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Inspiring Stories – Part 2

When Death Came Near

“My daughter is dead!” This was the first thing that entered my mind when the hospital rang to tell me that my daughter Christine had fallen onto the subway tracks and that a train had passed over her. They said she had only been injured but I could not get myself to believe that she was all right. I thought the hospital was not telling me the truth.

For the next few minutes, I was completely disoriented, crying and not knowing what to do or where to go. My panic was further aggravated when, upon reaching home to pick up our son, I found I could not reach my wife on her mobile phone. I called her at work, knowing it was futile because I knew she never picked up the phone where she was working. But truly, the Lord was with us that day. She picked up the phone after the first few rings! We agreed to meet at the hospital. It was a tense period for both of us because we had no idea what had happened.

My prayer was very intense. I asked the Lord to grant us courage to face what may come. Somehow the Lord answered my prayer. I had always asked the Lord during my personal prayer time to strengthen my faith but at that moment, I realized what I really should be asking Him was to abide by His will. With this realization came great peace and, inexplicably, joy at being reassured that my daughter was going to be all right.

The police met us at the hospital. They informed us that they were treating the incident as a criminal case because they suspected that someone had pushed my daughter onto the tracks. I protested that this could not be so because she was with fellow Youth for Christ members, part of the mission team that had gone around Europe. I must have been an effective witness for the Lord because even the police expressed the opinion that our daughter was lucky to have the Lord's protection.

From the accounts pieced together by the police, it appeared that our daughter, while waiting with the mission team for the train to arrive, had somehow fallen onto the tracks. Nothing but a miracle can explain what happened next. While unconscious, she had somehow managed to roll over so that her body was in between the tracks. No one could get down to save her because of the danger to themselves. To everyone's horror, the train arrived but, miracle of miracles, it simply passed over her! Christine sustained head injuries but to the doctors' surprise, there was no skull or any bone fracture.

Everyone was mystified. We were not; we knew the Lord was there and He had saved her. Aida Santos, a gifted healer, told us that she had been given a vision of what had actually happened. Our Blessed Mother, the Child Jesus and an angel had moved Christine's body as she lay on the tracks and positioned her so that she would not be touched by the train.

We had been touched by God's grace. We feel so blessed and continue to praise and thank God for this wonderful miracle. Now my faith is so strong I am able to face each day without fear for I know He is with me and my family. By Romy Mendoza

Ecstasy in Adversity

Five and a half years ago, the Lord blessed me in a way I will never forget - I was diagnosed with an aggressive cancer in the breast. Am I crazy? Did I say blessed? Yes, I felt blessed because the cancer came with so many blessings that I quite forgot about the cancer! To begin with, I did not at all feel fearful. I figured that whatever my options were, I just could not lose. If the cancer was operable, they could remove it. If not, and I was given only a limited time to live, my family and I would be able to prepare for it. If I died on the operating table, that would simply mean that it was time for me to join the Lord and I was finished with what I was sent here to do!

lnspite of the grim prognosis, I felt absolutely blooming when I should have looked deathly ill, what with the chemo treatments. In fact, my sisters from Manila all rushed to my side, praying and crying throughout the flight, only to find me looking healthy and happy, certainly not looking like I was about to undergo an 8-hour operation the following day. We all went to Stanford Hospital the next morning, they looking so grim and I secretly excited that there was a slight chance I would see the Lord soon.

Barely a year after this, I faced another major trial - divorce! After 25 years of marriage! This time, my faith was not as strong. I was devastated. It was easier dealing with cancer than with the pain of rejection and hurt pride. I forgot my lifeline and forgot that He was in charge. However, when I began to see through the fog, I realized that so many blessings were still pouring in. I asked the Lord to take away my anger and He did. He has kept it away since.

I believe things always happen for a reason and that there are no coincidences. I believe that the Lord is constantly talking to us and all we have to do is to listen. I guess this is how I got to join CFC.

My brothers and sisters and my in-laws in Manila are all very active in CFC and in Ligaya ng Panginoon, so naturally they have been after me to join from the very beginning. But somehow, things never worked out. I attended one CLP for two days and dropped out. I just felt it was not for me. I guess I was simply not ready. Although I had been involved since my youth in various charitable causes, I did not think CFC would fill my need.

Then I made a major decision to move to Washington, leaving my comfort zone and my huge support base in California. The decision to move was arrived at after much soul searching and prayer and after listening to the inner voice in me. There, without any prodding from anyone, I suddenly felt the urge to “explore” CFC after meeting George and Julie de Villa who informed me about a forthcoming CLP. I figured I would attend and drop out anytime I felt like it. But of course I finished the program. I have not regretted it since! I cannot describe the joy and elation I feel every time I worship the Lord with the CFC community.

This joy was further amplified when I attended the CFC North American conference in San Francisco. There, whatever I felt was still missing in my life was completely filled. I am so glad I attended this conference because on the last day, Tony Meloto spoke about CFC's work with the poor. I totally agreed with him that to help the poor is every Christian's obligation. Right after he spoke, I followed him (this guy I had never met) to the back of the room , asked for a big hug and thanked him for clarifying things for me.

I am now prouder than ever that I am a member of CFC. CFC offers everyone so many vehicles by which to serve Him, to get to know Him better, to find solace and comfort when we are troubled, to collectively storm the heavens with prayers and petitions, to learn how to strengthen our own family units, to praise and worship together in song and dance and now, to help the poor with our time and money. If we grab all these opportunities, then truly we can make a difference in this world! By Marissa Estrada

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