MCGI’s IMS 2014: Big Winners, New Format Changes Bared

The National Capital Region chorale’s performance is a delight for both the eyes and the ears during the International Music Summit held in Apalit, Pampanga on May 25, 2014. (Photo courtesy of Jerson Ona, Photoville International)
The National Capital Region chorale’s performance is a delight for both the eyes and the ears during the International Music Summit held in Apalit, Pampanga on May 25, 2014. (Photo courtesy of Jerson Ona, Photoville International)

May 25, 2014 – Central Division’s “Hindi Lang Buhay na Walang Hanggan” (Not Only Eternal Life) received the “Best Song Award” of the 14th International Music Summit (IMS) at the ADD Convention Center, Apalit, Pampanga last May 25 this year.

Aside from the announcement of winners, participants were told that the 15th edition of the annual Music Ministry event of the Members Church of God International (MCGI) will culminate with a new chorale presentation format.

More than 949 participants from Luzon region alone joined the IMS this year, with participating brethren from countries such as Canada, USA, United Kingdom, Brazil, Australia, UAE, Singapore, and Thailand to name a few.

Representatives from nearby divisions in the National Capital Region convened in the ADD Convention Center in Pampanga, while Music Ministry members from abroad and far provinces joined via satellite and live streaming.

Big Winners

The first runner-up in the Best Song category was won by Bulacan Division, while the combined chorale forces of Nueva Vizcaya, Ifugao, Isabela, Cagayan, Kalinga-Apayao took the second runner-up award.

Visayas and Quezon-Marinduque Divisions won third runner-up in the Best Song category of the international event.

The “Best Song for Foreign Music Ministry” award went to the West Coast Canada Division for their song entitled, “Ang Pagsamo” (The Plea).

The National Capital Region bagged the “Best Interpretation” award, followed by Laguna-Batangas-Marinduque-Romblon and Bataan-Zambales Divisions as first and second placers, respectively. Cavite Division ranked third for the award.

Rizal division bagged the “Best in Harmony” award, while the “Best in Chorale Arrangement” was awarded to Pampanga Division.

Big Changes

On its 15th edition in 2015, it was announced that the centerpiece of the annual international music event will be the participating chorale’s presentation of a one-act biblical play.

The format change marks the first time in IMS’s history that it will leave the original chorale composition format behind to adopt the presentation of a musical play.

Speaking before IMS participants all over the world, Bro. Bobby Delos Santos, Asst. Katulong ng Pangangasiwa (Helper of the Ministry), said, “We are already giving you an idea for how to prepare for the next International Music Summit.”

“We are hoping that what we did will result to the offering of sacrifice of thanksgiving to God for the [success of the] new [IMS] concept,” remarked Bro. Bobby.

Big Faith

Three of MCGI’s Katulong ng Pangangasiwa (Helpers of the Ministry) Bro. Ricardo Erese, Bro. Mel Magdaraog and Bro. Dino Hilario reminded the attendees of this year’s IMS about the significance of music and strong faith for Christians.

“This event is very significant for each one of us who are part of the City of God, and who has the duty of praising the glorious name of our Creator,” remarked Bro. Erese, as he spoke about praising God through music.

KNP Bro. Mel Magdaraog acknowledged the participants such as those in far regions and countries who weren’t able to physically attend the event, but were able to join via technology despite differences in distance and time zones.

“It is 1 a.m. there, brethren,” said Bro Mel, referring to IMS participants located in London, UK. “But if you’ll notice, they are there – that means that they give importance to this event,” stated Bro. Magdaraog.

Bro. Dino, the last to give his message, stressed on the importance of Music Ministry in doing God’s will – that is, singing songs of praises with biblical knowledge.

“Through the Music Ministry, with God’s help and mercy, we are able to help propagate the wisdom that we have known,” said Bro. Dino.

“May God multiply the legion of singers [in the Church] – singers who will bring happiness to God,” remarked Bro. Hilario.

MCGI leaders Bro. Eliseo Soriano and Bro. Daniel Razon spearhead the annual music event to enhance the faith and talent of Music Ministry members Church-wide.

(Written by Pauline Arellano)

Newly Baptized Testimonials: April 25, 2014

Read short testimonials of some of MCGI’s youngest brethren baptized on April 25, 2014 at the ADD Convention Center in Apalit, Pampanga.

Bro. Percival Salvador, 17, Former KNC, Bataan Province

On Being Baptized
I feel light. It’s like my view of life has changed. I’m really happy that my sins are gone. The things I did before, I will not do them anymore.

Many thanks to my parents for guiding me. I’m lucky that they are in The Old Path [The Church of God] and that they brought me here.

On MCGI Leaders
Bro. Eli, Bro. Daniel, many thanks for preaching. You are role models, and I love you very much.

~o~

Bro. Ismaelito Rama, 46, Former Born Again, Rizal Province

On Being Baptized
I feel happy, light, and clean.

I’ve been listening to [The Old Path] since it was on SBN 21, but then it didn’t air anymore on SBN. We didn’t have cable; we didn’t have UNTV.

Then, when I had a stroke, I was able to watch again Bro. Eli. We just chanced upon UNTV.

On MCGI Leaders
May the charity work be blessed, as well as the [spead] of the teachings that our leaders teach us, especially Bro. Eli.

