Victory U-Belt http://www.victoryubelt.org Every Nation. Every Campus. Sun, 24 Aug 2014 17:38:06 +0000 en-US hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=3.9.2Every Nation. Every Campus. Victory U-Belt no Every Nation. Every Campus. Victory U-Belt http://www.victoryubelt.org/wp-content/plugins/powerpress/rss_default.jpghttp://www.victoryubelt.org A Trip Down Memory Lanehttp://www.victoryubelt.org/2014/08/a-trip-down-the-memory-lane/ http://www.victoryubelt.org/2014/08/a-trip-down-the-memory-lane/#comments Sun, 17 Aug 2014 11:33:54 +0000 http://www.victoryubelt.org/?p=2897 ferdie post

It only seemed like yesterday when Victory was born in the Philippines, beginning with its very first congregation at the University-Belt.

I have so many fond memories during my early years of my Christian faith at Victory U-Belt.

While time travel is not possible in any way, allow me to take you through a trip down the memory lane in celebration of Victory’s 30th anniversary this 2014.

The Place

The very first Victory was located at the basement of the old Tandem Cinema along Claro M. Recto Avenue, Manila. 

Unlike today’s modern Victory centers, the very first Victory had no air conditioning unit. Only noisy industrial fans, dirty ceiling, leaking pipes and no restroom. 

But the passion for the Lord and the warm fellowship among the students was what caught my attention during my first visit at Victory U-Belt. 

The Tandem basement was Victory’s first-ever place of worship. 

And that’s the place where I encountered the Lord, gave my life completely to Him (on August 3, 1986), eventually got baptized, and was added to the church. 

I was baptized in a baptismal pool measured one meter high, two meters wide, and three meters long at the Tandem basement. 

The People

Passionate worship marked the services, with students full of joy and love for God. 

They were also bold in sharing their respective personal testimonies and in preaching the Gospel. 

Every new invite were warmly welcomed at the venue, treating them like “VIPs”.

Personally, I was treated like a “VIP”, too when I attended Victory for the very first time. My classmate, who invited me, introduced me to students from other schools, then to his circle of friends in church, as well as to first wave of ministry volunteers. 

Later on, I became part of the same ministry. We experienced genuine friendships, treating each other as brothers and sisters. We enjoyed sharing our faith and lives together.

The culture of discipleship and leadership was also very strong. 

As young believers, we were immediately included in small groups and were given opportunities to lead in our campuses. 

Being “too young” was not an issue for us as we were encouraged to be radically involved in starting our campus ministry at the Polytechnic University of the Philippines in 1986, under the leadership of Ramil Abanilla (an engineering student) and the guidance of Ptr. Jun Escosar. 

Other students who led their respective campuses during those times were Winston Reyes (Pamantasan ng Lungsod ng Maynila), Ferdie Cabiling (Adamson), Jonathan Bocobo (Mapua), Manny Muleta(Technological Instritute of the Philippines).

Today, they serve as our pastors and leaders in the movement.

The Preaching

If radicalism and cry for change (in our government at that time) was the norm in the streets of Metro Manila and inside the campuses in the ’80’s, students, whose lives were transformed by the gospel, also radically shared the message in the street of Recto as well as inside the campuses. 

I vividly remembered inviting students to attend the “Hells Bells Rock and Roll seminar, an expose on the evil influences of selected rock and roll music. 

Towards the end of the seminar, a clear, systematic and bold Gospel presentation was used to challenge students to surrender their lives to God and turn from their old ways.

This is where I first heard a clear explanation of the gospel.

We also had room-to-room evangelism (in the campuses), did open-air preaching, and the 1980s version of the 1-2-1 booklet, the “Are you going to heaven?” booklet, in sharing the gospel. These were done not just by Pastors and full time staff, but by students as well. 

Students who radically surrendered their lives to Christ brought the gospel to their respective families.

I remember one particular student preached the gospel to his Buddhist parent. But his mother, in utter disgust after learning that her son is now a Christian, burned his Bible and threw him out of their house. 

But this student remained steadfast in his faith, praying for his mother to come to know Christ and reaching out to her in love. As a result, his mother radically surrendered her life to Christ and started going to church with him.

The Purpose

But after all is said and done, everything we did back then, and everything we will continue to do centers around “honoring God and advancing His kingdom”.  

Everything is done for God and in obedience to His command.

We were fully convinced that God called us for His purpose to disciple people and nations, to be the “salt and light” of the world; to advance His Kingdom in every sphere of the society. 

And only by His grace can we achieve all these. 

But after giving our lives to Christ, we were also not remiss of our responsibilities in honoring God through our academics.

For while we serve God through ushering ministry, we also took our studies seriously, even as we took opportunities to join the local outreach and church planting efforts.

