From the outside, Mary Joy seemed to have it all. She's a beautiful, award-winning actress in the Philippines who had her big break in 2016 with a nationally acclaimed movie. But inside, she was missing something.
Mary Joy was discovered by a talent scout through Facebook. She went from a normal life as a teenager to being swept up in the chaos of fame at just 13. Her family struggled to pay for her travels, and at one point she considered dropping out of school to devote herself to acting. Even though she was not a believer at the time, she sees God’s influence in her life and how His plan was always in motion.
“God made me finish my school even though I was always busy going to the set for taping. Many projects came to me, and major roles were offered. It was a hard life, but I can say it was worth it.”
As she was rising in fame, her family kept her grounded, especially her younger sister who is an active member of a local church. ”She never stopped inviting us to church,” Mary Joy remembers. One day, Mary Joy woke up with a strong desire to join her sister. “I thought to myself ‘I want to be like her. I want the same experience she is having,’” she says. She and her mother began attending church, and soon after she accepted Christ into her heart.
Now, she actively reads her easy-to-read Bible, which makes it easy for a new believer to understand the Scripture.
“The Bible from Bible League is so easy for me to understand even though I am new in Bible reading,” she says. “It is my favorite to read because it is written in my own language.”
Mary Joy is now ready to share the Word of God with her family and friends, and she hopes to serve in the children’s ministry. She has one deep desire in her heart: for her father to find Christ. “I want my dad to know more about my Jesus and to experience what we are experiencing with the Lord.”
As she continues her career in show business, Mary Joy is comforted knowing she’s not alone. In an industry full of diverse personalities, beliefs and temptations, she relies on her faith, asking God for wisdom every step of the way.
“I have learned to trust that He is always there, especially in times of trouble, and He always has something better for me,” she says. “Today, I am facing my problems with Jesus beside me, and they are not making me feel downhearted anymore; instead, these struggles make me stronger.”