Take Heart

Take Heart

There is power in prayer, even for situations that seem beyond our control. Here is a breakthrough story from our midyear prayer and fasting week about a woman who never stopped believing that God is at work in her family.


My brother fell into substance abuse when he was 16 years old. Since then, there was a radical change in his behavior.

For the past eight years, he was in and out of rehab, trying different treatment programs. During those years, he would unknowingly cause trouble in the family and say hurtful things to us. It filled us with so much pain, anger, frustration, and hopelessness. As the only Christian in my family, though I never stopped praying for him, it was beyond difficult to deal with everything and see his life wasting away because of drugs.

In November 2019, my brother was discharged from the latest rehab facility where he had spent a year for treatment. When he was sent back home, we thought he would be okay, and we could all have a fresh start. But last month, something happened again. And that incident caused so much pain to us, especially to our mother.

Though I had never really confronted my brother for anything he did in the past, at that moment I felt God nudging me to finally talk to him. I had gotten used to praying silently for him and for our family’s situation, but on that day, it was different. I sensed a strong leading from God to actively reach out.

When I talked to my brother, I found out that it was only in May of this year that he had finally quit—and the physical and psychological effects of that decision were taking a toll on him. His addiction had lingering effects that continued to manifest, even though he was trying his best to rebuild his life and start over.

The whole time I was listening to him, I was also praying and seeking God for wisdom. God’s grace gave me the courage to ask my brother if he wanted to talk to a pastor and seek professional help. I thought he would say no, so I was really surprised when he said yes. I knew it was God working in his heart.

After that conversation in June, I fasted and sought God in prayer. Soon, my brother talked to one of our pastors in Victory Fort, and just this week—on the first day of our midyear fast—he consulted a psychiatrist, too.

There have been a lot of changes in my brother’s behavior since then. He used to lock himself in his room for days and not talk to anyone; now, he’s beginning to warm up to his friends again. It is my prayer to see him surrender his life to Christ someday, and I know that I just need to keep trusting God. He has His way of dealing with our hearts in His own perfect time. Witnessing the change in my brother now is already a miracle and an answered prayer.

Seeing how God is moving in my brother’s life, I am in faith that there is also hope for those who may be going through the same thing. God is close to the brokenhearted, and there’s no limit to what He can do. We can’t give up praying for those who need God, relying on His grace as we patiently wait. God never gave up on us; let us not give up on our loved ones.

Be strong and courageous. . . . for it is the Lord your God who goes with you. He will not leave you or forsake you.” Deuteronomy 31:6

 

Ana is part of Victory Fort. To maintain their privacy, we have not included a photo of Ana’s family. 

Waiting on God

Waiting on God

Have you been praying about a situation in your life and waiting for a breakthrough? May this story about God’s beautiful timing encourage you as you prepare for the fast and continue to seek God. 

 

Cyril and I got married in 2015. Since then, we had been looking forward to adding a little version of him and me into our family. We prayed and continued to wait, believing it wouldn’t take that long. But when months had passed and nothing had happened, we began to wonder if something was wrong.

In that same year, we went to a doctor and found out that I had an endometrial cyst. At that time, it was still small in size. The doctor told us that it was nothing to worry about, and we could keep trying. We tried and waited again—for weeks, months, and years. Until it slowly took a toll on us and drained our hope.

Though we never lost faith, frustration kept building up each month. We thought that maybe, God had other plans for us. We began to talk to different couples who were also waiting for a child and sought their advice. Most of them were waiting longer than we did, and they somehow helped us see things in a different light. They encouraged us to continue seeking God.

We started to regularly participate in our time of prayer and fasting with the same faith goal every year. And though each year was difficult and full of tears, God’s grace was there to sustain us.

Last year, we finally had the courage to go back to the hospital and seek medical advice again. On that same day, we found out from a specialist that my endometrial cyst had grown to eight centimeters. The size was worrisome, and it couldn’t be ignored anymore. The doctor suggested that I undergo surgery as soon as possible.

Deciding to go through surgery was difficult for me. It uncovered fears I didn’t know existed. It was a battle that I had to surrender to God. On the day of the surgery, I couldn’t think of anything else but my relationship with Him. It made me realize that He is far more important than all the things I had been wanting or praying for in my life.

After the surgery, God slowly unfolded so many things to us. He also overwhelmed us, not just with His grace but even with His provision. A lot of people came unexpectedly to bless and help us financially. We left the hospital without a tinge of worry.

During my follow up consultation, the doctor put me on medication and told me that if conceiving would still be a challenge after a few months, I could go to an infertility clinic specializing in assisted reproductive technology. Knowing that we couldn’t afford the said process, we prayed to God and trusted that His will for us—whatever it might be—would still be the best.

While waiting, God continued to deal not just with my heart but even with my husband’s. I didn’t realize that his experience of growing up in a fatherless home made him doubt if he was capable of being a father and raising a child. Though our journey of waiting wasn’t easy, I was grateful because, through it, God revealed so many things to us and made our relationship stronger and centered on Him alone.

With everything that we had gone through, I knew that the possibility of conceiving without medical intervention was slim. That’s why even when my monthly period got delayed for a few days last April, I was a bit hesitant to do a pregnancy test. Though a part of me was hopeful and full of faith, a big part was also afraid that the results would end up being similar to the ones we previously had. As I was waiting for the lines to appear on the pregnancy test kit, I slowly welled up in tears. I didn’t see a single line this time—I saw two clear lines, which meant that I’m pregnant.