As students, we would raise our own support and would join a one-week outreach/vacation in Pangasinan, which paved the way for the first church plant in Dagupan City. Eventually, the very first church planting work in Dagupan became like a lid that just popped, creating a powerful move that saw more young people go to various cities, campuses and nations to preach the gospel.

Today, most of the students of Victory during the ’80’s are now serving as leaders in our society. 

Some became business leaders, others serve as government leaders, church leaders, missionaries, responsible family men, among others. 

As Victory celebrates its first 30 years in the Philippines, I hope and pray that today’s generation of believers will continue to walk by faith, continue to serve as a light and salt in their own campuses and continue to make disciples.

To 30 years and beyond, for Victory!

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(Storyboard) Kita-kita sa Trentahttp://www.victoryubelt.org/2014/08/storyboard-kita-kita-sa-trenta/ http://www.victoryubelt.org/2014/08/storyboard-kita-kita-sa-trenta/#comments Sun, 17 Aug 2014 02:58:24 +0000 http://www.victoryubelt.org/?p=2885 Not all stories are told by words alone.

Storyboard is our attempt to tell a story in 7 pictures. Can you describe KITA-KITA SA TRENTA’s story through the pictures below?

1 2 3 4 5 6 7

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(Doodle Verse) “It’s All Good”http://www.victoryubelt.org/2014/08/doodle-verse-overcome-the-world-2/ http://www.victoryubelt.org/2014/08/doodle-verse-overcome-the-world-2/#comments Tue, 05 Aug 2014 06:33:16 +0000 http://www.victoryubelt.org/?p=2858 artwork 005

View the entire gallery here.

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VIBE: Life’s a Partyhttp://www.victoryubelt.org/2014/08/vibe-lifes-a-party/ http://www.victoryubelt.org/2014/08/vibe-lifes-a-party/#comments Tue, 05 Aug 2014 04:57:30 +0000 http://www.victoryubelt.org/?p=2851 As we move to the second half of 2014, LifeBox U-Belt is also gearing up for more after unveiling our Youth series called, “Vibe: Life’s a Party” last July. 

We added more lights and invited disc jockeys during the three-week series to recreate U-Belt’s main hall with an ambience of a club party.

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An average of 5,000 college and high school students came in attendance at the youth service (check out #ubeltvibe for more posts), leaving the venue with a better understanding that life only becomes a “real, enjoyable party” when they embrace the beautiful plan of God in their lives.

The series, which touched on the Book of Ecclesiastes, has helped the students to understand that even at their age, they can start living and aligning their lives according to God’s purpose.

Below is a breakdown of the Vibe series for you to understand better:

#YOLO

We launched this new series with the question: Is there any reason for us to be happy? ” 

YOLO means You Only Live OnceIt has become one of young people’s favorite expressions nowadays, where they take enjoying life to the extreme by taking risks and doing something that can only rash at times. However, the author of the book, King Solomon, summed up his inquiries and even the experiences he had in life by saying, “life is meaningless”.

In the end, everything we do “under the sun” is empty and pointless apart from a relationship with God. 

#GOODVIBES

In the second week of the series, we asked the question: Is there a way for us to be truly happy? People consider amassing wealth or material things as a way to achieving true happiness. Others thought relationship with the opposite sex is the way to lasting happiness. While still, others think that getting good grades can make them really happy.

Yet, at the end of it all, the pursuit of pleasure only leads to pain, while the pursuit of God results to ultimate pleasure.  

#TOMORROWLAND

And finally, we wrapped up the series by talking about the uncertainty of our future, with the question: “Is there a way to control my future?” 

People try to do so many things in the hope of securing their future. Yet, our best effort to take control our future is in vain unless we go back to God.

While we all may have a lot of questions in life, questions that may shock us, cause us to be anxious or even be left puzzled, may we all find encouragement from Jesus, who told His disciples in John 16:33 (NIV), “I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.”

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Tears of the Sonhttp://www.victoryubelt.org/2014/07/tears-of-the-son/ http://www.victoryubelt.org/2014/07/tears-of-the-son/#comments Sun, 27 Jul 2014 12:09:33 +0000 http://www.victoryubelt.org/?p=2826 danny post

The year 1988 was supposed to be my final year as an engineering student at Mapua Institute of Technology. That year turned out to be a turbulent one as the prospect of not being able to graduate hit me like a sledgehammer in the face.  Our family was struggling finally considering that three of us enrolled in in college at the same time.  My parents were looking forward to my graduation, expecting me to at least help out with the expenses or maybe, not be an additional financial burden.  But it just wasn’t meant to be.

At a loss for direction and in search for answers, my friends Richard and Noel invited me to join a meeting at the campus canteen on a Wednesday afternoon after class.  I had nowhere to go then, so I thought I might as well join them.  They were excited because they had two guests coming over.  One was a Vietnamese American named Hugh and the other one was a Filipino, a slender young man, not much older than me.  He was the “guest speaker” and my friends were excited to hear him.

