TIM TEBOW: A STORY OF FAITH
Mother Pam’s Story
In a recent email, I read about a woman named Pam, who knows the pain of considering abortion. More than 24 years ago, she and her husband Bob were serving as missionaries to the Philippines and praying for a fifth child. Pam contracted amoebic dysentery, an infection of the intestine caused by a parasite found in contaminated food or drink. She went into a coma and was treated with strong antibiotics before they discovered she was pregnant.
Doctors urged her to abort the baby for her own safety and told her that the medicines had caused irreversible damage to her baby. She refused the abortion and cited her Christian faith as the reason for her hope that her son would be born without the devastating disabilities physicians predicted. Pam said the doctors didn't think of it as a life, they thought of it as a mass of fetal tissue.
While pregnant, Pam nearly lost their baby four times but refused to consider abortion. She recalled making a pledge to God with her husband: If you will give us a son, we’ll name him Timothy and we’ll make him a preacher.
Pam ultimately spent the last two months of her pregnancy in bed and eventually gave birth to a healthy baby boy August 14, 1987. Pam’s youngest son is indeed a preacher. He preaches in prisons, makes hospital visits, and serves with his father’s ministry in the Philippines. He also plays football. Pam’s son is Tim Tebow.
The University of Florida’s star quarterback became the first sophomore in history to win college football’s highest award, the Heisman Trophy. His current role as quarterback of the Denver Broncos has provided an incredible platform for Christian witness. As a result, he is being called The Mile-High Messiah.
Tim’s notoriety and the family’s inspiring story have given Pam numerous opportunities to speak on behalf of women’s centers across the country. Pam Tebow believes that every little baby you save matters. I pray her tribe will increase!
May the peace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you always!
TIM TEBOW'S PHILIPPINES CONNECTION
Denver Broncos quarterback, Tim Tebow announced that the Tim Tebow Foundation, working with CURE International, will be building a new children’s hospital in the Philippines. The Tebow CURE hospital is the first joint project between the two organizations. When completed, the hospital will feature a 30 bed surgical facility, with a primary focus on orthopedics. The groundbreaking is scheduled for January and the hospital is expected to be completed in 2013.
Tebow, the son of American missionary parents, was born in the Philippines. I was born in the Philippines and my parents have been missionaries to that area since 1985. The Philippines have always had a special place in my heart," Tebow said. "I'm excited to be a part of this hospital that will bring healing to thousands of children who would not otherwise have access to care."
Here is an "OLD" sports article about him when he was still in college. Although the article is old, it will give you a background on his Philippine connection.
Amidst the roaring chants of adoring fans, Tim Tebow towers like a giant in the football field as he directed the offense of his collegiate championship team, the University of Florida Gators. He was the first college sophomore to win the much-coveted Heisman Trophy, given to only the best college football players, he can stand as an equal to such football legends as Mike Ditka, Joe Schmidt, or Joe Montana. But Tim’s personal story goes beyond football. His other greatness lies in walking around as a virtual unknown in the muddy streets, dirty markets and slums of Mindanao where he preaches a message of love to those whose lives are mired in misery and poverty. My conception and birth were beautiful stories of life. They were not stories about choices. They were stories of my parents selfless love of life and their unwavering faith in God who knows and sets the bounds and ends of our lives says Tim, in describing the agonizing circumstance and joyful outcome of his birth in the Philippines, where his parents, Bob and Pam Tebow, worked for five years as Baptist Church missionaries in South Cotabato, Mindanao some 24 years ago. Because of the poor sanitation that was and still is a common situation in the rural areas of the Philippines, Tim’s mother contracted dysentery while pregnant with him. She fell into a coma. To combat her infection, her Filipino doctor administered a high dose of antibiotics that triggered the side effect of placental abruption.
The Philippines, a predominantly Catholic country, outlaws abortion except in cases when the life of the mother is endangered. Thus, the attending physician of Pam Tebow recommended abortion. But my Christian faith led me to decide otherwise, says Pam. I was flown to Makati, the country’s business capital, to seek the second advice of a medical specialist. With my strong trust in God and in the power of prayers, and encouraged by the care of my new doctor, I carried Tim to term and delivered him a normal infant. That baby who was at first handed a stillbirth sentence in the Philippines would later carry a U.S. college football team to two national championships and is marked to go down as one of the greatest players ever to play the game of football, says Urban Meyer, head coach of the University of Florida Gators, the 2006 and 2008 Bowl Championship Series (BCS) collegiate champion, with whom Tim has played as quarterback.