I hurriedly showed the results to my husband, and we ended up crying with so much awe and gratitude. That time, all I could hear was God saying to me that He was writing a different story for us—a story that was far more beautiful than what we had in mind.

Now, I am 14 weeks pregnant, and everything is right on track based on my latest ultrasound. As we wait for our little miracle, my husband and I are continuously holding on to God and His grace. We know that we can trust Him fully as He weaves every tiny part of His precious gift to our marriage.

But I trust in you, Lord; I say, “You are my God.” My times are in your hands . . . Psalm 31:14,15

 

Tiffany Xyra Valdez is leading a singles Victory group in Victory Greenhills. Like Tiffany, her husband Cyril, is also helping young men know God more by going through ONE 2 ONE with them.

When God Makes a Promise

When God Makes a Promise

Even in this time of crisis, God is faithful to fulfill His promise. No matter how impossible our prayers may seem, His grace and love for us will always see us through. As we continue to prepare for the midyear fast, here is a powerful story of salvation and healing. 

 

I had been praying for my parents’ salvation for two straight years. It was my faith goal in the 2020 January prayer and fasting. I had always dreamed of seeing them experience God like never before, just like how I did when I came to know Him through my husband.

Knowing God is a gift, and having the chance to worship Him along with my husband and four children is a blessing that I had always hoped to share with my parents. It seemed impossible at that time, but I kept on praying and believing that someday, they would see God’s hand at work in their lives. I also held on to a promise and a vision that God had impressed in my heart in one of our conferences in church. I knew He would come through for us.

In March, my father had a stroke. It was his second stroke in five years. In April, it was followed by yet another one—his third, which could have been fatal. After that episode, I felt God nudging me to have the courage to preach the gospel to my parents, especially to my father.

On the day I was scheduled to visit my father in the hospital, I prayed and sought God for wisdom. I was uneasy and afraid of what his reaction would be—and even hesitated at the last moment—but God kept me strong. Though I doubted myself, God faithfully gave me the courage and grace to share His word.

As early as six in the morning, I was already in my father’s hospital room. I talked to him and asked him to join me in our online morning worship and prayer. After that, I preached the gospel to Him and we prayed the prayer of salvation. Before I knew it, he was already in tears. He asked God for forgiveness and received Jesus as his Lord and Savior. Seeing him come to God brought indescribable joy and gratitude in my heart.

Because of my father’s newfound relationship with God, he grew stronger every day—not just spiritually, but also physically. Even though it was already his third stroke, there was never a need for him to be transferred to the intensive care unit. He slowly regained his strength and is currently on his way to full recovery. Even his doctors and therapists could hardly believe that he escaped a fatal stroke.

What happened to my father somehow led my mother to come to God and know Him in a deeper way as well. She began attending online worship services with us and soon gave her life to Christ. My long-ago dream of seeing my entire family—not just my husband and kids, but even my parents—worship God has finally happened because of God’s grace. Truly, there is nothing impossible with Him!

My father’s healing from his sickness is unexplainable, but his and my mother’s newfound relationship with God is an even greater miracle. We know that God has a purpose for everything and my parents believe that my father’s second chance at life is a gift that he can use to know God more and worship Him.

And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good,  for those who are called according to his purpose. Romans 8:28

 

Anna Leah Valerio is one of our Victory group leaders in Victory Meycauayan. She, her parents, husband, and four children are continually growing in their walk with God.

Grace That Heals

Grace That Heals

Sometimes, God heals in ways we don’t expect. As we prepare for the midyear fast, let us be encouraged and inspired by this amazing testimony of God’s healing, faithfulness, and grace.

 

My husband and I got married in 2017. I got pregnant a year later but had an early miscarriage. We prayed for a baby, and in 2019, I learned that I was pregnant again. We were so happy, and everything was going well with my pregnancy—until I reached my sixth month. As I entered my third trimester, I developed pregnancy-induced hypertension that eventually led to preeclampsia, a pregnancy complication characterized by high blood pressure.

According to my doctor, my condition could cause serious health problems to me and my baby, and it could be fatal. I was immediately admitted to the hospital during our 2019 midyear prayer and fasting for an emergency delivery via C-section. My baby was only 29 weeks old at that time.

I stayed in the hospital for a week, while my daughter, Quinn, stayed in the neonatal intensive care unit (NICU) for four months. Though I visited her every day, each moment that she was there broke my heart. Seeing her grow but experience different complications brought me through a roller-coaster ride of emotions.

While in the NICU, Quinn developed mild pneumonia and had a bacterial infection. She also had anemia, which meant that she needed a total of seven blood transfusions throughout her hospitalization. Though she managed to overcome those, she later developed an inguinal hernia, which left an internal opening on both sides of her groin. According to her doctor, this type of hernia does not close spontaneously. She needed to undergo surgery once her weight reached 2.5 kilograms to prevent her internal organs from being dislodged.

Though difficult, it was a blessing that we received so much encouragement from Quinn’s doctor despite her condition. I remained hopeful amid everything that was happening and eventually built relationships with the other moms and doctors in that unit. We would pray together each day and be reminded of how mindful God is to us. Even in the area of finances, God also miraculously provided for us. He used our families and the people in our church community to help us with our running bill, which we had to pay on a weekly basis.

When Quinn was finally discharged from the hospital in November 2019, we sought God for wisdom. After seeking Him in prayer for weeks, we made a decision to let her go through the operation once she reached the required weight. It was one of our faith goals in the 2020 January prayer and fasting. We prayed for provision and a successful operation—but we also never stopped believing God for miraculous healing.

