Newly-Baptized Testimonials: May 3, 2013

Read short testimonies of faith from some of MCGI’s youngest brethren baptized on May 3, 2013.

Bro. Virgilio Binibini, Former Catholic, Bulacan Province

On Being Baptized
I’ve been listening [to Bro. Eli Soriano] for a long time through radio, through TV, about 10-15 years ago. I would go to church then in Catholicism, but I didn’t feel anything anymore when I attended. It’s as if it felt nothing. I would go to church only to play as godfather in baptisms.

Since I heard Bro. Eli, I stopped practicing many Catholic rituals. Then, when I underwent indoctrination, I heard more truths that were new [to me], which I applied immediately to myself. Now I feel happy because I really feel the Spirit of God now.

On MCGI Leaders
May [the ministry] spread the more. May they always be healthy and may they have more life, and that they will be able to serve longer in The Old Path, in the Church of God. Many thanks to Bro. Eli and Bro. Daniel and to all workers. I hope that many, many more people will [join]. I hope they get to learn the doctrines of the Church of God, the real worship to the Lord, and how to live with [others].

˜°˜

Bro. Herbert Catubay, Former Born Again, Pangasinan Province

On Being Baptized
I feel good, happy, and fulfilled. I really feel happy that I was baptized in the true Church of God. I got to listen to Bro. Eli through television, since long ago. However, my workmates always have negative comments to Bro. Eli. But whenever I hear him, I don’t see those negative comments they have on him. So that’s [what happened] until I reached this [state]. I thank God that I was able to continue [hearing Bro. Eli].

On MCGI Leaders
Bro. Eli, I hope that our Father, our God, give you more life, so that you will be able to lead and help many more people, because in other religions, there are many prophets who arise. They are “prophets” they say. I hope that we will be able to reach them, that they may be enlightened, that they may learn the true doctrine, what’s really in the Bible.

˜°˜

Bro. Joselito Zonsa, Former Mormons Pastor and Branch President, Manila

On Being Baptized
I’m really happy. Compared to the former faith I embraced, I feel more blessed now. I believe more that I’m in the basic now, in that the source of the foundation is really the Bible.

It’s unlike in my old when they even had other books [as bases]. They said that they didn’t have idols, but in their temple they do, even pictures. When I entered, they had weird doctrines that I found out about, until I completely lost my faith in God. I thought what I joined was good, but their doctrines were very, very different from the actual [application].

On MCGI Leaders
To Bro. Eli and Bro. Daniel, I’m thankful that you have opened my mind again. I thank you once more because this time, my faith in the Lord and in Jesus Christ returned. And I hope that in my return to faith, my family will be well, and myself too, and may I be able to help in the work of the Church.

˜°˜

Bro. Herbert Catubay, Former Born Again, Pangasinan Province

On Being Baptized
I feel good, happy, and fulfilled. I really feel happy that I was baptized in the true Church of God. I got to listen to Bro. Eli through television, since long ago. However, my workmates always have negative comments to Bro. Eli. But whenever I hear him, I don’t see those negative comments they have on him. So that’s [what happened] until I reached this [state]. I thank God that I was able to continue [hearing Bro. Eli].

On MCGI Leaders
Bro. Eli, I hope that our Father, our God, give you more life, so that you will be able to lead and help many more people, because in other religions, there are many prophets who arise. They are “prophets” they say. I hope that we will be able to reach them, that they may be enlightened, that they may learn the true doctrine, what’s really in the Bible.

˜°˜

Sis. Luzviminda Andico, Former Born Again, Cavite Province

On Being Baptized

Two weeks ago, I was supposed to be indoctrinated on April 8, but instead I started on the Wednesday that followed. [After the indoctrination sessions] I said I didn’t want to be baptized yet, as I was waiting for my son to arrive God willing.

However when I listened during the Bible Expo on April 26, I got convinced with what Bro. Eli said [to an inquirer] about those who already attend the services and don’t go on. I got scared of that. That’s why I decided. I said to my neighbor, “Come, and I want to be baptized already, that God’s calling on me will not be deferred.”

On MCGI Leaders

I hope that their spreading the word of God will extend, that all the people here in the Philippines will be able to accept the word of God for all to be good.

˜°˜

Bro. Edwin and Sis. Heidi Tica, Former Iglesia ni Cristo

On Being Baptized
I can’t explain it but I really can’t say anything. What I feel now is really different than from what I felt in my old religion, the Iglesia ni Cristo. Our entire family [are members]. My great grandparents were pioneers in 1914. They were deacons.

Actually, I didn’t really like [the program] at first. Then, my husband got sick and he had to rest. He watched television. When he saw [the program], he got interested. Then, he talked to me about it.

He then said to me, for you to have an idea about what I’m saying about The Old Path, let us attend the indoctrination. We attended during the last week of April.