Twenty years after his birth in the Philippines, Tim grabbed the sports headlines in the U.S. by contributing as a key reserve in the 2006 collegiate football national championship against Ohio State University. In that championship game, he threw for one touchdown and rushed for another, finishing with 39 rushing yards, which helped secure the 41-14 victory for his Gators team.
My parents moved back here in the U.S. when I was three years old, Tim recollects. As I was still a toddler when I was there, I have vague memories of my having lived in the Philippines, except perhaps my having been in the care of my Filipina yaya (babysitter). But one thing for sure, I have a deep attachment to the country and its people. I have been joining my dad’s Christian mission to the Philippines every summer these last four years, and these trips have been my eye opener to the things that need to be done for the less fortunate people, especially children, in that part of our world. What Tim’s dad started in the Philippines some twenty years ago as a young missionary is now a strong and established ministry of 45 Filipino evangelist staff and 13 workers now funded by the Bob Tebow Evangelistic Association of Jacksonville, Florida. It’s located in Cotabato in Mindanao the hotbed of the southern Muslim insurgency. The mission is about bringing the faith of Jesus and the goodwill of the American people to over 15 million people in the island.
Through our church planting ministry, we have worked with over 10,000 local churches in the Philippines to build new churches. We also work closely with a local seminary to train local pastors. We hold seasonal charity clinics to provide free healthcare services and distribute medicines to poor people who can’t afford to see a doctor, much more, buy medicines, says Tebow’s dad, Bob. We also have built an orphanage, the Uncle Dick’s Home, that now houses more than fifty homeless orphans. Every summer, when schools are on break, Tim goes to that barangay (barrio) in the Philippines where his dad had set up his mission. There, as a virtual unknown and away from the media spotlight, he walks the streets of Cotabato and visits the markets of Digos with the Holy Bible in his hand to preach the gospel of Jesus. He saddles homeless kids on his shoulder in the slums of Sarangani and plays kuya (big brother) to them while handing out candies and chocolates. He bathes in cold water just like the natives do, and runs errands for volunteer doctors and nurses who perform surgeries on indigent patients in makeshift operating tables.
A world away from their home in Jacksonville, Florida, that faces the Atlantic, Tim finds himself in a different playing field in the island of Mindanao that is nestled in the
Pacific. It is a much different ballgame, he says. There, I hear no roaring chants from fans rooting for a touchdown, but deafening silence as people desire to receive the words of Jesus that I preach about. I see none of those eyes of adulation when we win games, but eyes of faith of people searching for Jesus who I talk about, Tim relates. You kind of find out from the get-go, what sets faith apart and what a game is just about. With all his outstanding achievements in football, Tim will definitely emerge as the top NFL draft pick of his 2010 class as soon he steps out of college. But he has set his sight and his heart on other things, too that little orphanage of more than fifty children in Mindanao that his father had founded. Those kids make me more grounded and help me put things in proper perspective, he says. At the end of the day, what matters may not only be about scoring a touchdown, but also winning the future of those kids who do not get the opportunity to receive that touch of hope and love that you and I may have the means of giving.
(Tebowing has now become an official word and has entered the dictionary. he does this every time he scores a touchdown (kneels, bows and prays). He wears his faith on his sleeve.
When Her Ex-Husband Went On A Violent Rage, Her Kids Did The Unthinkable.
WHEN I'M GONE
Rafael Zoehler Jul 29, 2015
Death is always a surprise. No one expects it. Not even terminal patients think they are going to die in a day or two. In a week, maybe. But only when this particular week is the next week.
We are never ready. It is never the right time. By the time it comes, you will not have done all the things that we wanted to. The end always comes as a surprise, and it’s a tearful moment for widows and a bore for the children who don’t really understand what a funeral is (thank God).
It was no different with my father. In fact, his death was even more unexpected. He was gone at age 27. The same age that claimed the lives of several famous musicians. He was young. Way too young. My father was not a musician and neither a famous person. Cancer doesn’t pick its victims. He was gone when I was young, and I learned what a funeral was because of him. I was 8 and half, old enough to miss him for a lifetime. Had he died before, I wouldn’t have memories. I would feel no pain. But I wouldn’t have a father in my life. And I had a father.