On the third day of our prayer and fasting week, something unexplainable happened. I found comfort and reassurance from God that He would heal Quinn. I was so overwhelmed at that moment; I cried and trusted God as I believed for my daughter’s healing. And though it didn’t happen right away, I didn’t doubt God and continued to hope and believe in what He impressed in my heart.

Months passed by, and Quinn slowly gained weight. When her weight exceeded 2.5 kilograms, we knew that it was time for her to go through surgery, but something in me was telling me otherwise. I knew that God could use the operation to heal her completely, but a part of me was also in faith that she didn’t need to go through it anymore.

In the weeks that followed, it seemed as if the lumps that used to be in her groin were no longer there. In March, we were planning to have her checked, but the enhanced community quarantine was implemented, so there was nothing we could do but wait. While waiting, I struggled to fight the lies in my head as I continued to hold on to God’s promise. I constantly reminded myself of His amazing grace through the lyrics of the song that I always sang to Quinn in the NICU:

The Lord has promised good to me. His word my hope secures. 
He will my shield and portion be, as long as life endures.

Finally, on June 13, 2020, we went to the doctor for Quinn’s checkup and immunization. The lumps that served as physical manifestations of the openings in her groin were completely gone! Even the doctor was surprised when she confirmed that Quinn no longer needed surgery. She had been healed—completely!

What happened to Quinn was a miracle that we knew we had to share. It was something that seemed impossible, but God proved Himself faithful. Her name, Quinn Gabrielle, which means “wisdom” and “God is our strength,” holds true. God has given us wisdom to wait and the strength to endure everything we have gone through. It was His amazing grace that was with us all throughout. And it will continue to be with us as we believe God for His beautiful plans to unfold, for Quinn and our entire family.

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

God is able to answer our prayers beyond what we ask or think. As we prepare for the midyear fast on July 7–9, let us all hold fast to His grace and be expectant.

 

Chams Pagulayan-Malana is one of our campus missionaries in Victory Malate. She and her husband continue to rely on God’s amazing grace as they raise their beautiful daughter, Quinn.

Found

Found

When faced with loss, we can get lost in our pain, too. But God’s grace is real. It can find us in the most difficult situation and bring us back to Him.

 

My first boyfriend passed away five years ago. He had been diagnosed with leukemia just a week before he died. We had been together for almost four years: we spent a lot of time together in college, experienced so many things, and built dreams together. His death didn’t make sense to me.

For years, I kept asking God why it happened. I grew up in a Christian family, but the pain of his death made my heart fragile and vulnerable to things that were not pleasing to God. I was easily swayed to do things that I thought would ease the pain. I put my pain above everything else.

I tried everything to forget that he was gone. I went clubbing and tried meeting different people just to fill the gap, but the void was too deep. No matter what I did, I couldn’t bury the memory of his death.

Until God’s grace came through.

After graduating from college, I was assigned to a job in Pangasinan. One of my workmates connected me to Victory Alaminos, where I met people from the singles ministry and became part of a Victory group. Slowly, I began to experience God’s grace and amazing love through the people I met in church. They helped me heal and realize how much I had been wasting my life.

As I continued to heal, not just emotionally but even spiritually, God brought me to a new place. I was assigned to a job in Cavite, where I immediately found a family in our church in General Mariano Alvarez. I became actively involved in the music ministry and grew further in my faith.

In January 2018, I participated in our annual prayer and fasting week for the first time. In one of the meetings, God placed a desire in my heart for a relationship that is centered on Him alone—not on the love that I am willing to give and expecting to receive. He made me realize that I could only be whole and complete in Him, so I prayed for a relationship that would honor Him and put His love above everything.

A few months later, one of my good friends, who is a Kids Church volunteer, expressed his desire to know me more. I learned later on that he had been praying for me and intentionally building a relationship with me. It seemed that God had been preparing his heart all this time while also healing mine. It was such a sweet surprise from God.

After several months of praying and seeking God, he finally asked me, not just to be his girlfriend, but to be his wife, too! We are now engaged and preparing for our wedding this year.

It was amazing how love found me again, but it was nothing compared to how God’s love and grace rescued me at a time when I thought I was beyond help. Indeed, only His grace can heal the deepest wounds in our hearts and fill the broken cracks.

Fear not, for I have redeemed you; I have called you by name, you are mine. Isaiah 43:1

 

Hanna is part of Victory General Mariano Alvarez and serves in the music ministry. She is continually seeking God and growing in faith as she prepares for her next season.

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

Answered Prayer

Answered Prayer

Sometimes, God answers our prayers in ways we don’t expect. His grace appears to us in the midst of grief, frustration, and disappointmentand always sees us through.

 

When my husband and I got married in April 2017, we prayed and believed God for a child. We had always wanted our firstborn to be a boy, so during our midyear prayer and fasting week in July 2017, we asked God for a son. The following month, we were beyond thrilled to find out I was already pregnant with Luke, our firstborn.

Luke was unexpectedly born at 23 weeks and one day. Because he was born prematurely, he had a very low chance of survival. Every day, the doctors would prepare us for the worst, but we refused to give up. The first few days were good—Luke was very active and we were hopeful—but on the sixth day, things took a turn for the worse; Luke developed intestinal problems and other complications.

