This is a perfect timing for an international Congregation to give thanks after a wave of disasters and political strife struck different parts of the world.
As early as the second week of March, tens of thousands of worshippers marched to the ADD Convention Center in Pampanga, Philippines. Delegates throughout and outside the country arrived in throngs, while coordinating centers in five other continents have also readied their places to accommodate the attendees.
The Members Church of God International is celebrating its International Thanksgiving to God for the first quarter of this year from March 25 to 27, singing praises, offering thanksgiving, and studying of God’s word.
This first quarter thanksgiving is significant for the Congregation for many reasons. MCGI had vigorously widened its broadcast mileage in the past three months, specifically to include Bolivia, Argentina, Portugal, Uruguay, and India in its evangelization efforts. The latter two already have established coordinating centers in response to the growing number of brethren an interested people. More centers are expected to be set up soon.
The increase in membership in the West was hastened by the 24/7 broadcasts over Latin-American televisions and Bible Expositions held in various places. Inquiries about the doctrines of the Church multiplied in a few months. Bro. Eli Soriano, presiding minister to MCGI, said of this in his sermon as “quenching spiritual thirst in the West.”
Bro. Eli also thinks of these evangelization developments as the “realization of the Church’s responsibility to show and share the light and knowledge that God gave [us].” Even with persistent censures and criticisms, MCGI continues to broadcast the Gospel, and in doing so, Bro. Eli said, “We feel humbled that we have become instruments in making the truth we have learned known to every place we go.”
The continuous preaching added 4,107 new members for the first quarter. This number includes a majority of Filipinos, Papua New Guineans, Indians, Africans, and Latinos.
Another celebrated achievement of the Church is the institution of the synchronized international prayer on March 6. Members pray together in MCGI chapters worldwide at an agreed time, 10 p.m. in the Philippines via satellite and Internet facilities.
(Written by: Cecile Vizcaya)