I was hooked the moment he started talking. He was so certain about his challenge that everyone in the room were so pumped up.

Although what he was presenting was larger than life, his message was simple, “Change the Campus, Change the World.”  His message started to stir up something inside of me.  I suddenly realized that the reason I was not passionate about anything was because I lacked purpose in my life.  As he went on, I started believing that I was not insignificant, that I could make a difference.  I could make a difference in my campus and make an impact to the nations.  However, it was the final challenge that caught me by surprise.  It was a challenge for a relationship to the One who could make all this possible.  It was a challenge to make Jesus Christ my Lord and Savior.  I consider myself fairly religious, growing up and serving in a local church as an acolyte. Thus, his message was something foreign to me.

I came into that meeting lost and without a purpose, but it didn’t stop me from believing.  That evening, I responded to the challenge of being a “world changer”.  I made the decision to make Jesus Christ, my Lord and Savior.  I hope I could say that the rest was history, but it was only the beginning.

I found out soon enough that for me to live out this purpose. I had to learn and unlearn, hold on to certain things and let others go.  As the saying goes, “You can talk the talk, but can you walk the talk?”

On Sunday of that same week, my friends brought me to a meeting at the second level of 1881 C.M. Recto Avenue, Manila. A ragtag bunch of young people was there, less than a thousand but all passionate for Jesus.  I became a part of this ministry ever since.

Through the years, we heard the familiar challenge: “Grab your Bible and pen, get your passport ready because we are going to the nations!”  As a young man, I didn’t know how it will happen but I started believing.  So when given the chance, I took part in various local mission trips like Tarlac, Urdaneta, San Fernando, Cabanatuan, Cebu City, Iloilo and Tuguegarao.  I even accepted a job in Cagayan de Oro City so that I could stay long-term and be part of the church plant.

When our ministry started believing God for our building at the Fort, I was one of those, who were tapped to help out in raising the building fund.  I had the opportunity to work with the leaders of our ministry in this endeavor to establish a facility where we could train and prepare teams to go to the nations.

When the building was into its final phase and the Auditorium was going to be used for the first time, my team did an ocular inspection of the facility.  I was grateful to God for being given the chance to be part of this venture.  As we were about to leave the building, I saw someone at the parking lot. He rolled down his window and called out to me, “Are you open to go to the mission field?”

We were in the thick of fundraising activities, while the building was in the final phase, but I still told him “Sure, I would love to.”

After a few words with the other person on the phone, he went out of the car and approached me.  These were his words, “we’re sending a team to in a month’s time.  Be ready, you’re going with them.

Honestly, I was taken aback because all this time, I had been waiting to go to the nations, and I would at least have a few months or maybe a year to prepare for it.  So I asked him if it would be alright to have some time to pray about it.  His answer in so many words was that he was leaving for Hawaii that night and that I had up to the next morning to make a decision.

Everything was a blur or so it seems.  I went to the Makati Cinema Square because I needed to clear my mind before I started praying.  It was an advanced screening of the movie, “Tears of the Sun”starring Bruce Willis.  If you’re familiar with the story, that alone was enough for me to settle the issue in my mind.  But what hit me was a quote highlighted in the closing credits:

“All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing.” – Edward Burke

That was all I needed.  I said to myself, “Here I am Lord, send me!”

Then my phone rang.  It was from my department head.  She gave me her blessings and told me that if I decided to go to the mission field, she won’t hinder me.  As I hang up, it rang again and this time it was the head of missions, he was excited to find out that I was now part of the team.  He told me to bring my passport the next morning; they were sending it to the for visa application as we prepare to leave in a few weeks.

In April 2003, we left.  This was to be my first international missions trip.  There were 15 of us in the team and I was the last addition.  We were supposed to be back in four months, but after eight months, I was left behind.

Since then, it’s been more than a decade of God’s faithfulness.  I am now married to my beautiful wife, with two wonderful kids.  But the  same passion still burns in my heart, “Change the Campus, Change the World.”

Right now, I am back home remembering God’s faithfulness as I took a leap of faith to answer a seemingly impossible call. Victory U-Belt was where the “original fire” for missions was birthed.  I believe that as I go prepare for the field, it would do well with me to rekindle the flame for missions.

As I look at the  young people, young professionals and the families, who are all part of the U-Belt church, I can see the the fire in you, the passion that drives you and the grace that abounds in you.

These all serve to inspire me wherever God calls me to be.

Together, let us pray to the Lord of the harvest to send more workers to the harvest field because the nations are waiting.