When we attended, it was a different feeling, because when we worshipped [before], I didn’t listen anymore. I didn’t understand it. It’s as if my brain can’t absorb anymore what was being said. But when I listened to The Old Path, from day one to the last indoctrination session, it was clear to me.

Bro. Edwin: When I got married to her in 1989, that’s when I started being an INC. When I searched for the state of God [the Lord Jesus Christ] [according to the teachings of] the Church of God, God proves that Christ is God, that He is from His bosom, I believed.

The same with Bro. Eli. He didn’t exalt himself nor sought praise, unlike Manalo who somewhat claimed all of the titles [in the Bible].

On MCGI Leaders
I wish that Bro. Eli will have more life. Before, I didn’t like his physical appearance. It’s as if I had no trust in him. But when I heard him, it’s different. [My perception of him] really changed. I can’t explain it. It’s too deep.

˜°˜

Bro. John Henry Nael, Former Catholic

On Being Baptized
Before, I didn’t fully believe. I had the belief that you just go to church and remember your Creator when there’s an occasion like Christmas. For me, that was normal then.

Then until the time came when there were brethren from work; I work on a ship. But that time, I was already observing other religions. I listened to Bro. Eli only this year. I’ve been listening for nine months only.

I’ve attended in Born Again [gatherings] and INC (Iglesia Ni Cristo). What I thought of them was that they were only well when they were attending. After that, they returned to their vices, to their wrong deeds. That time I thought, “This is just nothing.” That’s why what I did was become like a happy-go-lucky person.

In my last job, I saw the brethren and I got to know them. They invited me to listen [to Bro. Eli]. My attention got caught when Bro. Eli focused on other religions. I said, “Right. It’s really like that.”

After that, I continued [listening] till many months have passed. With God’s mercy, I was enlightened. Thank God. I remember the brethren. They are righteous. I searched for a locale and I underwent indoctrination [immediately] as I’m racing against time before I leave again.

On MCGI Leaders
Thanks be to God that he [Bro. Eli] gave the right teachings that other religions do not. For what he did, it brought forth many, many righteous brethren. Somehow, they lead me here, who for sometime have lost belief.

˜°˜

Sis. Salvacion Sibug, Former The Kingdom of Jesus Christ, Rizal Province

On Being Baptized
As a child of the Lord who seeks His truth, my spirit feels glad that I found, together with my husband and two children who are members already members here, [the true Church].

We were from Quiboloy. We started in 1988. My husband and I were pioneers there. We were elders there in Jesus Christ: the Name Above Every Name, which now is the Kingdom of Jesus Christ. In the year 2000, he [Apolo Quiboloy] proclaimed that he was equal with the Son of God.

My husband then researched, and the Lord really did make the truth known even when we were there. Then, they called for my husband in Project 8 [Quezon City], that he accept that Quiboloy really is [the Son of God]. But he didn’t, and they automatically dismissed him. That was in 2004 if I’m not mistaken.

My husband was the first to listen [to Bro. Eli]. Actually, even when we were zealous in [our works] with Quiboloy, we’ve been hearing about their debates [with each other].

My husband continued to listen to Bro. Eli on television, on radio until he understood — and the Lord guided him — that we must join here. He was first baptized here, then my two children, and me, thanks to the Lord. I pray that I will see the day that my eldest son will also be a brother.

On MCGI Leaders
For Bro. Eli, the only thing I can extend to you is my heartfelt thanks because despite what we thought, that we were serving in the truth, but it wasn’t, [we learned] that there really is a very true service, and that is none other than the service in the Church of God.

Again, Bro. Eli, many, many thanks and may the Lord continue to work in you, that he may give you more time to spread the holy Word of God.

˜°˜

Bro. Sabas Legaspi Jr., Former Adventist, Tarlac Province

On Being Baptized
I feel really light inside. Though I feel that I’m going to face a lot of hurdles, I believe that I can overcome them [with God’s help]. All problems have solutions, and whatever it is that’s coming, something better comes after it.

I’m really thankful for The Old Path because it is really the true way towards the truth. I’ve been to many religions; I’m a researcher of religion. I’ve read about cultism, psychic powers; I’ve learned about them. But this is the last belief that I will accept that will enlighten my mind.

On MCGI Leaders
Many thanks Bro. Eli for you really are the one sent by God for the last days, to bring light to those who seek the truth. And I’m certain that you are the last man to tell humanity of [God’s] message.

What are the Secrets to Good Leadership, Biblically Speaking?

Bro. Eliseo Soriano answering queries of faith in a Worldwide Bible Exposition at the Smart-Araneta Coliseum in Quezon City, Philippines.
The International Evangelist answering queries of faith during a Worldwide Bible Exposition at the Smart-Araneta Coliseum in Quezon City, Philippines.

“What can you give as advice that I may better improve my service to our barangay?”

