Paul Anthony De Jesus, 37, is married to Marie Paz, 36. They have five children: Joan Irish, 14; Josh Ivan, 13; John Irvin,12; Jazh Ivonne, 8; and Jan Iram, 4.
They live in Dasmariñas, Cavite.
Paul is a cancer patient. He was diagnosed with Nasopharyngeal Carcinoma (NPCA) in 2012.
After a year of treatment, he was cleared of NPCA. But the disease recurred in May 2014 and the cancer had spread to his lungs.
Despite his illness, Paul teaches Accountancy at the Far Eastern University (FEU) in Manila.
Sometime in 2001, after his eldest was born, Paul stopped going to church.

His Story

I thought I had a strong spiritual foundation. I studied in a Catholic school from grade school to high school, and even served as a sacristan, or altar boy in my younger years.

As I grew older, I led a simple, ordinary life—getting a diploma, getting married, having children, working, smoking, drinking.

There was just one thing not-so-ordinary about me.  I had a mindbinder— a theory, if not a crazy superstitious belief.

I noticed that every time my family and I would go together to church, my wife Marie or one of our children would suffer an illness— a simple cold or cough, or something grave requiring hospital confinement.

So, sometimes, I skipped church to test if no one would get sick. True enough, I somehow established my theory was correct. Eventually, I stopped going to church.

Or, the mindbinder may just be an excuse for not going to church. Actually, I could not go because I had to work on Sundays.

My wife Marie and I both worked but our combined income was not enough to support our needs. So, I sought another job on weekends. I taught in a review center for students who would take up the Certified Public Accountants (CPA) board examination.

That totally took up my Sundays leaving me no time for church and even my family.

My wife was wiser. She regularly went to Mass with our kids. She would go with all four kids in tow at our parish church.

Eventually, she found out about Feast Valle Verde through her friend Jeck Suratos, and she attended in October 2009. From then on, she and the kids would attend there regularly.

When I still wouldn’t go with them, she complained that she was having difficulty bringing our four kids to The Feast. But, I stood my ground. I had my reasons and she knew it. She just didn’t agree with it.

Finding The Feast

One Sunday in October 2010, I was left with no excuse to skip church. It was the day for the Accountancy board exam. There was no review class. So, I went— albeit reluctantly— to Feast Valle Verde with my wife and children.

It happened that on that Sunday, the talk of Bro. Bo Sanchez, titled Relationship Reborn, was about giving ample time to loved ones to strengthen one’s relationship with them.

Listening to the talk, I realized the trap that I put myself in. I focused on my job because I wanted to provide well for my family, but in the process, I did not have time anymore to bond with my wife and my children.

Bro. Bo’s talk inspired me to resolve that henceforth, I would keep a balance between my time for my family and my work.

I liked the Feast so much, I also decided to attend regularly. But wait, one thing troubled me— my superstition that every time I attend Mass, a family member gets sick. It was really a crazy belief and to shake it off,  the following day, I checked if any of my kids or my wife got sick because I heard Mass at The Feast. To my relief, everybody was fine.

I then realized how wrong I’d been all those years of not attending Mass. The Feast had set me free from my crazy mindbinder.

But I was still tied with the contract to teach in the review class every Sunday. So, I was not able to go back to The Feast right away.

My contract ended in December 2010. I decided not to teach on Sundays anymore so I could spend time with God and my family.

My family and I now regularly go to The Feast. And I now enjoy a better relationship with my wife and kids.

I’ve learned much more from the talks of Bro. Bo. One lesson is about tithing. Marie and I decided to set aside a Love Offering to God every Feast Sunday.

Bro. Bo said the Bible teaches that God would not be outgiven— that whatever you give Him, He would return to you double or more. True enough, since we’ve been tithing, we’ve been enjoying financial blessings.

One other lesson I learned from Bro. Bo’s talks at The Feast is Jesus’ mandate to make disciples for Him. I’ve applied the teaching by echoing the talks in my class and encouraging my students to attend The Feast.

As a whole, The Feast talks make you put order into your life so you become a winner. This is so true for me and my family. And now for my students too. Some of them are now attending the Feast Bay Area.

But the most important blessing I’ve received is that  The Feast has strengthened my faith in God— so well, that I’ve held on to Him in the most harrowing trial I now face.

But with prayer support from my family and friends at The Feast, I held on, until one day, the cancer just went away.

In May 2014, however,  the cancer cells recurred. And doctors also found malignant tumor in my lungs— apparently a consequence of my smoking and drinking sprees in the past.

The first time I had cancer, I believe God used many to help my family get by the first time. Our relatives, Feast friends, colleagues, and my students—even those from different religions prayed for me and raised money for my treatments.

So we managed to pay for the children’s tuition fees, expenses at home, and amortization for our house and car.

Now, surely, God will make a way again. Who am I to question Him or His ways? Facing life with two cancers and five children to look after, I can only hold on to His hand tighter.

Instead of wallowing in despair, I am moving. Despite my cancer, I have decided to join The Feast’s spiritual formation group called Radical Men so that God may better use me to inspire more people to go on with life despite the difficulties. I believe I am one living proof of God’s love and faithfulness.

In September 2012, I was diagnosed with Nasopharyngeal Carcinoma (NPCA) or cancer of the nasopharynx, the upper part of the throat behind the nose and near the base of the skull.

The mindbinder  was back as if hunting me. I couldn’t help asking God why did had to happen. I struggled to get it off my system and to focus on God’s love.

I underwent chemotherapy and radiation sessions. To be able to pay my medical bills, we had to cut down on expenses. We had to transfer the children to a less expensive school. It was heartrending.

It helped that my insurance claim for critical illness was approved. I was told that my insurance company has a tendency to deny such claims due to my faulty medical records.

I attribute the approval to my wife’s regular tithing.She told me later that one time in December 2012, when we were down and out, she stuffed P2,000 in the Love Offering envelope at The Feast and surrendered our case to God. We received much more than that in return.

And, with prayer support from my family and friends at The Feast, I held on, until one day, the cancer just went away.

In May 2014, however, the cancer cells recurred. And doctors also found malignant tumor in my lungs— apparently a consequence of my smoking and drinking sprees in the past.

The first time I had cancer, I believe God used many to help my family get by the first time. Our relatives, Feast friends, colleagues, and my students—even those from different religions prayed for me and raised money for my treatments.

So we managed to pay for the children’s tuition fees, expenses at home, and amortization for our house and car.

Instead of wallowing in despair, I am moving on. Despite my cancer, I have decided to join The Feast’s spiritual formation group called Radical Men so that God may better use me to inspire more people to go on with life despite the difficulties. I believe I am one living proof of God’s love and faithfulness.

Back to The Church

When I came back to the Church in 2009, I came back for good. Nothing can come between the Lord and myself now. The bigger and harder the trial, the closer I cling to Him. He’s all I’ve got. I have more to lose if I let go of His hand now.

Looking back, I am thankful to my wife Marie, who never got tired of reminding me of my obligation to God and who, to this day, stands with me through this challenge. Through her, I found my way back to God and was reminded of His generosity, His infinite love, mercy, and blessings. Through her and our children, I find the strength to keep on living and to dream for a long and happy life with them and my future grandchildren.