After giving birth for the first time, it was hard to face the possibility of losing our child. While still in the hospital in January 2018, we attended prayer and fasting services via live stream and cried out to God in prayer every night. There was great emotional turmoil inside us, and it was crushing our spirits. But knowing that God was with us, we held on to Him and did everything we could—until the day we finally bid goodbye to our son. Luke passed away 20 days after he was born, leaving us with a glimpse of parenthood and a lot of questions, but a deeper relationship with God.

A few months later, in July 2018, we found ourselves in the midyear prayer and fasting service again. It was bittersweet to be standing there once more, believing God for another child, but we had faith that He would answer our prayer in His perfect time. In September of the same year, I learned that I was pregnant for the second time. I was filled with so much joy, but a big part of me was afraid. Old fears started to resurface—and later became real.

On the 24th week of my pregnancy, I was rushed to the hospital because of bleeding despite all the precautionary measures that we took to prevent preterm labor or miscarriage. I was placed on complete bed rest in the hospital and spent Christmas there with my husband. We did everything we could so our baby could stay in my womb for a few more weeks and develop further. Every day was a battle between succumbing to our fears and fighting one more day.

After months of fighting in faith, waiting, and praying, Jenna Everly, our second child, was born at 27 weeks and 3 days.

Though seeing our daughter filled with tubes, poked with needles, and hooked up to machines inside the neonatal intensive care unit (NICU) broke my heart in different ways, I knew that each day we were there was a blessing. Yes, I was scared of losing another child, but in the midst of all the questions and fears, God revealed to me that this life is not about me or us. It’s all about Him, His purpose, and His grace.

Every day for almost three months, I would visit Everly in the NICU to provide milk for her, carry her, play worship songs, and pray for every inch of her little body. My husband and I could not have endured those months without God. It was His grace that carried us through.

Finally, on May 12, 2019 (Mother’s Day), Everly was discharged from the hospital. She’s now healthy, happy, thriving, and with no impairments! Celebrating her first Christmas with the whole family was so memorable and meaningful. Her first name Jenna means God’s grace, while her second name Everly means brave. We chose those names because we believe that we can be brave in the midst of trials through God’s grace.

Every time I look back on what we’ve been through for the past two years, I am reminded of God’s faithfulness and love. I know He has beautiful plans for Everly and my family, and His unfailing grace will always see us through.

For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.”Jeremiah 29:11, NIV

 

Jem is one of our Victory group leaders at Victory Fort. She and her husband, Edd, are blessed to share God’s amazing story of grace in their family.

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

Great Faith: Midyear Prayer and Fasting 2019

Great Faith: Midyear Prayer and Fasting 2019

As we enter the second half of 2019, let us continue to believe God for greater things with great faith! This coming July 2 to 4, we will commit to pray and fast once again as a church.

 

You can find updates about the midyear fast and prayer meeting schedules in the coming weeks through our worship services, social media pages (Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram), and the Victory app. You can also read testimonies from our prayer and fasting week early this year.

Just like in previous years, a devotional for kids ages 10 to 12 will also be available. We believe that allowing the next generation to participate will give them an opportunity to grow and be established in the faith. We encourage you to walk with them and guide them as they join the fast.

To help us study God’s Word during the midyear fast, here are our downloadable devotionals that are based on the lives of men and women in the New Testament who exhibited great faith.

English

Filipino

Kids

 

As we seek God and His will—above all else—this year, let us be in faith that His purposes for us will be fulfilled.

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 shared the gospel with 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 had 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.

Thriving Where God Places You

Thriving Where God Places You

Herreras 2When thirty-three-year-old Normi Herrera got married five years ago, she and her husband, Daniel, agreed that they would take a step of faith and build a single-income household. “I want to be present in the formative years of my kids,” she says, “Everyday is a teachable moment for them, so I want to be the one to do that.”

That meant not being able to use her degree in Consular and Diplomatic Affairs from the College of St. Benilde. It meant foregoing the fancy business attire and heels. It meant her staying at home 24/7, faced with routine domestic chores. It didn’t look and sound glamorous, but Normi knew it was something she had to do.

After starting a home with her husband, she gave birth to two boys–Ziki (four years old) and Amos (two years old). Being a full-time homemaker meant that she homeschooled her children from the time they could understand concepts and remember them. On top of being their teacher, she also has to juggle household tasks. “I have my hands full!” she shares, “I have to carefully schedule my day, especially when I was still doing freelance writing. Otherwise, it would be pure chaos.”

To accomplish her writing jobs, Normi would write after her kids have gone to bed. She would be up after midnight, trying to finish her tasks before her deadline. Sleeping less and working more made her cranky and short-fused. It affected the way she dealt with her kids and her husband. “I would rush bedtime, just so I can go to work already,” she shares. It also distracted her from her regular devotion and quiet time, because she would end up thinking about the things she needed to finish. Eventually, Normi knew she had to give up her writing job, even if it meant lesser income for them.Herrera family

With her husband’s support, Normi decided to focus again on being a full-time homemaker without the distractions of a freelance job.  “Being in a single-income household wasn’t easy,” she confesses, “There were times that my husband and I were counting the last of our savings, but we’re always blown away with how God is truly faithful in providing for His children.”

