Victory U-Belt Every Nation. Every Campus. Tue, 22 Apr 2014 13:32:49 +0000 en-US hourly 1 Nation. Every Campus. Victory U-Belt no Every Nation. Every Campus. Victory U-Belt Do You Want To Build a Snowman? Tue, 22 Apr 2014 13:32:49 +0000 Untitled-1

One of the crazy things about being a parent is that no matter what sacrifices you do for your kids, it often goes unnoticed and it sometimes gets ignored. I am the father of two wonderful, rambunctious, pretty girls — Keila who is 7 and Kari, 4. Much like the characters in the movie “Frozen”, Elsa the older sister and Anna the young spitfire of a girl, our kids kind of mirror the playfulness of these characters especially during the first part of the film.

One of their favorite lines in the movie is the one in the song that goes, “Do you wanna build a snowman? Come on let’s go and play…”.

Asking someone to build a snowman for you in the middle of summer in a tropical country like the Philippines can be seen as either a clueless afterthought or something unthinkable but when it comes to these girls, their imagination holds no limits.

This is where we come in as parents.

Scripture tells us in Psalm 127:1-2 (ESV):

Unless the Lord builds the house,
those who build it labor in vain.
Unless the Lord watches over the city,
the watchman stays awake in vain

As parents, these verses assume two things: we are builders and watchmen.

Builders in the sense that we are part and parcel responsible for the future of our little ones, building their lives one day at a time, one event at a time, one important memory at a time.

As watchmen, we are called to guard over them, protect them and to see to it that no harm comes upon them under our “watch”.

It also tells us that while these things take effort and time to do, no matter how hard we sacrifice and how long we do it, it is useless unless it’s done by the Lord.

Granted how hard the work of parenting is, we need to remember that it’s not solely our job to build and watch over our children. “Unless the Lord…” tells us that the primary work of parenting is God’s work. It’s His job after all and not ours. If He’s not the one doing it, we “labor in vain” and we “stay awake in vain”.


Sure, parenting can be tough. It can be thankless, but knowing that this is not a battle we do alone gives us the confidence and assurance that there is hope for us parents. We “build” hard, we “watch” hard but at the end of the day, who are we building our children and families upon? Our own work or upon God, who blesses our work if we only realize that it’s His work through us that is what parenting is all about.

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(Doodle Verse) “Move Mountains” Tue, 22 Apr 2014 09:55:49 +0000 artwork 002

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(StoryBoard) Easter Sunday Tue, 22 Apr 2014 09:55:46 +0000 Not all stories are told by words alone.

Storyboard is our attempt to tell a story in 7 pictures. Can you describe ‘the story’ of our Easter Sunday celebration through the pictures below?

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UST Lifebox Sem-Ender : Walking Through Life Together Tue, 22 Apr 2014 09:55:38 +0000 Lifebox UST commemorated the end of their academic year with an Amazing-Race-feel sem-ender entitled “Eto na ang race, Race na ito! Amazing!” at the University of the Philippines grounds on March 22.

This was a time to gather all the Lifebox UST Victory Group leaders and members in one place. It provided another opportunity for the old and new members to be acquainted with each other.

It also offered a venue to jointly celebrate the semester that had just ended. In particular, they rejoiced over God’s faithfulness in enabling the students to be established in the Word, in faith and in church. SY2013-2014 saw a great empowering of Victory Group leaders which ushered the addition of 40 new leaders to last year’s total of 54 leaders.

With about a hundred Victory Groups established, Lifebox UST dramatically increased to 350 students (from 240+ the previous year) despite the 100 students who graduated.

Indeed, God’s grace is enabling growth!


After all their hard work, it was time to have fun!

To ensure that new relationships would be established, members and leaders were all divided into 12 different groups so that during the course of the race. If being split up wasn’t exciting enough, the organizers decided that only the 1st, 2nd and 3rd place would be recognized, realizing that it would definitely quicken the competitive, camaraderie spirit of each group.

Each station had unique challenges requiring mental and physical savvy, like tower building with just straws and tape, solving riddles, pass-the-egg relay. The first and last stations were at the Sunken Garden while the others were spread across the whole campus where the groups had to get around only by foot.

Photo by Ria Mangua Photo by Ria Mangua Photo by Ria Mangua Photo by Ria Mangua

Besides accomplishing the challenges each group had to collect letters and arrange it into a phrase, and it was a race against time and the other groups, when all is done right, scores were summed up and the winners were announced.