Towards the end of the Worldwide Bible Exposition on April 26, 2013, an incumbent barangay captain from Quezon City in the Philippines asked Bro. Eliseo F. Soriano what advice he could give on good governance.

“Firstly, there’s no better way of leading people than the leadership of the Lord Jesus Christ,” replied Bro. Eli to Renato Galimba. The Lord Jesus Christ exercised what the English Bible calls “righteousness,” which in the original Greek manuscript means “justice” or “equity,” according to the Overall Servant to MCGI.

“A government must practice equity or righteousness,” he added. “Fair treatment to all men with no favoritism, that is the foundation of an established government.” Bro. Eli also noted that exercising righteousness or equity in government proves not only beneficial to the people, but to their leader as well.

When the inquirer visited the Locale of Lagro, Quezon City to ask Bro. Soriano, the Philippines was set to hold its Mid-term Elections on May 13, 2013. Registered Filipino voters would have to elect senators, party list groups, mayors down to town councillors.

For the People in Power

The international evangelist stressed what qualities set a good leader apart from the mediocre ones. He cited Romans 20:28, which states: “a good conscience; a good will; a heart with no intention of deceiving his fellows, with no plans to be corrupt nor to aggrieve others; are what support the seat or power of a leader such as a king.”

As the history of any country will show, the poor often receive unequal treatment or injustice. Poor people have neither money nor influence to protect them. Bro. Soriano echoed in his answer a very popular quotation from former Philippine Pres. Ramon Magsaysay made over six decades ago: “Those who have less in life, should have more in law.”

“I remembered that [Pres. Magsaysay’s statement] because I agree to that,” remarked Bro. Eli. He then explained that in the country now, there are many good laws. However, a problem arises when those who implement them give bigger protection to the rich than to the poor.

The Servant then pointed out that in leading the members of the Church of God International, he and Bro. Daniel always make it a point to never take advantage of or aggrieve anyone.

The Blessed Poor

“What I lead is more than a country,” began Bro. Soriano. He gave as example the country of Dominica in Central America whose president leads about 70,000 people. “I lead many more than that, but with the Lord’s mercy, we don’t oppress anyone. We don’t deceive anyone.”

While some leaders in both political and religious realms may believe that the secret to a long and solid reign is to favor the rich for personal gains, the Bible shows a different way to go said the televangelist.

At MCGI, poor members have access to a slew of free services like medical care, legal assistance, primary to tertiary education, food and accommodation. Bro. Eli and Bro. Daniel have put up charitable institutions across and outside the country to extend help not only to brethren, but to non-members as well. Among the said public services include orphanages and homes for the elderly.

Majority of the brethren of the MCGI belong to the poor and marginalized sector of the Philippines, Africa, Papua New Guinea, and the war-affected people of Central and South America.

Due to his strong and inspiring leadership, not a single organizations notice Bro. Eli’s style of leading. In the Philippines alone, these multi-sectoral groups have faithfully bestowed their Most Outstanding Minister and Outstanding Preacher Award to the popular radio and TV host of the Ang Dating Daan (The Old Path) program.

Secrets to Good Leadership

“Like what is said in Proverbs 29:14, a king who faithfully judges the poor, his throne will be established forever,” read the Ang Dating Daan (The Old Path) television and radio program host. He iterated that a leader’s power will strengthen when he treats and judges the poor fairly. “It is a secret of a righteous leadership.”

Bro. Soriano added that another secret to good leadership is being well-meaning or putting the concerns of others before one’s self. He also added that leaders must be generous and not greedy. “Mercy establishes a king, so does truth. A king’s seat is upheld by mercy,” stressed Bro. Eli.

Without mercy and equity, when lies proliferate instead of truth, Bro. Eli noted that the masses rejoice after a leader leaves his office. He cited Proverbs 29:2, which states that the people mourn or sigh when a wicked person rules.

The 66-year-old preacher then recalled how many of his fellow Filipinos were glad when Ramon Magsaysay and Diosdado Macapagal lead the country. “When they were removed from presidency, some Pinoys even cried.” An airplane crash caused the death of President Magsaysay.

Leading the Good Way

“If I were you, and I was head of a barangay, my first order of business would be to deal with the poor,” said Bro. Eli in his final remarks to Brgy. Captain Galimba. “Give the poor favor because they need protection. And you’ll see that you won’t be removed from being a barangay captain.”

He also advised the inquiring captain to use the funds of the barangay in worthwhile activities. Bro. Eli assured the captain that when people see their leader truly attending to the poor even when the barangay lacks the fund, its rich residents will help.

The MCGI Servant then expressed his hope that the Philippine President will be able to set things straight in the government despite his many enemies. “May God help President Noynoy to make the government well.”

“And if not the entire government, may we have good governance in barangays, as in Lagro Quezon city.”