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Change the Campus, Change the Worldhttp://www.victoryubelt.org/2014/07/change-the-campus-change-the-world/ http://www.victoryubelt.org/2014/07/change-the-campus-change-the-world/#comments Sun, 20 Jul 2014 08:30:52 +0000 http://www.victoryubelt.org/?p=2803 In the Philippines, the month of July is considered as one of the busiest and craziest months for every person of every field, age and occupation. 

It is that time of the year when the rainy season is in high gear, where just as one storm is about to leave the Philippine Area of Responsibility, another one is set to make landfall at the PRA.

Students also begin to adjust better to the new school year, while most business people and professionals adjust to their workload and work flow. 

But in the perspective of the church, July offers a wide gate of countless opportunities.

The Value of Young People

Since Victory started as a movement, reaching the younger generation through campus ministry has been one of its top priorities. It also happens to be one of the most prolific and thriving focal points, among other things. 

Being under the spiritual umbrella of Every Nation, Victory puts its emphasis in reaching the youth, being convinced that it is one of the most strategic harvest fields.

For one, the youth represent a social group, whose mind is easily cultivated and influenced.

Young people also represent the future leaders of the nation. And again, by reaching them out today, you are also reaching out to their families and their circle of influence.

At Victory U-Belt, young people represent a major bloc in its overall service attendance.

In 2005, there were only 300 students attending the youth service. But nine years later, Victory U-Belt has seen an exponential increase in the number of attendees, especially in our youth services – and all these are attributed to God’s faithfulness to His promise as well as the hard work of our volunteers and staff. 

This year, LifeBox is aiming to reach 5000 students as the 17-man strong campus missionaries work hand-in-hand with the pastoral team, administrative staff as well as the hundreds of Victory group leaders, who are totally committed to seeing this vision become a reality.

Each year, July is always considered as “outreach month”, where leaders are encouraged to invite their family members, classmates, friends, business partners and friends who haven’t heard the of the Good News. 

This initiative has proven to be effective as we see hundreds of people come to know God in a personal and powerful way.

In celebration of Victory’s 30th year anniversary, Victory U-Belt has compiled four personal testimonies of students who were reached out during the outreach month and whose lives have been radically changed since:

Jane Catherine Villanueva, UST

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JC, as she is called by most people, is a fresh graduate of Medical Technology from the University of Santo Tomas. She is currently reviewing for the board exam. 

JC entered UST as a freshman in 2010, deeply influenced by her family’s devotion to Roman Catholicism after starting their own charismatic church community. Ever since she was young, there was this yearning inside her heart to know God more, to not just be a person who has knowledge of God, but a person who knows God in a personal way.

Everyday, JC recounted going to the UST Chapel, hoping to find what her heart was searching for. 

But one day, she was invited by her roommate and friend (who happens to be a Christian) to a July outreach series in 2010, at Victory U-Belt’s Youth service called “Eclipse”. 

Being a first-timer, she had no idea what she went to. JC initially thought it was a  mere simple youth gathering. But upon experiencing the warmth of the people, the passionate worship and just the spiritual atmosphere that prevailed during the youth service, she started longing to have that kind of an experience with God.

Her spiritual yearning intensified from there as she started attending the youth service, thinking that it would be a great supplement for her in her search for a spiritual satisfaction. 

Her regular attendance eventually moved a step further when she was finally introduced by some UST LifeBox student leaders to 1-2-1 and Victory group.

Initially, she wasn’t really sold out in attending the 1-2-1 discipleship and Victory group meetings. But because she was afraid to say no to those who invited her, she started attending.

As weeks turned into months, something happened: her boyfriend broke up with her. She was devastated all the more when she found out that her ex-boyfriend guy entered into another relationship just a week after their break-up. 

By then, she had a realization, “Your worth is not based on how people define it, but on what God has already done for you”. 

But what radically changed her outlook in life was the reality that Jesus died for all her sins, while realizing that Christ’s sacrifices was a clear message that “she was worth dying for”. It was also during this time when she started to realize that she doesn’t have to please others by giving in to their requests, or just to be able to win their approval.

Instead, she realized that the goodness and unconditional love of God was all she needed. God’s approval was all she needed. 

Eventually, she participated at Victory Weekend.  In 2012, she joined the church’s Leaders’ Camp. By then,  all the confusion, the selfishness and the longing for love from others dissipated. 

Her walk with Christ helped her become more selfless while appreciating God’s genuine love more. 

As she started discipling others, she started to experience a newfound love and passion in reaching out to people who are spiritually lost. She wanted them to experience the same love and life-changing moment she had with God.

And while her family initially questioned her personal relationship with God, eventually, that turned to acceptance and support. 

Today, JC is one of LifeBox UST’s fruitful Victory group leaders, 1-2-1 facilitator and coach. She is also a keyboardist in the music ministry and even had the opportunity to perform at Victory’s IGNITE Youth Conference last 2013. 

