Category Archives: Life Stories

A collection of personal testimonies of different people about salvation by grace through saving faith in Jesus Christ alone.

A Child’s Thanksgiving

Created for a Purpose

When I was a new Christian, a friend lent me her book “A Purpose Driven Life” by Rick Warren. Reading a devotional was very useful when I didn’t know how to study the Bible. This helped me understand Biblical truths that were too complicated for me to chew by myself.

An excerpt of Day 2 devotional says:

I am your Creator. You were in my care even before you were born (Isaiah 44:2a – CEV).
You are not an accident.
Your birth was no mistake. Your parents may not have planned you, but God did.

Long before you were conceived by your parents, you were conceived in the mind of God. You are alive because God wanted to create you! “The LORD will fulfill his purpose for me.” (Psalm 138:8a NIV).

Because God made you for a reason, he also decided when you would be born and how long you would live. He planned the days of your life in advance, choosing the exact time of your birth and death. “You saw me before I was born and scheduled each day of my life before I began to breathe. Every day was recorded in your Book!” (Psalm 139:16 LB).

God also planned where you’d be born and where you’d live for his purpose. Your race and nationality are no accident. God left no detail to chance. He planned it all for his purpose.

Nothing in your life is arbitrary. It’s all for a purpose.

God decided how you would be born. Regardless of the circumstances of your birth or who your parents are, God had a plan in creating you. While there are illegitimate parents, there are no illegitimate children. Many children are unplanned by their parents, but they are not unplanned by God. God’s purpose took into account human error, and even sin.

God never does anything accidentally, and he never makes mistakes. He has a reason for everything he creates. Every person was designed with a purpose in mind. God’s motive for creating you was his love.

I didn’t know I needed to hear these words from God. His gentle reassuring words resonated in my heart and comforted my soul. His Word healed a wound I never thought was there.

I am the only child of my parents. I didn’t ask but I knew they didn’t plan or expect me. I cannot say I was unwanted because of the love, care, attention, and provision they lavished on me. But I was conceived out of sin and was born as a consequence of it.

We were taught in school and in the church that God is love. But we were also taught that God hates sin. So I wasn’t aware that in my heart I thought God loves me because I was already born and He had no choice. It’s not like He planned for man to sin so children would be born. And if my parents obeyed God and didn’t sin, I wouldn’t be born. So how could He have loved me before the world began yet hate the reason I was conceived? I didn’t know that because of the complexity of God’s sovereignty and man’s free will, I felt I was only an afterthought for God. But His message to me during my personal time with Him allowed me to understand that in His providence, He makes everything work out according to His plan. Nothing happens apart from His will.

With my mom, aunt and siblings.

Abundance of Love

From the day I was conceived, my dad provided for all my needs. He frequently visited us and took care of me. He never failed to provide for me until I was 3 years old when my mom decided to end the relationship and cease all the communication and provision. That was the only memory I had of my dad — from stories. I was 13 years old when they told me that one of my godfathers is actually my biological father.

After ending the relationship with my dad, my mom eventually met my stepfather and they got married. Soon my siblings were born. When our youngest brother was still a few months old, our dad went to work in another country to provide for us. He kept constant communication with us. He would often send photos, postcards, letters and calls us during weekends. My mom also sent him photos of us, letters and recorded messages on cassette tapes. But we were like most children of distant parents: either we don’t have anything to say or we don’t know what to say; so our messages and phone conversations with him were short.

My mom worked in a government institution in Manila. Since we were living in Laguna, she had to leave early in the morning and often comes home after our bedtime. So during weekdays we’d sometimes see her a few minutes before she leaves for work. Our grandmother and aunts took care of us and attended to our daily school activities.

So the Lord has given me 3 fathers, a mom, and 3 motherly figure who took care of us. I have my biological father, stepfather and my adoptive heavenly Father. We have our mom, grandmother and 2 aunts. God showed His love and care for us through them

Our paternal grandparents and relatives in Iloilo. Our grandfather is at the top center wearing a blue polo and our grandmother is sitting down wearing a green polka dot dress.

Life Stories of Old

Growing up, adults in the family often tell us stories of their childhood. I find them interesting because their experiences were very different from ours. Their life, as they described it, was difficult yet fun. Telling us their story was their way of teaching us the realities of life we were unfamiliar to and showing us the importance of education, hard work, perseverance, and determination.

Our grandparents were hardworking and persevering, and they instilled these values to their children. At a very young age, our mom and her older siblings had to do all household chores and take care of their younger siblings while our grandparents work on the farm. They were trained to do their tasks swiftly. They had to wake up early to get to school on time since it’s of significant distance and they travel only on foot; at times they’d walk barefooted because they didn’t want their slippers to get worn out or soiled with mud. Even on weekends, they can’t be seen sleeping or still lying down when the sun has risen. Sometimes they’d help tend their farm animals, and plant or harvest crops.

When they had to leave the farmlands, their life became more difficult. There were times when they had nothing to eat. They’d go to school with only hot water for breakfast and hope that our grandparents would bring them something to eat for lunch.