(Words by Rigor Arellano)

(Photo by Rovic Balunsay) 

Related links:

For more information on MCGI’s charities: http://www.mcgi.org/about/charities/

Know more about Pres. Ramon Magsaysay and Pres. Diosdado Macapagal here: http://www.biography.com/people/ramon-magsaysay-40218

http://www.macapagal.com/dm2/biography/tributes.html)

El Camino Antiguo Arrives on Costa Rican TV

International Evangelist Bro. Eliseo Soriano breaks language barriers by reading a verse in Portuguese during one of his Bible Expositions in South America.
Breaking language barriers, International Evangelist Bro. Eliseo Soriano reads a verse in Portuguese during one of his Bible Expositions in South America.

El Camino Antiguo, the Spanish version of The Old Path, can now be viewed by Costa Ricans on national television via Canal 9 daily.

This program for Spanish-speaking audience is part of the global evangelization efforts of the Members Church of God International (MCGI) in Latin American countries.

Costa Rica, bordering the Carribean Sea and the North Pacific Ocean, lies between Nicaragua and Panama. With estimated population of about 4.6 million people, the country’s dominant religion is Catholic at 76%, according to The World Factbook online site of the Central Intelligence Agency.

Spanish is the official language of the country. However English remains solid in use, especially with more of its workforce being employed by the call center segment of the Business Process Outsourcing sector.

The multi-awarded program of Bro. Eliseo F. Soriano airs from 5:14-5:45 AM on weekdays and 6:00-6:30 AM on weekends, including a daily time slot from 12:30-1:00 AM. The program, which originated in the Philippines as the Ang Dating Daan radio and television show, is celebrating its 33rd year in broadcasting this year.

The initial broadcast on Canal 9 began on May 13, 2013. A year ago, The Old Path broadcast started its daily programming in Honduras on Canal 7. According to an MCGI Representative in Latin America, arrangements are currently being made to begin new broadcasts in neighboring countries of Costa Rica.

To know more about MCGI’s broadcasts, please click here.

(Words by Art Cruz)

25 Praise Songs to Join ASOP Asia-Oceania Division Finals in Australia

Participants at the Locale of Singapore presented their new songs of praise in the District 3 ASOP Eliminations night on April 28, 2013.
Participants at the Locale of Singapore presented their new songs of praise in the District 3 ASOP Eliminations night on April 28, 2013.

The A Song of Praise (ASOP) Finals of the Asia-Oceania Division will hear 25 new songs of praise come August this year, the most number of entries in its history yet. Australia will be the host country for the music festival.

The song entries are fruits of the recently concluded District Eliminations in Perth, Australia on April 25th, in Singapore on April 28th, and in Hongkong on May 1st this year. 

Representatives from Brunei, Papua New Guinea, Vietnam, Malaysia, South Korea, and China traveled to said locations to present their songs on stage. ASOP Asia-Oceania Secretariat indicated that it received 47 entries in total for this edition of the songwriting and music festival. 

Members in said countries monitored the proceedings via live video streaming where members also participated in an online voting for People’s Choice awardee.

Winners of the Division Finals in Melbourne, Australia in August will represent Asia-Oceania in the Year End Finals of the bi-annual ASOP Music Festival in Pampanga, Philippines. Conceptualized by MCGI Leaders Bro. Eli Soriano and Bro. Daniel Razon, the ASOP Music Festival seeks the best original songs of praise made by members Church-wide.

Last year, the Asia-Oceania Division brought home the Song of the Mid-Year and Year-End titles with song entries “Alabok na Sisidlan” (Dust Vessel) by Bro. Pablo Buan and “Unang Pag-ibig” (First Love) by Bro. Enrique Libiran.

For the full list of winners, please see here.

(Words by Art Cruz)

(Photograph by Jonathan Veluz)

ASOP Asia-Oceania Division Entries for August 2013

ASOP Asia Oceania District 1 Winners Perth, Australia)

“Dahil Ikaw ang Aking Dios”
Adelaide
Sis. Sally Morgan – Composer & Interpreter

“Pag-asa”
Perth
Bro. Rey Dalumpines – Composer
Sis. Alyn Armada – Interpreter

“Pagmamapuri Ng Mga Hirang”
Brisbane
Bro. George Aguinaldo – Composer
Sis. Lilian Remolin – Interpreter

“Walang Hanggan Kitang Sasambahin”
Adelaide
Sis. Sally Morgan – Composer & Interpreter

“Keep The Faith In You”
Auckland
Bro. Eric Geraldo – Composer
Bro. Danny Delleva – Interpreter

“Ang Swerte Ko”
Perth
Bro. Noel Castro – Composer &Interpreter

“Ikaw Ang Aking Sandigan”
Melbourne
Sis. Meriam Mababa – Composer
Sis. Nicole Reyes – Interpreter

“Dakilang Awa”
Brisbane
Bro. George Aguinaldo – Composer & Interpreter

“Tunay Na Ligaya”
Sydney
Bro Allan Masa & Bro Fernando Alba – Composer
Sis Mylah Masa & Bro Vic Tintero – Interpreter

