barriers and boldly preach the gospel.
Pray for the worship team and other young people serving as volunteers to the worship services, that they may delight in their work and be refreshed as they serve.
Pray for new volunteers and leaders to step out, so that the current teams will be spared from exhaustion and fatigue.
Pray for new preachers among the youth, so that the gospel may be preached in a manner that will resonate most with their fellow young people.
Pray for protection against any kind of attack–be it physical or spiritual–as our missionaries continue to serve in this restricted nation.
Together, we believe that we can reach every student, on every campus, in every nation.
Our Every Nation missionaries in this creative access nation continue to boldly preach the gospel, disciple locals and raise leaders. If you would like to support our missionaries with monthly or one-time gifts, please click here.
Note: The image used here is from a Buddhist temple in Thailand. It does not represent the nation referred to in this missions update.
Krishna Garcia is a 17-year old student from Far Eastern University who leads her own Victory group at Victory Fort. Last week, she attended the Leaders’ Camp in Batangas, a three-day out-of-town experience for student leaders, designed to equip them when they return to school after summer vacation. Refreshed, empowered, and blessed, Krishna didn’t waste any time when she got back to Manila.
It was the Saturday night after the camp when she and two of her Victory group members saw Lola Melly. She was hunched over a garbage bin at Family Mart in Market Market. Seeing the old lady’s pitiful state, Krishna and her friends approached her. “I was amazed,” she shares proudly, “it was actually the two girls I was discipling that saw her, and they didn’t hesitate to reach out to her.”
Looking up from her rummaging, Lola Melly was surprised to see the young girls talking to her. “We said, ‘Hello po, lola, kumusta po’ and she was a bit shy to answer,” Krishna recalls. They gave her food and water, and started asking her how she’s doing. Before long, they found out that she only lives with her sister, who has diabetes. She has four children, who each have their own families now. At the age of 81, she is now jobless, and scavenging for food from the garbage bins of restaurants and convenience stores is what she does to survive.
While talking to Lola Melly, Krishna was overwhelmed with a strong desire to share the gospel to her. There were doubts in her head, but they were momentary. “I was filled with a burden to share Jesus to her,” she explains, “so that whatever happens to her in this world, she will be with Him until the end.”
Krishna asked her if she knows Jesus, and started talking to her about God’s love and His promises. Right then and there, the girls sensed the Holy Spirit working. They prayed for Lola Melly, and her sister with diabetes. They shared comforting words, and told her that God is sovereign in every situation. It was at that moment that Lola Melly surrendered her life to God. Before the prayer ended, everyone had tears in their eyes.
“After the camp, we were expecting something like this to happen in campus,” Krishna admits, “we didn’t really expect to encounter God’s grace this way.” Before they parted ways, one of her friends decided to financially bless Lola Melly. They also invited her to attend worship service, to which she said yes. This coming Saturday, they will go to Lola Melly’s usual spot to check how she’s doing, and engage her some more.
As Krishna recounts the incident, she couldn’t help but be amazed at how God uses us to further His kingdom. He used the next generation to reach out to the older generation, proving that no matter the age, the Great Commission is for every Christian to uphold. She is also in awe at the ways that God spurs us to keep the faith and run the race. “My Victory group members are now more encouraged to share the gospel as much as possible,” Krishna says.
For them, it was a simple decision to step out of their comfort zone, but for Lola Melly, it meant encountering God’s redeeming love in the most unusual place.
“I always end up learning something from them,” Michelle Ramos says, when asked what it’s like to disciple children.
Having been part of Victory Greenhills since 2011, Michelle first served in the music team as a singer, until she was invited to observe KIDS Church. As she watched the children that day, she felt a stirring in her heart, and knew God was telling her to surrender her involvement in the music team, so she could put her time and efforts toward KIDS Church.
Michelle wrestled with the idea. In her mind, she still wanted to sing. Nevertheless, after praying and fasting, God revealed to her his heart for the children and gave her Mark 10:13-14, “And they were bringing children to him that he might touch them, and the disciples rebuked them. But when Jesus saw it, he was indignant and said to them, “Let the children come to me; do not hinder them, for to such belongs the kingdom of God.”
Then and there, she knew God was stirring up something in her heart for the next generation. “It motivates me knowing that I am part of what is in the very heart of Jesus–to let the children come to him,” she shares.
After a few weeks of teaching kids, God surprised her when He gave her the desires of her heart and paved the way for her to be a part of the KIDS worship team.
Despite it being her calling, Michelle faced challenges as she ministered to children, who are naturally very vocal and honest with their opinion.
“There was a time when a kid said “it’s boring” during praise and worship,” she recalls.
