My heart is broken. For Shiloh Jubilee Curtis left this earth to join her risen Savior on Tuesday morning, April 22nd – the day her parents were excitingly waiting for to finally bring her home. Of course, our hearts aren’t broken for her – she is finally completely healed and whole! Praise God! They’re broken for Jon and Anna, the precious parents who God entrusted with this amazing treasure of a baby girl (or princess, as they lovingly called her) for nearly 4 months. My many prayers that went up daily for their princess are now going up on their behalf. When Jon called to tell us what had happened, it took my breath away. And I admit that I got out of bed and went into my closet that night to cry out to God and tell Him that I was sure that our plan for Shiloh to be completely healed here on this earth was better than His – that He would surely have received more glory MY way. Thankfully, He doesn’t mind it at all when we pour out our hearts to share our pain and frustrations. (Not the first time I’ve told Him something like that.) He knows my heart – my unswerving love for my Savior and my passion for my friends. Thankfully, He always responds with overflowing love and grace in a reassurance of His eternal plan – which includes all the hope we could ever need. We do not live as those without hope!
Jon and Anna, know beyond any doubt that the strength of your faith in God during this journey with Shiloh has brought Him much glory. Many people saw our Savior for the first time because of you. And the others of us who already knew Him were inspired to grow to know, love, and trust Him more. Shiloh’s life has had an eternal impact in the kingdom of God. He is good! Also know that your heavenly Father loves you passionately and relentlessly. (I know you know that.) He holds your broken hearts in His hands. “He Himself has said, ‘I will never desert you, nor will I ever forsake you’” Hebrews 13:5b. May the powerful embrace of His presence bring you much comfort and hope on this horribly difficult road.
Before I go on, if you’ve never read my February 21st interview post with Jon about worshiping in the difficult place – how worship impacted their time when Shiloh in the NICU, please read it. It will inspire you, and it will give you a foundation for the rest of what you read here.
Also, in my first post with Jon, I provided an opportunity for people to donate to the large medical bills that Jon and Anna, missionaries in Manila, Philippines, have incurred over the past 4 months. It breaks my heart that while their arms are now empty, they still have thousands of dollars in bills to pay for their battle for Shiloh’s life. I am praying that the church will be the Church for Jon and Anna Curtis and will step up and cover all of the burden of their medical bills. Join me in that prayer. What is a large amount for one couple to pay (especially on a missionary income), becomes a much smaller burden if all of us together do what we can – what God calls us to do. Would you be willing to pray to see how God might have you help out His servants? Some of you may be called to give several hundred dollars, while others may be called to give a small amount. The point isn’t the amount – the point is to be faithful. Acts has great examples of people stepping up to give to those who had need. It’s the Body being the Body. We have a very real need here, and we can play a big part in lifting this part of their burden. Each small offering of help is a huge relief to their already struggling hearts. Here’s where you can give: Shiloh’s medical expenses. (NOTE: You must have a PayPal account to donate here, which is easy to set up. Also, if you tried to donate for Shiloh’s medical expenses previously but the link didn’t work, please TRY AGAIN. It’s been fixed. Let me know if you have any other problems!)
Jon’s post sharing what had happened Tuesday morning:
It is with a heavy heart that I share with the faithful that have battled with us that Princess Shiloh Jubilee had an apnea episode at 6:00am today and our doctors could not revive her. She received her complete healing at 7:45am as she crossed over into Glory with Jesus. She was just five days shy of her 4th month birthday. Princess Shiloh has touched so many lives with her journey. Thank you to everyone for your prayers, love, generosity through this journey. God is faithful! God is good!
Jon’s statement at Shiloh’s memorial Wednesday night:
Many have asked, how can we help or what can we do for you? My heart searches for the words to say and what comes forth is this, “Make every day count!” James 4:14 says, “Why, you do not even know what will happen tomorrow. What is your life? You are a mist that appears for a little while and then vanishes.”
For 117 days, Shiloh Jubilee fought and found victory each and every day. She found the ultimate victory when she stepped into Glory with our Lord Jesus Christ yesterday. Our daughter whose time was very short on this earth impacted thousands upon thousands around the world with her journey.Through her life several were saved, several received their own healing, faith was renewed, hope restored, and hearts transformed because of her story. She didn’t have time to store earthly treasures where moth and rust destroy. However, she did enter heaven rich with the legacy she left behind.
We knew before Shiloh Jubilee was born that this journey wouldn’t be easy, but we were assured by our Father and His Word that it wouldn’t be one walked alone, He would be alongside us the whole way.
When we discovered that Shiloh would be born with abnormalities and would later be diagnosed with a rare syndrome, Trisomy 18 during Anna’s ultrasound, we acknowledged the doctor’s report, but declared the report of the Lord. We were given the option at that time to abort, but told that Shiloh statistically wouldn’t make it full term or would most likely die before, during, or shortly after birth.
Anna and I strengthened our faith in His Word, in worship,and in prayer and committed to do whatever it took to give Shiloh an opportunity at life. We were told the costs would be large and burdensome, we were told that the options available to care and raise Shiloh were very limited, the record of previous cases wasn’t positive, and so much more, but we moved forward. We acknowledged what was before us and we continued on. Several of Shiloh’s roommates passed away. Death knocked many times, but it didn’t win. We were victorious!