“Tungkuling Ibinigay Sa Amin”
New Zealand
Bro Vik San Diego – Composer
Bro Jeffrey Sarto – Interpreter

“Salamat Sa Iyo Panginoon”
Melbourne
Sis Marlyn Cordova – Composer
Bro Oliver Solis – Interpreter

People’s Choice Award
“Pag-asa”
Perth
Bro Rey Dalumpines – Composer
Sis Alyn Armada – Interpreter


Best Interpreter

Sis Sally Morgan
“Dahil Ikaw ang Aking Dios”
Adelaide

ASOP Asia-Oceania District 2 Winners (Hongkong)

“Ating Paglalakbay”
Japan
Bro Anthony Bayaton – Composer
Bro. Nestor Salonga – Interpreter

“Salamat Amang Banal”
Hongkong
Bro. Enrico Perocho – Composer & Interpreter

“Dakilang Pag-asa”
South Korea
Bro. Enrique Libiran Jr. – Composer
Bro. Romy Salonga – Interpreter

“Bagong Pagkatao”
China
Bro Erick Quinto – Composer & Interpreter

“Walang Hanggan Kitang Mamahalin”
Macau
Bro. Jojit Angon – Composer
Sis Aileen De Matos – Interpreter

“Lucky”
China
Sis Dulce Alarcon – Composer
Bro. Pablo Martin – Interpreter

“Salamat sa Pagi-ibig Mo”
Hongkong
Sis Fe Pelaez – Composer
Sis Annalyn Martin – Interpreter

People’s Choice
“Ating Paglalakbay”
Japan
Bro. Anthony Bayaton – Composer
Bro. Nestor Salonga – Interpreter

Best Interpreter
“Walang Hanggan Kitang Mamahalin”
Macau
Sis. Aileen De Matos

ASOP Asia Oceania District 3 Winners (Singapore)

“Inari Mong Anak Na Rin”
Brunei
Bro. Antonio Gan – Composer
Bro. Alan Andrada – Interpreter

“Lahat Ng Dahilan”
Brunei
Bro. Antonio Gan – Composer
Bro. Enrique Fuertes – Interpreter

“Dahil Mayro’ng Ngayon”
Singapore
Bro. Jude Abarca – Composer
Sis. Angel Oxemer – Interpreter

“May Ngiti O Luha Man”
Singapore
Bro. Pebz Buan – Composer
Bro. Marlon Baybay – Interpreter

“Great Is Our God”
Malaysia
Sis. Melanie Mendoza – Composer
Sis. Elsie Marcos – Interpreter

“Budhing Walang Kapaslangan”
Brunei
Bro. Antonio Gan – Composer
Bro. Nestor Torres – Interpreter

“Nais Kong Awitan Ka”
Vietnam
Sis. Marje Navarro – Composer
Sis. Liza Del Rosario – Interpreter

People’s Choice
“May Ngiti O Luha Man”
Singapore
Bro. Pebz Buan – Composer
Bro. Marlon Baybay – Interpreter

Best Interpreter
“Budhing Walang Kapaslangan”
Brunei
Bro. Nestor Torres

Finding Poverty and Hardships Not Hindrance, Members in Locale of Magata Give Thanks

At the ADD Convention Center in Apalit, Pampanga, the Locale of Magata offered their song of praise on stage amidst hundred of members in their thanksgiving number for God on March 9, 2013.
Amidst hundreds of members in a thanksgiving number for God, the Locale of Magata offered their song on the stage of the ADD Convention Center in Apalit, Pampanga on March 9, 2013.

With about 90 members, the Locale of Magata converged with the tens of thousand congregants at the ADD Convention Center in Apalit, Pampanga one regular Thanksgiving service. These members were prepared spiritually to offer their sacrifice of thanksgiving. With kids in tow, they marched on stage to sing their song of praise. These members can still vividly recall their Thanksgiving on March 9, 2013.

“For God’s innumerable kindness, we agreed to offer our thanksgiving as a locale,” remarked Bro. Nestor Vasquez who is one of the pioneer members of the Locale of Magata. “With His grace we were able to, little by little, contribute and raise funds for our fare going to Apalit.”

Ain’t No Valley Low Enough

A far-flung highland of Rizal province in the Philippines, the town of Magata is an area where transportation and electricity are not available. It is as if in this modern-day world, Magata failed to catch up.

Some pointed to the area’s mountainous topography as one to blame why modernity didn’t yet reach Magata. As a result, locals subsist mostly in charcoal trade, raising goats and planting vegetables.

“If we want to make it to our thanksgiving on time, we must leave Magata at around 7 a.m. to 8 a.m. to get to Tanay between 10:30 a.m. and 11 a.m.,” explained Sis Juanita Resureccion, another pioneer member of the locale.