I had a father who was both firm and fun. Someone who would tell a joke before grounding me. That way, I wouldn’t feel so bad. Someone who kissed me on the forehead before I went to sleep. A habit which I passed on to my children. Someone who forced me to support the same football team he supported, and who explained things better than my mother. Do you know what I mean? A father like that is someone to be missed.
He never told me he was going to die. Even when he was lying on a hospital bed with tubes all over him, he didn’t say a word. My father made plans for the next year even though he knew he wouldn’t be around in the next month. Next year, we would go fishing, we would travel, we would visit places we’ve never been. Next year would be an amazing year. We lived the same dream.
I believe — actually I’m sure — he thought this should bring luck. He was a superstitious man. Thinking about the future was the way he found to keep hope alive. The bastard made me laugh until the very end. He knew about it. He didn’t tell me. He didn’t see me crying.
And suddenly, the next year was over before it even started.
My mother picked me up at school and we went to the hospital. The doctor told the news with all the sensitivity that doctors lose over the years. My mother cried. She did have a tiny bit of hope. As I said before, everyone does. I felt the blow. What does it mean? Wasn’t it just a regular disease, the kind of disease doctors heal with a shot? I hated you, dad. I felt betrayed. I screamed with anger in the hospital, until I realized my father was not around to ground me. I cried.
Then, my father was once again a father to me. With a shoebox under her arm, a nurse came by to comfort me. The box was full of sealed envelopes, with sentences where the address should be. I couldn’t understand exactly what was going on. The nurse then handed me a letter. The only letter that was out of the box.
“Your dad asked me to give you this letter. He spent the whole week writing these, and he wants you read it. Be strong.” the nurse said, holding me.
The envelope read WHEN I’M GONE. I opened it.
If you’re reading this, I’m dead. I’m sorry. I knew I was going to die.
I didn’t want to tell you what was going to happen, I didn’t want to see you crying. Well, it looks like I’ve made it. I think that a man who’s about to die has the right to act a little bit selfish.
Well, as you can see, I still have a lot to teach you. After all, you don’t know crap about anything. So I wrote these letters for you. You must not open them before the right moment, OK? This is our deal.
I love you. Take care of your mom. You’re the man of the house now.
PS: I didn’t write letters to your mom. She’s got my car.
He made me stop crying with his bad handwriting. Printing was not easy back then. His ugly writing, which I barely understood, made me feel calm. It made me smile. That’s how my father did things. Like the joke before the grounding.
That box became the most important thing in the world for me. I told my mother not to open it. Those letters were mine and no one else could read them. I knew all the life moments written on the envelopes by heart. But it took a while for these moments to happen. And I forgot about it.
Seven years later, after we moved to a new place, I had no idea where I put the box. I couldn’t remember it. And when we don’t remember something, we usually don’t care about it. If something goes lost in your memory, It doesn’t mean you lost it. It simply doesn’t exist anymore. It’s like change in the pockets of your trousers.
And so it happened. My teenage years and my mother’s new boyfriend triggered what my father had anticipated a long time before. My mother had several boyfriends, and I always understood it. She never married again. I don’t know why, but I like to believe that my father had been the love of her life. This boyfriend, however, was worthless. I thought she was humiliating herself by dating him. He had no respect for her. She deserved something a lot better than a guy she met at a bar.
I still remember the slap she gave me after I pronounced the word “bar”. I’ll admit that I deserved it. I learned that over the years. At the time, when my skin was still burning from the slap, I remembered the box and the letters. I remembered a specific letter, which read “WHEN YOU HAVE THE WORST FIGHT EVER WITH YOUR MOM”.
I ransacked my bedroom looking for it, which earned me another slap in the face. I found the box inside a suitcase lying on top of the wardrobe. The limbo. I looked through the letters, and realized that I had forgotten to open WHEN YOU HAVE YOUR FIRST KISS. I hated myself for doing that, and I decided that would be the next letter I’d open. WHEN YOU LOSE YOUR VIRGINITY came right next in the pack, a letter I was hoping to open really soon. Eventually I found what I was looking for.