~o~

Bro. Emerson Mendoza, 34, Former Catholic, Manila

On Being Baptized
I feel good inside. But before I say what I feel, I’ve been listening to Bro. Eli since 1994. Now I’m 34, and it’s only now that I’ve been baptized.

But perhaps, God has a [reason] for letting me become a member, for calling me, because He’s called me many times before, I just didn’t respond. Still, I am thankful that He called me, despite 20 years of not heeding to His call.

In the 13 years of my life, I did nothing but to drink, gamble; sometimes, I even quarrel with my wife.

I’m thankful that He didn’t give me sickness because when I drank I really drank to the limits.

I do not say this to brag; but I want to pierce the hearts of other people because our life is only short. Before, when I was admitted in a hotel, my livelihood was great, and I would have four or five women. That is, apart from gambling in the morning and drinking at night, and more gambling too.

Actually, my friend here (points to fellow newly baptized, Bro. Edgar Villablanca), we used to race. We were surprised to see each other today.

All I can say is that God is truly good, because somehow, He has been calling me for a long time, and I didn’t heed it. So now I heeded His call.

I remember when I was in college, in high school even, our professor and I would argue because I was in Catholic school. I graduated from Saint Anthony and Perpetual College. I would really [insist] the word of God. Only, I forgot.

On MCGI Leaders
I thank, firstly, the Lord God, our Father, His Son, and the preachers who lead us: Bro. Eli and Bro. Daniel. I will bring here my children. I will raise them properly, so that they won’t be like me.

~o~

Bro. Edgar Villablanca, 43, Former Jesus Is Lord Member, Manila

On Being Baptized
I can say that what happened to me today is really good, because I feel light. A thorn has been removed from my heart, and the Lord has forgiven the sins I have done as I was in vices before.

Now here I am. I heeded the Lord’s call that’s why I got baptized. So it’s really pleasant, and joyful. I can’t explain it. After being immersed in water, I felt light inside; the burden is gone. So I’m happy now.

I heard Bro. Eli on TV and that’s when I got interested. By accident, I saw him on UNTV on television. I’ve been listening to him since 2011.

Before, I attended the indoctrination already, but I wasn’t able to finish it. I was able to attend only three or four sessions. But now, I finished it already. And here I am. This is it. I’m here now.

My friend and I saw each other. He was my companion before in our horse-racing vice. So it’s amazing that we saw each other on this day of baptism.

On MCGI Leaders
Bro. Eli is anointed; he’s really a good preacher. The teachings he says are really one-of-a-kind. He explains the truths that are in accordance to the Bible. That’s where he really drew me.

The teachings he gives to people are different. He’s really a good preacher in this dispensation. He’s really the one that the Lord uses for people to learn the truth in accordance to the Bible, and he proves this in the Bible.

~o~

Bro. Rody Gonzales, 63, Former Baptist Pastor, Cavite Province

On Being Baptized
I’ve been relieved of the burdens I carried, the heaviness. I’m happy. Really. Deep inside my heart, I’m really happy.

When I was in Makati in 2012, my general foreman was a member in the Locale of N. Domingo in San Juan [in National Capital Region]. His older brother was our contractor. He had a duty in the Church.

Every end of the month, our contractor would bring us workers to Bible Expositions. That was for about a number of times.

It was good. The teachings are purely biblical: Nothing lacking, nothing added. What’s really in the Bible, I’ve proven [to be taught].

Also, what others say that there are many prohibitions, it’s only right. The laxness in people’s lives is not right. In others, everything is allowed.

On MCGI Leaders
Bro. Eli and Bro. Daniel, may you continue in your work, in the ministry. Many are praying for you, that you may continue to spread the work, and that you may be able to do much more work.

May the Lord will to give you longer lives because you are needed by the Church, especially in preaching the word of God to many. You still have many things to attend to; the Church needs you.

Regards to your family, and may God continue to give you strength, and take care of you.

~o~

Bro. Jhorem Loenen, 25, Former Iglesia Ni Cristo, Cavite Province

On Being Baptized
All I can say is that I’m happy. I don’t know if a spirit descended upon me because I’m overwhelmed with joy.

Because of the Church of God, perhaps all my sins have been forgiven when I was immersed. I really can’t explain my overwhelming joy.

At first, I was just invited to a prayer meeting in Trece Martires, Cavite. Whenever they gathered for prayer meetings and worship services, I joined them.

Then, when my older sister told me that indoctrination sessions were opening, I asked her, “Ate, can you accompany me to be indoctrinated?” She replied, “Yes, we’ll go with you.”

So that’s when it all started. Until it finished, I continued with it. I just knew right from the start of my listening to Bro. Eli that what he teaches is truly the word of God, and does not come from himself but from the Bible.

It’s as if something urged me to join the Church of God. I can’t explain it, because it was unexpected. I just became active in listening right from the start.

On MCGI Leaders
Bro. Eli, thanks for encouraging us. May you continue to invite people from the world [unto the Church of God]. I hope that we’ll be able to help you in [spreading] the teachings and word of the Lord God.

~o~

Sis. Janet Sison, 34, Former Born Again, Cavite Province

On Being Baptized
I’m really very happy and relieved because I really wanted to be a member of the true Church of God. And it came true.
I’ve been listening [to Bro. Eli Soriano] since 2001 through my brother who is already a member. But I didn’t believe then. But as time passed by, it’s like I realized that Bro. Eli is right with the doctrines.