“We have to be on our way to Tanay as early as possible so we don’t miss the public transport,” added Sis. Juanita. The ‘public transport’ she was referring to is a big customized jeep built for the terrain that can even carry people on its top. It only makes one trip per day. “If we’re unlucky and our vehicle got into trouble during the trip, it would take us up to 2 p.m. just to reach Tanay.”

It is from Tanay where they ride regular means of public transport that can take them to Pampanga. City folk can only imagine the inconvenience and discomfort Magata-dwellers bear just to travel to Tanay, let alone another province like Pampanga.

Receiving Love, Giving Thanks

One of the primary reasons why the locale members of Magata offered thanks was because of the installation of a water pump to boost their water supply. “We are also offering thanksgiving because of our preachers, who never forget to care and show their concern for us,” Bro. Nestor further added.

Bro. Daniel Razon learned of Magata’s water problem during one of the Vice-Presiding Minister’s Visita Iglesia activities earlier this year. Bro. Daniel learned of this problem that affected locale members’ daily subsistence. In his willingness to always take advantage of opportunities to do good, Bro. Daniel visited the location of the brethren in Magata and had a water pump with a hose installed.

The Locale of Magata stands on the mountains of Rizal Province in the Philippines. Residents here subsist mostly in charcoal trade, raising goats and planting vegetables.
The Locale of Magata stands on the mountains of Rizal Province in the Philippines. Residents here subsist mostly in charcoal trade, raising goats and planting vegetables.

“The location where we get water is really far. Most of the time we rely from our non-member neighbors who have water hoses. Unfortunately it seems our water supply is cut off during our Saturday Church service or when brethren come visit the locale,” revealed Sis. Juanita.

“With God’s mercy, our prayers were heard and Bro. Daniel assisted us in getting the hose installed.” This kind gesture caused them to feel very blessed again as a locale. As a group who “seldom gets attention from the government,” said Sis. Juanita, they felt relieved with Bro. Daniel’s urgent response to their woes.

Small Wish Granted: (Truckload of) Bread

But it wasn’t the first time they had been recipients of the compassionate acts of Bro. Eli Soriano and Bro. Daniel Razon. In the Munting Pangarap (Small Wish) project of the MCGI Leaders, one member’s wish was granted in 2001.

“There’s the wife,” said Sis. Juanita, pointing to Sis. Maribel who was laughing on her chair. Asked what Bro. Datoy’s wish was, Sis. Maribel said her husband unblinkingly replied: “Bread. Just bread will do, Bro. Eli.” The modest request touched the hearts of Church members who witnessed the video recording of the gift-giving event played in a Thanksgiving service that year.

When other members from the locale asked him why he only requested for bread, Bro. Batoy casually replied, “Because we very seldom get a taste of bread in the mountains.”

More Than Bread

When the wish was granted, the Dela Cruz family and all of the Magata brethren were surprised not to see baskets of bread, but a whole truckload. Sis. Maribel, recounted that her children didn’t ask for rice during meals that time, but bread instead.

The bigger surprise however came together with the mountain of bread that were delivered to them — by the MCGI Leaders themselves. “It felt surreal,” expressed teary-eyed Bro. Nestor, as he recalled his reaction upon seeing Bro. Eli and Bro. Daniel in person.

Youths lining up at the entrance to greet brethren and guests at the Locale of Magata in Rizal Province.
Youths lining up at the entrance to greet brethren and guests at the Locale of Magata in Rizal Province.

“It was a time when you just know that no one can compare our Church to other religions,” stressed Bro. Nestor. “Leaders of other churches wouldn’t even make the effort of reaching out to members like us, especially not to a remote place where we live in. I then realized that our Church satisfies what the Holy Scriptures prescribe to leaders, to visit and see members face to face. And Bro. Eli and Bro. Daniel really do.”

The Church leaders also had a satellite dish installed so the brethren there can connect via satellite to Church services. Due to difficult transport facilities and fluctuating electric supply, all Church services in the locale are conducted on Saturdays.

Apart however from the water pump and satellite dish, Bro. Eli and Bro. Daniel gave them a generator for use in Church gatherings as well as in indoctrination sessions. According to locale officers, all these helped resolve problems like poor attendance of members who mostly encounter problems making trips back and forth to the area.

Life Goes On

“It’s very hard to get a stable source of income, it was tough even for us. That’s why some of us experienced temporary setbacks from attending our Church services in the previous years,” told Bro. Nestor. “But with God’s mercy, our leaders’ guidance and the assistance of our assigned workers, we were able to pack Saturdays with prayer meeting, thanksgiving and worship service. We’re very thankful.”

With all the daily struggles, not to mention the kind of discomfort they must endure, the Locale of Magata members are a hearty lot of people. Easily laughing at jokes, especially when they remember funny memories shared together as brothers and sisters in faith, they shed tears of joy for their overwhelming gratefulness despite their status in life. These people feel blessed and awed for having faithful leaders and a kind God.