Avan Tan, San Beda College

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Avan seems to be an average guy at first glance. But there’s something more to him than meets the eye. 

During his high school days, Avan used to be an athlete and a mountain biker. And like most athletes, Avan lived a disciplined life, something he brought with him when he reached college. 

When he entered college at San Beda, he experienced conflict with his block mates due to opposing interests. His block mates wanted him to join them in drinking alcohol, partying, smoking and in doing drugs, but he refused. 

Being an athlete, Avan used it as an excuse to “escape” from his block mates’ whims. But due to the rising misunderstanding between him and his block mates, and Avan not wanting to see the conflict worsen, he finally gave in to curiosity and peer pressure.

So he started doing what his block mates have been doing – smoking, drinking, partying and taking drugs. His whole lifestyle changed, becoming an alcoholic.

Growing up in a family without a hint of closeness and bond in their relationship, no one could stop him from doing what he started doing. 

But ever since he engaged in vices, a part of him wanted to withdraw from the lifestyle change, but somehow, he was powerless to do so.

Eventually, there came a point in his life where alcohol gave him that “temporary euphoria”, which he soon realized as short lived once the feeling faded.

One day, Avan got invited to the youth service at Victory U-Belt where he was introduced to Cyrillus Maaño, a campus missionary in LifeBox-Mendiola. It was their first meeting and Avan felt no uneasiness at all,  convinced that he could trust Cyrillus. 

Yet, his meeting with Cyrillus hardly changed his current situation ad he continued on his vices. When Avan got invited to become a member of a fraternity, that’s when he realized that he dug a deep hole for himself, while he felt helpless to climb out of it.

He lost his sense of identity as well as lost his sense of conviction and direction as he started following various people’s “invitations”.

Avan longed for love, acceptance and family. Deep inside, Avan was no longer the same promising athlete as he felt broken and destroyed inside. 

Fed up with how his life had spiraled down into depths, Avan took a step towards the right direction when he reconnected with Cyrillus the campus minister.  But in the course of their connection, Avan received his letter of dismissal from the school.

Still, he just didn’t want to give up and put his two-year stint in college to waste. He mustered up all the courage he had and took a leap of faith by persistently going to the office of the school’s officials and pleaded his case for 10 days straight.

Avan did everything he could, asking for recommendations from priests and organizations. Eventually, things changed for the better, so on the last day, when he pleaded for his case, he was finally approved for readmission. 

He shifted from his original course of Entrepreneurship to Marketing and found a friend to accompany him in his new course. 

Despite shifting to Marketing, his academic struggle didn’t seem to go away, though on a positive note, his regular meeting with Cyrillus continued.

One time, his classmate invited him again to attend the outreach series of the Youth service, “The Voice”. 

Feeling a sense of freedom for the first time after being accepted by a new set of friends, Avan’s life started to make a 180-degree turn.

Avan no longer felt powerless after giving up his vices. His grades got better, while undergoing regular discipleship meeting as well.

On September 2013, he went through Victory Weekend, which became the turning point of his life. Avan said he experienced true freedom in Jesus Christ. His life started to change for the better, having found his identity and security in Christ. 

And by understanding that God is for him and not against him, he regained the confidence to face the life and its challenges again.

As his personal life started to change for the better, God also started to heal his relationship with his family. As a family, they started to pray and showed their love to each other.

Today, Avan is one of Lifebox Mendiola’s 121 Facilitator, Victory group leader and an Ushering volunteer in the church. 

Brian Flores, FEU

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Brian grew up in Dubai, UAE for years so when he finally studied high school in the Philippines, he was culture shocked by what he saw.  For one, he was not used to seeing an environment so different from where he came from. 

Being a product of a broken family, he started living with his grandparents in Pampanga and attended the local high school there. At such a young age, he was exposed to the wrong crowd, people who were addicted to smoking, drinking and drugs. 

Out of curiosity and peer pressure, Brian fell into their trap. Not only did he start doing vices, he was also exposed to the dangerous pleasures of sexual immorality. Time passed and he graduated high school. He was one of the few students who went to college in the capital city. 

He enrolled at the Far Eastern University in Manila, where he found himself falling into the same situation, only worse. 

However, as a college freshman, one of his classmates invited him to Victory U-Belt’s youth outreach series in 2012 entitled “Cats, Monsters and Broken Hearts”. 

At first, he had no idea that he was attending a youth service. Towards the end of the service, he didn’t take the message seriously, though by the time the pastor was challenging the people to surrender their lives to Christ, he simply raised his hand, even though he didn’t really know the reason. 

He did join the 121 discipleship and even regularly attended the Victory group and other LifeBox event, but he continued to do what he did since his high school days – continuing his lifestyle of vices, and simultaneous relationships with the opposite sex.