When my mom graduated in high school, they immediately moved to Manila to work and study. They got employed in various kinds of jobs to support themselves, their studies and our grandparents.

A Child's Thanksgiving
Our maternal grandparents

Despite all their hardships, I never heard my mom and her siblings complain or speak ill of our grandparents. Instead, I only hear their fondness of them. My mom is grateful that, though provision may sometimes be lacking, our grandparents’ support for them had been abundant.

If they had all their basic needs, they may not have hoped for a better life. If they had owned even a small land in the province, they may not have gone to Manila and pursued a college degree. Their hardships fueled them to persevere. They’re grateful for everything they went through because these brought them to where they are now. And without their determination, we also wouldn’t be where we are now.

Fruit of Perseverance

The blessings we have received were not because of our hard work and perseverance but because of our parents and grandparents’. We have been enjoying the fruit of their perseverance.

We were brought up in a comfortable and sheltered life. We never experienced having nothing to eat; we were provided meals according to our preferences and were even brought freshly cooked lunch in school. I needn’t watch over my younger siblings because they each had their own nanny. We were never required to do household chores because we had helper/s until I was 29. We never went to school barefooted because all our needs and even wants were well-provided for. We never experienced going to school on foot, except when it was just in our neighborhood, because either our aunt or uncle drives us to school. When I was in first year college, they even thought I’d get lost going to Manila because I only learned to ride public transport when I was in high school. We weren’t allowed to work until we graduated. We never lacked anything.

They not only supplied our every need but also provided us comfort and convenience, not to mention all the support they have given us. This was how they showed their love and care for us. They didn’t want us to experience the hardships they went through so they gave us what they would have wanted for themselves.

6 out of 7 siblings. My mom, uncles, aunts and their spouses. Their youngest sister passed on years ago.

The life I’m living now, rescued from a life of chasing after the wind, without fear of death, and certain of eternity, is also a fruit of another Person’s perseverance, sacrifice and unconditional love — Jesus Christ.

Jesus Christ is the Son of God but He did not think that His being equal with God was something to use for His own benefit. Instead, He gave up everything, even His place with God. He took the humble position of a servant and was born as a human being. During His life as a man, He humbled Himself by being fully obedient to God. He lived a holy life and willingly sacrificed Himself on the Cross as payment for our sins so that everyone who trusts in the finished work of Christ alone shall not perish but have eternal life. He did this not because we are good or worth saving but only because of His love and mercy.

The Bible says: Everyone has sinned; we all fall short of God’s glorious standard. And when people sin, they earn what sin pays—death. Eternal separation from God and eternal punishment is the penalty of sin. It is for this reason that Christ came into the world. For if keeping the law (following God’s commandments out of our own strength) could make us right with God, then there was no need for Christ to die. We cannot save ourselves by being good because God’s standard is perfect holiness and that is fulfilled by Jesus Christ alone. So that everyone who believes in Jesus and trusts in His sacrifice on the Cross as payment for sins shall have eternal life.

A Child’s Thanksgiving

A Child's Thanksgiving
A photo taken by my biological dad 30 years after he last saw me.

Whenever I think about God’s faithfulness in my life, I can’t help but remember everything God has done in our family, beginning from my grandparents. My grandmother almost died when she was pregnant with my mom. My parents didn’t plan about me but God foreknew and created me for His purpose. He has been protecting and blessing my family, He gave me an opportunity to live and now He even adopted me so I can be called His child. How gracious are You, Lord? Thanksgiving is even a pitiful response for everything You have done.

This is how You have been taking care of me. You have placed me in a family to be my shelter, to protect, love and care for me. This is how You have loved me, this how You fathered me. You sheltered me, protected, cared for, loved, provided for and sustained me. You never missed a single moment. You are always present every second of my life. You are my Parent who cherished me as a child. You said, “I have carried you since you were born; I have taken care of you from your birth. Even when you are old, I will be the same. Even when your hair has turned gray, I will take care of you. I made you and will take care of you.” (Isaiah 46:3-4 NCV). How sweet are You, Lord?

Who am I that the Lord of all the earth, Creator of the universe, majestic and all-powerful God would be mindful of me? I’m just a mist that appears for a little while and then vanishes! Yet You chose me and called me Your own.

Because of Your unfailing love and faithfulness, there’s no other fitting response but to serve the purpose of my existence, to be how You intended me to be and do exactly what You purposed me to do. And that is to know You more intimately each day and to proclaim Your Name to all the earth so that others too may know of Your greatness and bring You glory! You have created us in Your image, and Christ’s sacrifice is for us to be reconciled back to You and be conformed to His image.

“For I know the plans I have for you,” says the LORD. “They are plans for good and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope. In those days when you pray, I will listen. If you look for me wholeheartedly, you will find me.” (Jeremiah 29:11-13)

A Child's Thanksgiving

A personal testimony of Ma. Olivia Jill Temporal. Learn more about her on the Author’s page.

