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"My Story of Faith"

I came to the Lord when I was a teenager and grew with the understanding that Jesus Christ is my savior. However, like any teenager, I grew in and out of a relationship with Jesus, distracted by the entices of this world. Nevertheless, I never let go of Jesus, sometimes just hanging in by a thread.

I met my life partner in China at a time when I was desperate for one. The detours that I took in life lead me to the one that God chose for me. We clicked in just a few moments, without any effort, and after 13 years of a real marriage, it feels like we just met.

When I met my wife, she was a devout catholic, but after speaking to her about Jesus and the truth, she left her old ways and made room for Him in her life. We started getting to know the Lord Jesus better together.

After a couple of years, like any other couple, it was time to have a child. In addition, as usual, family members had a part in the decision making process.

Anyway, my wife got pregnant, and we were so happy giving thanks to the Lord. However, during the pregnancy, we were so caught up with the baby and everything associated with the pregnancy that we slowly started drifting away from the One who gave us the gift of life. Baby clothes, accessories, etc., etc.

During a regular check-up, the doctors said there was an abnormality with the baby. The baby was detected with 'gastroschisis,' a condition where the intestines are external to the body.

This case happens with 1 in 5000 babies. We were shaken up, and the doctors recommended abortion. We decided against it and sought various opinions, information, and comfort, but it always ended up with the results.

We stuck to our decision to keep the baby, and after thorough research, we found a way out. So my wife flew back home to the Philippines, and was taken to the specialists. They said it was a common case, and all they had to do was open up the abdominal area and put back the intestines. An operation that had a high success rate.

My wife was all ready for the surgery when at the last moment, the doctors found that the baby had stopped breathing and was still; This naturally shattered our hearts, especially since we were far away from each other. The doctors had to induce labor, and after a lot of pain and anguish, the still baby was taken.

My wife returned to China all drained out, physically, mentally, and emotionally. We comforted each other and said that God will show the way, but never really took this to God in prayer.

After a while, we tried to conceive again, in desperation. My wife got pregnant, and we were once again overjoyed, letting everyone know about the good news. However, we  also lost that baby after three months.

Gloom and depression hit hard once again. But this time, the Lord brought us to our senses, and we just knelt down and surrendered everything to Him, even saying that if it is not His will for us to bear a child, then may his will be done. And if we needed to adopt, he would show us the way, and we left it at that.

We took a trip to Honk Kong, as it was very easy to do from China, to give ourselves a break from all this baby stuff and to breathe different air. We had fun and on our return from Hong Kong, well, what do you know, my wife was pregnant…again.

This time, we did not do anything ourselves. We surrendered everything to God, giving Him thanks and praise for all that he has done and said that all decisions belong to God. He blessed us with a beautiful baby girl, Laurene, and we praised Him for His blessing to us.

After three years, we were blessed with a baby boy, Zachary. We again praised the Lord for his blessing and generosity, and humbly requested Him to hold on to His blessing because we were hands full now with two kids.

In 2012, I resigned from a good job because I was told that another one was waiting for me. Without hesitation and dependent on my colleague's words, I quit my job and headed to the Philippines, intending to be there for a couple of months before leaving for my new job.

Again, the evil of self-decision crept in and took over our lives. I had a good time for a couple of months in the Philippines, anticipating to leave for Bangkok in about two months.

The time period grew longer and longer, and as the breadwinner, I started to worry as finances were depleting. There was no news about the job, and the hope of working again kept getting distant.

There were quarrels at home, and the air was filled with worries. Again, I tried many avenues, and there were no results at all. I was in tears because of not knowing what would happen. After I was broken, I knelt down and said to the Lord, tomorrow, I am going to get any job I can. 

I was ready to take anything available, it did not matter what it was. The next day, early morning, I received a call from Bangkok saying that I was appointed to work and needed to start asap. My wife and I had no words at all. We wept and wept with praise and thanksgiving in our minds, body, and spirit.

From that day on, we have left everything in the hands of the Lord. No matter what comes our way, highs or lows, happiness or sorrows, we were and are all part of his master plan, and there is nothing to worry about.

In my prayers, I was led to 1 Corinthians 10:13, which says, "No temptation has overtaken you except what is common to mankind. And God is faithful; he will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, he will also provide a way out so that you can endure it."

The Lord had done so many things; we call them miracles in our lives that they are unmeasurable and uncountable, but we praise him for being there for us, the center of our lives.

Living with the Lord Jesus Christ is not keeping an account of what he does, but living the life that He intends us to live. Mathew 6:33 says, "But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well."

Another story to testify to this scripture is that my family and I decided to go to the park one weekend and take my daughter's new hoverboard with us.

She had just started learning it and wanted to use it in the park. Upon reaching the park, which was a bit of a distance from home, she fell to the ground and hurt herself very badly on her knee, ripping her leggings and exposing her bleeding wound.

Usually, my wife comes prepared, but this time, she had nothing with her. We sat there, not knowing what to do, as my daughter kept crying. We were going to turn around to go back home when this family stretched forth their hand and offered us a Band-Aid.

We accepted it and thanked them very much; then my wife and I just stood there in awe of the Lord's countenance. Our eyes were filled with tears of joy, knowing that the Lord even provided Band-Aids to his children.

Our prayers to God are of thanksgiving because the word declares in Philippians 4:19, "And my God will supply every need of yours according to his riches in glory in Christ Jesus," and Matthew 6:8 says, "…for your Father knows what you need before you ask him."

It is a joy and honour to know that we are being looked after. We need have no fear at all, in all things because God said in Deuteronomy 31:8, "The Lord himself goes before you and will be with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged." 

We always have to remind ourselves of what is written in James 1:12 "Blessed is the man who remains steadfast under trial, for when he has stood the test he will receive the crown of life, which God has promised to those who love him."

Colin: Thailand

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