Ruined by Gambling, Redeemed by Christ

Two men in Cebu sit in the marketplace
Gerald's gambling addiction ruined his life, but thanks to friends like you, Gerald was plugged into a church that showed him a new way.

How do you know when your gambling habit’s gotten out of hand? Probably when you stop coming home . . . for three months straight.

Gerald had a mind for greatness. He started his business at a young age and quickly earned millions in pesos, the Philippines’ currency. He had more than enough to support a wife and two sons.

It’s no wonder Gerald thought a little gambling at the casino would be harmless.

However, his great mind didn’t prepare him for how gambling sucks people in and takes over their lives.

Gerald stopped coming home for three months. He lost 150 million pesos. He lost his business. And he might have lost his family — if it weren’t for kind supporters like you.

An Addiction He Couldn’t Shake

Gerald returned to his family in utter ruin. To say those relationships were strained is probably an understatement.

He worked hard to scrape together a living, but his sons still had to drop out of college.

Gerald felt lost and worthless.

Eventually, a friend loaned Gerald money to restart his business. Just like before, Gerald quickly started earning big money. But with all that cash, Gerald couldn’t resist taking another round at the casino.

Gerald knew the consequences of gambling. He knew the humiliation. But the lure of the casino was too strong. He started gambling, and he didn’t know how to stop.

A feeling of emptiness and meaninglessness grew in Gerald’s heart. And finally, Gerald decided to call someone he had been firmly avoiding: Michael.

A Friend with a Testimony

Michael and Gerald used to be good friends. But then Michael had traded atheism for Jesus. And he got serious about his new Christian faith.

Gerald had avoided this Christian version of Michael for a long time. He didn’t see the need for it, and he certainly didn’t want to get involved himself. But as that emptiness grew in Gerald’s heart, he became desperate.

Gerald invited Michael out for a meal. And when Michael began sharing how God had changed his life, Gerald listened.

A Church with the Gospel

Pathway Community Church Office

Gerald’s friend Michael went to a church planted by TEAM missionaries. After Gerald attended for the first time, he was eager to know more about God.

Thanks to generous friends like you, Michael had an awesome church that had taught him to how to share his faith. Pathway Community church was planted by TEAM missionaries on the Philippines island of Cebu. The church leaders believe every member should actively be discipled and disciple others.

Michael invited Gerald to give church a try — and Gerald did! Then, a TEAM missionary, David North, invited Gerald and Michael to get lunch later that week.

At lunch, David listened intently as Gerald shared his story. Then David pulled out a Gospel tract and began to explain it.

The little booklet was called “Steps to Peace with God.” As Gerald listened, he knew he had finally found the answer to his problems.

Right there in the restaurant, Gerald gave his life to Jesus!

A Life Changed Forever

The change in Gerald was immediate.

After giving his life to Christ, Gerald lost all desire to gamble. He’s stopped completely.

In June of 2019, Gerald decided to be baptized — and his wife and sons agreed to come to the service.

While sharing his testimony, Gerald asked his entire family for his forgiveness. He told them how grateful he was for each of them, and how grateful he was for Jesus Christ. Emotion filled the room as the whole family cried and hugged each other.

“The family are amazed at the change in Gerald’s life and the joy he has in Christ,” David says.

Today, Gerald is a regular attender at Pathway, and Michael is discipling him in the ways of the Lord. But it wouldn’t be possible without the support of kind friends like you.

If you’ve given to or prayed for TEAM’s ministry, we want to say thank you! Gerald’s life is just one example of the incredible things God does through you every day. Please pray for Gerald’s family so they can be transformed by the light of Jesus, too!

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About the author

Bethany DuVal

Bethany DuVal served as TEAM's marketing manager and editor. She is passionate about helping others tell their stories, whether they're missionaries on the field, new believers or part of a missionary support team. When she's not writing, she enjoys reading books and hiking in the Smoky Mountains.


Leave a comment
  • Yes, a truly beautiful story of Redemption for Gerald. May God continue to work
    in his life and bring much fruit, amen. And so glad for his family’s sake and for a
    true friend in Michael, praise Jesus.

  • Thank you for sharing a wonderful history, remind as if we did a wrong doing asked forgiveness. I am also into gaming niche and love to cite your article to my new blogs hope you can visit my site and share your valuable idea thanks.

    • Hi Andrew. Yes, Gerald’s story is a great reminder of how our loving God is ready to forgive us when we admit and turn away from our sin and trust that Jesus’s death and resurrection washes us clean. Please feel welcome to share this story with whomever you think would benefit from it.

  • An amazing story of a Loving Father whose arms are always open. May God continue to bless and use Michael and Team who are there leading people into the Kingdom of God. Amen

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