TESTIMONIES

Lives that are radically changed by Jesus is proof that there is a God who saves, heals, delivers and transforms. Below are a few testimonials from CTJ Church members who testify of God's goodness over their lives.

Last updated: October 2013

 

Elena Magtibay

Elena has been with CTJ Church since the very beginning of its birth. She is known as a passionate and zealous connect group leader. This is her story of how relatives continuously shared to her about Christ, how she was persecuted and how God was faithful to recently heal her body of a rare illness. This same God is able to heal you too! Be inspired and blessed with her miraculous story.

 

I am a married woman with a wonderful husband and we have been married for 28 years and we have been blessed with 3 children and 1 granddaughter. I have attended CTJ ever since the church began and is the place where I have learned how to have an intimate relationship with God, how to walk in faith and it is the place where my family and I have learned how to serve, love and it is where God has used me to the fullest. My journey with the Lord began in 1988 in the Philippines when one of my aunties began to share the Word of God and spoke to me about the truth of salvation and love in Jesus Christ.

One day my in-laws asked mine and my husband’s permission if the Senior Pastor of their church was able to come and visit us. It was from then my eyes and my heart were opened when he shared to me about John 3:16; how God sent his Son down to die for us so that we may live. For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God not of good works so not anyone should boast (Ephesians 2:8-9).  I will never forget the day about how I found out the real truth about Jesus Christ.  It was from then on I accepted Jesus Christ as my personal Lord and Saviour and from that day the questions that I had from my mind and heart were answered, and they were answered through God’s love and His Grace.  When my family had found out that I had been converted as a born-again Christian I was persecuted by my own family. The friends that I had before, started to speak controversy about me about why I had changed faith. During that time I thought that being Christian was smooth sailing, but I soon came to realize that there will be trials and tribulations that will come along your way. This is where I learnt how to trust God with all my heart and this is where I began to pray deeply through my heart and asked God for help that one day they will understand the truth and the love of Jesus.

When we came to Australia in 1991 it was the turning point for mine and my family’s life because we knew it was God’s plan and purpose for us to be here. This was the place where my relationship with the Lord and with people began to grow deeper. And through the years with the help of my family we were introduced to Come To Jesus Church and it was from then on that me and my family decided that this was going to be our home church.

This 2013 I was faced with the biggest challenge in my life that came around April of 2013. I was diagnosed with a very rare illness of blood cell cancer (T-cell Lymphoma).  When this news came to me and my husband, I didn’t question God at all.  I quickly turned to him in faith and asked forgiveness for all my shortcomings. I cried out to Him and remembered His promises in the Bible. It says in Matthew 17:20 that if you have faith as small as a mustard seed, you can move a mountain and that nothing is impossible for you and in Psalm 103:3 The Lord forgives all my sins and heals all my diseases. I was not hindered about saying to the doctors that there is a God who is my Healer and that He is the one who will help me get through this situation but at the same time I thanked God for using the doctors as an instrument to look after my health. But through the grace and mercy of God and the prayers that I received from my family and my beloved church, miracles were received. Within a span of 3 months of check-ups and blood tests, the test results that were given to me were nothing but good news! So after these moments, I am completely healed! The doctors were completely amazed of what has happened and I simply just said “trust God and truly nothing is impossible to those who believe in him.”  I give God all the glory and all the praise for He truly deserves it.  I do believe that this journey is still not finished and that the best is still yet to come for me and my family.

Joren Cabigting

Joren is one of our faithful youth leaders in Generation Fresh. See how God has transformed the life of a timid young boy to a man that many young people now follow. Read Joren's story below.  

At a very early age my brother and I would attend Sunday mass almost unwillingly with my parents. I knew the ins and outs of church; I grew accustomed to what to do every Sunday. I’ve always known about Jesus, we grew up hearing stories about Him; the reality of who He was to me personally was a totally different story.  I’ve always had basic moral values to which I’d live my life; I knew how to treat others with respect and ever since I can remember I’ve always been known as the ‘kind’ kid. Naturally I lived my life trying just to be good. My convictions were based upon my own worldview rather than God’s truth, and if I were to sin, living a good life would never cover it up. In primary school I was told that if I were to sin again all I needed to do was say a little prayer several times and then ask for forgiveness. I asked myself “Is this all that there’s to it?” For years I struggled with the thought of it, there was a void within me where I’d question and longed for purpose in my life.

It wasn’t until 2004 when I started attending Torch the youth ministry at the time. I had my experience with religion but what these guys had was more than that. Pretty much my whole Christian life started when I was in high school, it was at a youth night I gave my life to Jesus.  If you knew me at the time I was very timid, I’d literally be my brothers’ shadow anywhere we went. I’d stammer and struggle with conversations so I’d usually keep quiet. Yet I still had a desire to serve, even with my limitations where there was a need I gave my availability. With what I had been entrusted with, even if it was to set up chairs, it was my privilege and joy to do so. It was in 2009 where God called me to into Youth Ministry as a leader, ever since then I’ve had a heart to serve the young people of this generation and see their potential in Jesus fulfilled.