Then, when my brother and I got separated due to his work, I got to watch on television, through UNTV.

On MCGI Leaders
May they continue in the work of the Lord. Because as they always say, “No good deed will yield evil.” That’s all.

~o~

Sis. Edith Resuleo, 50, Former Catholic, Cavite Province

On Being Baptized
I feel light. Before I was immersed in the water, I felt so heavy, burdened with many problems. But now with God’s mercy, I am crying for joy. Thanks be to God.

I got to listen to [Bro. Eliseo Soriano] on television. I jot down every verse from the Bible, as when I was a Catholic, and a member of the El Shaddai group, there were also Bible Studies.

Then when he [Bro. Eli] speaks, it’s like I’m focused on what he’s saying. His voice and speech are nice. It was about two years ago since I first listened to him. I thought I was going to be just a listener as I was busy with the El Shaddai.

Then, my wife and I had a problem. And it seemed like we lost God. I’ve been listening to the [indoctrination sessions] for two weeks, with the one who brought me here. And now I’m here in Apalit. Thanks be to God. It’s like a miracle.

On MCGI Leaders
I’m very thankful because I thought I would just be a listener. But thanks be to God that I’m here now in Apalit. Thanks Bro. Eli and Bro. Daniel.

~o~

Bro. Franco Jacob, 36, Former Catholic, Manila

On Being Baptized
I’m happy because I got to be in the true religion. I feel light, just light. It feels good inside. If only I could do it one more time [laughs].
I’ve been listening to [Bro. Eliseo Soriano] since I was young, about 19. Now I’m 35. The only reason why I didn’t join before was because of liquor. But I didn’t smoke, just liquor.

I didn’t want to fool myself then. Perhaps, if I joined and I would just drink, I would just be folling myself. I had only liquor problem, and no other vices.

I listened to Bro. Eli through television and radio. He was still on Channel 13 then. He was still very young.

On MCGI Leaders
I hope they’ll always take care. Also, may their lives be longer that they may lead many more souls.

~o~

Bro. Ruth Jacob, 30, Former Catholic, Manila

On Being Baptized
I’m happy. It feels light inside.

I feel light, and my heart is thankful that I knew the true God. It’s unlike the God of the Catholics that are idols, but the living God.

I attended Bible Expos before, and also through Bro. Roger Necessito. He followed up on us, so we were able to attend the indoctrination.

I felt relief in my heart [upon listening to the indoctrination], because of the much grace and salvation towards me. When I didn’t know Him yet, I felt I was such an evil being. So I really remembered His kindness, and I’m really thankful and sorry of my sins.

On MCGI Leaders
May they be given more strength by the Lord God that they may continue spreading the words of God to people, that many more souls will be saved.

~o~

Sis. Lilia Verey, 57, Former Iglesia ni Cristo, Bulacan Province

On Being Baptized
It feels good. It’s so relieving. It’s peaceful, and my mind is calm. Despite having many problems before, it’s like they’re all gone.

I just watched Bro. Eli on TV. Sometimes while I cook, I would listen to him till the morning.
I’ve been listening for a long time, since six months ago.

On MCGI Leaders
I’m happy that I found them, that I found the truth as I was a former Iglesia ni Cristo member.

The teachings are very different from the Iglesia before. That’s why back then, I gradually didn’t worship anymore in their chapel in the Church.

I watched on television, and I didn’t worship anymore. There were many deacons who visited me, and they saw me watching Bro. Eli.

They said that Bro. Soriano was crazy, but I said, “No, what he explains is just right.” Then, my neighbors who were INC members ignored me already.

It’s a pity that my father and mother were not able to become members. They died as Iglesia ni Cristo members. I was an offering [“handog”] there.

I’ve long been a member of the Iglesia, but the teachigns of Bro. Eli are really different.

MCGI’s Music Summit 2014 Puts Focus on Strengthening of Faith Over Talent

Aside from the Annual IMS, the Music Ministry leads the brethren in congregational singing during Church gatherings.
Aside from the Annual IMS, the Music Ministry leads the brethren in congregational singing during Church gatherings. (Photo courtesy of Photoville International)

Apalit, Pampanga – Strengthening of faith over knowledge sharing will be the focus of the main program of the International Music Summit of the Members Church of God International (MCGI).

Now on its 14th year, the yearly convention is one of the biggest gatherings of chorale, orchestra and band members of the Church from the Philippines and many parts of the world.

IMS will be held on May 25 this year at the ADD Convention Center in Apalit, Pampanga, a province north of Manila.

Faith First

ADD Chorale conductor and IMS organizer Bro. Bong Rueda said in an interview that the goal of enhancing the chorale members’ musical knowledge has always been secondary to the goal of enriching the participants’ spiritual wisdom.

“Our goal here is to learn how to strengthen our faith,” remarked Bro. Rueda then added, “It’s not about the talent, the knowledge or the quality of our voices; but it is [about] our endurance to continue, [which is] something that is motivated by God’s teachings.”

“Like what Bro. Daniel always says, our purpose for this kind of activity is not always about technicalities,” Bro. Rueda stated.

IMS is one of the activities co-founded by Bro. Daniel Razon, the Vice-Presiding Minister to MCGI, together with Presiding Minister Bro. Eliseo Soriano in 2001.