Despite the challenges of being a full-time homemaker, Normi still understands the importance of discipling other women. “We stopped leading a Victory group when my kids were much smaller,” she shares, “But our senior pastor, Pastor Noel Ojerio and his wife Maryjune, assured us that we should not feel bad about not being active in the ministry for a time because our season then was to raise our kids. After all, Victory’s core value is family.” The kind of understanding and encouragement their mentors gave them helped Normi and Daniel be wiser in their discipleship of other people.
After finding their groove and settling into a workable routine, the couple went back to discipling other married couples. Being a full-time mother, Normi saw the need to help other mothers learn how to manage their household and fully depend on the Lord while doing it. “Whether you’re a working mom or a full-time homemaker, mothers struggle with the same issues,” she explains, “You worry about how to be fully present for your husband, how to properly care for your kids, and how to manage your home. So, I want them to find Jesus first, and be established in Him.”

Their involvement in the ministry became more permanent when Daniel was hired as full-time staff of Victory Caloocan. Normi knew that her husband would take a pay cut if he left his profession as an architect, but she had no doubts that God would provide for them. “There was also clarity from God’s word and support from our mentors,” she shares, “I was fully confident that with his decision to obey, God would cover all our needs.”

TVG Herrerarue enough, last Prayer and Fasting week, Normi saw God’s hand fulfill her simple request. With all the household chores she faces everyday, she wanted an automatic washing machine, so she can multitask better. It was something she wanted since last year, but they didn’t have the extra funds for it. “I wrote it down as one of my faith goals,” she reveals, “It sounds so shallow, but it was so important to me!”

After Prayer and Fasting week ended, Normi received a message asking for the amount of the washing machine she wanted. It was from a friend who heard that she wanted a washing machine, and she wanted to bless Normi and Daniel with one. Knowing how expensive it is, Normi considered replying with a small amount. “I wanted to tell her to just bless us with the amount they can give, and we’ll just cover the remainder,” she confesses, “But I was rebuked by the Holy Spirit. Amidst my hesitation, God assured me that I have asked and believed, so here it is.”VG Herrera 2

She gave the right amount, and her friend deposited the exact amount they needed. They were able to buy the washing machine at a discounted price, which meant that there was even a little extra money left. “I cried tears of joy!” Normi exclaims, “God’s faithfulness is amazing. He really assures us that He is mindful of us down to the tiniest details.”

With all the goodness and grace they experience in their life, Normi couldn’t help but continue to share it with other people. Along with her husband, she regularly mentors other married couples. “When a marriage is shaken, and it is not grounded in the Lord, it can eventually add to the number of broken families,” she says. She also finds time to mentor single women, too. As for her husband, Daniel will enroll in the School of Church Planting this September to fulfill his calling as a church planter.

Right now, the couple is praying for a graceful transition as this change impacts their family. Normi is also in faith that she will be able to reach out to more women and help them navigate their lives. “I am a mother and a wife, so be it through birth counseling, breastfeeding consultation, or discipleship, I will do what God tells me to do with the season He has given me.”

A Son’s Unwavering Faith

A Son’s Unwavering Faith

Lowell Ramos“You keep going to these things, but you still haven’t changed!” Twenty-year old Lowell Ramos recalls these words were often hurled at him by his mother, Nanay Tarcy, whenever they had disagreements. She didn’t approve of him attending youth services at Victory Cabanatuan because of her preconceived notions about Christian culture. She also thought Lowell was just wasting his time. After all, he wasn’t exactly the epitome of obedience. His mother knew that he spent time drinking and cutting classes to hang out with his friends. He lived by his rules alone, and had no regard for discipline and responsibilities.

For Lowell, however, that’s all part of his past. Ever since he attended a youth service after being invited by a friend, his life drastically changed. “After the service, I was invited to attend a life group,” Lowell narrates. “Someone asked me if I wanted to do ONE 2 ONE, and I knew that I needed it, so I said yes.”

It was during ONE 2 ONE when Lowell encountered Jesus, and all his questions about his purpose and direction were finally answered. While consistently attending Victory group meetings, he learned more about God’s word and promises.

Lowell and NanayHe also learned how to handle persecution at home. Being the only Christian in their family, Lowell wanted nothing more but salvation for all his family members. “That had always been my cry to God,” he reveals, “But my family knew about my past, so I understand why it was hard for them to believe me,” he shares.

There were times he was tempted to give up, especially when his faith would become the cause of their disputes at home. He was also challenged to debates, but he kept quiet, because he knew it wasn’t the best way to engage them. “I just continued praying for them, especially Nanay,” Lowell says, “I know I am Christ’s ambassador–outside, and especially at home.”

Eventually, Lowell started leading other people to ONE 2 ONE. He also started his own Victory group, composed of fellow college students from his school, Wesleyan University. Last May 2015, he was also given the opportunity to join a Ten Days mission trip to Thailand. With all these positive changes happening in his life, Lowell wanted nothing more than to share it with his family. He didn’t stop, literally praying over his family while they slept.

God knew the desires of Lowell’s heart because last January, after prayer and fasting week, Nanay Tarcy finally asked him about Victory. “She was curious why I spend a lot of time there,” he shares, “So I told her about my ministry. I told her my testimony, how God changed me.” Lowell mustered the courage and asked his mother to join him at the worship service the following Sunday. To his surprise, she said yes.

>That day at the worship service, after Lowell prayed for her for nearly four years, Nanay Tarcy received Jesus as her Lord and Savior. “I was overwhelmed with joy!” Lowell exclaims, “At the start of the year, I dared to believe God for the salvation of my mother, and now a week after prayer and fasting, He answers it!”

Nanay's Victory GroupThe Sunday worship service became a regular routine for both mother and son. They praised God together, sang worship songs together, and also studied God’s word together. Today, Nanay Tarcy is now part of a Victory group and is being discipled through One 2 One. From someone who used to persecute him, she is now Lowell’s biggest supporter as he disciples other people and lead them to Christ.