Read the whole series about her life story:

Christ’s Righteousness Not My Own

I’m an adventurous yuppie who loved going to places, trying new things, and having fun. I often went to parties, bars, and celebrations. I embraced this kind of lifestyle because it’s the reality in my work industry. Having fun was very important for me because it was my way of relieving stress from work and other frustrations. I’d have fun even if it hurts or offends others. I’d make inappropriate jokes, selfishly caring only about what I think and feel. I was inconsiderate of other people.

I was self-righteous. Going to church regularly has become a deeply embedded practice for me since childhood especially having gone to a school that imposes church attendance on Sundays. As an adult, I would go to church every Sunday only to fulfill my duty and feel holier and superior to others who don’t go to church. Then I’d go back to my old lifestyle. And because I regularly go to church, I don’t care what other people would say or think of me. Going to church every Sunday already makes me a better person.

Rone Jayson Mariazeta /

One day, a colleague invited me to an event called “Agents Day”. He said it’s a breakfast gathering of call center agents. I consented. My boss implied that I was too polite to agree, which gave me the idea that it’s an activity of a different religious group. But since I was adventurous, I went and tried to see what it was about.

After the event, a white guy shared the Gospel to me. I was established in my religious belief so I just listened but never agreed on anything he said.

He told me that: Everyone has sinned; we all fall short of God’s glorious standard. We cannot save ourselves by being good or doing good deeds because there is no one good or righteous before God and His standard is perfect holiness. The wages of our sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord. Jesus paid the penalty of our sins so that whoever trusts in His sacrifice on the Cross shall not perish but have eternal life.

Afterward, the same colleague invited me to attend a Bible study. Adventurous as I was, again I said yes. I was really curious about the setup of this “Bible study”. At first, I was uncomfortable because I didn’t know anyone in the group, and also because they have a weird personality and were too spiritual for me. But I continued to attend and eventually made new friends.

Rone Jayson Mariazeta, life testimony for Jesus, Bible study group,
This was the first time I attended a Bible study.

I found it interesting to see how they study the Bible. They also desire and strive to follow the teachings in the Bible which, at first, got me scared because it was uncommon and contrary to what I was used to. Gradually, I came to know them more and learned more about the teachings of the Bible and Jesus Christ.

What touched me the most was seeing how selfless these people were serving one another and those who are in need. Praying with other people is one of the most moving experiences I ever had; it was the time when a group leader wholeheartedly prayed for me.

Surrendering my life to Jesus was a gradual process. Being with people who have a different outlook from the world and striving to submit to the teachings of the Bible, knowing more of Jesus and His sacrifice on the Cross as payment for our sins, learning about the character of God and being confronted of my sins through our Bible studies, eventually made me decide to surrender my life to Him.

By God’s grace, He is changing me from a self-righteous, insensitive person, to a disciple who loves serving other people. For even the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many (Mark 10:45).

God faithfully continues to guide me. I still stumble and fall, I still have selfish motives and actions. But now, Jesus my living God and Savior reminds me to repent of my sins, turn to Him and to always seek Him for guidance. He continues to change my heart and mind day by day to become the person He desires me to be for His glory. Thank You, Lord!

Do nothing from selfish ambition or conceit, but in humility count others more significant than yourselves. (Philippians 2:3)

Rone Jayson Mariazeta, life testimony for Jesus,

A personal testimony of Rone Jayson Mariazeta, a coach in a Business process outsourcing (BPO) company. He assists in leading and teaching an adults Bible study group in Greenhills Christian Fellowship.

He’s fond of watching travel vlogs. He’s interested in learning about other cultures and international cuisines. He loves trying out new food. He also gives importance in taking care of his body with balanced diet and exercise. He’s into Pilates, yoga, HIIT, and soon Taichi.

God’s Faithfulness in the Wilderness

Months before my salvation, my life was one of searching and questioning. What is the purpose of life? There was a longing within me.

I was living a good life. I have a happy family and a good career in the Business Process Outsourcing (BPO) Industry. I get to do what I want and buy what I need. Until I compared myself with my friends. They were more successful than I was. They had everything I wanted: high-paying jobs, properties and investments, luxury to travel anywhere in the world, and opportunity to work abroad.

"God's Faithfulness in the Wilderness" - Ron Macalipay

In 2011, I resigned from the BPO and left the Philippines with the goal of getting a job in Singapore. At first, everything happened according to my plan.

Until I experienced being in the wilderness. It’s like the situation in Deuteronomy 8:1-5. when the Israelites wandered in the wilderness for 40 years because of their disobedience and lack of trust in God in taking hold of the Promised land. God humbled and tested them causing them to hunger yet He remained faithful in taking care of and providing for them.

In the wilderness, God humbled and tested me. He knows what’s in my heart. He humbled me that He allowed me to hunger and experience many troubles.

I did not realize how difficult it is to be alone. I used to have someone who prepares everything for me (food to eat every day, laundry, etc.) My savings were depleting. I had no relatives and friends in that country to lend help. All of my 3 job applications were unsuccessful because of working visa issues. Singapore was in recession during my stay. I had to exit the country once my tourist visa ended and enter again to secure another 30-day stay. I did not tell my family about my situation.