Chorale Presentation

One of the event’s highlights – the Chorale Festival – is aimed at showcasing new original song compositions that the pre-selected regional representatives will present during the culminating activity of IMS.

The regional representatives underwent a rigorous pre-selection process held in Regional and District Music Festivals per province and country.

For this year’s Chorale Festival, the theme is about “the greatest reward for the forebearance of God’s servants.”

The 14th IMS will also feature voice clinics and music consultations.

As a venue for Music Ministry members to learn spiritual guidance that would help them in their duties in the Church, IMS provides activities and workshops that would help them enhance their skills in music.

“It’s high time that we also pay attention to [our] personality, facial expressions and performance in singing. That will be the focus of this year’s IMS workshops,” he added.

Explaining further, Bro. Bong said that “a choir is first seen before heard,” hence, the necessity to groom choir members to be presentable during performances.

A Music Summit for All

Aside from the Youth Ministry choir, the IMS is also open to members of the Locale Choir, ADD Orchestra, Church band and Music Ministry aspirants.

Organizers encourage not only members of the Church to watch and participate in the Summit but to also non-members.

(Written by Yanna Faye Ferrera)

Newly Baptized Testimonials: April 18, 2014

Read short testimonials of faith from some of MCGI’s youngest brethren baptized on April 18, 2014 at the ADD Convention Center in Apalit, Pampanga.

Bro. Alexander and Sis. Zarah Navarro, 49 & 39, Former Catholics, NCR

On Being Baptized

Bro. Alexander: I feel happy. I feel happy because we have been listening [to Bro. Eli Soriano] for quite a long time. Actually, we thought about this long; we were making sure of ourselves. Together, we decided to join. We are pleased.

Sis. Zarah: We feel very happy because we have been planning for this for a long time, for about five years I guess, but we were only able to decide now. We thought about it before we joined.

Bro. Alexander and Sis. Zarah: We were able to listen to Bro. Eli through television. We watch TV before going to sleep; we watch it [The Old Path] together. It’s what we do before sleeping.

During that time, [The Old Path] wasn’t on UNTV yet. [It] was still SBN; that’s where we first listened. Actually, the reason why we had the chance to listen was because the word “alien” [from a gag show] got famous.

Sis. Zarah: I realized afterwards that it was Bro. Eli that they were talking about in that “Bubble Gang” show. It started from there. I was the one who was able to listen and then I asked him [my husband] to check it out.
On MCGI Leaders

Bro. Alexander: I hope he presses on until his last days, because what he does is great.

I didn’t see in others the way he preaches the Bible. I voluntarily left the Catholic Church, because I felt that I couldn’t understand anything.

I’d been a member there for very long, since I was young, only because my parents were Catholics. They are now members here; they got baptized first.

I used to go with them to the parish; I would stay there for fifteen minutes and then I will go outside to eat. That’s because I really couldn’t understand anything.

I grew up and I haven’t even memorized Catholic prayers, their rosary, even “Our Father.” So I started asking around.

There was a time when I saw a Bible and I tried reading. When I read it, I started asking more questions. When the Catholic Church could not answer those questions, I left. Sis. Zarah left as well, and to think she went to Catholic school.

Sis. Zarah: I was a Catholic kid but I had so many questions that were not answered. It was only Bro. Eli who was able to answer, so I hope Bro. Eli will still be given longer life and endurance. Thanks be to God for Bro. Eli and Bro. Daniel

~o~

Bro. Raji Bernada, 27, Former Born Again, Manila

On Being Baptized
Before anything else, it’s a great experience to feel this hope inside that you are finally cleansed from all your sins. There’s also this hope that you will be able to start a new life and have the opportunity to serve the Lord.

When I was 16 or 17 years old, I watched him on TV. However, I sort of get annoyed with him at first, because I was a Born Again. He was against my beliefs, and back then I was hard-hearted.

Then there came a time when something unexplainable happened, I felt that God opened my heart [to his preaching] just like what it says in the Bible. That’s the only time you would truly understand His words. You would be enlightened by His words.

That’s when it all started after I heard Bro. Eli, it went on for about two to three months. That was last month. Time came when I assessed the doctrines thoroughly. I repented. I stopped attending Born Again for about one year.

One of my cousins invited me to attend services at the Iglesia ni Cristo [INC], but I couldn’t really accept their teachings. I went with my cousin against my will. Unlike when I listened to Bro. Eli. I was intrigued and had so many questions, including why this wasn’t done in our Church? I said to myself, “Of course, this is written and I’ve been reading this but I’ve always ignored it.”

On MCGI Leaders
Bro. Eli, thanks be to God for your persistence, for your continuous preaching of God’s words. Thanks be to God too because you never stop from giving advice to all who needs His words.

~o~

Sis. Mercy Estante, 32, Former Catholic, Manila

On Being Baptized
I feel light inside. My husband always watched Bro. Eli on TV every day, on UNTV, and that’s how I got to listen to him.

He invited me to listen to Bro. Eli a year ago. At first, I wasn’t interested. Later on, I realized I’ve been watching the program daily. It seemed as if I was enlightened.

I was a former Catholic. I used to get mad whenever I listened to Bro. Eli. So whenever my husband would ask me to watch with him, I would refuse. I would just listen. But that’s where it all started.