But in 2013, everything started to change. 

During the time he was introduced to Christ, there was always a part of him that said, “let’s change”.  However, he would usually find himself bouncing back to his old ways.

But one rainy night, just as the Philippines was battered by the strong monsoon rain, Brian, along with his housemates who were Christians, was forced to stay at the house they were resting. 

One of his housemates was reading the Bible that time, and at that, he was convicted. He wanted to change, and he longed for it. Brian knew that there was something wrong inside of him – his grades were failing, he was spending his money unwisely, he couldn’t stop his vices, he would lie almost always and, he was emotionally drained and longing for real love and acceptance. 

But by mustering the courage to read and meditate on the Bible, something started to change from within. He started taking the Victory group and 121 discipleship seriously. 

He also started to appreciate the people who patiently discipled him and understood him during moments that he was stubborn. He was able to overcome his vices. 

As Brian started to take baby steps to spiritual freedom, more and more, he appreciated what God had done for him, and how through His unfailing love, he was able to overcome his personal struggles. In the end, he was thankful that he became part of a spiritual family. 

Today, Brian is one of LifeBox-FEU’s most promising Victory group leaders, a 121 facilitator and an active volunteer in the Ushering ministry. He has also led an event for LifeBox-FEU.    

Clarissa Galvan, TUP

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Clarissa seemed to be a quiet, college girl, who lives an ordinary life, when you meet her for the first time. 

But when you carefully examine her, Clarissa has been exposed to the harsh realities of life. During her high school days, her parents argued much of the time, leading to a failed marriage.

Her father and her brothers were also drug addicts. When Clarissa discovered that they were into drugs, she confronted them. 

Tension rose and soon, her father, during one heated moment, accidentally killed her brother. This sad event changed Clarissa and her family completely. 

In search of acceptance and love, Clarissa looked to satisfy it through someone. On her senior year in high school, she had a crush on a guy, who eventually became close to her. But she soon found out that he only played with her emotions, leaving her heartbroken.

Clarissa became emotionally drained after what happened to her family and with her guy friend. A few months later, Clarissa was then invited by a friend to attend a youth service at Victory U-Belt in March 2012.

After her very first “accidental” youth service attendance, Clarissa did not return again till the third week of July when she attended again during the series “The Voice”. 

Bitter with life after all that she had gone through, she doubted if God really existed. But through the message during the youth service, she took a bold step in accepting Jesus Christ as her personal Lord and Savior. 

She started attending 121 sessions and Victory group meetings. In the process, she started to know Christ in a personal way. All the pain, the trauma and the hurt she was harboring throughout those years were finally washed away by the peace, forgiveness and love that God provided. 

In God, she found a Father, a friend, and a comforter. God displayed His faithfulness in Clarissa’s life. In prayer, she lifted up her family, which God eventually answered as  her father and mother were reunited later on, in a harmonious and loving relationship along with the rest of her siblings. 

What had been a cold family relationship, was replaced by warmth and love, a radical turn from what she grew up with.

Clarissa has since learned to let go of all the burdens of her past and started looking forward to a brighter future in God. Today, Clarissa is one of LifeBox-TUP’s strong and fruitful 121 facilitators, a Victory group leader and an active volunteer in the church. She continues to spread God’s love by sharing His word to others. 

Four students from different walks of life.  All have gone through different situations but only one God changed their lives. 

An encounter with God radically transformed their lives.

There are thousands of students out there who also need to hear the Gospel and have a personal encounter with Christ. 

This July, Victory’s outreach month, provides the best avenue for people to hear the good news and receive Christ in their lives. 

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RADICAL GIVING: A Lesson from the Macedonianshttp://www.victoryubelt.org/2014/07/radical-giving-a-lesson-from-the-macedonians/ http://www.victoryubelt.org/2014/07/radical-giving-a-lesson-from-the-macedonians/#comments Sun, 13 Jul 2014 09:15:21 +0000 http://www.victoryubelt.org/?p=2753 alvin post

Let’s face it – it is difficult to give regardless of our years of being a believer.

This reality flows naturally from our desire to provide, preserve and protect what is ours. This difficulty actually intensifies as we age and our income increases. Why? Because deep inside, we want to have a better life.

Consider a young professional regularly giving to the Lord. When he gets a spot promotion, his income increases and so are his perceived needs and wants. But that is normal.

Another case is when you get a windfall income – like an unexpected bonus or a special gift. The challenge in the mind is that we always believe that we deserve the blessings and it is ours.

Again, this is not necessarily bad, nor is it a sin. It simply puts into perspective the challenge that we face as God prospers us. To help us guard our attitude of giving, let us look at the lessons on how the Apostle Paul emulated the Macedonians in 2 Corinthians.