I had a roommate who is a fellow Filipino and happens to be a born-again Christian. He invited me to attend their Wednesday worship service. At first, my motivation to attend every service was to save money from buying dinner as they always prepare food for their guests. I experienced the love of Jesus through these Overseas Filipino Workers (OFW). They prayed for me, helped me with my job applications, and even blessed me financially. God was with me in the wilderness. I started to know Him and humbly asked for His help.

One day, a church member asked me to be his replacement for his tutorial job as he needed to focus on his regular job. This tutorial job helped me pay my bed-space, fare, food, and things I needed during my stay. The family I tutored for became my second family.

Ron Macalipay, Alpha-BGC group,
Alpha BGC ministry — reaching out to the young professionals for Christ.

Singapore was a time of testing and turning point for me. I needed to go through this trial because God wants me to take the path He prepared for me. He taught me that His plans for my life are far greater than my plans for my life. And I only need to fully surrender to His will. Through this experience, God humbled me and caused me to turn to Him for help and guidance.

In the wilderness, He never took His eyes off me. It was a season of many troubles but, in the end, it turned out to be victorious because of the forgiveness and salvation offered by Christ through His finished work on the Cross.

May 27, 2011 was when I gave my life to Jesus and decided to be baptized. From then on, a lot has changed. The Bible says: “Anyone who belongs to Christ has become a new person. The old life is gone; a new life has begun!” My perspective in life changed especially with how I define success. I realized it’s not about the things we see outwardly. Success that the world can offer is temporal but being at the center of God’s will is the true success that lasts for eternity.

The Apostle John said: Do not love this world nor the things it offers you, for when you love the world, you do not have the love of the Father (God) in you. For the world offers only a craving for physical pleasure, a craving for everything we see, and pride in our achievements and possessions. These are not from the Lord, but are from this world. And this world is fading away, along with everything that people crave. But anyone who does what pleases God will live forever. (1 John 2:15-17)

I am still a work in progress. I still need to experience God’s stretching and testing. But in all the stretching and shaping, I know that He is molding me to be a vessel He intends me to be for His glory. My identity is in Christ. I am His child and He delights in me.

Delight yourself in the LORD, and He will give you the desires of your heart. Commit your way to the LORD; trust in Him, and He will act. (Psalm 37:4-5)

Ron Macalipay, testimony,

A personal testimony of Ronald Y. Macalipay, a child of God who loves to sing for his Father. He’s actively involved in different ministries at Jesus Flock Gateway Church (JFGC). He serves as a worship leader in their local church and is also part of the leadership team of the Young Adults ministry and Alpha BGC evangelistic ministry. All these for God’s glory and for proclaiming His great Name to the nations!

Can You Be Certain Whether You Will Be With God in Heaven?

Important life questions

I was in first-year high school when two missionaries, Miss Baning (a Filipino) and an American, went to our school and invited us to utilize their newly opened small library. They went from room to room to invite the students and to pray for the whole class.

During that time, I was religious and I thought I was already a Christian. I became the representative of my family in attending Sunday Mass for two years. Within the second year, there was an increasing number of questions in my mind that no one could answer: Why were we praying to Mary and other saints? Aren’t we supposed to pray only to God, not to men? And several practices I couldn’t understand.

Second-year high school came and we were given a project wherein I needed books about scientific names of plants. I found those books in the mini-library of the missionaries. The second time I visited, they shared about salvation through Christ. They asked me and two other students two questions:

The first question was — If you were to die today, do you know for certain that you will be with God in Heaven?

I said “I don’t know” because I thought saying yes would be too arrogant.

The second question was — If God were to ask you, “Why should I let you into My Heaven?” what would you say?

Because of the good things I have done.

Those were my answers but with great uncertainty within me because I admit that I frequently sin. So how can I really go to heaven? Miss Baning shared us the way to heaven.

"Can You Be Certain Whether You Will Be With God in Heaven?" by Jessica Simon

How to know with certainty you’ll be with God in Heaven

Did you know that the Bible tells how you can know for sure that you have eternal life and will go to be with God in Heaven? In 1 John 5:13, the Apostle John said: “I write these things to you who believe in the name of the Son of God, that you may know that you have eternal life.”

I write these things to you who believe in the name of the Son of God, that you may know that you have eternal life. (1 John 5:13)

Heaven is a free gift through God’s grace. The Bible says: The wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord. And because it’s a free gift, it is not earned or deserved. No amount of personal effort, good works, or religious deeds can earn a place in Heaven for you. For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, not a result of works, so that no one may boast. Salvation is not a reward for the good things we have done; it is a free gift from God given to those who believe and trust in the finished work of Christ.

Man is a sinner. Everyone has sinned; we all fall short of God’s glorious standard. Everyone who sins is breaking God’s law, for all sin is contrary to the law of God. We sin in thought, word or deed; we sin when we do what we shouldn’t do and not do what we ought to do. Whether minor or grave, sin is rebellion against God. Because of this, man cannot save himself. If you wanted to save yourself by good deeds, do you know how good you would have to be? Be therefore perfect, even as your Father which is in Heaven is perfect” (Matthew 5:48). God requires holiness. With such a high standard, no one can save himself.