When my husband’s out, I would listen by myself. One time he got home exactly when I was watching; that’s when he began encouraging me. I am grateful to God for my husband, because if it weren’t for him, I wouldn’t have known the true doctrines.

On MCGI Leaders
Thanks be to God for Bro. Eli and Bro. Daniel. I learned a lot here that I didn’t learn in other religions.

~o~

Bro. Menardo Villarin, 47, Former Catholic, Cavite Province

On Being Baptized
I feel good. I kind of felt that my life suddenly had direction, and that I know which path to go. We were taught about what you should and should not do. We now have a guide to follow the right thing.

I’ve been a listener for a long time, since [The Old Path was] on RJTV. I got to listen to him [Bro. Eliseo Soriano] before. What I like about him is the way he answers questions.

I never met any other pastor whom people can ask questions or will allow people to ask him questions. He was solely that preacher. Others asked my own questions, and those questions were all answered.

There was not one question left unanswered. Whenever he answers, it’s thorough and complete. His answers were never insufficient. It’s complete. His answers all came from the Bible too. That’s what’s great actually. He doesn’t use other books but one: The Bible.

On MCGI Leaders
Thanks be to God that Bro. Eli exists in this world, and for teaching the laws in the Bible. I pray that you will have a longer life so you can propagate the words of God for more years.

~o~

Sis. Jemalyn Perete, 35, Former Catholic, Cavite Province

On Being Baptized
It was light, and I felt like I’m free!

I first listened to Bro. Eli last year through television. My husband is a member, but he never invited me because I would reprimand him for not going home early. I kept asking him why the Church services were so long. Finally he invited me so I would know why the duration was long.

The first time I came with him in one of the Church thanksgivings, I immediately got interested in studying God’s words. I noticed a lot of teachings in the Catholic Church that they are not in the Bible. I just didn’t know where to transfer; I didn’t know where to find the true Church.

I had been invited by Jehovah’s Witnesses in one of their Bible Studies, they gave me a warm welcome when I arrived. I felt though that they were insincere. I also felt that they were wealthy; their outfits said so. I didn’t feel like I fitted in.

I was turned off when they told me that they’re prohibiting blood transfusion. I thought that in case I fall ill [and needed blood], I would die right away. Unlike here, my husband [also] likes the idea of Mass Blood letting.

In my former religion we worshipped a female saint too: Mary Magdalene. We also have “Reading of the Passion.” My family is very devoted to that faith. I was different, however.

I liked to analyze, to contemplate, “Why is it like this? Why is it like that?” I hope I will be able to invite my mother. I found out only recently that she doesn’t believe in the Bible even if she’s a Catholic.

I remember when I was young, I would see the Bible scattered somewhere, unattended. Now I realize it’s because they don’t believe in it. They believe more in the traditions, but not the words in the Bible.

One time my mother even got mad at me because I liked the teachings in MCGI. That’s what got me more interested. I pray that I could go home in May so I can also invite them here.

On MCGI Leaders
Thanks be to God because he woke me up to the truth, and that I was in the wrong religion.

~o~

Bro. Nelson Arceño, 37, Former Catholic, Cavite Province

I feel light. I was cleansed from the sins of my past life. After being immersed, I felt lightweight. It’s as if I was purified by the power of God and Jesus Christ.

I think I started listening in 2005. I think I saw this building Ang Dating Daan [The Old Path Convention Center] when it was under construction. I was a helper of my brother-in-law and we delivered gravel here.

I bought a bigger TV from my neighbor, and luckily it included UNTV 37 where I saw someone who looks like he’s preaching. It was the Ang Dating Daan program. I got hooked, and I saw that the teachings are true and were all taken from the Bible.

It was the only religion that bases answers to questions solely from the Bible. Unlike other religions where you will only hear stories, and doctrines are not from the Bible.

On MCGI Leaders
Bro. Eli, thanks be to God that through your evangelization, I am one of the souls you led towards salvation. I pray that God will give you longer life, so that more souls will be saved. Thanks be to God again Bro. Eli.

Newly Baptized Testimonials: April 11, 2014

Read short testmonials of faith from some of MCGI’s youngest brethren baptized on April 11, 2014 at the ADD Convention Center in Apalit, Pampanga.

Bro. Mcleen Kevin Elli, 15, Former KNC, Bataan Province

On Being Baptized
Firstly, thanks be to God because He called my soul and I turned to [Him] again. I’m happy because it feels like all the sins I have done before seemed to have disappeared and I’m starting all over again. It felt like I was born again.

I remember I was five years old when my relatives brought me to their locales. So I became a Kawan ng Cordero (KNC), and not long after, God called me too. My mom is a member of the Church.

On MCGI Leaders
Bro. Eli, Bro. Daniel, thanks be to God because you were given to us. Please take care always, and I pray that you will have a longer life on earth so that more people will be able to hear you and join the Church.

~o~

Sis. Jonalyn Espino, 33, Former Born Again, Pampanga Province

On Being Baptized
First and foremost, I thank God because of the opportunity He gave me to be a member of the truth, of the true Church.

There were times that whenever I listened to Bro. Eli, I got peace of mind. My heart is filled with love that really came from God, and I believe that I stumbled upon the true Church.