First, giving is part of grace – the unlimited and undeserved favour from God (see 2 Cor. 8:1). This proves to us that it is really natural for us to avoid giving. Without the grace of God, any giving is really forced and obligatory. True giving is out of gratitude and faith that it is God who blesses us, thus, He deserves our all.

Second, giving is not connected to what you have – but it is based on who you believe. Paul’s example of the Macedonians provides this context.

The Macedonians at that time were experiencing severe trials as Christians. They were being persecuted and living in extreme poverty. In spite of the difficulties, Paul said the Macedonians are overflowing with joy.

Come to think of this, Paul’s example was more like comparing the Macedonians to the people living in the slum areas as well as to those who have been impoverished by war. But amazingly, Paul said the Macedonians were still overflowing with joy! What is more, they were very willing to share whatever is left for them to other people!

Clearly, their extreme poverty is not a hindrance to give and share because their joy of knowing Jesus radically transformed them inside out! It is their faith in the person of Jesus, which allowed them to give beyond what they can.

Third, giving joyfully is a privilege. Paul described the Macedonians as volunteering to give. Verse 4 says “they urgently pleaded to share”. This attitude is something that is so unnatural even among Christians in general, today.

It’s as if, in our most difficult situation, we are still asking people what their needs are and how we can help them. But doing so only goes to show our understanding that it is more blessed to give to others!

In summarizing what I just shared, it is clear that giving goes beyond our natural capacities.

Usually, people who have an extra amount to give, struggle to give. How much more difficult it is to give when you have nothing? As such, unless a person experiences God’s grace, he cannot experience a radical transformation from the inside.


 

POST SCRIPT:

Let me share my personal experience that helped me recognized the “Macedonian giving”.

During one of the Sunday services while I was worshiping God, I heard the Lord impress to me to give everything I have in my coin purse.

That Sunday, I did not bring my wallet. But I decided to obey and emptied my purse when the offering bag came. I was extremely at peace and happy to obey what God said.

If I recall, my coin purse had about more than P400. The next day, God gave back more than P2,000! How did that happen, you might ask? I went to a briefing where I was one of the resource persons and I was so surprised that I was given an honorarium! Praise be to God! This was the time I understood why we give. Any giving is actually radical giving – a kind of giving based on the extravagant love of Jesus Christ.

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A Dummy’s Guide to Single Lifehttp://www.victoryubelt.org/2014/07/a-dummys-guide-to-single-life/ http://www.victoryubelt.org/2014/07/a-dummys-guide-to-single-life/#comments Sun, 13 Jul 2014 09:15:18 +0000 http://www.victoryubelt.org/?p=2754 The season of life between college graduation and marriage could be more confusing than the identity crisis teenagers usually go through.

As a single, you’re free to spend your money, manage your own time, explore and do a lot more.

However, life as a single also provides us great opportunities to learn so much.

singlesprepAs such, Victory U-Belt’s Singles Ministry recently launched the first of its Singles Prep Series. The series was designed to provide single professionals with the “best tools” they need to maximize their single life.

The first of the series was held on May 25, 2014 at Victory U-Belt’s Main Hall with several experienced speakers like Ptr. Gilbert Foliente, Ptr. Dennis Sy and his wife Tammy, as well as Ptr. Joe Bonifacio with his wife Carla talk on the subjects of Finances, Manhood and Womanhood, respectively.

More than 500 single professionals gathered together for fellowship, get to hang out with new friends while at the same time, gain valuable insights from the speakers.

While there are tons of insights that are worth sharing to your followers on Twitter or Facebook account, here’s a recap that on the first part of the Singles Prep Series, which could serve as your guide as you enjoy your life as a single.

Faith in Your Finances

Generally, people experience the excitement (or sometimes the shock) of having to earn and manage their own money. But we all have to remember that despite the hard work to earn our paycheck every month, every peso still comes from God. As such, every “money matters” in our life requires faith – faith to earn, faith in budgeting our income, faith in paying our debts, faith in saving for the future and faith investing to build our wealth.

There is Nothing Wrong with Being Single

The fact of the matter is, one of the greatest fears among single professionals today is the fear of not being able to find a lifetime partner. However, instead of focusing on the possibility of not finding a lifetime partner in the future, we have to understand that our season of life as a single provides us with opportunities to grow – from relationships with our peers, establishing new friendship with the people we meet along the way, and most of all, growing in our relationship with God. These stages of single life, coupled by a consistent, thriving relationship with God, prepares us in many ways for marriage.

Do Not Base Your Confidence on the Externals

Sure, there is nothing wrong with looking like a model or a showbiz personality, but we have to remind ourselves that we should not base our confidence on these. Instead, let us put our confidence on the One who created us, who intends to fulfil His purpose in our lives. In fact, you don’t have to look like a macho or super model to accomplish great things, but you just simply need to be secure and be assured in we can “..do all things through Christ who strengthens us” (Philippians 4:13).

