Better “A Song of Praise” Mid-Year Compositions Challenge Judging

It was hard telling which song was best. Judging in the A Song of Praise or ASOP Mid-Year Finals on July 9, Bro. Eli Soriano said that choosing winners was hard as “I have seen much better [songs] than [in] the previous ASOPs.”

ASOP is a bi-annual songwriting event of the Members Church of God International or MCGI. Leaders Bro. Eli and Bro. Daniel Razon launched it in 2004 to produce more “Church-grown” songs of praise to God.

A Song of Praise Music Festival in the Church of GOD International

The recent music festival held at the ADD Convention Center in Pampanga, Philippines concluded with ties in three titles. The two songs that bagged the Song of the Mid-Year Award were “Alabok Na Sisidlan” (Dust Vessel) by Brother Pablo Buan (Asia and Oceania region) and “It’s Just Not Me” by Brother Rigor Arellano (Central Apalit, Luzon region).

A Song of Praise Music Festival in the Church of GOD International

First placers were “Walang Kaparis Ang Isang Tulad Mo” (No One’s Like You) by Sister Loida Dumandan (South America) and “Pag-ibig Mong Wagas” (Your Eternal Love) by Sister Rowena Acan (San Diego, North America). Sharing second place were “Panginoon Kay Buti Mo” (Lord, How Good You Are) by Brother Enrique Libiran (South Korea, Asia and Oceania region) and “Ang Salita Mo” (Your Word) by Brother Chris Paycana (South America). Flying solo in third place however was “Ngayo’y May Pag-asa” (Now I Have Hope) by Bro. Jonathan Dumanais (Bulacan, Luzon region).

Three interpreters took home the Best Interpreter Award: Brother Anton Estrella Jr., Sister Connie Yanga, and Sister Raquel Baluyot.

Since its inception, Bro. Eli and Bro. Daniel have given millions of pesos in prizes and countless comments on making melodically, lyrically, and biblically sound songs.

In his closing remarks however, Bro. Eli requested that professional interpreters should not be chosen to deliver entries in future ASOP festivals. “We might lose our sense of justice, especially towards the lyrics and musicality of the song,” added Bro. Eli who further acknowledged that he gets convinced by a song’s interpretation.

“God deserves the best,” Bro. Eli stressed once more before the night ended at about 12 m.n. He once elaborated what he meant by “best:” Praise songs that can become international hits, extraordinary songs, that will remain in the memory of the human race.

The next ASOP Music Festival for 2012, the year-end finals, is expected to be after MCGI’s three-day International Thanksgiving in December.

(Written by: Jay Arellano)

From a small and cramped garage to the world: MCGI airs new 24-hour Spanish-language broadcast

Emanating from a small garage cleverly transformed into a makeshift-broadcasting studio, International Evangelist, Bro. Eli Soriano will soon be heard in all Spanish- speaking nations all over the world.

Starting this month of July, a new 24-hour broadcast, La Verdad TV will air Spanish language programmes being produced by the Members Church of God International (MCGI).

The Filipino preacher, who is also the Presiding Minister to the MCGI, made the announcement during the 2nd quarterly International Thanksgiving to God or ITG celebration, held from July 6 to 8, 2012.

Members of the CHURCH OF GOD INTERNATIONAL 24 hour Spanish Language Broadcast

“This space measures just seven steps in width and seven steps in length; our studio is more or less 46 to 48 square meters,” Bro. Eli said as he described the garage lot where the broadcasting of the new La Verdad TV will originate.

“This is where our broadcast to all parts of the world will emanate from. Everyone will be able to watch our program – the brethren and all the people of the world,” added Bro. Eli who was speaking before the congregation worldwide through live streaming.

MCGI Vice-Presiding Minister Bro. Daniel Razon also described the intended nonstop broadcast of God’s words over Spanish-speaking lands. He explained that while La Verdad TV will focus on the Spanish-speaking population, TV Verdade in turn will concentrate on Portuguese-speaking nations.

Bro. Eli, who will soon be leading the major evangelization broadcasts of MCGI dedicated to the world’s two most-spoken languages, will be speaking from a spot in South America. Now converted into a small studio, the preacher’s small, crammed garage appears ready to accommodate more broadcasting endeavors.

Bro Eliseo Soriano in one of the TV Broadcast of "Ang Dating Daan" or The Old Path

As a venue used by Bro. Eli in preaching during weekly Thanksgiving services, this same studio served as a lectern where Bro. Eli preached live to hundreds of thousands of congregants from the six continents of the world during the recently concluded International Thanksgiving to God of the second quarter.

MCGI’s International Thanksgiving to God is a massive celebration of gratitude that is joined in by Church members and visitors all over the globe. Even from afar, Bro. Eli spearheads the spiritual affair, whereby its 3-day programme include: the studying of spiritual topics, offering by the entire congregation of the sacrifices of Thanksgiving through the singing of praises, and the seeking of advice by brethren and visitors to Bro. Eli through the consultation sessions.

