Redemption Through Grace
by: Yalina
● April 26, 2024

I work with Elizabeth. Every time we would cross paths, she always has a smile on her face. She also has a very sweet and gentle personality. But seriously, this girl’s aura is brighter than a disco ball, and her sweetness puts frappuccinos to shame. You would think she lives a happy life… And indeed she does, no doubt about it… but the road to get to where she is now took a while. When she shared her testimony with me, I was completely shocked.

In a world full of plot twists and unexpected endings, Elizabeth’s story is like the ultimate feel-good movie you can’t help but root for! Her journey proves that no matter how tough things get, the power of faith, resilience, and unwavering determination can turn the tables in your favor. Born into hardship in the Philippines, Elizabeth’s early years were marked by struggles and challenges. However, it was through her journey of overcoming adversity that she turned trials into triumphs, paving her way to redemption and transformation.


As the eldest of six children raised in a Catholic family, resilience was instilled by Elizabeth. Her father, a member of the US Army at the time, paved the way for their family to move from the Philippines to the United States – under President Bush’s initiative. She was 20 years old at the time, and optimistic about the future of a better life. The “American Dream.” But life wasn’t all rainbows and butterflies.


As she got older, she met and married a man and had 3 wonderful sons with him. Life was good… Until it wasn’t. She realized that her husband’s gambling habit turned the “American Dream” into a nightmare. Due to the immense financial loss, it forced them to live under her parents’ roof. As a result, her marriage hit rock bottom and led to divorce. And just when she thought it couldn’t get any worse, life threw a curveball with her dad’s passing.


Feeling lost, Elizabeth spiraled and found herself tangled in a web of bad decisions by hanging with the wrong crowd and succumbing to drugs. Her choices became a vicious cycle until it eventually led to her arrest and incarceration. While behind bars, she was stripped of everything precious that we all take for granted – privacy and freedom.


One day, while sitting within the confines of her jail cell, she was invited to participate in assisting women’s church services. While in attendance, she experienced a profound awakening that offered a glimmer of hope amidst the darkness. On June 15, 2016, while “Come to the Altar” was being performed, she found redemption in her newfound faith – a moment that would change the course of her life forever.


After 2.5 years with a newfound determination and divine intervention, she was released from jail and ready to turn her life around along with the 7 faithful prayers she prayed during her incarceration.


With a heart full of hope, she set out to start a new life to mend what needed to be healed… starting with her mother. It was a rocky road, but hey, Rome wasn’t built in a day.


Though the road to reconciliation was met with obstacles, Elizabeth remained committed in her belief that God’s timing is always perfect. And indeed it is. Through patience and perseverance, she earned back her mother’s trust, a victory that brought immense joy and relief. Cue the tears.


Guided by her newfound faith and surrounded by a supportive community at Charisma Life Church, Elizabeth’s life began to flourish once more. A friend of hers who also attended Charisma, led her to a job opportunity and, ultimately, to the love of her life. Embracing the possibility of love and companionship once more, Elizabeth found happiness in the arms of a man who accepted her past and wanted to be a part of her future.


As she shared her testimony, she recalled the greatness of our God, reflecting on His promise and how her 7 faithful prayers were answered.


In her words…


  1. Prayed to God and asked for His blessing to lead me to a church that would support my spiritual growth once released from incarceration.
    Answered Prayer – I found it through Charisma Life Church
  2. Prayed to God and asked for His blessing to find a program/drug rehab that would help me to be prepared before I go out into the society again.
    Answered Prayer – I was released from a drug program in Pomona and successfully graduated.
  3. Prayed to God and asked for His blessing to grant me self-discipline and to free me from the desire to use drugs.
    Answered Prayer – As of today, I have been clean & sober for 9 years, 11 Months & 20 Days. YAAAY!!! Praise The Lord!!! Thank you Jesus!!! Almost 10 years!!!
  4. Prayed to God and asked for His blessing to find a job so I can provide for my family.
    Answered Prayer – I met Sir George Rivera at Charisma Life Church and he blessed me with the opportunity to work here at TRI since 2017.
  5. Prayed to God and asked for His blessing for me & my kids to have a place of our own so we can be together as a family.
    Answered Prayer – Me and my kids were blessed with an apartment in Ontario in 2019.
  6. Prayed to God and asked for His blessing to mend my relationship with my mom and kids.
    Answered Prayer – My relationship with my mom and kids has been restored, and our relationship has been better since.
  7. Prayed to God and asked for His blessing to give me a husband who shares the same faith as I do.
    Answered Prayer – I recently got married on March 16, 2024, to a wonderful man who knows the Lord. Amen!!!

Today, Elizabeth’s testimony serves as a beacon of hope for all who have faced adversity and hardship. Her story is a reminder that redemption is not just a destination but a journey of self-reflection, patience, forgiveness, and love.

Through faith and resilience, Elizabeth emerged from the ashes stronger than ever, a living testament to the transformative power of redemption.

Life is not easy, every day we go through a lot of challenges and you might think that there is no hope and you may feel that you are at the end of your rope, just remember that we have a GOD that is faithful and loves us unconditionally no matter what. With GOD nothing is impossible to Him. What He did for me, He will do the same for you and more.
– Elizabeth

For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.
– Jeremiah 29:11

K.I.T (keep in touch)

(because we make kits, DUH)



A Barbie girl living in a Disney world where she can showcase her extravagant costumes, where extra EXTRA is never enough, where her obnoxious shower singing sounds like Beyoncé, and where she can hug random collared dogs because that most likely indicates they don’t have rabies. A hopeless romantic who binges rom-com marathons, yet despises dating and dating apps. Yalina lives, laughs, and loves on her people – her big, scattered Mexican family, and framily, who remain super close to her heart. But as an avid runner, if you can’t find her, chances are she’s running like Forrest – far, far away… from her problems… and dating.