God is merciful. He does not want anyone to be destroyed but wants everyone to repent. But the same Bible which tells us that God is love, also tells us that God is just and therefore must punish sin. He says “. . . (I) will by no means clear the guilty . . .” (Exodus 34:7). And “. . . the soul that sins, it shall die.” (Ezekiel 18:4).

Saving faith is
NOT mere head knowledge
nor a temporal faith.
Saving faith is
Jesus Christ alone
for eternal life.

God made a way for us to be reconciled back to Him in the Person of Jesus Christ. Who is Jesus? The Bible tells us clearly that He is the infinite God-Man. “In the beginning was the Word (Jesus). . . and the Word (Jesus) was God. And the Word (Jesus) was made flesh, and dwelt among us . . .” (John 1:1,14). Jesus Christ came to earth and lived a sinless life, but while on earth, what did He do? He died on the cross to pay the penalty for our sins and rose from the grave to purchase a place for us in Heaven. All of us, like sheep, have strayed away. We have left God’s paths to follow our own. Yet the LORD laid on Him (Jesus) the sins of us all. (Isaiah 53:6). Jesus Christ bore our sin in His body on the cross and now offers us eternal life (be with God in Heaven) as a free gift. This gift is received by faith.

Saving faith is not mere head knowledge, like believing certain historical facts. The Bible says that the devil believes there is one God, so believing that there is one God is not saving faith. Saving faith is also not mere temporal faith, that is, trusting God for temporary crises such as financial, family, or physical needs. Now these are good, and you should trust Christ for these, but they are not saving faith! Saving faith is TRUSTING in Jesus Christ alone for eternal life. It means resting upon Christ alone and what He has done rather than in what you or I have done to get us into Heaven. “. . . Believe (trust) in the Lord Jesus Christ, and you will be saved . . .” (Acts 16:31).

It means that you need to:

  • Transfer your trust 
    From what you have been doing to what Christ has done for you on His cross
  • Accept Christ as Savior
    Open the “door” to your heart and invite Him in.
    He says:  “Behold, I stand at the door, and knock:  if any man hears My voice, and open the door, I will come into Him . . . .” (Revelation 3:20)
  • Receive Jesus Christ as Lord
    Give Him the “driver’s seat” and “controls” of your life, not the “back seat.”
  • Repent
    Confess and renounce your sins and turn to God.
    Be willing to turn from anything that is not pleasing to Him. He will reveal His will to you as you grow in your relationship with Him.

— Gospel presentation resources: Steps to Life. Evangelism Explosion International

Jessica Mae Simon,

Growing in a Bible-believing church

I willingly accepted Christ as my Lord and Savior. I placed aside my former belief that good works can save a person. There’s only one way to heaven and that’s through Jesus Christ, accepting Him as Lord and Savior. I wrote that important decision in my small notebook together with the date. I had no spectacular feeling at that time. I continued my routine – pray and go to church. But more and more questions surfaced and I didn’t know whom to ask for help.

When it was almost our graduation, one of my classmates, Filamer, had comics about religion. It was about The Reformation, Martin Luther, and other major issues about my faith. I became more bewildered so I stopped going to church. For two months, I read the Bible starting from Genesis. It was very difficult for me to understand everything written in it because I felt that everything was new for me! All my life I had known God to be loving and forgiving but as I read the Bible intently for the first time, I was shocked! God’s image became wrathful. I was discouraged finding out that God took sides and meddled with the battles and wars in favor of the Israelites. I saw a different God.

College came and confusion still abounded. I phoned Charity, my schoolmate in high school, and shared with her some of my concerns. She told me about Laoag Fundamental Baptist Church where her dad serves as a pastor. She mentioned about the Adult Sunday classes where they could answer my questions. She didn’t explicitly invite me to attend but I invited myself to be in it.

That little church helped me know Christ more and more. I’m thankful that in times of my difficulties, they were with me. That’s why I consider the church, in general, my family. I thank God that through His church, I experience His love.

Trust in the Lord with all your heart; do not depend on your own understanding. Seek His will in all you do, and He will show you which path to take. (Proverbs 3:5-6)

Jessica Mae Simon,

A personal testimony of Jessica Mae Simon, sales executive at Ford Ilocos Norte. She is part of the Young Adults Bible Study Ministry at Laoag Fundamental Baptist Church.

Living in God’s Love

Growing up in a Christian home, a daughter of a pastor and saved at a young age; my spiritual development and my childhood development were combined. I was surrounded with stories and lessons about Jesus and God.

Chick tracts, Romans 3, uncontainable musings

At around the age of 6, I surrendered my life to Jesus Christ. I liked to read the “Chick Tracts” because they were comics. However, my older sister informed me that they weren’t for fun; I was supposed to get saved! She then showed me using the tract how I was a sinner that deserved hell, but Christ paid the penalty for my sin.