Last mid-year prayer and fasting week, she and Lowell dared to believe God together for the salvation of the rest of their family. “God’s grace extends beyond you. It extends to your family, too!” Lowell says when asked what God has revealed to Him through this experience. He continues to pray for the salvation of the rest of his family. This time, he has Nanay Tarcy by his side and together, they’re daring to believe God for more.

Of Fairy Tales and Happy Endings

Of Fairy Tales and Happy Endings

Camilla Rivera  “I used to search for love from fairy tales and romance films,” says 27-year old Camilla Rivera, a self-confessed hopeless romantic.

Growing up in a broken family, she has craved love and acceptance since her parents’ separation when she was 12 years old. The memory of the day they separated is still vivid in her mind.

Throughout her high school years, Camilla felt alone. She described it as one of the most difficult times in her life. Like all girls her age, she needed proper guidance but didn’t get any from her parents. So, she turned to her peers. Enrolled in an exclusive school for girls, she looked for love, even entering a same-sex relationship to see where it would take her.

Camilla also developed an indulgent lifestyle that she thought would fill the emptiness inside her. While in college, she entered the modeling industry to sustain her wants and whims. While studying, she met the man who would eventually father her child. Not wanting to be alone anymore, and thinking that she already wanted her own family, Camilla got pregnant at 20 years old. “But after six years of this relationship, we decided to part ways,” she reveals. “I realized I was not really happy.”

Camilla RiveraGiving birth to a daughter didn’t stop Camilla from entering into a lot of flings and short-term relationships. Finally, she met another man, an Indian who became her long-term boyfriend. Camilla found comfort and security in her relationship with him. “My life revolved around him,” she confesses, “I didn’t know it then, but I realized I was guilty of idolatry, and he was the idol.”

The man proposed marriage to Camilla, and she accepted. It was exactly what she has been dreaming of since she was a little girl–her own Prince Charming to sweep her off her feet. “I was on cloud nine!” she exclaims. However, after the initial thrill of the proposal passed, Camilla started having second thoughts. She was in the midst of wedding preparations when she realized that she wasn’t happy. She started questioning if she was actually in the right relationship. “He accepted my past, yes. He loves me, yes. But he wanted me to leave my daughter here. We couldn’t bring her to live in his country,” Camilla explains, “That just changed my entire perspective!” With a heavy heart, she decided to end the relationship and her fiancé left the Philippines for good.

The break-up shattered Camilla’s life. She was devastated and started questioning her purpose. She blamed God and asked Him why He had to let her undergo such a painful experience. It was Christmas Eve when Camilla encountered God through Isaiah 66:9 (NCV), “In the same way, I will not cause pain without allowing something new to be born,” says the Lord.

In the solitude of her room, while crying out to God, Camilla felt comforted. She felt that God was asking her to come home. “He brought me back on the right track, just when I seemed to be so lost,” she shares, “He understands how painful discipline can be, but it is His way to remind me to trust His plans accordingly.”

Victory WeekendAfter her intimate encounter with God, Camilla remembered her friends, who had been consistently inviting her to attend Victory and join a Victory group since 2014. So, last January 2016, she finally decided to join them during the Dare to Believe prayer and fasting week. She only had one prayer: to have a personal relationship with Christ.  “Father, I want to know you,” Camilla prayed, “I want to keep my eyes on you and have a relationship with you. Reveal yourself to me.”

Last April 2016, Camille publicly declared her faith and was water baptized at Victory Weekend. God heard her prayer, and answered it. “I was not worthy of His love, but Christ still died for me,” she declares, “I was forgiven and his grace has saved me. I now live to honor Him and advance His kingdom.”

Today, Camilla serves as a KIDS Church volunteer, where her daughter also participates. She is in faith that she will be able to lead her own Victory Group by next year.

From someone who craved acceptance from the wrong places, she is now overflowing with God’s redemptive love. Now stronger and content, she’s not looking for ‘happily ever afters’ elsewhere, She has now found her eternity in Christ.

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.”

Stories from our Prayer and Fasting

Stories from our Prayer and Fasting

God is truly faithful! Here are stories we gathered from our previous Prayer and Fasting activities. As you read through these testimonies, we hope you’re encouraged as we are!

If you would like to share breakthroughs from this year’s Prayer and Fasting, please email us at stories@victory.org.ph. We’d love to hear from you!

One of my faith goals for 2013 was for God to provide a stable job for my brother who had been unemployed for several years. In March 2013, he went to the Middle East to look for job opportunities. He did not get just any job—he got his dream job, and at the most prestigious company in that country! His housing, uniform, allowance, and everything else, are all provided for by the company. Truly, God is faithful and He exceeds expectations!

Moshi, Victory U-Belt

 

I got an answered prayer in 2013 when, in August, I was granted a full MBA scholarship in Tokyo, Japan. All my living expenses were covered, too! Even though I’m here in Tokyo, I’m still committed to join this year’s Prayer and Fasting. I’m so excited for what God has in store for our church, our country, and for my family.

Czara, Victory Ortigas

 

My family and I have been waiting for our immigrant visas to be granted to us. It was part of my faith goals for the 2013 Prayer and Fasting, and God answered our prayers before the year ended. Now, we are living in Florida! I now work as a nurse in one of the best hospitals in Gainesville, Florida. God is always faithful. Even though we experience lots of struggles and tough situations, He always give us strength and power to overcome them.