Thanks be to God for our Savior Jesus Christ. May He guide me in my journey because I’m new in the Church, [and is] considered a baby [in faith]. I pray that with God, I will be able to endure. Thanks be to God!

I was able to listen to Bro. Eli when my friend from Arayat (Pampanga) invited me to attend the indoctrination session.

My parents were members for ten years then, but at that time I wasn’t ready. I have a friend who convinced me. That friend was more vocal in sharing with me things about the Church.

Even though I got to listen to Bro. Eli before — almost daily — because my father watches UNTV, so whether I like it or not I got to listen. There were times when I got fed up, but the more I listened, the more it got to me and there came a time when I felt that I was ready to get indoctrinated.

On MCGI Leaders
Bro. Eli, thanks be to God because there’s a preacher like you who sacrifices the material things of the world to help save many people. I also thank God for Bro. Daniel because he also helps in leading people towards salvation. Thanks be to God!

~o~

Sis. Ofelia Mendoza, 35, Former Catholic, Bulacan Province

On Being Baptized
I thank God because I am now inside the Church of God. I have waited a long time to be a member but I didn’t have time, but I am very happy now because I’m part of the Church.

My employer is a member of the Church. We come here at the Convention Center weekly. I also thank God for my employer because he convinced me to join. I got my first taste of Bro. Eli’s preaching a year ago when I became an employee of my boss’ company. I really see the truth here; I’m a former Catholic. After I listened to Bro. Eli, I stopped going to Catholic mass. I concentrated on the teachings here.

I was from Negros, in the Visayas, then I transferred here in Bulacan. I’m truly grateful that I became his employee. Sometimes when my work is unsatisfactory, he teaches me; he corrects me.

I feel that the doctrines in our Church are very different from my former religion. I really saw the truth.

On MCGI Leaders
Bro. Eli, I am speechless, because I know that you tell the truth and I believe that everything is genuine. Bro. Daniel, I thank God that I became a part of the Church of God.

~o~

Sis. Julie Anne Dolormente, 18, Former Catholic, Cavite Province

On Being Baptized
I feel happy. I feel light inside after getting baptized.

I came with my spouse; he brought me here during thanksgiving some time last month.

Then after I listened to Bro. Eli, during my first time, I found the teachings to be divine. It’s beautiful. The doctrines were very helpful.

I had noticed coordinating centers of Ang Dating Daan before, and then he brought me to one and I realized that that was it. Lovely. He didn’t say anything; he just invited me to go with him.

On MCGI Leaders
Bro. Eli, Bro. Daniel, thanks be to God I became a member of the Church. I learned a lot of teachings. I hope you will continue sharing your wisdom with us, and with other people. Thank you very much.

With MERS Concerns Rising, Bro. Eli Urges Preventive Measures and Cooperation

The Presiding Minister to the Members Church of God International (MCGI) has urged Church members to exercise extra caution when travelling or are in public places around Middle East, where cases of deaths caused by the Middle East Respiratory Syndrome coronavirus (MERS-cor virus) are reportedly rising.

“God takes care of us, but we must do our part,” said Bro. Eliseo Soriano. Citing 1 John 5:18, the international evangelist added, “First and foremost [there] is God’s care, but he that is born of God, takes care of himself.”

Bro. Eli Soriano delivering a Biblical topic in one of MCGI's weekly Thanksgivings to God. (Photo courtesy of Prince Maverick Marquez, PVI)
Bro. Eli Soriano delivering a Biblical topic in one of MCGI’s weekly Thanksgivings to God. (Photo courtesy of Prince Maverick Marquez, PVI)

Bro. Eli also gave specific precautionary examples to prevent acquiring the deadly virus not just for members based in the Middle East, but also all over the world.

“When in offices or malls and you feel the need to go to a comfort room, don’t touch the door knobs,” the evangelist told attendees of a regular Thanksgiving service of the MCGI where various countries around the globe are connected via satellite and Internet facilities.

Bro. Soriano also cautioned members about touching virus entry points like the mouth, nose and eyes after coming in contact with someone, like through handshakes.

The MERS corona virus was first discovered in 2012 in Saudi Arabia, and has since spread to 16 countries in Europe, Asia and the United States, according to NBC.

Channel News Asia reports that the death toll from the virus has reached 115. To date, there is still no vaccine available.

A flu shot advertisement hangs across shelves of medicines at a pharmacy in the US during flu season.
A flu shot advertisement hangs across shelves of medicines at a pharmacy in the US during flu season. (Richard Cortez, PVI)

The Philippines’ Department of Health (DOH) said in a report that SARS “resurfaced as coronavirus,” and that transmission can come from the sneeze of an infected person three feet away.

DOH Spokesperson Dr. Eric Tayag advises washing hands and limiting contact with other people to avoid the disease.

“Take care brethren; as you know, the Lord Jesus Christ said that there will be plagues,” reminded the Ang Dating Daan (The Old Path) host.

“Foremostly, there is God’s care for us, but let us take necessary measures so that the people in our lives will not be affected.”

(Written by Rigor Arellano)

 

MCGI Wins KBP Golden Dove Award for KNC Show

Cast of MCGI's KNC Show on UNTV during a taping session at the Sofitel Plaza Philippines in Pasay City, Manila. (Photo courtesy of Joy Reyes, PVI)
Cast of MCGI’s KNC Show on UNTV during a taping session at the Sofitel Plaza Philippines in Pasay City, Manila. (Photo courtesy of Joy Reyes, PVI)

KNC Show, the “Bible-based kiddie program on air,” was hailed as the Best TV Children’s program in the recent 22nd Golden Dove Awards in Pasay City, Manila on April 29, 2014.