God is holy. The idea behind the concept of holiness is “separation.” God is separate from everything that is sinful and evil. He is without sin and cannot tolerate sin.

Everyone has sinned. There is no one righteous, not even one. We all fall short of God’s glorious standard. When we sinned, we have become separated from God. And the penalty for our sin is death. This death means eternal punishment deserving for our sins.

But because of God’s great love for us, He sent His Son Jesus Christ into the world not to condemn the world, but to save the world through Him. God requires holiness. Jesus lived that holy life for us and sacrificed Himself as payment for our sins so that everyone who believes in Him shall not perish but have eternal life.

What must we do then to be saved? Jesus said to repent of our sins and turn to God. Trust in the finished work of Christ and surrender our life to Him. Salvation is found in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given to mankind by which we must be saved. Only by the grace of God through saving faith in Jesus Christ alone.

Chick tracts, repent and turn to God, uncontainable musings

As I grew older and could understand more of life, my understanding and walk with the Lord also grew and deepened. I was surrounded by good mentors that poured Scriptural truth in my life. In my teen years, God was consistently working in my life to draw me closer to Him. I increasingly differed from my friends in their standards and lifestyle choices. When my best friend fell pregnant at the age of 16, it was the final split. I no longer tried to hang on to friends that consistently pulled me towards the worlds’ way of thinking. I would choose to follow the Lord even if it meant I didn’t have a best friend. Being an introvert, I placed a high value on having one close friend to connect with, but God knew that and has since provided people in my life who have stood by me through the hardest times of my life.

Christina Canapp
With the girls I was teaching in Sunday School right before I left for the Philippines. That’s me 2nd from the left.

In high school, I was pursuing studies to be a veterinary. However, God called me to be a missionary (not yet specifically to the Philippines) and I initially said no. I wanted to be a vet and not leave home. However, God used the song “Shout to the Lord” to remind me that the mountains bow and the seas roar at the sound of His name and who was I to say no to my Lord? From there I was committed and went to Bible School. Throughout the 4 years, the Lord led me step by step to eventually join the Philippine field. There were plenty of challenges, fears, excitement (raising support, going into the “unknown”, etc.) but God was faithful every step of the way to comfort and guide me.

God’s gracious love to me is what I live for. I am completely undeserving of His grace but He has poured it out in my life. So I serve Him in any way He shows me. This has led to me serving in the Philippines since 2006 as a missionary in a variety of roles.

God is faithfully working in me and is using circumstances and His Word to mold me to be more like Him. I know that whatever happens in my life is for my good, even if it is not pleasant all the time because God causes everything to work together for the good of those who love God and are called according to His purpose for them.

Satisfy us in the morning with your unfailing love, that we may sing for joy and be glad all our days. (Psalm 90:14)

Christina Canapp,

Hi! I’m Christina Canapp, a believer in Jesus Christ saved by grace. I grew up in a Christian home in the States, moved to the Philippines in 2006 as a missionary with New Tribes Mission (now New Tribes Church Planters of the Philippines) and have served in a variety of roles. I ‘m blessed to be where I am.

Proof of God’s Stubborn Love

My Stubborn Heart

Before I came to know Christ, I was shy and timid. One of the many reasons I lack self-esteem was because I did not grow up with a father. My dad works as a seafarer, so most of the time he’s not around.

I was “the good girl” in the eyes of my parents, relatives, and peers. I was good in school and was a teacher’s pet. But I was quiet and afraid to get close to anyone. I was rejected and bullied until freshman year of high school, so I lived a life fearing rejection. I became more reserved and unforgiving. I held grudges against those who hurt me.

Then I befriended boys because I found them more truthful than girls. At 10, I had my first boyfriend. It seemed innocent until it became my lifestyle. I thought happiness and security come from relationships with boys until I got heartbroken over and over again.

I rebelled against my parents when I was in high school. I would come home late from school and frequently fought with my mom especially because of the relationships I had. I thought of my home like hell. I wanted to get free. I wanted to escape.

I was often angry and easily triggered. I hated corrections from people who love me. My life was school and my room. And it was essential for me to have a boyfriend because they made me happy, or so I thought.

Vanessa Hernandez Edaño,

God’s Stubborn Love

Growing up, I only had a religion. Our family went to a Christian church but we weren’t committed. Eventually, we stopped attending altogether.

Many years later, the pastors in our church reached out to us again. They offered to conduct a Bible study in our house. My mom accepted and opened our home to them. From my high school through college years, the season of my teenage rebellion, they visited us regularly.

At first, I didn’t want to participate in any religious activities. I’d slam the door going out of my room every time they’d call me for Bible study. But I get interested whenever I hear stories and lessons from the Bible.

When I was about to go to college, my parents went bankrupt. The bank evicted us from our house. Everything crumbled. No more trucks. No more grocery. No more house. No more friends.

But our pastors were there during that difficult season. They comforted, encouraged and prayed for us. We moved to a different house but they persisted in visiting us regularly and encouraged us through God’s Word.