Fritzie, Victory Alabang

 

God gave us financial provision for my physical therapy sessions. I’m happy to report that I’ve completed all of them. Also, I included my father’s prayer for a car. God is truly faithful! God gave us a brand new car!

RA, Victory Metro East

 

On the third day of the 2014 Prayer and Fasting, God restored the relationship between my family members.

Ally, Middle East

 

Before 2012 ended, I applied twice for a job in the US, and did not make it. I started 2013 with an expectant heart, believing God would answer my long-time prayer. God answered my prayers when I got my first-ever job in the US within the year—with a multiple visa easily granted!

La Katrina, Victory Lipa

 

We started the year really pondering what to do with our family business. We thought about selling it, since my siblings and I work in different industries. We prayed to the Lord for guidance, and He did not delay. We were introduced to the world of franchising, which allowed our business to expand through investors with little direct cost to us. What is really amazing, though, is that God doubled our company-owned outlets and sustained our finances through it all. It does not stop there: this month, we are set to open another company-owned branch. We claim more franchisees to come this 2014.

Bry, Victory Fort

 

In January of 2013, I prayed and fasted for a family reconciliation. Last Christmas Eve, my dad, mom, older brother, younger half-brother, and I had dinner together after 27 years of being apart. It was surreal, and I know it is only our Lord Jesus Christ who can make such a thing happen! I praise and thank God for His faithfulness. He indeed is a promise-keeper, and he made my long-time desire come true. All praises to the Almighty Father!

Chin, Victory Makati

 

At the 2013 Prayer and Fasting, my faith goals included being able to give to the building fund, as well as a better job. A month after the fasting, I was eventually offered a redundancy package that gave me four months of salary tax-free, which I gladly accepted. I was able to give the amount I pledged to the building fund in full! A week after, I have received a job offer with a 35% salary increase. Only God can do that!

Honey Gee, Victory Fort

 

In 2013, I prayed for the salvation of my mom. She accepted Jesus as her Lord and Savior in November of the same year. God is indeed faithful.

Myrna, Victory City of San Fernando

I ask God for a breakthrough in my career and He did it! I passed the board exam for nurses in July. Thank God!

Kai, Victory Pioneer

 

One of my faith goals in 2013 was to be part of a Ten Days mission trip in Timor Leste in October of the same year. God answered my prayer, not just by richly providing for my support, but also by allowing me to experience more of His love, faithfulness, power, and grace. What seemed to be impossible for me as a student became possible because of Him.

Lougie, Victory U-Belt

 

It was my first time to fast in 2013, and God’s grace has been so abundant! I failed the CPA board exam on my first try, but when I retook the test in 2013, I passed. God also answered my prayer to work in a firm I really wanted to be part of. What’s more, a court case filed against my mother got dismissed. I really thank God for all that He’s done in 2013!

Andrew, Victory U-Belt

 

The impossible for me to restore, God restored. Coming from a broken family, I never thought that our being apart would be used by Him to bring us closer together. My parents, though they never have managed to get back together, are in good terms. Truly, my prayers were heard. I’m just amazed that even the most unlikely situation, God can make a beautiful way out of it.

Markee, Victory Malate

 

In 2013, I believed God for abundance in finances so I could buy my own house and travel to other countries. He is truly amazing, because He went above and beyond my expectations! My condo will be turned over to me in January 2014, less than a year since I started paying for it. I was promoted and was able to go outside the country for a business trip. I am overwhelmed by His faithfulness.

Trina, Victory Fort

 

Our family had a problem with the ownership of our family home for four decades now. We prayed and fasted in 2012 that we will peacefully have the title ownership of our home. The title was given to us in September 2013. Only God can make it happen.

Jun, Victory Quezon City

 

One of my faith goals last year was to receive an additional source of income, but God gave me a promotion and a salary increase. I also got a lot of freelance projects, plus I received a salary adjustment twice this year. Also, I was praying for a new home. Before the year ended, we moved into our own home. My heart is overwhelmed with joy. God is just so faithful to His promises.

Jobelle, Victory Pioneer

 

I prayed to start a Victory group in the office. We now have nine members in our group!

Jen, Victory Fort

 

My mom is based in Narita, Japan. Our family has been praying that she would have a relationship with Jesus for more than 10 years. In 2012, God used people to reach out to her. My mom got saved and was baptized. There are no boundaries for His unfailing love. Even if we are miles apart from our loved ones, God will use people to reach out to them, To God be all glory, honor, and praise!

Avi, Victory Greenhills

2013 Mid-year Prayer and Fasting

2013 Mid-year Prayer and Fasting

We invite everyone to join our three-day mid-year prayer and fasting on July 2-4. With six months left in 2013, we will consecrate ourselves to God through prayer and fasting. At the same time, we will believe God as one spiritual family for breakthroughs in our church and nation.

Please visit victory.org.ph for more information on corporate prayer meeting schedules and venues, as well as prayer points you may use in your own devotional time. For devotionals, prayer points, and testimonies, check out our Mid-year Prayer and Fasting event page!

Join us from July 2 to 4 as we believe God by faith for His hand to move in our church and in our lives!

Stories from the 2013 Prayer and Fasting

Stories from the 2013 Prayer and Fasting

We’re about to finish our 2013 Prayer and Fasting, and we’ve received testimonies from our different Victory centers. Check out these stories of breakthroughs and answered prayers. May you be as encouraged as we are, and may you be encouraged to believe God for more amazing things in 2013!

