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Faith Tested: Stories From COVID-19 Survivors

As the economy worsens during the pandemic, members of the Church Of Christ stay positive through God's words taught by Brother Eduardo V. Manalo.

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An Executive News Presentation

In association with 

CHRISTIAN ERA BROADCASTING

SERVICE INTERNATIONAL, Inc.

[Source: worldometers.info]

As of June 2020, there are 6.68 million confirmed

Cases of COVID-19 around the world.

Bro. RONALD NOLASCO 

Calgary, Canada

Ronald Nolasco: There were two COVID-19 cases at work. I have been reluctant to go to work. I remember that on April 16, I came home with a fever, cough, and itchy throat. So, I called the Alberta Health Service on 811 to be swab tested. The results came in and I was confirmed positive for COVID-19.

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Sis. ELNORA LAZO

Ottawa, Canada

Elnora Lazo: I live in a small community here and I sometimes walk to work. On my way to work, I bumped into someone I know and we talked for a bit. I didn’t expect that she had COVID-19 symptoms. I got swab tested on April 2nd and the next day, the public health service called and told me that I’m positive for COVID-19.  

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Bro. RUELLE VILLANUEVA

Washington, USA

Ruelle Villanueva: In my workplace, we have about, I would say, at least 700 staff and the people that we provide services to is over 100 so that’s the reason why I ended up contracting the coronavirus—from one of the staff or one of the people that we serve. 

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Bro. RAMON ANTIMANO

Calgary, Canada

Ramon Antimano: There was an outbreak in our company. Almost 900 employees were infected with the virus. It was work as usual but we didn’t realize that all of us who were working were already COVID-19 positive. 

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Tested, yet Positive

Despite the COVID-19 pandemic, Church Of Christ members around the world are able to continue with worship services in their respective homes. 

On May 24, 2020, the Executive Minister of the Church Of Christ led a worship service to God through videoconferencing.

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Brother Eduardo V. Manalo: What does the Bible tell us even if we encounter many and severe problems? The Bible teaches us that the Lord will solve all of our problems. He will save us from all of them. God will save us not just from some of the problems we’ll experience in life but from all of them. God will solve all of our problems. 

Brethren, we’re not exempted from facing problems which might even be intense like a bad storm or like being hit by a strong wind. But as God’s true servants who were redeemed in these last days, we will be helped and not be forsaken by Him. So, we shouldn’t allow problems to hinder or distract us from reaching our destination—our goal of attaining salvation. Because no matter how difficult the problems we encounter are, God is ready to help each one of us.

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Ramon: I work with the biggest beef produce company [in Canada]. They process around 4,500 cows everyday. In the last week of January, we heard the news at work that someone there tested positive for the coronavirus. We became a bit nervous because we learned from news reports that many people are becoming infected and many are dying. I was thinking about my family. If I get infected, they might get infected too. 

While I was working, my colleague next to me collapsed. Since I was next to him, I tried to catch his fall. Little did I know he was severely ill with COVID-19. Three days after he went to the hospital, I started to have a fever. I isolated myself and called my work supervisor and human resources. And I told them I would be unable to work because I have a fever. That was the policy at work: If you have a fever, cough, sniffles, or any symptoms associated with COVID-19, call it in and isolate for 10 days. So, I isolated myself for 10 days. During those 10 days, I experienced all the symptoms: chills, muscle pains—it felt as if my whole body was being twisted, as well as severe headache. 

One of the later symptoms I experienced was difficulty in breathing. When I would inhale, I couldn’t exhale properly. Only little air would come out. I told my wife to call 911, and then I was taken to the hospital. During that time, my wife and child got swab tested, too. They also tested positive. Of course, I was sad because they got infected. But even though we got infected with that virus we all the more put our trust in God by calling to Him through prayer.

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Brother Eduardo V. Manalo: We shouldn’t be nervous or anxious over whatever we will experience. We should continue to draw near and pray to God for He hears our prayers. Remember: There’s no one else who will care for us but our Lord God. And when God cares for us, there are many blessings He will bestow on us. Not only past blessings, but even for our needs in life yet to come in the future. 