Let Men Lead

God called men to lead. In fact, God gave men the responsibility to provide, protect and lead people. On the other hand, women should give way for men to exemplify leadership especially when we talk about the relationship process – from friendship, to courtship and eventually marriage. In this way, we are able to build foundations on marriage and families that will honor God in the future.

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As singles, some will have the time of their lives, while some will probably go through this season and somewhat struggle. But if there is one thing that we needs to be established during this season – it is our security in God. Being secured that God has given this season to grow professionally, financially and even emotionally, even as discover new things and build friendships.

By doing so, we would eventually be able to transition from single life to married life.

So go ahead, enjoy your season of life as a single, build wonderful memories, save, bless, invest. Time well spent this season could eventually yield greater result, knowing that God will fulfill the purpose He has for our life.

Finances

Part 1, Pastor Dennis Sy:

 Download audio

Women

Part 1, Thammie Sy:

 Download audio

Part 2, Carla Bonifacio:

 Download audio

Men

Part 1, Gilbert Foliente:

 Download audio

Part 2, Joseph Bonifacio:

 Download audio

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Leaders’ Camp’s Domino Effecthttp://www.victoryubelt.org/2014/07/leaders-camps-domino-effect/ http://www.victoryubelt.org/2014/07/leaders-camps-domino-effect/#comments Sun, 13 Jul 2014 09:15:16 +0000 http://www.victoryubelt.org/?p=2755 nina post

The three-day Leaders’ Camp kicked off at a high gear as expected from May 30-June 1 at the Caliraya Resort Club in Laguna.

Held every two years to jumpstart the new school year, the Leaders’ Camp aims at refreshing and equipping LifeBox U-Belt’s student leaders.

Participated by more than 600 student leaders, the camp is geared towards leadership development as LifeBox U-Belt positions itself to saturate every campus in the University Belt area with the gospel.

To know more about the purpose of Leaders’ Camp, click here.

Everybody who joined the camp surely enjoyed the water gun fights, the eat-all-you-can buffets, passionate corporate worship, and life-changing sessions. But one thing is sure, the students’ can’t help but share their experiences from the camp.

Nikki Ojerio, one of the student leaders in the High School ministry of LifeBox U-Belt shared her “take-home” from the camp:

Months before the Leaders’ Camp, I was instructed by my leader to do One 2 One with another high school student. I immediately hesitated when my leader said this because I thought I wasn’t qualified to do it. I felt inadequate and had many excuses at that time. In my mind, I was saying to myself, “Sino ba ko para mag-lead at mag-disciple ng tao? Hindi naman ako magaling. Hindi ko kayang gawin ‘yon.” But when I heard Ptr. Ferdie Cabiling’s message about leadership during the first day of the Leaders’ Camp, I was convinced that God destined me to lead and that He qualified me because of His purpose in my life. Ptr. Faythe Santiago’s preaching encouraged me to become more compassionate. Her message gave me a better understanding of God’s love for other people. After the Leaders’ Camp, I’m ready to step out of my comfort zone and take the lead. I know this is what God wants me to do. He will guide me along the way, so there’s no need to hesitate and be afraid.

Nikki just led her non-Christian classmates recently to the youth service, and she is now excited to do One2One.

The Leaders’ Camp didn’t just make an impact among the students at an individual level, but it also changed the dynamics of the campuses as a team.

In fact, the vision of the LifeBox leaders went beyond their own campus.

Student leaders of LifeBox in Pamantasan ng Lungsod ng Maynila (PLM) initiated a prayer walk for their campus the day after the Leaders’ Camp.

After doing this, a student leader suggested to pray not only for PLM, but also for the rest of the campuses in the Intramuros area where they are located.

Recently, they invited LifeBox leaders from campuses like Lyceum of the Philippines and Colegio de San Juan de Letran to join them for a prayer “jog” around Intramuros.

The student leaders are not just fighting for their campus because they saw the value of fighting for their generation hand-in-hand with people from other campuses.

Truly, the Leaders’ Camp was used by God to start a movement that will turn this nation right-side-up.

But the camp is just the beginning – the beginning of a radical and godly generation rising up to lead this nation to righteousness through a personal relationship with Jesus.

nina post 2

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(Doodle Verse) “Humble Beginnings”http://www.victoryubelt.org/2014/06/doodle-verse-humble-beginnings/ http://www.victoryubelt.org/2014/06/doodle-verse-humble-beginnings/#comments Tue, 17 Jun 2014 10:18:38 +0000 http://www.victoryubelt.org/?p=2670 artwork 004View the entire gallery here.

 

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