Brethren from Calbayog, Catbalogan assist provincial health office via blood donations
By VINCE T. BASCO
Date Posted: June 21, 2023
In Samar, a province in the Eastern Visayas region of the Philippines, the blood donation activities participated in by Iglesia Ni Cristo (Church Of Christ) members from two clusters of neighboring local congregations proved to be of assistance to the provincial health office in aiding those in need of blood. These were held at the Calbayog City Hall and Catbalogan Covered Court on May 20 and 27, 2023, respectively.
The Calbayog cluster, which was named after the province’s capital, comprises the local congregations of Calbayog City, Cabacungan, Ilo, Inoraguiao, Malayog, and Tarabucan, and some extensions, namely, Oquendo, Saljag, Cagmanipis, and Caybago. Meanwhile, the Catbalogan cluster, which was named after another city in the province, comprises the local congregations of Catbalogan, Calanyugan, Calbiga, Casandig, Hinabangan, Iguid, Motiong, Parasanon, San Jorge, Tarangnan, and Tigbawon, and the Lincoro Extension. These are all under the supervision of the Ecclesiastical District of Western Samar.
“As soon as they heard about this blood donation, many brethren eagerly volunteered to become donors,” said Warren De Guzman, resident minister of the Local Congregation of Calbayog City.
Health personnel in Calbayog City facilitated the health screening of the donors through blood typing and hemoglobin test. A total of 50 blood bags were collected. In Catbalogan City, the Christian Medical Dental and Paramedical Society (CMDPS) officers helped the provincial health officers in facilitating the same event, through which a total of 52 blood bags were collected.
“We thank the Iglesia Ni Cristo because its members are one with our aim to donate blood that will greatly help our fellowmen who need this,” said Dr. Joan Elias, on behalf of the Samar Provincial Health Office. — With reports from Cherry Esguerra of INC News Section
Haitians, Dominicans benefit from Caribbean District’s Care for Humanity
By RONNIE H. MUTYA
Date Posted: June 9, 2023
Residents of a community in the Dominican Republic and Haiti benefited from the series of Care for Humanity events carried out by the Ecclesiastical District of Caribbean. The humanitarian pursuits were led by the district supervising minister, Brother Garry Garcia, along with the assistance of the ministers and ministerial workers assigned in the said respective countries.
On May 7, 2023, the delegation went to a community in Puerta Plata, third largest town located in the northern part of the Dominican Republic, to distribute care packages.
“The condition of the world that we are living in is not improving anymore because violence, political turmoil, economic hardships, and the like are all contributing factors why there are people suffering and losing hope. Through the care packages prepared by the Church Administration, we are able to help our fellowmen in their basic needs,” Brother Garcia explained.
During the evangelistic part of the activity, he introduced the Iglesia Ni Cristo (Church Of Christ) to the residents by teaching one of the fundamental doctrines it upholds—the importance of joining the true Church in attaining salvation. The preaching of God’s words was translated into Spanish by Brother Cielomar Valencia, a ministerial worker.
Nine days earlier, April 28, there was another Care for Humanity held in a community in Los Cacaos, a village in the Haitian Town of Cerca La Source which is situated about 94 kilometers north-east of Port-au-Prince, the country’s capital city. The beneficiaries received care packages.
Brother Garcia, during the Bible study, expounded on how true faith is achieved to gain salvation, which was translated by his fellow minister of the gospel, Brother Camy Augustin, into Creole.
Ledius Joseph, a pastor of a Haitian Church, was among those who attended the evangelical mission. He expressed his interest in knowing more about the Church Of Christ: “I want to continue attending the Bible studies because the lessons that were preached by the minister touched my heart. I will come again because everything inside the Church Of Christ is true, unlike in other religions, they can say one thing but they cannot prove it.”
“The Christian values that we uphold when we are conducting an outreach evangelical mission are the teachings of God recorded in the Bible, that we must show our love and concern to our fellowmen and we must share our faith with them,” said Brother Garcia. “But if there’s a greatest thing that we can offer to them is God’s will written in the Bible which will guide them in the attainment of the promised salvation.” — With reports from Renee Suarez of INC News Section
Southern Ontario welcomes Brantford GWS
By RONNIE H. MUTYA
Date Posted: June 6, 2023
Three days before the 137th birth anniversary of Brother Felix Y. Manalo (1886-1963), whom the Iglesia Ni Cristo (Church Of Christ) recognizes as God’s Messenger in these last days, the Ecclesiastical District of Southern Ontario, Canada, welcomed its newest group worship service.