So when there’s a problem, don’t stop serving God. When there’s a problem, don’t separate from our membership in the Church Of Christ. When there’s a problem, don’t give up on your God-given duties. Our sacrifices will redound to the blessings we need that God will give us.

Brethren, when we pray to God, to whom do we also draw near? To our Lord Jesus Christ. Why? Christ is our Mediator. We can be sure that Christ won’t forsake us when we trust Him for each day’s problems. Christ will mediate for us with God so He will listen to our prayers and grant us all our needs. Brethren, may you benefit from this. 

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Ruelle: When my supervisor called me and told me bluntly that I have COVID-19, she was still talking but in my mind I was already praying. And I know God willed this to happen and He will be there to help me. 

Ronald: As a human being I may get scared and worried. But I remain brave because as a Church Of Christ member I have the advantage of having God to call upon. That’s what I did. Every night, my family would hold devotional prayers, praying that we’d be able to get through this. 

Ramon: My oxygen level wasn’t improving. I found it so hard to breathe because of COVID-19 pneumonia. So the doctor decided to place me in ICU (Intensive Care Unit). When I was in the ICU, three nurses and a doctor approached me. While I was laying down, the doctor told me, “There is no cure for COVID-19. We’ll do the best we can to help you recover.” 

If I would be put on a ventilator, I would have to be put in a medically induced coma. The doctor said that I’d be lucky to wake up within two or three days. If one or two weeks pass without waking from the coma, your chance of survival would be 50/50. I wasn’t afraid when the doctor told me that. There may not be a cure for COVID-19 but I have full faith that I have God. A God who’ll help me and can cure me. I spent three days in the ICU and every 9 pm, I’d pray to God. 

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Brother Eduardo V. Manalo: Brethren, when you draw near to God, you must believe that He will not forsake you. You must not doubt what God can do for you. God wants that those who will draw near to Him are firm and strong in their faith and not doubting. So, we should be firm in our faith as well as our membership in the Church Of Christ

That’s why worship services like this one are very important for this is when our faith becomes firm when we receive God’s teachings that we should firmly believe in. When we hold on to God’s teachings, and become firm and strong in them, when we do not doubt God’s teachings which were taught us in such a way that we respond, obey, and fulfill all of God’s will, God will answer us when we pray to Him. 

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Ramon: I never forgot to approach God and pray to Him sincerely, asking to be healed from the sickness I had. I wholeheartedly believed that I would get better. After three days of closely monitoring me, they saw that my condition was improving. When I left the ICU, the nurses were also happy for me: “Your recovery was very fast!” 

Ruelle: At this moment, I’m fully recovered. I’m done with a 14-day isolation. 

Ronald: At present, three weeks have passed since we were cleared by the Alberta Health Service and told that my family and I have totally recovered. 

Ruelle: In our perspective, it may not be good, it may not look very pleasant, but whatever it is, He knows what’s best for us. I will always remain thankful and eternally grateful to God. 

Ramon: That’s why I don’t doubt. Whatever happens to my family, we will remain members of the Church Of Christ. Whether we live or die, we are saved. That’s why illnesses and tests of faith could not hinder me from praying to God. My family and I won’t turn our backs on the right we received from God to serve Him for as long as we live. 

Ronald: I am happy to say that I’ve overcome COVID-19. There’s no reason to become sad and depressed because of this disease. Whatever test may come to my household, we will never leave the Church Of Christ.

[Video clip of homily starts]

Brother Eduardo V. Manalo: Brethren, let’s continue to lead a righteous way of life. Even if the problems are many, coming one after another, we can expect God’s help. He will not forsake us. So, let us fully believe what we are studying. May this be constantly instilled in our heart and mind. 

Whatever type of problem—light or serious—that besets us, may we remain righteous in God’s sight. Let us fulfill His will completely so we can be sure He will listen to our prayers whenever we call to Him. The Bible tells us to worship God if we want the best. If we want to experience God’s goodness, let us worship Him for in the worship service, God opens doors to all of His goodness.

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© Executive News 2020

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Faith Tested: Stories From COVID-19 Survivors