More than the bragging rights that each group earned, the experience, memories and laughter that have been exchanged in this event are what would resound louder. But more importantly, what was reinforced was the importance, beauty, joy and wisdom of walking through life together.

photos by: Ria Mangua

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A Different Kind of Engineer Tue, 22 Apr 2014 09:55:36 +0000 It has always been my dream to build mega structures (skyscraper buildings, modern roads and bridges, uniquely-designed airports and seaports, etc.) I thought it was that easy until I took up Civil Engineering in Mapua.


While I waited for my engineering career to start, I did some teaching work in Pamantasan ng Lungsod ng Maynila . It was very interesting that during these moments, God called me to be a Campus Missionary.

I thought back then that my dream of becoming a “builder” had ended until I encountered these verses:

By the grace that God has given me, I laid a foundation as a wise builder, and someone else is building on it. But each one should build with care. For no one can lay any foundation other than the one already laid, which is Jesus Christ. (1 Corinthians 3:10, 11 NIV)

There are 3 realizations that I want to share with regards to building:

1. We are called to BUILD

Life is short. Make every moment count. What do you want to build? Academically, are you building grades that will bring honor or horror? Financially, are you carelessly spending or wisely investing? Relationally, are you building or burning relational bridges? Spiritually, are you building in a way that you will become a spiritual giant or dwarf?

Know what you will build. Build not based on what you want but on what God has called you to build because unless the Lord builds the house, you will build in vain. (Psalm 127:1). Ask God for the “blueprint” of your life – His plan and will for your life so that you can build it accordingly.


Nothing happens by accident. Our life is nothing but the result of the decisions and responses we are making that is why we need to build carefully.

How do we build carefully? Ephesians 2:20 declares that Jesus is our cornerstone. In ancient construction, the cornerstone is the first stone placed in building a structure. It will be the reference point in building all the stones thereafter. The question for all of us is, is Jesus the cornerstone, the first stone, the reference for every decision we make as we build our lives?

One more thing, if we want to build right, we have to surround ourselves with God’s people because “we are not always strong” and “we are not always right”. We need people who will tell us if we are building it right. With the help of godly people that provides timely counsel, we can carefully build a structure that last.

3. We can only BUILD RIGHT by the grace of God

Untitled-3Yes we are called to build and build carefully. At the end of the day, we can only do it all by the grace of God. It is not based on how strong, wise and faithful we are. Rather, it is anchored on God’s strength, wisdom and faithfulness.

Thanks be to God that I can still be an engineer, a BUILDER, but not of mega structures but of mega lives of people. It is indeed a privilege to be used by God to help people build their lives. I love my job!

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Victory U-Belt Gears Up For Growth Tue, 22 Apr 2014 09:55:17 +0000 growth

The great civilizations of the past like Egypt’s age-old Pyramids were characterized by limestones, while the Great Wall of China was made from mud bricks.

But for Victory U-Belt?  The smell of freshly painted walls marked the new Multi-Purpose Hall at the third level of the St. Thomas Square.

Since Victory U-Belt moved to its present facility on December 2004, the Main Hall at the fourth level has served as the key venue to accommodate people in all its Sunday and Youth services every week.

On the other hand, the smaller rooms that could hold either 40, 60 or 80 people at the third level serve as the main venues for the Kids Church services, small meetings and other events.

Considering the growth of the congregation in recent years, Victory U-Belt has embarked on its expansion plans that started since the first quarter of 2014.

Part of the expansion plan included a major construction at the third level just facing the Kids Church area, which paved the way for the unveiling of the Multi-Purpose Hall.  Up to 250 people can be accommodated at the Hall, which serves as an overflow room during services or as room for various church events.

Lifebox U-Belt and the Sunday afternoon services felt the need for expansion. The past two years saw packed Youth services where students had to fall in line from as far back as the ground floor of the St. Thomas Square before the start of the service.

It may be a logistical nightmare for the administrative people, but on the positive note, that just goes to show the growth that God is bringing at Victory U-Belt.

Today, the new hall will serve as the key venue for events such as Foundations for Victory classes, Volunteer Orientations and Ministry Meeting.

Expansion means growth. And with the bigger space we have today, expect more students, professionals and Manila residents to experience changed lives through the Gospel.

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God’s Definition of Success Tue, 22 Apr 2014 09:55:08 +0000 Have you ever wondered why only a few people become successful? Before we can really go into details, we have to clarify what do we mean by successful. Our world today has defined success in terms of what we have, what we know, whom we know, what we have finished, among others. Success is defined in terms of a lifestyle that accrues to the rich and famous. Is that really success?


We who are believers in the Lord Jesus Christ should radically deviate from this definition and mindset. In reality this is a trap where few of us will be able to extricate once tied into it. We have to define success as God has defined it in His Word.

How does God then define success? This verse in Ecclesiastes 9:11 clarifies how we should view success.

