Marites M. Pineda
Coming Home to Good Advice
It was a blessed Tuesday morning when we attended a Balikbayan (or Homecoming) Day at the Central Office in January 1994. It was my first time to visit the Philippines with my parents, my husband Jo, and my daughter, Mary-jo. My brother, Brother Elmer G. Miranda, who at that time was a Ministerial student in the College of Evangelical Ministry in Quezon City, accompanied us.
It would be our first time to see the then Executive Minister, Bro. Erano G. Manalo. I can still remember the feeling of excitement from waiting patiently in the lobby as a pianist gracefully played, to standing in line and inching closer and closer to the huge room called bulwagan (or Hall). The doors opened and we all fell silent. It was our turn to face ‘Ka Erdy.’ This photograph may be old but it is priceless.
You can tell from these pictures, our faces were all in awe as we shook his hands. Ka Erdy lovingly took his time asking us from what local congregation we were from and what duties we hold in the Church. We answered that we were from the local congregation of Scarborough and we needed a house of worship. He advised us to have devotional prayers and to have faith that the house of worship that God intended for us will be given on His time. We were patient, and in God’s good time, He blessed the local congregation of Scarborough with a beautiful house of worship on April 17, 2010.
I am so humbled by the turn of events in my life and with the people I was with in these photographs. Both my parents fought the good fight, and until the end of their lives, performed as Church officers. Brother Elmer G. Miranda is now a Minister of the Gospel. My husband and I are still in the choir, and little did I know that our then 4-year-old daughter would marry into the ministry after 22 years. Praises and glory to our Almighty God!
Marites M. Pineda currently lives in Eastern Canada with her husband, Jo, and is an organist in the local congregation of Scarborough.