INC reaches out to the Deaf, opens Embrace Volunteers Center
Text by MARK ANDRO T. MILAN
Photos by SAMI DE LEON
Date Posted: October 29, 2021
On October 23, 2021, the Iglesia Ni Cristo (Church Of Christ), through the Embrace Café, a project established in 2017 by Brother Eduardo V. Manalo, the Executive Minister of the Church Of Christ, in collaboration with the Christian Family Organizations (CFO) Office and the Christian Society for the Deaf (CSD) conducted an outreach program for the Deaf brethren from several local congregations in Metro Manila, Philippines, during which the Embrace Volunteers Center was also formally opened.
This Center, located along Central Avenue, New Era, Quezon City, serves “to not only offer livelihood opportunities for the differently-abled but also know and improve their skills through effective job training,” according to Brother Gamme Macawili, minister of the gospel who supervises the operations of Embrace Café. It is a joint “project of the Church through the New Era University-Technical Education and Skills Development Center, in collaboration with the CFO, CSD, NEU-SPED Department, NEU-Guidance and Counseling, and the Embrace Café,” he added.
Before the distribution of the relief packages, Brother Charmil S. Castro, a minister of the gospel assigned in the CFO office, gave a biblical advice, which was interpreted in Sign Language.
“We must be one in mind with the Executive Minister, Brother Eduardo V. Manalo. We should never lose hope. We will continue to embrace or cater to the needs of the differently-abled so that, most of all, they are also able to ensure their salvation come the Day of Judgment,” he said.
He motivated everyone in attendance, primarily the CSD officers, to help promote and be among the first ones to work with their fellow Deaf brethren through the Embrace Volunteers Center.
The handing over of relief packages followed. About a hundred guests benefited.
Brix Inofinada from the Local Congregation of Luzon, Ecclesiastical District of Central, who accompanied his deaf mother, Irish, who is also a Church member, said, “We thank the Church Administration for conducting this for the differently-abled. This aid is a big help especially now that we are in a pandemic.”
Cristina Peralta, a finance officer from the Local Congregation of Lagro, Ecclesiastical District of Quezon City, accompanied and assisted nine Deaf members. She gratefully said, “I thank the Executive Minister, Brother Eduardo V. Manalo, for always taking care of our Deaf brethren. This activity did not only help them with their daily needs. It also enabled them to socialize with their fellow Deaf brethren. They were so happy to see each other here personally.”