VATICAN City, Oct. 10, 2014—A Filipino couple who had once been faced with the possibility of aborting their own child, shared with the Holy Father and the world’s prelates gathered at the Synod on the Family the decision they made the day they said no to abortion.
Healthy baby girl
“On my fourth pregnancy, I was diagnosed with gestational diabetes and preeclampsia. We were told that my life would be at risk if I continued the pregnancy and my child had a high probability of being born abnormal,” shared Cynthia Campos, a mission volunteer of Couples for Christ (CFC), who was with her husband George, CFC executive director, and Manila Archbishop Luís Antonio G. Cardinal Tagle representing the Philippines at Synod 14 on Oct. 8.
“We were advised to choose between terminating the pregnancy and taking the risk. It was truly a test of faith and surrender. We decided to have the baby and to abide by the will of God,” she said.
“By God’s grace, we both survived and my daughter Christen is now very healthy and full of life,” Campos added.
Married in 1987, husband-and-wife George and Cynthia Campos have been blessed with four children.
As CFC members, they commit themselves to living as “Families in the Holy Spirit Renewing the Face of the Earth” and to a mission of “Building the Church of the Home and of the Poor”.
But the Camposes’ story is not as simple as it seems.
Serving as a family
Cynthia would have been a nun but was told by a priest she was consulting that a cloistered life was not for her.
“I applied to be a nun with the Rosas Hermanas (Sister Servants of the Holy Spirit), a contemplative congregation. I was accepted. However, I was asked to undergo a one-on-one directed retreat with a priest. At the end of the retreat the priest said, ‘You are not meant for the religious life. God will give you a husband who will help you rear the children who will serve Him in the future. Your work is outside’.”
George, a former altar server at the convent his future wife was applying to, had an enviable position in a company he dedicated 25 years of his life to—until God called him.
“At age 46, I opted to resign. I told the owner that I have spent the first half of the prime of my life serving this company and now I want to spend the 2nd half serving the Lord,” he said.
Cynthia, at 47, quit her job also, so that the two could serve together as a couple.
“We have grown deeper in faith and love for the Lord through our teaching formations and weekly household prayer meetings with other couples. This blessed encounter with Jesus led us to become fulltime missionary disciples. Our children are following suit. They have joined the CFC Family Ministries beginning with Kids, Youth and Singles for Christ. We have been in missions together in Vietnam, Thailand and Australia,” George added.
In 1998, Cynthia was diagnosed with breast cancer, and was told by her doctor she had only three to six months left to live.
Instead of letting the illness take over their lives, the Campos couple and children stood fast in their service, knowing they are supported by the prayers of their family and their CFC community.
Cynthia shared, “My prayer was ‘Lord, with just a flick of your finger you could change my illness. You just have to will it.’ God heard our prayers, for now I am standing before you cured with a simple medical intervention and a dose of antibiotics,” she said. (Raymond A. Sebastián)