Many have said that our faith and strength throughout has been inspiring, encouraging, and life giving. It’s humbling to hear that. All glory is God’s. Our faith and strength come from Him. Perhaps, it is our stubbornness that helped us, because we refused to accept a report contrary to what we believed. If God is for us, who can be against us? Even when the voices of our medical team and what we saw in the natural were so loud, the still small voice within was louder, speaking Shalom peace over our hearts. When it seemed so heavy to carry, He carried it. When the rains and storms came, He provided the umbrella to protect us. We fought the fight of faith and won. It was a win-win. Shiloh received her healing.
Our takeaways from this journey: God is faithful. He is good. His Word doesn’t return void and it accomplishes what it was sent out to do. His love surrounds us. Worship sustains us. In His presence there is fullness of joy. There is power in agreement. Life isn’t lived alone. Live everyday to the fullest. Every day is a gift. Life is short. Be eternally mindful. Your story matters. Our faith isn’t just for us. It is more blessed to give than receive. Generosity is the way of the Kingdom. Circumstances are subject to change when He walks on the scene. Expect miracles every day. Love wins. Grace empowers. Praying in the Holy Spirit is strengthening and life-giving. Faith is real. Even in our storms is the capacity to give, to love, to serve, and bless others. His grace is sufficient. Healing is ours. Family is important.
Miracles/breakthroughs: – low set ears readjusted by God to normal setting. – two holes in her heart, one healed and second reduced from 0.4cm to 0.2cm – bilateral clenched fists loosened – underdeveloped lungs formed and working properly – born 1lb 3oz, died 5lbs 7oz – three blood transfusions – no nose holes and God miraculously created them – diagnosed with pneumonia twice – eyes were protected after prolonged O2 use – brain activity was classified as normal – on ventilator support 3x – survived an overdose of 10x the dosage of heart meds by a nurse. – born with club feet, now straightened
How can you help us? Go out encouraged knowing that God loves you. He is always with you. God gives you faith; so when you encounter something bigger than you, believe in a God that’s bigger. Tell your family you love them every day. God is for you. Today is a gift. Tomorrow isn’t promised. Keep eternity in mind. Don’t store up earthly treasures, but store up memories and experiences that point to Jesus. They leave a legacy that can’t be tarnished or taken. Don’t sweat small stuff. Pray continually. Cultivate a lifestyle of worship. Read, meditate, speak, declare the Word. Build between storms. Healing is ours. Know and understand your authority as a believer. There is power in agreement. Pray in the Holy Spirit. No weapon formed against you will prosper. All things work out for the good of those who love Him. Be generous. Make life count. Speak life. Share Jesus with someone often. Expect miracles daily. Get comfortable with being uncomfortable. Dream big. We have memories. But memories fade over time. Create a legacy. A legacy stands the test of time and touches the generations that follow you. Purpose in your heart to leave a legacy in all you do!
~ Jon Curtis – April 23, 2014
From the princess’ mom, Anna:
Shiloh Jubilee lived a full life, though short as it was. Her story is God’s story-it is of life, love, healing, victory, restoration, redemption, mercy, grace, giving and receiving and so much more. I say ‘is’ because her story will continue for many years to come.
Even at a very very young age, she knew her God. Those times we played praise and worship songs for her, she lifted her hands praising and worshipping her Creator. She heard God’s Word spoken over her every day. She knew (her spirit man) so well that His Words carried life and power.
Many ask us ‘What can we do for you?’ …When you remember Shiloh, remember that ‘Faith Makes All Things Possible’. She lived a life where impossibilities became possibilities. Her life had God’s signature signed all over it. God came through for our little Princess every step of the way, so will He for you. Though you walk through the valley of the shadow of death, fear not for He is with you. …When you remember Jubilee, remember that every day is a day to celebrate God, your family, friends and life itself. His mercies are new and fresh every single day.
Miracles still happen. God is real. He is Life. He is Healer. He is Provider. He is Comforter. He is Joy. He is Peace. He calms the storm. Whatever we need Him to be – He is I AM. Allow Him to take you where your faith is without borders – it’s a pretty scary thing because it’s a place of total surrender allowing Him to take control. Reach out to those around you – it’ll keep you stable.
To our families and relatives, to our Alabang New Life Christian Center family, friends, even to those we don’t personally know – thank you for being part of this journey. Thank you for fighting the good fight with us. We did not fight in vain. Victory is ours! All Glory belongs to Him and Him alone. Shiloh’s breakthrough is your breakthrough. Your love, prayers and generosity have blessed us tremendously. Every seed you’ve sown into Shiloh’s life we speak abundant return not just in your lifetime but to generations after you.
This is not the end. God’s work continues. We were stretched beyond our abilities but we are stronger and bigger on the inside, with a renewed appreciation and passion for life.
God is faithful and He is good.
~ Anna Galpo-Curtis – April 24, 2014
It’s clear – knowing the truth about who their God is for them in the midst of their journey with Shiloh has made all the difference for Jon and Anna. May we all learn from their example in preparation for the life journeys ahead of us. Know→love→worship→embrace→engage→invite→believe→trust your God! Expect God to be God! He is far greater than we could ever imagine and worthy of all we could ever offer Him in worship.
Again – a reminder to pray to ask God how He might use you to help with Jon and Anna’s medical bill burden. Love in action. And please share this with others, so God can encourage their hearts and give them an opportunity to serve Jon and Anna in a very real way. Thank you so much for reading Jon, Anna, and Shiloh’s story.