Bro. Eli was joined by Vice-Presiding Minister, Bro. Daniel Razon in serving the brethren with the biblical topics. Bro. Daniel preached the introductory to the main body of the five topics live from Apalit, Pampanga, where the bulk of the members in Central Luzon are. For his part, Bro Eli delivered the crux of all of these five topics.

Serving as a multi-purpose studio, it is also in this small studio where Bro. Eli answers questions from guests and visitors of his worldwide Bible Expositions. In major Church events like the recently-concluded mid-year A Song of Praise Music Festival, the same studio comes handy.

On his announcement of the new broadcast, Bro. Eli relayed some stories of former religious pastors from South America who are now learning Christ’s doctrines through the indoctrination sessions.

“May it be God’s will that this small place will be where we can reach a greater number of people from all corners of the world,” prayed the preacher.

(Written by: Pol Arellano)

Jose Miranda’s Doomed Prophecy

Just hours before the world witnessed the failed proclamation of Jose Luis de Jesus Miranda that June 30 will mark the end of the world, Bro. Eli Soriano issued his warning through his Bible Exposition not to believe Miranda’s doomed prophecy. Miranda is the leader of the International Ministry Growing in Grace.

“Leave him and search for the truth,” Bro. Eli advised the listeners and attendees of his live religious public symposium that reached more than 15 locations in the Philippines and abroad held last June 29, 2012, Philippine time.

As early as June 3, 2012, the international evangelist has already blogged about the doomed prophecy of Miranda, writing in his blog that such end-of-the-world claims only prove the falsity of their speakers. He cited Deuteronomy 18:22 as basis.

Jose Miranda, the sect leader of the International Ministry Growing in Grace dubbed 'The Man Christ Jesus,' prophesied via a live broadcast last April 25, 2012, that June 30 of this year will mark the end of the world.
Jose Miranda, the sect leader of the International Ministry Growing in Grace dubbed ‘The Man Christ Jesus,’ prophesied via a live broadcast last April 25, 2012, that June 30 of this year will mark the end of the world.

Before the question and answer portion of the Bible Exposition began, Bro Eli cited few more examples of false predictions in history. He expressed his pity towards those who are fooled by their pastors, particularly those of the Jehovah’s Witnesses religious sect.

“When the Jehovah’s Witnesses announced armageddon would come in 1975, their members sold their properties even for a very low cost,” Bro. Eli said in the vernacular, “so some of the believers in that religion had no home to return to.”

Pointing out that the Bible says no one knows the day and time, Bro. Eli explained that “those who will state the day and time of the end are false prophets.” He read Matthew 24:36 and added that “Even the angels who see God’s face do not know [the appointed date and time]. How then could we?”

The preacher, who has been hosting the program Ang Dating Daan (The Old Path) for more than 30 years, also criticized fanatic members who have proven their religious leaders to be false under biblical standards, but still follow them.

“I am puzzled by some Filipinos who have witnessed the falsity of their preachers,” he said. “Better are the Americans who left the Jehovah’s Witnesses when they saw that the 1975 prophecy did not happen,” Bro. Eli stressed after showing testimonial videos of former members of the Watchtower Society, the legal organization in use by the Jehovah’s Witnesses, on Youtube.

The Q & A portion of the Bible Exposition began at about eight in the evening where Bro. Eli and Bro. Daniel entertained queries from 15 locations in the Philippines and abroad. Other attendees at Ang Dating Daan or Members Church of God International (MCGI) chapters across the globe witnessed the event via Internet and satellite facilities.

Visitors and attendees asked questions that ranged from whether God gave homosexuals their emotions to whether Enoch is the first human in heaven to the difference of MCGI from Catholicism, Mormonism and other religions.

Some of the guests have also expressed their interest in becoming members of the Church. A Filipino-Japanese inquirer asked Bro. Eli if he could be part of the translation team of Japan, to which the MCGI Presiding Minister remarked, “You are most welcome.”

“Please attend our upcoming Mass Indoctrination sessions starting July 16, 2012, God willing,” said Bro. Daniel to the inquirers and to all attendees.

Like all other Church services, the Mass Indoctrination is free and is conducted at all ADD or MCGI coordinating centers internationally. It is available in different languages, mainly Tagalog, English, Spanish, Portuguese, Chinese and Japanese.

(Written by: Jay Arellano)

Tales of Changed Lives: MCGI Broadcasts Yield 123 More Members in the West

Maria, who saw enough, had enough. So she prayed to God that night, that God guide her so she could learn His real Gospel.

A former Igreja Mundial of the Power of God church worker, Maria started to realize that what she was doing – taking money from the members of their group – was not God’s will.

Maria’s job enabled her to see a lot of things – like how much money the group amassed from their minimum wage-earning members. She also saw how one of their sick members who cannot afford to buy blood pressure medicine was refused help by their Church, even after she has given the obligatory tithing and had spent on an expensive booklet amounting to 2,500 Brazilian reis, which is enough to pay for six month’s rent. This was her wake-up call.