My parents forced us to go to church during this low point in our lives. Hearing the preaching of God’s Word every Sunday for 3 months and seeing the love our pastors have for us, God opened my eyes and my heart. I accepted Jesus Christ as my Lord and Savior. I realized He loves me and I need Him. God showed His stubborn love through the persistence of the leaders of our church.

As a new believer, I knew very little. My life went on having some changes. They correct me whenever they see my faults and weaknesses. Oftentimes I would rebel against them because I didn’t want to be corrected. But later on I realized they love me; they want to keep me from harm.

Vanessa Hernandez Edaño, personal testimony,
From faceless and nameless, now God’s child.

Love Always Prevails

I’m glad about the changes God made in my life. They weren’t instant, but day by day He changes me. From a shy and timid girl, I’m now able to stand in front of people and minister through songs and exhortation. God also enables me to share His Word with other people.

From having a religion, now I learned that having a relationship with Jesus Christ is the most important treasure in life. He is the Way to the Father and to heaven. Jesus isn’t just a story, He is alive!

From being a lustful woman, who went from one guy after another, I now have a husband of 10 years, by God’s grace. I learned the value of commitment in relationships and how God reserves that one special person for you.

I’m no longer afraid of befriending women. My hatred for women has changed to being accepting and loving. I have girlfriends now.

From getting even, I now let God do His work because He said, “Vengeance is mine.” God enables me to release forgiveness because He has forgiven me first.

From being rebellious, I learned to respect my parents. I don’t hate them anymore. Instead, I pray for them and share God’s Word with them.

Knowing Christ and having a relationship with Him gives me hope. As I read the Bible every day, I realize I fall short of His glory. Until my last breath, He will continue to change me from glory to glory. I’m not going to be frustrated with my shortcomings, the Holy Spirit will help me overcome them. I want to be the version of myself that God wants me to be. I am still learning to be patient and forgiving of myself; if Jesus did that for me, why shouldn’t I? The journey isn’t easy, aside from myself, we also have an enemy who wants us destroyed. But I know Christ is in me and He will not leave me nor forsake me. As I walk with Him in faith, I know my future is promising. He has done the difficult part, I just need to obey as He leads.

Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new. (2 Corinthians 5:17)

Vanessa Hernandez Edaño, personal testimony,

A personal testimony of Vanessa H. Edaño, Tele-Interviewer at Sun Life Financial. She is a wife of 10 years to Richard Edaño. She serves in the music ministry while her husband serves as assistant pastor at United in Christ Christian Ministry.

From Altar Boy to Altar Call

(In Kapampangan language with English translation)

Anyang cayanacan cu, mengarap qng maging sacristan, cabang pagsilbyan que ing pari queng banal a misa. Pane cung isipan na metung qng cabalyerung magsilbi qng Kristung Guinu, kapamilatan na ning pari. Anyang ca labing-aduang qng banua, mica oportunidad qng macapacyabe queng awsan dang ‘Knights of the Blessed Sacrament’. Asna qng cagalac at catula queng panaun a iti, pauli na ning pangarap qng maging metung a cabalyeru, ampo sacristan, mitupad nala. Careng anggang Sabadu at Domingu, pane qng atiu queng pisamban, magsilbi queng banal a misa.

Mirinan cu naman oportunidad a pagaralan ing Catequismu na ning Catolico Romano. Buung lub cu yandug iti angga queng miras qng kolehiyu.

Manibat anyang canyancan ku angga keng meging bayung tawu, inandug ke ing sarili at oras ku neng Sabadu at Domingu, panigaralan deng catecismu kabang magsilbi keng banal a misa at deng sablang sacramentu.

makanita pa murin, madacal ku pa murin cutang tungcul queng casalpantayan cu bilang metung a Catolicu, atin cu pa murin tacut at pamagduda. Mitatacutan qng ecu miras banua, pauli na atin lugar a pamalaguan dang purgatoriu. Amanu da pin, metung yng lugar a caralumduman, na agyang ginawa qng kayapan anyang mabie ca, oneng micasala ca, queni ca miras.

Thon Esguerra, testimony,,

Milabas yng mapilan a banua at pane cu pa murin a e isip ing macanining cutang. Anyang dinatang mu rin ing casaquitan queng bie, isipan cu pa murin iti.

Menintun qng tawung malyari qng acasabi, at mangadi para canacu. Minawus cu queng 700 Club, pauli na ning pamanintun qng tawung buri qng acasabi. Ini na pala ing pamagumpisa na ning pamagbayu qng canacung bie.

Itang tawung casaba cu queng sumangid a linya, casaba que angga queng pamangailangan cu. Inumpisan que caring canacung casaquitan queng bie, abed a reng anggang suli na malyari qng isipan. Cabang casabi que iti, yapin nap ala ini ing maging maragul a pamagbayu queng canacung bie. Inambus ne ning canacung casaba ing mayap a balita na ning Apung Guinu. Iti ya ing pecamasanting a dulut a tinggap cu manibat queng Apung Guinu. Mengadi cami at tinanggap que e Cristu queng canacung bie, bilang canacung Guinu at Talapangabus. Mecaramdam qng labis a catiwasayan at cayapan queng panaun a ita. Panandam cu ing pangayatyu na ning Apung Guinu, mebating queng isip cu ing alang casiguraduan.