“We have several batches of newly baptized brothers and sisters, which is part of the other big reasons for our thanksgiving. Even if our leaders are physically distant from us, we can feel God’s love and provisions. He has never left us alone, through Bro.Eli and Bro.Daniel,” added Bro Nestor.

His final words,  “As part of our request for our thanksgiving, we pray to God that before He takes Bro. Eli from us to rest for the time being, may we all be able to see him again personally, here in the Philippines.”

Like the disposition of the members of the Locale of Magata, most congregants of Members of the Church of God International (MCGI) can list a measly piece of bread for a wish. They do not grumble, complain and curse when they suffer. Life’s struggles and troubles are part of the package to these Christians. They endure hardships yet they are zealous to offer songs of thanks and praises. It’s their way of life in Christ.

(Words by Apple D. Arco)

(Photo by Rovic Balunsay)

Two Means that Lead to One End: New Life in Christ

Standing before the MCGI Chapel, the Peralta couple went to Apalit, Pampanga, Philippines on March 22, 2013 to be baptized in the Church of God International (MCGI).
While their means of hearing Bro. Eli Soriano were different at first, the Peralta couple was glad that they ended up joining the same Church that he leads.

After staying in the U.S. for many years without a religion, it was in the Philippines where Bro. Aurelio and Sis. Felicitas Peralta finally found their peace of mind after hearing God’s word through the preaching of Bro. Eli Soriano and Bro. Daniel Razon. 

At first, the ways that became instrumental for the couple to know the truth were different: one through television, the other through radio. In the end, the old couple shared a new beginning together, the day they were baptized unto the Church of God in the Bible.

Two Means, One End

Sis. Felicitas recalled how her nephew learned that she was already watching Bro. Eli’s Ang Dating Daan or The Old Path program on television. It was that day when her nephew who visited her in their house in Marikina that Sis. Felicitas was discovered watching the religious show.

“‘I didn’t know that Auntie listened to The Old Path?’ he said,” she recounted.

“Do you know him?” was the quick question Sis. Felicitas asked him. 

“I’m [a member] there, Auntie,” replied her nephew. Right then and there Sis Felicitas asked her nephew to take her to the nearest MCGI chapter. She recounted that her nephew sought from a Church member through a phone call for the address of the locale nearest their place. Incidentally, it was the same location where the couple would undergo their indoctrination sessions.

In Bro. Aurelio’s case, it was his brother-in-law that helped him find his brethren in faith.

“One time when there was a blackout, my brother-in-law bought an emergency light. He bought me a small radio too,” Bro. Aurelio began narrating the first time he learned that a very unconventional preacher like Bro. Eli exists.

“My in-law turned on the radio and he switched it there,” referring to Bro. Eli’s program on Radyo La Verdad 1350. It didn’t take him very long to realize and be convinced of the teachings that Bro. Eli speaks of in his program. “Why, I’ve waited long to hear that!” Bro. Aurelio exclaimed, eagerly telling his in-law afterwards to “research it.”

One and the Same

The couple arrived from Seattle, Washington to the Philippines on September of year 2012. Being away from loved ones in the Philippines for over a decade, Bro. Aurelio and Sis. Felicitas had many things to attend to even weeks after they landed on their home country.

The means and instances of hearing Bro. Eli for the first time may be different for the Peralta couple. Still, Bro. Aurelio and Sis. Felicitas were glad that it was the one and same man they both have enjoyed listening to. 

“When we got here in September last year… we always listened to Bro. Eli on UNTV,” said Sis. Felicitas. “It’s as if I’ve heard so many things that I only heard now.”

Before their baptism, the old couple live a decade with no religion in the U.S. after leaving the Pentecostal Church for good. “That’s why I’m very happy that I was able to come here for vacation,” Bro. Aurelio stressed. “My mind was enlightened. Everything changed somehow.”

The parents of six daughters, all of whom with their own families now, wished that their children could listen to Bro. Eli too. 

“Bro. Eli narrates very well,” said Sis. Felicitas, expressing afterwards her hope that the MCGI Leader will continue to preach to humanity. “It seems that there’s nobody who perseveres like him. Many people who don’t know what is really true, what is really good must hear him out.”

The Peralta couple was baptized on March 22, 2013 at the ADD Convention Center in Apalit, Pampanga.

(Words by Art Cruz)

(Photography by Kenji Hasegawa)


Sri Lankan National Wishes More of MCGI’s Presence in His Homeland

In one of MCGI's weekly Thanksgivings, a Sri Lankan national who visited the Locale of Dubai requested broadcast of The Old Path program in his homeland.
During a consultation segment in one of MCGI’s weekly Thanksgivings, a Sri Lankan national requested Bro. Eliseo Soriano of a broadcast of The Old Path program in his homeland.