Up until now my journey with Christ has been quite the adventure; He’s done and is still doing things in my life I could have never imagined. Redemption could have never been found by doing good deeds, or the void could never been filled by immersing myself into the world; it was only through the love of Christ where I found my life fulfilled and free from the cycle of sin. The thing is there’s a call on your life too, the greatest thing you can ever experience is the Love of God and the purpose you can only find by living a life for Jesus.

 "I therefore, a prisoner for the Lord, urge you to walk in a manner worthy of the calling to which you have been called" -  Ephesians 4:1

Vashner Muhi

Vashner is one of our committed RAISE young adults and volunteers. You would have probably seen him hammering away in the construction ministry or lending a helping hand in various ministries. Read his story below.

 

I started to attend Come To Jesus Church towards the end of 2009. In my high school years, I knew about CTJ Church from my older siblings. But just like every other teenager, I couldn’t care less and my attitude was that I could do anything I wanted. I’ve always been a friendly guy; it was natural for me to strike up a conversation and friendship with anyone. This led me to some good friendships, but also ones that were bad and destructive. As a young man, what I thought was a normal view of women, was actually perverse and disrespectful.  I was a typical teenager going through battles of lust, wrong friendships, and the influence of being popular and wanting more of what I couldn’t have in life.

During my highschool years, I attended Gfresh/Raise a few times and started to grow fond of the people and the atmosphere, but I continued to do the things that I thought was fun. One of which was trying to rob a girl’s emotion and breaking up relationships. That continued for weeks, but soon enough it all came to a halt when we got into a serious car accident. All the consequences of my wrong decisions and selfish ways had finally caught up to me. But when one door closes and we feel like everything has gone wrong, God is able to open another door. I left the bad friendships and threw myself into the church and youth group. By his grace, I got my act together and started to change my ways. Soon enough, I began to love serving in church, and was then taught that this was called developing the heart of a servant. Serving others became my strongest love language; it became my avenue to love on God and people. But God wasn’t finished with me yet, it wasn’t until I was asked by the Youth Pastor if I was truly saved that my initial reaction would reveal my desperate need for God. I swore. I was stumped at the language that was still so natural to me even while I thought I was going great with church, I was still holding onto parts of my past. But God continued to chip away the parts that did not belong in order for him to work further in my life. So when 2010 Hillsong Conference came around, it set up the next season of my life; Bishop TD Jakes spoke over thousands of people in the auditorium, “Don’t allow your past to depict your future”. I walked out of that conference not looking at the past but what God pulled me out from and what He is now inviting me into, a new and redeemed future. It’s now 2013 and here I stand after two mission trips to Vanuatu, one of which I helped build a church on behalf of CTJ.

I want to leave this verse with you, as it depicts what God has done in my life…

 “The very credentials these people are waving around as something special, I’m tearing up and throwing out with the trash—along with everything else I used to take credit for. And why? Because of Christ. Yes, all the things I once thought were so important are gone from my life. Compared to the high privilege of knowing Christ Jesus as my Master, firsthand, everything I once thought I had going for me is insignificant—dog dung. I’ve dumped it all in the trash so that I could embrace Christ and be embraced by him” -Philippians 3:7-8

Pastor Jim Yap

This month's testimony is from one of our Pastors here in CTJ Church. Pastor Jim's experience is a journey from religion to a relationship with Jesus Christ. Read how God is able to heal and change a person no matter the circumstances. 

I grew up coming from a very religious family and because of this my passion to serve God has been instilled in my spirit early on in my life.  The other side of the coin of my life is a short-tempered person. One unattractive character that I have developed over the years which occasionally haunts me for some time was the way I treated our female made servant at home, back in the Philippines.  For no reason at all and just for fun, I would punch her till her arms are black and blue and pour dog food over her after she has taken a shower to name a few. As a teenager, I would steal money from my parent's small grocery store, tried drugs and alcohol to feel accepted amongst my peers.

These experiences tore me apart that to cover up my guilt and shame, I decided to enter a Catholic seminary. Still not satisfied and unable to find fulfillment and answers in life, I left the seminary then went back on my old ways and began to explore new sinful adventures in life.

But God had plans in my life and stretched out His hand to me.  October of 1999, my wife Jeng who was the youth leader at that time with the help of some of the youth group, talked to me about Jesus and how my sins no matter how deep and grave they were can be forgiven. As an ex-Catholic seminarian I was very skeptical with this "you must be born again" concept but I was desperate for a new beginning and decided to give Jesus a try.