E miglambat, me cumbira ku queng metung a Bible study. Anyang minuna, mag adua qng isip maquiabe, pauli na ning ecu sane careng macaniti. Pamakilaban que iti pauli na ning capaniwalan cu bilang metung a Catolicu, salungat la queng tuturu da queng Bible study a liban cu. Oneng king pamamunta cu quening grupu a ini, mibuclat cu caisipan queng catutuan na ning Biblya, ampon nung macananu yang magagamit ing Biblya queng pamanuru da.

Mapilan a bulan caibat cung tinagun queng Bible study, tinagun na cu mu naman queng ‘worship service’ da at caibat me binyag na cu mu naman anyang banuang 2013. Meca pacyabe na cu mu naman queng ‘Men’s ministry na ning church. Carin ku mirinan pamikatagun a manimuna mu naman queng bible study para careng lalaki. Ngeni, magsilbi cu naman capamilatan na ning pamanuru cu careng anac edad 8, queng Sunday School. Mipnu cung tula at galac cabang magsilbi cu queng Apung Guinu, capamilatan na ning gagawan cu.

Metung cu pang tawung macasalanan, cabang atiu cu queng catauan a iti. Oneng meging malinis cu queng arapan na ning Apung Guinu, at micabus cu careng casalanan cu, capamilatan nang Hesukristung cacung talapangabus.


From Altar Boy to Altar Call

During my childhood, I wanted to become an altar boy who serves priests in the Mass. I used to imagine I was like a knight in front of the altar serving Christ through the priests. When I was 12 years old, I had an opportunity to join a religious group of men called Knights of the Blessed Sacrament. I was very excited as my dreams of becoming a ‘knight’ and an altar boy was finally fulfilled.

Being part of this group also gave us an opportunity to study the Catechism of our faith.

From grade school all throughout college, I dedicated much of my time during weekdays and most especially weekends in studying about catechism and serving in Eucharistic events and other Sacraments.

Despite my devotion, service, and everything I learned about my faith, I still had fears and uncertainties. I was afraid I might not go to heaven. We were taught that even if you lived a good life but had unconfessed sins then you would go to a place of total darkness.

Even as a young professional, I still pondered on this. Until came a time when I was at my lowest. I needed someone to talk to and someone to pray for me. It was late at night and there was no one I could speak with so I tried calling The 700 Club hotline just to look for someone to talk to.

The person on the other line talked to me for as long as I needed. I told her about my struggles at work, at home, and every problem I could think of. I also told her of my fears and uncertainties about the afterlife. This became my turning point. She shared the Gospel with me and I prayed with her over the phone as I accepted Jesus Christ as my personal Lord and Savior. It became a calm and peaceful moment.

Shortly after, I was invited by a friend to attend a Bible study. At first, I was hesitant since I was not fond of attending such gatherings. It was a struggle especially that some of my religious beliefs were contradicted causing me to question our facilitator’s doctrine. But due to persistent attendance, my mind was opened to Biblical truths. I became convinced of the truth because of the logical, reasonable and systematic way Bible passages were taught. Also with how the Bible was used as a reference in all of the teachings.

After several months of attending a Bible study, I started going to Worship services and was eventually baptized in 2013. Afterward, I became involved in a men’s fellowship which gave me an opportunity to lead a Bible study group. Currently, I am serving in Sunday school where I teach kids aged 8. It is a joy that I could serve the Lord through this ministry where we can express our love for God by meeting the needs of others while doing what we enjoy.

In all these, I have learned that salvation is not about our own goodness, works, service, intellectual knowledge or anything else we can offer to God in payment for our sins. The Bible says: “The wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.” (Romans 6:23) The penalty of sin is death — eternal separation from God and the wrath of His judgment. If we can gain salvation on our own merit, then there was no need for Christ to die.

Jesus, the Son of God, took on the form of man, lived a holy life, and paid the penalty for our sins on the Cross so that those who believe in Him are made righteous through Christ’s righteousness and have eternal life.

Salvation is given to us only by the grace of God through saving faith in Christ alone. Ephesians 2:8-9 says: God saved you by His grace when you believed. And you can’t take credit for this; it is a gift from God. Salvation is not a reward for the good things we have done, so none of us can boast about it.

I am still imperfect as long as I am in this earthly body and I still experience struggles but I am made righteous with God because of the sacrifice Jesus Christ did on the cross to pay for my sins once and for all.

For God so loved the world, that He gave His only Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have eternal life. (John 3:16)


This life testimony was written by Thon Esguerra. He has been working as an IT consultant for 13 years. He is married to Michelle Esguerra for 2 years and they are both actively serving as Sunday School teachers in Greenhills Christian Fellowship, Ortigas.