I have seen something else under the sun: The race is not to the swift or the battle to the strong, nor does food come to the wise or wealth to the brilliant or favor to the learned; but time and chance happen to them all. (Ecclesiastes 9:11 NIV)

First, it says that it does not come from experience and effort, not from strength, not from knowledge and education and not from skills. The fastest does not always win the race. We have so many stories in sports to prove this. The strongest armies lose battles. Some educated people cannot break the barrier to a better future. The skilled carpenter remains an obscure worker in a sash factory. These happen despite all these people doing their very best to hit it right! In short, God is saying that no matter what effort we put into what we do, it will not necessarily lead to the success we are expecting.

The second part of the verse says something that cause success – it says that it is decided by chance – by being at the right place at the right time. Brethren, we know that chance here does not mean luck. God is a God of certainty. There is no place for faith and hope to be based on luck. It means that chance is the favor of God. It is about His sovereignity. Acts 17:26 validates this – it says that He determined the times set for men and the exact places where they would live. Amazing isn’t it! Therefore success is not the result of our effort but the result of a relationship with God. It is an outcome and not an objective!

So does that mean that we should no longer work hard? Of course not! God did not say that. He is saying that working hard apart from Him leads to nothing. What He has given us as talents and resources have a purpose that supports His purpose. We are His partners in making this place a better place to live in and making sure that people will enjoy Him in eternity. Bezalel and the temple workers in Exodus 35 were already skilled people, but when they offered their services for God’s work, God filled them with His Spirit to do more – to master their crafts.

When we align our lives, our dreams, our talents, our gifts, our resources and everything that we are to God’s purposes – success becomes a certainty, because He will ensure that we will be at the right place at the right time. So the secret to become successful is to first define success in God’s terms and align our lives to His purposes. Surely and certainly, success will come our way effortlessly and without the stress and pressure of working extremely hard on our own. God bless.

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(Video) “The Risen King” Week 2 – Gilbert Foliente Sun, 20 Apr 2014 15:43:02 +0000 Find out why the tomb was empty as we celebrate Easter on the second week of “The King” series. Here is a special vidcast of this week’s message.

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(Storyboard) April Victory Weekend Tue, 15 Apr 2014 09:38:32 +0000 Not all stories are told by words alone.

Storyboard is our attempt to tell a story in 7 pictures. Can you describe ‘the story’ of this month’s Victory Weekend through the pictures below?0 1 2 3 4 5 6

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Lifebox Leaders Camp Tue, 15 Apr 2014 09:38:31 +0000 caliraya post

Summer is the perfect time to prepare students to gear up and have a vision for their campuses.

Six hundred pumped-up participants are all set to take part in this year’s Lifebox U-Belt Leaders Camp at the Caliraya Resort Club Inc. in Laguna from May 30-June 1.

The biennial Leaders Camp is Lifebox U-Belt’s three-day out-of-town camp held for student leaders, with the sole purpose of equipping them as they prepare for the upcoming school year with a bang.

The official hashtag for this year’s camp is #LeadersCamp2014.

With hundreds of thousands of students trooping back to their respective campuses each year, nothing fires up the hearts of Lifebox than to see young people get trained and mobilized to disciple the next generation of world changers in the University Belt.

The camp is the perfect avenue to see students and campus ministers from various campuses band together and rally behind one solid vision.

Led by OJ Mendoza, one of Lifebox U-Belt’s campus ministers, this year’s Leaders Camp has a unique setup as we see campus staff will work side by side with student volunteers, easily living out the theme for this year’s Camp: “Leadership Development”. 

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This year’s theme centers on the iLead principle where leaders have been identified. Campus ministers share the vision and give the platform for the volunteers to lead, while imparting principles on serving and excellence.

In fact, the process of training and raising the next generation of leaders has been rolled out recently.

At the core of Leadership Development is the vision of not just thinking of their own generation, but also do something that would “outlast” themselves by means of being a generational thinker. This gives students and campus ministers the opportunity to work together in reaching more students through the Gospel, grow together and even learn from one another as they see God move.

Part of forging a strong bond among the student leaders/ volunteers and the campus ministers are various activities like team building, games, fellowship, among others.

Participants for this year’s Leaders Camp will also have a corporate time of prayer and worship as well as sessions with various speakers whose hearts are completely sold out in seeing more  young people transformed through the power of the gospel.

Topics for this year’s camp include Leadership Development, Living a Life of Generosity and Compassion for the Lost. 

At the end of the camp, there is a high hope for more leaders to be excited and expectant of a greater harvest to be discipled when the school year starts. There is hope for students to rise up to leadership, pass on the DNA, see but also share the value of campus ministry, pass on the baton, empower leaders to empower others, live a life of generosity and have compassion for the lost, and never losing sight of the next generation and generations to come.

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