Monday, March 25, 2013

Lynnette's Doctors Visit: Found a Cyst

This was originally posted in Lynnette's personal blog (


This past week has been an emotional & stressful week for me and my husband but also a faith strengthener. Last week Wednesday I went in for a TVS (ultrasound) along with a routine pap smear at Saint Lukes Hospital, Global City, Philippines.

As the technician doctor was viewing the screen she kept pushing on my right side asking if it hurts when she pushes down. I answered "no". She asked me about 5 more times and my answer was still "no". The doctor calls her colleague into the room. Now I have 2 doctors in the room discussing the images on the screen.

I had no clue what they were whispering to each other as they were whispering in Tagalog. I immediately got worried.

When I came out of the room I was told to come back within an hour for the results and analysis. DJ (my husband) and I went down to the food court for some lunch and I shared with him my concerns.

An hour passed... the technician directed us to take the results to the doctors office for the analysis. I couldn't wait for the doctor to explain the results so I opened the envelope and tried to figure out the results while waiting to be seen.

I opened the envelope and read 8cm x 9cm x 6cm paraovarian cyst. My heart completely sank. I had no idea if this is cancerous or if I'm even reading the results accurately. The Gynecologist came in and she was more focused on explaining our infertility issues, but I was more focused on the cyst. She used so many medical terms we pretty much left her office with more questions. She suggested I get surgery done to remove the cyst amongst other things.


As soon as we got home, I was in a state of shock and disbelief. For some reason I kept translating "cm" into "mm"and just thought- convincing myself..."nah, it's just probably a size of a quarter" I don't need surgery. I'll just keep it in there.

Through my google search, since we left the office so confused, I discovered that a paraovarian cyst is not known to be cancerous (praise God) and is quite common for most women to have, but it's uncommon and not safe for the size that they found in me.

Still in disbelief, I was not wanting to get the surgery done due to finances, being in a foreign country, and other things. Meanwhile my husband made a diagram with the measurements of my cyst. It was as big as his fist like a full size orange. I was completely shocked and decided to pursue the surgery for health reasons.


Tomorrow we will be seeing another Gynecologist who was suggested by DJ's aunty for a second opinion. Hopefully, we will also schedule the surgery with the same doctor.

I am emotional about the results because it stirred deeper concerns beyond just the cyst. Along with the stress of whether our international insurance will cover the surgery and if it does then we will still need to pay a hefty deductible. But God reassured us in His faithfulness as we just found out that our friends (not knowing our situation) donated a hefty amount that covered exactly for the deductible. God is so Good!

I strongly believe that in the midst of all this God is brewing a miracle and a testimony to perhaps one day encourage those who may be going through something similar...

I am eagerly waiting to see how t-HIS story will end.

"Always be joyful. Never stop praying. Be thankful in all circumstances, for this is God's will for you who belong to Christ Jesus." 1 Thessalonians 5:16-19


  1. For wisdom, comfort, & peace leading up to the surgery. 
  2. Prayer for our insurance to fully cover the surgery.
  3. Protections for any lies of the enemy. 

Sunday, February 24, 2013

A Miracle at the Hope Metro Banquet


During the month of February we have been in a series called the "Love Revolution", where Pastor Nolan has been unpacking the truth of God's love for us, and how we can share that powerful, life-changing love to others.

Love is a verb...for the past two weeks our minichurches (small groups) have been organizing outreaches to love the community. Minichurches blessed the restaurants and shops with food and prayers in the building where our church meets. They blessed the jeepney and tricycle drivers. They passed out free gatorade to workers along the streets near our church. They set up a soup kitchen and gave out food, clothes and toys in our church's barangay, particularly in an area that just had a major fire. All the while we invited people to our finale, our last service of the series...a huge banquet to bless the community. 

This was not your typical banquet...What was special about this banquet was that the church members would be the ones to provide all the food and invite the people - it was not just a few servants or leaders behind this, instead it was the entire church's event to love others in a tangible way. Tonight was the Love Revolution Banquet.

Where is everybody?...Many were invited, the night started great, the worship was awesome, the food was being prepped and our servants were ready. The only problem was that when we began to serve the food less than half the seats were was underwhelming. We decided to send a small team of servants down to the streets near our church and invite anyone they saw to come have a free feast. We literally lived out the parable in Luke 14. 

Here comes the miracles...Shortly after, people came flooding into the church, every seat was filled, others were standing. What started with about 80 people, swelled to 350, 78 of those being kids! The problem wasn't getting people to come, it was finding them a place to sit!

Miraculously God provided...there was enough food for everyone and left overs for our servants to eat afterwards, and even enough to take some home! Our plan was for everyone to donate enough food for 250 people, in the end God had miraculously multiplied it, not just to barely pull it off, but to overflowing amounts!