The global propagation efforts of the Members Church of God International (MCGI) are set to be intensified in the island country of Sri Lanka.

This endeavor is a fruit of a conversation between Bro. Estephan Rode, a Sri Lankan national, and Bro. Eli Soriano, Presiding Minister to MCGI, on April 27, 2013 during the consultation segment of the Church’s weekly Thanksgiving.

The consultation portion of the service is where MCGI Leaders Bro. Soriano and Bro. Daniel Razon hear the various concerns of both members and guests. Bro. Rode from the Locale of Dubai talked to Bro. Eli via live video streaming as other members across the globe viewed them.

Bro. Rode is adamant in his belief that what Bro. Eli preaches is the truth: “It’s something we can propagate in Sri Lanka.”

A country south of Asia, the Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka is home to a number of religions with Buddhism and Hinduism as the most dominant among over 20 million people.

According to the International Evangelist, there is a 100% chance that the Church will put up a television program in Sri Lanka. Bro. Eli added the propagation of God’s words in all nations is part of the commandment of the Lord Jesus Christ, reading Matthew 28:19 that talks about preaching to all nations the Gospel of salvation.

Presently, Sri Lankan households are reached via the satellite services and internet-based evangelization programs of the Church. However, with the yearning of an individual who cares not only for his soul but for his fellowmen’s as well, a nationwide television program will be put up to serve a larger audience.

Based on the Church’s experience in its evangelical missions in foreign shores, one inquiry can pave the way to a pile more from the rest of the populace. This explains why the Church’s evangelization works in South and Central America have expanded in an almost unprecedented pace in a short time. MCGI is now eyeing to reach Mexicans with its growing satellite broadcasts of the Spanish-language version of The Old Path television channel.

At the end of their conversation, Bro. Eli asked for divine intervention to make this yet another undertaking an immediate reality: “May God guide you, and let us pray that the word of the Lord may be in your country very, very soon.”

(Words by Emmy Borromeo)

(Photography by Rovic Balunsay)

East Coast USA and Canada Hold Music Summit 2013

Queens, New York – A great many songs of praises were sang and danced in the recently-concluded Music Summit of East Coast USA and Canada on April 20 to 21 this year, showcasing the God-given talents of the Music Ministry members. The two-day event was also packed with activities geared to further cultivate their gifts in music.

Locale Choir members and Teatro Kristiano or the Church’s Dance Ministry members traveled from San Diego, Texas, Chicago, New Jersey, Maryland, and Montreal, Canada to New York in order to take part in the Summit. Participants journeyed as far as 2,800 miles by plane and 18 hours by land to join the musical event.

Homegrown talents of the Locale of New York take their turn on stage for their song-and-dance presentation.
New York’s Locale Choir and Teatro Kristiano take to the stage as they present their lively song of praise entry in the festival.

Tagapangasiwang Pampook assigned in the East Coast USA and Canada Division, Bro. Marvin Go opened the first day of the Music Summit with a brief yet hearty talk via live stream. Bro. Josel Mallari, the Minister-in-Charge in the same Division, immediately followed to render a welcoming speech before the participants. In an empowering speech, Bro. Josel talked about the value of Music Ministry.

“In all the things that we do in our services, what is for God is our praising Him with songs and dances,” remarked Bro. Josel, then adding, “It is a commandment to sing praises.

“The talents you are given are different. You are all given singing voices to use in praising God. That is our blessing,” Bro. Josel stressed.

A Church minister gives a few inspirational remarks to the participants of the two-day musical event.
Katulong ng Pangangasiwa Bro. Josel Mallari gives a short inspirational talk to the brethren during day one of the Music Summit held from April 20-21, 2013.

The Music Summit officially started at 7:00 p.m. EST on April 20. On the first day of the competition, locale choir members sang their prepared Tanging Awit presentations and a Church Hymn that was chosen on the spot by the panel of judges.

Meanwhile, the Teatro Kristiano from various states also showed their talent in acting and dancing during the choir’s common piece number.

The guest speakers during the second day were Bro. Bong Rueda and Bro. Perry Cuaresma, senior members of the Music Ministry Core. Through live stream, Bro. Bong and Bro. Perry entertained questions from the participants regarding their performance of duties in the Music Ministry and Teatro Kristiano.

The Locale Choir of Chicago traveled for 18 hours to participate in the Music Summit and present their prepared song of praise on stage.
The Locale Choir of Chicago traveled for 18 hours to participate in the Music Summit and present their prepared song of praise on stage.

Bro. John Paul Cruz, one of the judges in the Summit, also gave a short lecture in reading musical notes and music appreciation.

The over-all champions for the Music Summit were the locales of Montreal (3rd place), New York (2nd place), and Toronto (1st Place). Participants from Toronto, Canada made use of technology to stream their presentations online from their hometown.

(Words and photos by Pauline Arellano)


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