Fruits of MCGI broadcast, more Members in the Church of God International
Newly-baptized members from the Philippines and abroad offered their Thanksgiving to God during the regular Thanksgiving service last June 30, 2012.

One night while lying down in her bed and feeling restless, she felt like someone was calling her. Her eyes fell on her satellite receiver, which had a small hole in it. Out of restlessness, she tried to insert a matchstick so she can change the channels. As she pulled the matchstick out, the channel switched to TV Verdade where she heard Bro. Eli Soriano speak for the first time.

She had goose bumps. She jumped with joy. She knew that her prayer was answered. She watched the show for three days and she was convinced. “Bro. Eli Soriano truly, I do not doubt, not even a shadow of doubt, that Bro. Eli is sent by God,” Maria said in her native Portuguese language, fighting back tears as she recounted her story.

Maria is now Hermana Maria after being baptized from South America. Apart from Bolivia and Brazil, regular baptisms were officiated in London, Canada, Norway, and the Philippines. Bro. Daniel Razon welcomed to the Members Church of God International the newly-baptized during the regular Thanksgiving service last June 30, this year.

With the aid of technology, Bro. Eli and Bro. Daniel, Presiding Minister and Vice- Presiding Minister to MCGI, respectively, are on a mission to spread God’s words through all possible media – local and cable TV channels, radio stations, live Bible Expositions, and the Internet.

Bro. Eli Soriano, host of a radio show since 1980, has brought his award-winning religious program Ang Dating Daan or The Old Path to foreign shores. In South America, the program goes by the name El Camino Antiguo and O Caminho Antigo for Spanish and Portuguese speaking people, respectively. Bro. Eli preaches and answers in the English language, and it is readily translated in Spanish and Portuguese.

Another newly-baptized brother, this time from Bolivia, realized the big difference of Bro. Eli from other pastors. “I learned about the Church [on] Uneteles Channel 9,” said Bro. Rosimbau in Spanish. “The difference is far from other pastors, other preachers. Bro. Eli teaches correctly, based on the Bible without interpreting any verse.”

Bro. Eli, known for answering spiritual inquiries with verses straight from the Bible, has brought this tradition to the Americas and the rest of the world. His being a Filipino is not the only thing that sets him apart from other preachers – but also, his manner of answering questions.

“He is a frank person, and he answers whatever question from anyone. He espouses very sound doctrines, which I believe Lord Jesus Christ handed to him,” revealed Bro. Leonardo, one of the nine new members in Bolivia aside from Bro Rosimbau.

Bro. Marcos, a young man from Brazil, has been an avid viewer since 2009. What captured his attention was seeing “We preach the Gospel for free” plastered on the TV screen. “Wow! They preach the Gospel for free, this is different,” he remembered saying to himself.

Bro. Marcos kept watching to test if the claim was true. Soon, he was convinced, and finally realized that “It looks like the Bible was speaking for itself. That was incredible!.” A product of MCGI’s television broadcasts and its 24/7 online streaming, Bro. Marcos is also one of the newly-baptized brethren from last week’s regular baptism.

The Mass Indoctrination sessions where visitors learn God’s primary doctrines are held once a month, in all MCGI chapters all over the world. The next session will be held on July 16, 2012.

(Written by: Pol Arellano)

MCGI Congregations Worldwide hit the roads for 3-days Thanksgiving

Thousands of congregants of the Members Church of God International are expected to gather for the International Thanksgiving to God that will begin on July 6, 2012 in the Church’s major coordinating centers worldwide.

At its Luzon region headquarter alone, participants from the Philippines and abroad are seen flocking the 50,000-seater ADD Convention Center located in Apalit, Pampanga for the three day event. Visitors and guests by fellow congregants are expected to come also for the quarterly pilgrim.

Members of the Church of God Intl line up to enter the ADD Convention Center for a 3-day Thanksgiving
The ADD Convention Center in Apalit, Pampanga, as the headquarter of the Members Church of God International in Luzon region, will be one of the main venues of the International Thanksgiving from July 6 to 8, 2012.

New members added to the fold, new locales established all over the world, and the start of broadcast contracts in Latin American TV networks to air the religious programs hosted by Bro. Eli Soriano in both Spanish and Portuguese languages are some of the chief reasons for this thanksgiving.

The three day gathering is packed with activities that include the offering of songs and dances of praise and the listening to different sets of topics or paksa prepared by Bro. Eli, the Presiding Minister to the Church of God International. The topics are spread throughout the three-day festive thanksgiving by the whole congregation.

To cater to and help the foreign national members understand the essential aspects of the Thanksgiving ceremonies, language interpreters will be working full time during the course of the event, especially during Bro. Eli and Bro. Daniel Razon‘s preachings. Presently, these five international translations include English, Spanish, Portuguese, Chinese, and Japanese.

(Written by: Cecile Vizcaya)