But more than just food, hope was served...miraculously God changed lives. People heard the life changing message of the gospel and 45 people gave their life to the Lord! For others, hope was restored and renewed. They found true hope and now their lives will never be the same. I was blessed to see the members of Hope Metro truly live out their identity as messengers of hope. They overflowed God's love through their outreaches, their invitations and their heart to serve those who came to the banquet. 

Many more miracles to come...In January, Pastor Nolan said that 2013 would be "a year of miracles". Tonight we saw that become reality...and this is only the second month of an amazing year ahead of us. 


Monday, November 12, 2012

God Answers Prayers (again) - Learning Tagalog!


This was the Dilemma...
Over six months ago, Lynnette and I had to stop our Tagalog classes that we were taking because it was too far from our new home which was closer to our church. It was killing me inside because I really enjoyed the classes and was learning a lot. We discovered that there was another Tagalog language school nearer to our new place, but because of the much higher cost it wasn't something we could sign up for. 

A few months went by and I really felt like God was leading me to take these classes so I shared it with Lynnette, but when we looked at our budget, we simply needed the money for other basic things. And even if extra money came in, we would need it to cover our expenses since we are short each month. So, I did my best to start learning on my own, but even my Rosetta Stone software stopped working on me. To make it even more painful, I met a missionary here from Canada who went to that same Tagalog language school near our place, and after a year and a half he is pretty much fluent, it was pretty inspiring to hear him speak, but I have to admit I was envious. But I knew that the money wasn't there so I just continued to pray for God to make a way. 

Just a Side Note...
Recently I've been really getting into video, and I had the opportunity to donate time to do a promotional video for a non-profit organization called Samaritana (an incredible Christian organization that ministers to women in prostitution). My hope is to be able to tell more stories of others through video to help their cause. Fortunately they really liked it, and I was excited because I had at least one video in my portfolio to promote my services. 

A long shot...
So, back to the Tagalog language school story. I decided to email the school to let them know that I didn't have the funds to take classes, but asked if they were willing to do a trade of services. I could do a promotional video for them (and web work too if they needed) in exchange for them to teach me Tagalog. I sent them that one video in my portfolio. I thought it might be a long shot, but it was worth a try since I had nothing to lose.

The God factor...
The school emailed me the same day and in it they were praising God because they really felt this was an answer to their prayers. First, they've been wanting to do a promo video, but never had the resources or funds to do it. Second they've been needing help with their website but couldn't afford someone to help them. Praise God, because my prayers were answered too! Its awesome how God works! Here are two things that I am passionate about getting better at, video and Tagalog - and God put them come together in one beautifully wrapped package.


Friday, November 2, 2012

Garces Newsletter - November 2012 Update!

Dear friends and family,

We miss seeing everyone face to face, and although it pales in comparison, we are thankful for the connection that Facebook can often provide! Thank you for following our journey as we minister here in the Philippines - it's already been a year and 5 months! We've already been seeing young people coming to Christ and sharing their faith with others. God is doing an amazing thing at Hope Chapel Metro, and we expect to see much more in the upcoming year!

For more details on what's been happening view our newest newsletter video for some highlights of the past couple of months:


DJ continues as the Train Pastor, overseeing our minichurches (small groups), discipleship programs/strategy, videos, and the programming of our services. He also disciples some young men in his minichurch each week. 

Lynnette has been continuing in her role as the Church Administrator, Accountant and Kids Venture (children's church) Director, which has definitely kept her busy! She has also been discipling young ladies in her minichurch each week.

Since June some of our regular supporters could not continue in there generous support which resulted in us being short $570 each month, but by God's grace He's provided each time through unexpected one-time donations and occasional website work for DJ.

However, starting in March we'll have a new rent expense of $300.

In total, we need to raise an additional:

$870/month ($570 + $300)


$9840 for the entire year

In order for us to continue in the Philippines, we would like you to prayerfully consider partnering with us in our mission through financial support. We would be incredibly grateful for any amount, for we know the sacrifice it often requires to give. And, as always, we would be blessed to have your prayers as well.

If you feel led to support us through a recurring monthly amount or a one-time donation, please let us know by Fri, November 23rd. You can give online at this link:
(Donations are tax deductible and 100% will be deposited to us).
Let us know if you would like to see a breakdown of our expenses, we'd be happy to send that to you.

May you be overwhelmed by God's love and blessing,

DJ and Lynnette


Hope Chapel Metro's First Youth Camp

Last weekend was Hope Chapel Metro's first Youth Camp let by one of our new young leaders! It was a great camp, lives were transformed and inspired. I had a chance to teach on the first night and Lynnette helped in ministering to the young women. 