The Members Church of God International (MCGI) produces the show, which airs on UNTV. KNC is short for Kawan ng Cordero, which when translated in English means Flock of the Lamb.

“We thank God for the honor given by the KBP Golden Dove Awards,” expressed Jovan Marquez, programming and productions assistant head of UNTV, as he received the award for the KNC show at the Star Theater, CCP Complex in Pasay City.

Marquez also thanked the Filipino broadcaster group for the recognition.

The KNC Show of the Members Church of God International receives Best TV Children program title in the KBP 22nd Golden Dove Awards. (Photo courtesy of Raymond Lacsa, PVI)
The KNC Show of the Members Church of God International receives Best TV Children program title in the KBP 22nd Golden Dove Awards. (Photo courtesy of Raymond Lacsa, PVI)

Now nearing its 10th year, KNC Show teaches children of different ages about art, nature, science and health while highlighting biblical stories and passages.

The Children of MCGI or the KNC as they are referred to in the Church, are taught in a similar fashion every Church service. There are curriculum-based lessons provided every KNC Bible school session.

MCGI Leaders Bro. Eliseo Soriano and Bro. Daniel Razon make it a point to teach children early on about the Bible, following the Lord’s commandment in Proverbs 22:6.

Through the years, the show has received multiple Anak TV Seal awards for its kid-friendly content, where the Golden Dove award is the latest addition to the KNC Show’s list of laurels.

After taping the kids of the KNC Show take a jump shot by the Manila bay.  (Photo courtesy of Joy Reyes, PVI)
After taping the kids of the KNC Show take a jump shot by the bay at the Sofitel Plaza Philippines in Pasay City, Manila. (Photo courtesy of Joy Reyes, PVI)

Other than the KNC Show, UNTV’s ‘Caring for the Elderly’ advocacy was also awarded by the KBP, receiving the Best Public Service Announcement title.

Earlier in 2014, MCGI’s flagship show Ang Dating Daan or The Old Path was honored as Best Longest-Running Religious Program in the 34th Dangal ng Bayan Awards.

The Golden Dove Awards is organized by the Kapisanan ng mga Brodkaster ng Pilipinas or the KBP. The annual event is “where broadcast practitioners, stations and programs are given recognition for their excellent contribution to the broadcast industry.”

(Written by Rigor Arellano)

Newly Baptized Testimonials: April 4, 2014

Read short testimonials of faith from some of MCGI’s youngest brethren baptized on April 4, 2014 at the ADD Convention Center in Apalit, Pampanga.

Bro. Winifredo Alvarez, 57, Former Catholic, Bulacan Province

On Being Baptized
I can’t explain how I feel inside, but I feel very different right now.

I was able to listen to Bro. Eli Soriano through radio and television. I have been listening to Bro. Eli for a long time, about nineteen years already. I think it [started] was when he was still on Don Manolo’s [radio] program.

On MCGI Leaders
I am grateful because Bro. Eli encourages many people to join The Old Path and listen to God’s words. He helps a lot of people.

~o~

Sis. Beverly Marie Dacanay, 22, Former Catholic, NCR

On Being Baptized
I am very happy. If there’s a better word for “very happy,” that’s how I feel.

My parents led me here because they are both members. The first time I got to listen to Bro. Eli [Soriano] was when my sibling had me join her [in the coordinating center]. My father brought our family here when he attended the indoctrination session.
The doctrines I heard are incomparable.

On MCGI Leaders
First and foremost, thanks be to God because they shared their knowledge in the words of God even if it was difficult, even if there were a lot of trials to overcome, they continue to do what they do to help people repent.

~o~

Bro. George Galangue, 38, Former Born Again, Rizal Province

On Being Baptized
My experience in the baptism here is really extraordinary. [Even when] I was just about to go into the water, I was already crying. I felt God’s presence.

There was something that changed, it feels like something was really changed, especially when I was immersed and got out of the water.

I couldn’t explain how I felt. You can’t express your happiness. I said to myself, “It’s God’s presence; it was really good. It’s as if I was [covered] by God’s presence”. I can’t express how I was feeling.

I feel light. And until now, I feel relieved deep inside my heart. My life felt very burdensome and heavy. I used to hear other teachings before, but what I’m listening to now is really different.

I told myself this is really the right one. We really need to show charity, live by what we have heard, because it’s all true. That’s what we really need in our time.

I started listening to Bro. Eli through radio. I was in the province of Isabela before and I was in a different church. I went to a lot of different churches in the past.

I attended a Born Again group. So I was only listening through the radio. Even if there were a lot of people saying “Don’t believe that, don’t believe in them because they are a cult.”

But I did not really listen to them. Because I know what the correct preaching is. One that does not hide anything, does not sugarcoat.

So I just continued listening until I was able to get to Manila. I watched UNTV there, and it went on continuously.

I can’t remember when I started listening. But it was too long ago. I just waited. I told myself that if there’s an opportunity to attend indoctrination; I will get indoctrinated.