I have never regretted my decision to follow Him. He has changed me from my ugly past and the Holy Spirit has transformed me from the inside out.  Now, an associate pastor of Come to Jesus Church, I am fulfilled, I am home.

Fe Laurel

This is the fruit of a praying mother, which ultimately led to Fe's salvation and the salvation of her household. Now she is serving faithfully in the Church alongside her husband and two children. Fe Laurel is one of the longest committed members here at CTJ. Read her testimony below.

God has a divine plan and purpose for every person ever conceived on this earth. Some discover that plan; others don’t, but thanks to God for having a praying step-mum who never gave up praying for all of us. I believed that she was the one who first planted a seed of prayers for us and that’s why we got saved.

Since then, when I reached highschool God never stopped working in my life. I met Christian classmates and they encouraged me to attend their fellowship during our 30-minute lunch breaks. I heard the word of God and they prayed for me as well. One day, two American missionaries came to our campus and gave me a Gideon Bible, but when I read it, I didn’t understand. Until we graduated and we needed to separate from each other, my Christian classmates promised me that they would never stop praying for me until they knew the result of my salvation.

After highschool, I was qualified to study at Far Eastern University. By that time I met again a Christian classmate and she prayed for me and encouraged me to go to church. I only went once or twice. Finally, I finished University and I thought everything was fine, but I suddenly felt that I was broken, empty, lonely, looking for something, until I came to the point asking myself, “Where are you God?”

So we decided to move to a different place where we are more close to our cousins who are believers and I shared my problems to her. She gave me the verse in James 1:3 “For you know that when your faith is tested, your endurance has a chance to grow.” She shared with me the 4 Spiritual laws with an explanation and I accepted the Lord Jesus Christ as my Lord and personal Saviour. I felt that my heavy burden was gone. From then on, I continued to pursue and seek God, no turning back. I was so grateful for all the people who never stopped and never gave up to pray for me. Without your perseverance, I’d still be in the world wondering. I really thank God for His Grace and “as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord.” (Joshua 24:15)

Tessa Gaerlan

On 31 March 2013, Tessa Gaerlan was bold enough to share her testimony to the whole Church. For the month of April, the web team decided to publish this testimony as a witness to the world that Jesus can change anyone's life. Please take 10mins of your time to watch this video. It will impact your life!

Tes Casin

Mrs Tes Casin is a passionate and committed member of CTJ. Her blaze is contagious and she believes everyone should be ready in and out season to share their testimony. Recently, Tes spontaneously shared her testimony concluding our Church service on 3 March 2013. Prior to sharing her story on the pulpit, the CTJ web team had approached her to upload her testimony via the website. We love the devotion of Tes to share through every platform necessary. We encourage you to read her remarkable story below!

 

My name is Tes. I was a successful business operator by the world's standard. I own and run a real estate business. If you tried to call me then, chances are, I was not available because I was busy all the time. Back then, I kept running in all sorts of direction to achieve greater things. I loved to be in control; I was in control of my life, my business, my finances, and even my relationships. I controlled and turned everyone crazy. I knew about God and I believed He existed, but that’s just about it. I had put Him in a box, accessible only when I needed Him. I thought I was doing all right anyway, so I did not need any other thing than my worldly comfort. Little did I know, I was living in darkness.

Then one day, I came home to find out that I was losing one of my loved ones to a serious illness. It was a turning point. I was not ready to let go… I searched earnestly for a solution. I was faced with so many questions and I needed answers. I was crying full on and then I remembered to open the box… and there He was...

God was just there, patiently, and longingly waiting. All those times when I was running in all sorts of direction, He was just there, waiting likethat father to his prodigal son. He brought me to this safe and peaceful place completely different than the world I knew. He brought me from darkness to light. Now when I look back at my old ways, I could not believe I did those things to Him, such a shame. He loves me so greatly that He did not even condemn me and I am so thankful for that love. Jesus said that He did not come to judge, but to save the world. Oh, how I love Him!

I still run my business, but I don’t own it, God owns it. It is His way of running it, not my way. I don’t control it, Jesus does! I get every opportunity I have in the business to share God’s love, not only in the words that I say, but also in my lifestyle. There is nothing that I want now but for someone to see Jesus in me. I still face challenges, but the way things are handled here have changed dramatically since I placed Jesus in His rightful place; in the very middle of my being. I give Him not just the best, but all of me. After all, He is in control.

I could go on and on and tell you beautiful stories about Jesus and how He changes me everyday. I am a work in progress; I am so crazy about Jesus and He knows that. In prayers, and daily devotion, in that secret place inside me, He is there. God is my daily agenda. His love is this life’s topic. By the way, the person in my family with a serious illness is now healed, praise God! Jesus is the same yesterday, today and forever! Care to sit down with me and have a chat about it over coffee?

SOS youth camp testimonials

We have added a video of testimonies from Generation FRESH youth from their latest SOS camp:

Sharing our Saviour

 

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