Here is a short highlight video I put together of the camp:


Saturday, October 20, 2012

Garces Fostering to Adopt: Our Decision Confirmed

This was originally posted in Lynnette's personal blog (


"So, don't lose heart... though our outer self is wasting away, our inner self is being renewed day by day. For this light momentary affliction is preparing for us an eternal weight of glory beyond all comparison." 2 Corinthians 4:16-17

After a month of intentionally spending time with God in regards to "Fostering to Adopt", we have come to a decision. It has been very emotional and draining time of seeking for the directed path only because I was being stubborn in listening to God.

This past Saturday, DJ and I decided to start fostering in November. Our heart was set, which also meant that I would not be able to attend the Women's Arise Conference in January that I already committed to going several months ago. 

On Sunday, not knowing that DJ and I made a decision to start fostering starting in November and that I had already made a decision not to go to the conference, my friend Jay pulled me to the side and shared how she really needs me to go to the conference with her as her support.  My heart just sunk! I was torn... do I let go of my desires to foster a child or do I be loyal to my friend and attend the conference. After the meeting, I ended up crying to my friend Valeree because I knew in my heart that it was a confirmation from God that I have been pushing aside. God used Jay to shake my heart to listen to His voice. 

Hope Chapel Metro: Arise Women's Ministry

I got home from church and talked with DJ with tears discussing what was being confirmed in my heart. I shared with him how I felt that in this season God wants me to continue to focus on the ministries He has called me to serve Him in. As I was sharing with pain, the story of Abraham and Isaac resonated peacefully in my heart... which gave me great comfort. 

I told God that, "Lord, I will give up my own desires of fostering a child to be obedient to your call for me in the Philippines." tears, tears, I know God's dream for me is far more greater than mine. I know without a doubt God will bless us abundantly as we focus on drawing even closer to Him. I know that in His precious time God will give us a child whether through fostering or naturally.

Just last night, while in the process of mourning, I got a message on Facebook from a friend April Brangenberg. God bless her as God totally used her to speak encouragement to me... (Thank you April for sharing your wonderful gifts and praying for us)... Her message was a great reminder of what God has shared with me also. God is so amazing!

Here is the godly message she shared with me...

From April Pacleb Brangenberg

Dear Lynnette,

As I was praying for you and DJ regarding the possibilities you are facing about a baby, God brought two things to mind:

1. As much as your heart yearns to hold, love on, and nurture a child of your own, yearn even more deeply for God.

2. As much as you yearn to love on a child with your whole heart... God yearns to love on you... a zillion times more.

He knows you and loves you that much... already!

Can you imagine?

Allow Him to come ever closer to you. Allow Him to drink you in, to hold you, to feel the warmth and tenderness of you in His arms, pressed in so gently and securely upon His chest that you can hear His heart beat - just for you.

Allow Him to embrace you as He feels full and satisfied deep inside - as He breathes in the sweet perfume of you - in the same way that you love to breathe in that sweet, beautiful, joyful "baby smell."

Allow Him to enjoy you in the still quietness and trust of who God is for you... without your questions, fears and doubts. You know He loves you. You know He knows your needs. You know He will continue to provide for you.

You know He will continue to love, nurture and grow you in the likeness of His very own Son, Jesus, because you, dear Lynnette, have been created in your Father's image too.

Allow God to bless you.

And rest in His love.

He is so willing to do this... to do all of this... with you.

Invite Him. Welcome Him. Enjoy Him.

Now. And forevermore.

With much love and joy because we belong to Him,


Friday, October 12, 2012

Lynnette's MC Prayer Outreach

Lynnette wanted to challenge her Mini-Church (small group) to do a prayer outreach at a shopping center where our church Hope Chapel Metro has its services. Within the shopping center there are numerous stores, & restuarants to minister to.


TRAINING SESSION: Lynnette created a mini-training session prior to the outreach and had her MC ladies role play so that they may feel comfortable when doing the outreach. For some it was their first time doing such an outreach. 


PURPOSE: Lynnette's heart was to have each of her MC ladies "adopt" one of the stores and committ to praying for them for 1 week. The purpose was to bless the people by praying for them and building a relationship.


OUTREACH: Lynnette had the MC ladies go into their adopted stores and minister to either the store owner or the workers by asking if they can pray for them. The ladies were also asked to share 1-3 minutes of their testimony. The ladies left each store by sharing with the store owners and workers how they will be committed to praying for them throughout the week. In the end, the MC ladies recieved each store's contact information so that they may text or email throughout the week encouraging them through prayers or scriptures. 


FOLLOWUP: Next Sunday, the ladies will return to their "adopted" stores and follow up with them building bridges and relationships with the store owners and workers of IL Terrazzo. 

VIDEO: Here is a footage Lynnette documenting during their outreach: