We All Need Fellowship

Meet Roxy!

We all need fellowship, people who care about us, a place to belong–and V2, Virtue, and Valor Bible study groups are one example of how the Lord connects the body of Christ at Harvest. Not only does He use V2, Virtue, and Valor to help make a big church small, the Lord matures us in deeper study of His Word, love, and accountability with others. To top it off, God calls many to leadership through the spiritual maturity that comes through these ministries.

One such example can be seen in Roxy, one of the Virtue Women’s group leaders.

Roxy moved from the Philippines to Northern California when she was 23. Fast-forward six years, which is when she met her husband, Nabil (means Noble). They were introduced to each other through a mutual friend.

Roxy and Nabil had a long-distance relationship in the beginning. Nabil worked for a major corporation, was assigned to work at an office in the Philippines, and traveled a lot. Roxy and Nabil got married in the Philippines six months after they met. When Nabil was reassigned to corporate headquarters in Cincinnati, Ohio, they moved back to the United States.

Roxy and Nabil had one child, their daughter Kara, in June of 1989. Two years after Kara was born, Nabil was diagnosed with cancer. “He was in and out of the hospital for over year. I really didn’t think much about death. When Nabil got so sick that he couldn’t breathe, I actually prayed for God to take him,” Roxy shares. Not being a believer at the time, it was the first time Roxy had really prayed to God. When Nabil passed in 1993 Roxy was angry at God. “I prayed again asking, ‘Why did you take him, God?’ I was left to raise Kara on my own. How could God be so mean? I was devastated and felt utterly alone. I’ll never forget one night in bed when I was holding her, crying, she patted me on the chest and said, ‘Don’t worry, Momma. I’m here with you.’ She was only four!”

Saddened and confused, Roxy was more open to God. When a mutual friend invited Roxy to church after Nabil’s passing, Roxy went. She went a few times but didn’t put her faith in Jesus when she was still living in Ohio.

A year after Nabil passed away Roxy moved to California. “I wanted to be closer to family. My brother and sister both lived in Southern California so I moved here in 1994.” Roxy’s brother, Rolando and his wife, Portia, were strong believers and invited her to go to church where Portia’s father was the pastor. “I was convicted of my sin and started having a desire to know God more,” Roxy recounts. Roxy was blessed with the ability to purchase a house in Irvine in 1994. Unfortunately, a year later both siblings moved out of state. “I was on my own with my daughter again.”

When Kara was about nine years old, her best friend from school was going to Sunday school at a large church in south Orange County. “Kara wanted to go because they had some fun activities for kids, so we started going,” says Roxy. “Even though I hosted a Bible study in my house and served in a few capacities, I was living as a lukewarm Christian and wasn’t living in obedience to God’s Word.”

One day Roxy heard Pastor Greg on the radio (KWVE 107.9). She liked his teaching so much that she started listening to him on a regular basis. In 2010, Roxy heard Pastor Greg give an announcement for midweek services in Irvine. “I was so excited! Since I live in Irvine I could go hear Pastor Greg teach in person!” Roxy remembers. Soon after, she started going to Harvest Orange County on Thursday nights at Free Chapel. “When Pastor Greg gave the altar call, I got goosebumps; I made an inner commitment and turned away from my sin. God ignited a flame in me.”

When Harvest OC officially opened on Campus Drive in Irvine and started regular Sunday and midweek services, Roxy stopped going to the church in south OC and started attending Harvest.

“I really wanted some way to connect with other women at the church, so as soon as I heard about Virtue, I joined,” Roxy said. “The first real friends I met at Harvest OC I met through Virtue. My first Virtue group leader was Kathy Batstone; she was very sweet, soft-spoken, and welcomingly warm. I don’t remember what we studied but it got me reading the Bible more. I always did my lesson and participated in the group. I wasn’t shy.”

The Lord gave Roxy a desire to serve Him at Harvest OC. She vividly recalls praying that infamous prayer many of us have prayed, “Lord, use me.” A few days after praying that prayer, Roxy got a letter in the mail from the Virtue leadership inviting her to attend a prospective Virtue leadership tea. Roxy expected the Lord might use her as a greeter in hospitality or something. “Never in a million years did I think God would call me into leadership, especially leadership at Harvest, after listening to Pastor Greg on the radio for years. I was baffled by the invitation to lead. I didn’t even know the Bible that well and wondered why they would choose me. I broke down in tears realizing the Lord had answered my prayer above and beyond what I could ever imagine.”

Roxy has been a Virtue group leader ever since (six years). “God has grounded me in the Word. I know more now. I love being in the Word and spending time with Him. I stay very connected with the girls from my group. So much so that when Virtue goes on their break for the summer, I often have Bible studies in my home for the women.” Roxy is a huge blessing to so many. Her peaceful countenance is contagious.

And although Roxy lost her husband and was left to raise a daughter on her own, God was pursuing her the entire time. God opened the windows of Heaven through friends and fellowship for Roxy, and He can do the same for you!

To join a Virtue, V2, or Valor group visit v2.harvest.org for more information.