AFTER the much-publicized medical and evangelical outreach program in Manila, the Iglesia Ni Cristo (INC) brought this activity dubbed as “My Countrymen, My Brethren” to Rome, Italy, and to California, USA, as part of its continuing efforts to help and reach out to more people around the globe.
Thousands attended the “International Aid for Humanity” and evangelical mission on October 27 held in Viguzzolo, Rome, Italy, while 21,000 people attended a similar outreach program under the My Countrymen, My Brethren project held at the Shoreline Amphitheater in Mountain View, California, on October 19.
Evangelical and medical missions were also continued in the Philippines, the latest of which was done on October 26 in Pangasinan, which was attended by at least 700,000 people.
The activities were done in cooperation with the charitable arm of the INC, the Felix Y. Manalo Foundation Inc.
As with the previous events, free medical and dental services were provided to those who came. People also listened to the main part of the program, which was an evangelical mission where the “message of salvation” was preached by a minister.
The message of INC Executive Minister Eduardo V. Manalo, thanking the people who came to the event, was also read.
Don Orozco, a California resident who interviewed some of the attendees during the event, said the INC’s evangelical and medical outreach program made a big impression among the residents of California.
“The event also revealed that the Iglesia Ni Cristo is not just a Filipino church…. During the event, there were a lot [of] church members who are Hispanic, African-American, Caucasian, Chinese, Middle Eastern and from many
other ethnicities,” wrote Orozco in the report that came out recently in the San Francisco Post.
Angela Benjamin, Italy correspondent of Net25, also reported that thousands of people, both members and non-members of the INC, or Chiesa Di Cristo in Italian, came to the event in Viguzzolo.
Aside from the free medical and dental services that are always included in the outreach program, free immigration information was provided in the INC evangelical-medical outreach mission in Rome to help immigrants in the integration process in Italy, according to Benjamin.
In Rome free hair cut, as well as nail services were also given. There were free blood pressure and blood glucose tests too.
This was the second time that the International Aid for Humanity under the My Countrymen, My Brethren project was held in Rome, Italy.
The first was done in May, just a month after the project was launched in April 2013 in Binondo, Manila.
In the Philippines the latest Kabayan Ko, Kapatid Ko outreach project was done on October 26 in Pangasinan. As in the October 14 Manila event, the medical-dental and evangelical missions in Pangasinan were done simultaneously in five separate sites, namely, at the CSI Stadia, in Dagupan City; in the open grounds in Salasa, Bugallon, Lingayen; in Nancayasan, Urdaneta City; at the Rosales airport open grounds in Rosales; and at the Proton Complex in Mabini, Alaminos, Pangasinan.
In all the sites, there was also an entertainment program that included a concert of INC Christian songs.
Dagupan City Mayor Belen Fernandez said she was very much impressed with the event since it was “well-organized.”
“Saludo po kami sa mga kapatid. Lahat po kami rito ay tuwang-tuwa sa tulong na naiabot ng Iglesia Ni Cristo,” she said in an interview after listening to the Bible exposition held at the Stadia’s vast auditorium.
“This has become a very good example for us. Gagayahin po namin itong pagbibigay serbisyo na ginagawa ng Iglesia Ni Cristo,” she said.
There was not much traffic congestion in Pangasinan, compared to the other Kabayan Ko, Kapatid Ko events in the other provinces, since the organizers decided not to concentrate its program in one area.
Dagupan police Insp. Jade Macaraeg said there were police personnel that had also been distributed in all areas of the medical-evangelical missions in Pangasinan. There were policemen assigned to help in the traffic situation and to ensure the peaceful and orderly conduct of the event.
The Kabayan Ko, Kapatid Ko project was launched in April 2013 in Binondo, Manila, combining the INC’s two major activities in providing service to its fellowmen through medical-dental missions and giving of relief, and in propagating the faith through evangelical missions.
Minister Glicerio B. Santos Jr. said this was not a new thing since relief-giving and the holding of medical and dental missions had been done by the INC before this, not only in the Philippines, but also in different parts of the world.
This was done since early 1980s though the “Lingap sa Mamamayan” project in the Philippines, and recently through the International Aid for Humanity project for medical and relief missions abroad.
Santos said such projects were done in accordance with the biblical teaching “love your neighbor as yourself.”
Before this, the INC had also conducted relief missions abroad such as those held in the aftermath of the quake in Japan in March 2011, Hurricane Sandy in New York and New Jersey in October 2012, the floods in Bundaberg, Australia, early this year, and the series of tornadoes that happened in Oklahoma in June.
Recently, it also held a medical-dental and relief mission in Bohol, which had been severely hit by the 7.2-magnitude quake.