Brantford, a city in Southeastern Ontario, is now home to the district’s second GWS, the first being the Leamington GWS.
The first ever worship service of the newly established Brantford GWS took place at the TownePlace Suites Brantford and Conference Centre along 30 Fen Ridge Court in Brantford, Ontario on May 7, 2023. It was officiated by the district supervising minister, Brother Raul Adalla.
Preaching a Bible-based lesson that had been outlined by the Messenger himself, Brother Adalla reminded the brethren that their faith must be—and is indeed—based on God’s commands written in the Holy Scriptures and not on human opinions. Reassuring them that their service to Him inside the Church Of Christ is pleasing and acceptable to Him, the district supervising minister encouraged them to remain devoted to the worship service.
The members of the Brantford GWS now regularly conduct their worship service at the Garcia Residence in Halftree Place, Brantford. “We felt so happy and blessed now that the worship service will be closer to our brethren who live around the area,” expressed Herald Garcia, who was appointed as the GWS’ head deacon. “Now we don’t have to travel so long to reach the place of worship.”
The resident minister, Brother Aaren Miles Mangahas, extended his gratitude to the Executive Minister, Brother Eduardo V. Manalo, for “giving us the opportunity to bring the worship service closer to the brethren under our care so they will all the more dedicate themselves in their active services to our Lord God.”
Brother Adalla hoped that this development in their district, specifically in Brantford, would open more opportunities for more people in the area to know about the Iglesia Ni Cristo. He said, “With the help and mercy of our Lord God, many people in this part of the world will be called in the true Church. We promise to press onwards to further victories in all the works of the Church.” — With reports from Nigil Erran Anor of INC News Section
Largest indoor arena filled with brethren, guests in Quezon City District evangelical mission
By MARCK ANGELO R. DELOS REYES
Date Posted: June 1, 2023
Church members and thousands of guests from every congregation in the Ecclesiastical District of Quezon City filled the 55,000-seater Philippine Arena in Ciudad de Victoria, Bocaue, Bulacan on May 7, 2023.
This was during the evangelical mission that the district held in commemoration of the 137th birth anniversary of Brother Felix Y. Manalo, the man who the Iglesia Ni Cristo firmly believes is God’s messenger who started His work of salvation in these last days.
It was the first time that an ecclesiastical district hosted such a propagational event—with the primary and noble aim of sharing the gospel of salvation to as many people as could be—in one of the world’s largest mixed-used indoor arenas.
Brother Bienvenido C. Santiago led the study of God’s words, enlightening especially the thousands of guests that it is the Lord God, not people, who chooses and lays down the manner of serving Him. In connection with this, the General Evangelist of the Church Of Christ pointed out from the Bible that the true religion, the Church Of Christ, holds on to and never veers away from biblical truths, one of which is concerning who the true God is—the Father in heaven.
“The brethren in Quezon City are filled with much eagerness when it comes to the participation in the works of propagation,” Brother Virgilio A. Del Rosario Sr., said in an interview. “There were more or less 2,000 buses and other vehicles that were used by the district in bringing guests to this historic event,” added the district supervising minister, who welcomed the guests in his opening remarks before the Bible study.
One of the guests, Jonald Llaban, expressed, “I learned many things from the preaching that I heard during the event. If a person is looking for salvation, then he must join the true Church Of Christ. And so I am grateful that I was invited to this event.”
“We will continue to have grand evangelical missions such as this, because this is in accordance with God’s will that all people come to know the truth so as to receive eternal life,” shared Brother Danilo J. Gala Jr., assistant district supervising minister.
“The great success that we reaped is, first and foremost, because of God’s help. All of these are the works of His Almighty hands, so all praises belong to Him,” said Brother Del Rosario. “Likewise, we thank our beloved Executive Minister, Brother Eduardo V. Manalo, for his continued guidance to the entire Church, including our district.” — With reports from Kirstin Jheanne Mabale of INC News Section
Calgary District reaches out to residents of Brooks, Alberta
By NOEL DELIGERO JR.
Date Posted: May 26, 2023
Through the Care For Humanity program of the Church, the Ecclesiastical District of Calgary reached out to several hundred residents of the city of Brooks, Alberta, Canada on May 7, 2023.
It was held in commemoration of the “137th birth anniversary of Brother Felix Y. Manalo, God’s Messenger in the last days,” district supervising minister, Brother Voltaire Tamisin, disclosed.