Now apologize to her.
I don’t know why you’re fighting and I don’t know who’s right. But I know your mother. So a humble apology is the best way to get over this. I’m talking about a down-on-your-knees apology.
She’s your mother, kid. She loves you more than anything in this world. Do you know that she went through natural birth because someone told her that it would be the best for you? Have you ever seen a woman giving birth? Do you need a bigger proof of love than that?
Apologize. She’ll forgive you.
My father was not a great writer, he was just a bank clerk. But his words had a great impact on me. They were words that carried more wisdom than all of my 15 years of age at the time. (That wasn’t very hard to achieve, though).
I rushed to my mother’s room and opened the door. I was crying when she turned her head to look me in the eyes. She was also crying. I don’t remember what she yelled at me. Probably something like “What do you want?” What I do remember is that I walked towards her holding the letter my father wrote. I held her in my arms, while my hands crumpled the old paper. She hugged me, and we both stood in silence.
My father’s letter made her laugh a few minutes later. We made peace and talked a little about him. She told me about some of his most eccentric habits, such as eating salami with strawberries. Somehow, I felt he was sitting right next to us. Me, my mother and a piece of my father, a piece he left for us, on a piece of paper. It felt good.
It didn’t take long before I read WHEN YOU LOSE YOUR VIRGINITY
Don’t worry, it gets better with time. It always sucks the first time. Mine happened with an ugly woman…who was also a prostitute.
My biggest fear is that you’d ask your mother what virginity is after reading what’s on the letter. Or even worse, reading what I just wrote without knowing what jerking off is (you know what it is, right?). But that’s none of my business.
My father followed me through my entire life. He was with me, even though he was not near me. His words did what no one else could: they gave me strength to overcome countless challenging moments in my life. He would always find a way to put a smile on my face when things looked grim, or clear my mind during those angry moments.
WHEN YOU GET MARRIED made me feel very emotional. But not so much as WHEN YOU BECOME A FATHER.
Now you’ll understand what real love is, son. You’ll realize how much you love her, but real love is something you’ll feel for this little thing over there. I don’t know if it’s a boy or a girl. I’m just a corpse, I’m not a fortune teller.
Have fun. It’s a great thing. Time is gonna fly now, so make sure you’ll be around. Never miss a moment, they never come back. Change diapers, bathe the baby, be a role model to this child. I think you have what it takes to be an amazing father, just like me.
The most painful letter I read in my entire life was also the shortest letter my father wrote. While he wrote those four words, I believe he suffered just as much as I did living through that moment. It took a while, but eventually I had to open WHEN YOUR MOTHER IS GONE.
She is mine now.
A joke. A sad clown hiding his sadness with a smile on his makeup. It was the only letter that didn’t make me smile, but I could see the reason.
I always kept the deal I had made with my father. I never read letters before their time. With the exception of WHEN YOU REALIZE YOU’RE GAY. Since I never thought I’d have to open this one, I decided to read it. It was one of the funniest letters, by the way.
What can I say? I’m glad I’m dead.
Now, all joking aside, being half-dead made me realize that we care too much about things that don’t matter much. Do you think that changes anything, son?
Don’t be silly. Be happy.
I would always wait for the next moment, the next letter. The next lesson my father would teach me. It’s amazing what a 27 year old man can teach to an 85 year old senior like me.
Now that I am lying on a hospital bed, with tubes in my nose and my throat thanks to this damn cancer, I run my fingers on the faded paper of the only letter I didn’t open. The sentence WHEN YOUR TIME COMES is barely visible on the envelope.
I don’t want to open it. I’m scared. I don’t want to believe that my time is near. It’s a matter of hope, you know? No one believes they’re gonna die.
I take a deep breath, opening the envelope.
Hello, son. I hope you’re an old man now.
You know, this letter was the easiest to write, and the first I wrote. It was the letter that set me free from the pain of losing you. I think your mind becomes clearer when you’re this close to the end. It’s easier to talk about it.
In my last days here I thought about the life I had. I had a brief life, but a very happy one. I was your father and the husband of your mother. What else could I ask for? It gave me peace of mind. Now you do the same.
My advice for you: you don’t have to be afraid
PS: I miss you
Translated from original by Rafael Zoehler.