 

 

Healing

My father had a heart attack in December 2011. In the 2012 fasting, I prayed for his healing and provision for our hospital bills. God is so faithful! Provisions came in and my father was discharged a day after the end of the fast. Thank you, Jesus!
– Clarissa, Victory U-Belt

I sought God for physical healing from one of my salivary glands during the 2012 Prayer and Fasting. By the end of that month, my doctor told me that I was healed completely. Praise God!
– Ally, Victory Fort

Nikki Pandy and her husband Mark were childless for seven years—and God stepped in and gave them a miracle beyond their imagination! Watch this video testimony from Victory Fort Bonifacio.

 

Financial Breakthrough

During the 2011 Prayer and Fasting, one of my faith goals was to receive a 50% salary increase. I received almost a 70% increase in my salary a couple of months after. And now my salary has doubled from when 2011 started. God is truly amazing!
– Ann, Victory Greenhills

Recently I was considering taking up units in Speech Communication/Mass Communication. My only hindrance in doing so was finances. I had to prioritize other things more than going back to school. But on Day One of the fast (January 7), someone texted me and told me that she will pay for my tuition fee in full.
– Avon, Victory U-Belt

Our family faced very difficult financial issues in 2011. My husband and I prayed and fasted for employment during the 2012 Prayer and Fasting. On the third day of the fast, a company called my husband and offered him a job with a salary much higher than we expected and he got promoted on the spot. Praise God for that!
– RV, Victory Metro East

After years of struggle with loans and debt, naging debt-free na din kami!
– Denise, Victory U-Belt

 

Salvation

I prayed and fasted for my husband’s salvation. He’s been joining me at Sunday services before, but has not really accepted Jesus and his Lord and Savior. Before the year ended, he finished Victory Weekend, understood salvation and real faith, and surrendered his life to God. We now attend Family Life Groups and are being mentored by other godly couples. This is one of the most wonderful gifts God has given me!
– Kai, Victory Cebu

After the January 9 prayer meeting, I was really happy to hear that my brother decided to accept Jesus Christ as His Lord and Savior! My mother and I have been praying about it for the longest time and now God answered it. Glory to our Father!
– Jing, Victory Pioneer

I prayed for the salvation of my family last year. Now, my two sisters are now being discipled! One is now done with Victory Weekend. The other is done with ONE 2 ONE and is now consistently attending victory group in Victory Metro East. God is awesome!
– Ronnie, Victory U-Belt

 

Personal Direction

I asked God for career direction in the 2012 Prayer and Fasting. I was dissatisfied in my current job and was ready to resign. God answered my prayer: I got promoted and my employers began to recognize my output. Staying longer in the company I work for also became an opportunity to lead my officemates to Jesus!
– Claudine, Victory Ortigas

I prayed for career growth in our last Prayer and Fasting, and God was faithful to answer my prayer! I’ve been consistently part of Top 10 Performers of the month in my account, and was part of the Top 5 for the third quarter!
– Jen, Victory Fort

 

Restoration of Relationships

I prayed for a restoration of relationship with my best friend. A few months later, she contacted me and our friendship has certainly improved. Praise God for He certainly is faithful. He delights in restored relationships.
– Nina, Victory Pioneer

 

If you would like to share your Prayer and Fasting testimony, email us at fasting@victory.org.ph. Have a blessed 2013!

2012 Mid-Year Prayer and Fasting Prayer Meeting Schedules

2012 Mid-Year Prayer and Fasting Prayer Meeting Schedules

We’re halfway through 2012! Together, let’s believe God, as one spiritual family, for breakthroughs in our church and nation.

Join us in the prayer meetings that will be happening in our Metro Manila locations during the 2012 Three-Day Mid-Year Prayer and Fasting! Please find the schedule of your local church below:

Victory Location
Date Schedule
Venue
Alabang July 3-5 7:00 PM 4/F Festival Supermall
Fort Bonifacio July 3-5 7:00 PM Assembly Hall, Every Nation Building
Greenhills July 5 7:00 PM V-Mall, Greenhills Shopping Center
Makati July 4-5 7:00 PM Makati Sports Club
Malate July 3 – 5

6:30 PM

Village Square Harrison Plaza
Muntinlupa July 3-5

7:00 PM

3F/4F La Rychean Building 
Ortigas July 3

12:00 NN

4/F Robinsons Galleria
July 4-5 12:00 NN
6:30 PM
Pasig July 3-5 7:00 PM Victory Center, Bgy. Kapasigan
Pioneer July 3

CANCELLED
(Edit as of July 3, 3 PM)

3/F Robinsons Pioneer
July 4-5

7:00 PM

U-Belt July 3 CANCELLED 
(Edit as of July 3, 2 PM)
3/F St. Thomas Square

We hope to see you at these meetings! Keep posted for updates via Facebook and Twitter.

2012 Three-Day Mid-Year Prayer and Fasting

2012 Three-Day Mid-Year Prayer and Fasting

We are calling on everyone to join our three-day mid-year prayer and fasting. With six months left in 2012, we will believe God, as one spiritual family, for breakthroughs in our church and nation.

From July 3 to 5, Victory’s Metro Manila locations and churches around the country will come together to pray for the youth, our leadership programs, and discipleship programs. We will include in our prayers our plans for the Every Nation Building Phase 2 project, as well as our upcoming discipleship and leadership events.

Please visit victory.org.ph for more information on corporate prayer meeting schedules and venues, as well as prayer points you may use in your own devotional time.

Join us from July 3 to 5 as we believe God by faith for His hand to move in our church and in our lives!