He explained, “It is only right to remember his legacy because it was through him that we learned about the true faith. Also, he taught us through God’s words to help those who are in need. And this is what the current Executive Minister, Brother Eduardo Manalo, continues fulfilling in our time.”
More than 600 residents assembled at the JBS Canada Centre, in Brooks, Alberta, including immigrants in the said city, received care packages. The Church, through the Felix Y. Manalo Foundation, also extended aid to the Brook and County Immigration Services by way of a monetary donation.
In a brief speech, the district supervising minister cited the biblical “reason the Iglesia Ni Cristo [holds] Care for Humanity events.” He took the opportunity to invite the recipients to Bible studies that the Church conducts, emphasizing that what the Church offers the most to their fellowmen are the words of God written in the Holy Scriptures, which “not only provides guidance in life but … leads them to salvation.”
Asked for some reaction, Jun Cacayuran, one of the guests, said, “Spiritual guidance and giving aid to people affected go hand in hand. We should be guided spiritually, not only for the food, for the material things, but we need to feed our spiritual aspects as well for the restfulness of our minds and our hearts.” — With reports from Kaitlyn Padillo of INC News Section
Care for Humanity series held in 3 Latin American countries
By RONNIE H. MUTYA
Date Posted: May 24, 2023
By means of this altruistic endeavor held under the Church’s charitable arm, Felix Y. Manalo (FYM) Foundation, Inc., the district brought aid to residents of several communities in three South American countries, namely, Mexico, Colombia, and Peru.
The humanitarian missions carried out in different dates were led by Brother Jonathan Jamias, district supervising minister. He also taught a Bible-based lesson explaining why the Church Of Christ continues showing care for people by providing them material aid and, most of all, sharing with them the Good News of salvation.
In an interview, Brother Jamias said, “Because of the events that are happening in the world today especially the decline of the economy, and even the calamities, there are so many people who are suffering from poverty. So, the Church Administration teaches us to help our neighbor, countrymen, and even our brethren who need help as commanded by God.”
On April 9, 2023, the delegation of ministers and Church officers went to two Mexican communities to extend help there. They went first to Naucalpan, a municipality 13 kilometers northwest of Mexico City, the country’s capital city.
Afterwards, they traveled almost 30 kilometers north to reach Lomas del Rosario, a small neighborhood in Cuautitlán Izcalli, Estado de Mexico during which care packages containing basic grocery and food items were distributed to the residents.
Three days later, April 12, accompanied by the brethren from the Local Congregation of Tijuana and Mexicali Group Worship Service (GWS), the said delegation went to El Indiviso, a remote town in Mexicali, Baja California, which is a five-hour drive from Tijuana. All of brethren’s efforts were not in vain as the residents expressed their appreciation to the Church’s kind gesture.
“What the Church does is very good; donating something for us, which we really needed,” said Marissa Vijil Silva, one of the beneficiaries from El Indiviso. “I’m truly grateful for the care packages that were given to us by the Church members who came here.”
Another resident from the same community, Victor Valencia Zamora, expressed, “The things that were distributed to us such as clothing and shoes are very important for us. These would really support us.” But more than the material things, he was thankful for the words of God that has been taught to them. He pointed out why the Bible study impacted him the most, “It would really benefit everyone, and even our children, so that we could walk on the right path.”
On April 22, ten days after, the district’s humanitarian endeavor continues in South America’s fifth largest country, Colombia, which is located in the northwest of the continent.
With the assistance of the brethren from the South Bogota and North Bogota GWS, a hundred residents benefited from the Care for Humanity event held at a multipurpose hall in Barrio Bilbao, Suba, a neighborhood in Bogota, the country’s capital city.
After Brother Jamias taught a Bible-based lesson during the evangelistic part of the activity, 40 Colombians decided to undergo Bible studies on doctrines to continue knowing more about the Church and its teachings.
On April 26, the series of Care for Humanity events made a stop in the Peruvian Municipality of Independencia, located in Lima City. The delegation, with the help of the Lima, Peru GWS brethren, distributed care packages to the residents of a community there.
Jose Leoncio Diaz, one of the beneficiaries from Independencia, was thankful for the aid. He said, “The packages given to us were a big help. The truth is, it has come to fill the void that we need so much daily.”
The next day, April 27, another humanitarian activity was held in Callao, a neighboring province of the country’s capital city, Lima. — With reports from Mark Angelo Delingon and INC News Section