Apart from being their worship leader, she also preaches the gospel to the children. For this, she prepared extensively before class, hoping she would keep their attention during huddle time–only to be met with silence when she asked them if they learned anything. Michelle also tried to start a small group for the kids, which fizzled out due to inconsistencies with the schedule. This series of setbacks led her to doubt her calling.
Thankfully, she has mentors whom she can look up to. “They never failed to cast the vision to us KIDS volunteers.” God continued to work in her heart, and she found herself being comforted that her work is never in vain, even if she couldn’t see the big picture yet. She recently had the opportunity to disciple a young girl, Nicki, which proved to be a fruitful journey for her.
Children are naturally inquisitive, and they speak their mind out. This challenged Michelle to dig deeper into God’s Word, so she can answer Nicki’s questions. She also went out of her way to know more about Nicki’s hobbies and favorite things (Shopkins!), so she can share her joy even in the little things. “But the best thing is when you hear straight from her how she acknowledges lordship and salvation. It makes me excited for the next generation!” Michelle shares.
While her job as a KIDS church teacher is crucial in discipling children, she believes that her role takes a step back from the role of the parents. She explains that children catch what they see more often than what they’re taught. The way parents live out their life will make a huge impact in their kids, whether or not they attend KIDS church. Michelle wants to remind parents that discipleship starts at home. It is where children should first learn how to pray and read the Bible.
Michelle envisions an army of young worship leaders, who will rise up and lead the next generation. She’s also believing for more volunteers to step up and disciple kids, so they will also be disciple makers in the future. The task of reaching out to the next generation is not easy, but it is a responsibility that Michelle has embraced, a calling that she considers a privilege.
Joevanie Nebreja, a Victory group leader from Victory Iloilo, has a passion to reach the next generation. Discover how God compels him to preach the gospel and encourage others to do the same. Joevanie was a college senior in Mindanao State University when he was first reached with the gospel. Kim, one of his org mates, actively befriended him and eventually invited him to youth gatherings at Victory General Santos. “I noticed that he was different,” Joevanie recalls. “He’d regularly invite me to hang out or share a meal with him. I also found out that he was inviting our boardmates to church.” It was through Kim’s example of genuine concern for him that Joevanie became curious about God. “I came to a point of wanting to know God, partly because I wasn’t pressured into it.” What came next was a realization that God was all that he needed in his life. “At first, l only wanted to know Jesus on an intellectual level. Eventually, I went through hardship before I decided to stop running away from Jesus and follow Him.” God was doing a deep work in his heart by then. “When I decided to give my life to Christ, I gave up my vices. I also worked hard in my remaining months at school.” Joevanie acknowledges that his walk with
God was something he could not do alone. “Kim worked hard to disciple me,” he shares. “It’s difficult to build your relationship with God alone. You need other people to pray with you and stand with you.” Armed with a newfound knowledge for Christ and the support of the people around him, Joevanie had a burden to reach his family and friends. Today, he is now helping reach the next generation through volunteering at Kids Church. Aside from this, he has a mixed group of pre-teens and high schoolers, and another Victory group of young professionals. What compels him to reach the next generation? “Their identity belongs to God,” he declares. “I want them to experience who God is—as a Father, and as a friend.” This is what fuels him to preach the gospel to others and lead them to Christ. “Life is much better if you’re walking with God.” Joevanie expresses the importance of preaching the gospel because Jesus modeled this to each of us. “Jesus calls us to ‘go and make disciples’ because He did it Himself. He went to the world to be a servant. He called us to be servant leaders, not just leaders for leadership’s sake.” True to form, he is in faith that the students he is discipling today will be great leaders in different sectors of society. Joevanie himself exemplifies the notion of a servant leader—because he himself serves, not just in his home church, but the people he leads to Christ. We are in faith that more men like Joevanie will rise up and raise leaders from every age group, campus, and business.
Young leaders can learn a lot from “old men”—the leaders who have gone before them. Know more about empowering the next generation in this blog post from Victory founding pastor Steve Murrell. Read Wise Leaders Listen to Old Men.
“It takes a community of people to raise a generation of leaders who are connected to God and to one another.” In this blog entry, Pastor Joey shares the story of five women in the life of Biblical leader Moses. God used these women to make Moses who he is.
Whatever your age, you have a responsibility for the next generation! Know more about your role in our new series, Get in the Game. Starting June 3, join us as we know about God’s heart for the next generation. We’ll also discover what it means to disciple students and reach the campuses in our respective communities.
Check out the list of weekly topics here:
Week one: Continue – Know how the older generation can equip and empower the younger generation!
Week two: Power up – Discover the next generation’s responsibility to respond to the call of God in their lives.
Join us at a Victory location nearest you! We’re one church in fifteen locations in Metro Manila. We also meet at various venues across the Philippines. Check out our directory for the Victory location nearest you.
Do invite your family and friends to our services! See you!