There was a time when I saw the [Ang Dating Daan] Montalban Coordinating Center that I happened to pass by on the way to the market. I asked a brother near the coordinating center’s door when the indoctrination was. I was right on timing when I asked because the indoctrination session that day has just started, so I went in. That’s where it all began.

With God’s help, with His and His Holy Spirit’s grace, we were able to continue. I pray for Him to help us and guide us and keep us safe in our everyday life. God is really good because He is the “true life” for me.

On MCGI Leaders
Bro. Eli is really kind, because with his age, he not only sacrificed his whole life but also everything he has. He gave everything to God so he can honor Him.

With what I saw in him, he’s very industrious. It looks like he never had a chance to rest. He should continue to preach and teach [God’s words] so there will be more souls that will be saved.

There are still a lot of lost souls who need salvation, and to find salvation, they really need to listen to him [Bro.Eli]. What I can advise those that aren’t members here yet is to continue to seek the truth, like what I did.

Just ignore other people’s comments that we are a cult, the ill things they say, the false accusations. We shouldn’t pay attention to those. Let’s base it from what they’re teaching.

If this Church is not of God, of Jesus Christ’s then don’t join. But if it is Jesus Christ’s, and God’s words are taught here, don’t think twice. This is what we need in the last days.

~o~

Bro. Joel Martinez

On Being Baptized
I feel happy. I was able to listen to Bro. Eli [Soriano] through TV.

I was in my fourth year in high school, around 2012. No one invited me, I just chanced upon it while I was switching channels. That’s when I was able to listen. I just continued listening until my father got mad. He didn’t know I got baptized, but I told my mother.

On MCGI Leaders
Thanks be to God for them, because if it weren’t for them, I will not be able to listen to God’s words.

~o~

Bro. Wilmart Bacero, 31, Former Mormons, Rizal Province

On Being Baptized
With over 10 years of listening to Ang Dating Daan [The Old Path], I feel so light now that I was baptized.

At first, I was really crying. You can really feel that God is with you. That’s one of the things I felt, and then I felt that my sins were washed away. And my love [for others] returned, and many more.

I have been listening to Bro. Eli [Soriano] through television before, but maybe during those times I wasn’t being called to the Church yet. But now, I know He really called me. I really strived hard. No one invited me, I went by myself.

On MCGI Leaders
Long live Bro.Eli and Bro.Daniel! You are really messengers of God. I truly believe that everything you [teach] are all based in the Bible. Your teachings are very different from other people’s.

I have been with the Mormons for a long time; I’ve been listening to the Born Again and the Catholics, and they’re all far off, most especially when it comes to their doctrines [compared to MCGI’s].

Even if I’ve been listening to [The Old Path] for more than nine years, but when I attended the indoctrination session, it was really different. That’s how my heart was captured; it felt like a spirit entered. I couldn’t understand. That’s when I really pursued [getting baptized].

There were a lot of things that got in the way, but as Bro. Eli said, even if there are a lot of things that will stop you, just continue. That’s normal. There was a time, [when I felt] that I won’t get baptized, but I prayed. Now, I got here. Thanks be to God.

A First, Bro. Eli Hands ASOP Music Fest Top Prize to All Finalists

All thirteen finalists of the A Song of Praise Music Festival shared the “Song of the Year” award, a historic awarding in this bi-annual Members Church of God International (MCGI) songwriting competition.

Bro. Eliseo F. Soriano broke the “big news” during a regular Thanksgiving service on April 19 this year, two weeks after the songwriting festival was held on April 6, the second day of the International Thanksgiving to God (ITG).

Interpreters and composers get interviewed before a worldwide audience during the ASOP Year-End Finals on April 6, 2014 that coincided with MCGI's South-America-hosted International Thanksgiving.
Interpreters and composers get interviewed before a worldwide audience during the ASOP Year-End Finals on April 6, 2014 that coincided with MCGI’s South-America-hosted International Thanksgiving. (Photo courtesy of James Espiritu, PVI)

Although not unusual that two or three winners share the grand prize, declaring all finalists winners surprised everyone. It was a move that was made so much special because the Presiding Minister celebrated his baptism jubilee on April 7 this year.

Organizers said that over half-million cash prizes will be split to all winning composers, lyricists, and interpreters.

Philippine Finalists

The Philippines was represented by finalists from the regions of Cavite, Laguna, Batangas, Mindoro and Romblon (LBMR), Central Visayas, and Mindanao.

Cavite Division was the first to perform with “Mula ng Makilala Ka,” (Since I Met You), an original composition by Bro. Juanito Pascual and interpreted by Bro. Reynan Nueva.

“Dakilang Pagmamahal” (Great Love), a composition by Bro. Empol Balbin, represented LBMR Division.

The song titled, “We Sing You Praises”, composed and interpreted by Sis. Naomi Sorianosos with Sis. Jenny Gonzales, represented the Central Visayas region.

Rounding up the four songs hailing from the Philippines is “Sana ay Pakinggan” (Please Hear Me) from Mindanao Division’s Bro. James Almaden and performed by Sis.Nicole Ann Villagonzalo.

Asia and Oceania Finalists

Mongolia’s entry entitled “Budhing Walang Kapaslangan” (Clean Conscience) is one of the three finalists from Asia/Oceania Division. The song’s composer is Bro. Boy Gan and was performed by Bro. Nestor Torres.

Vietnam’s “Nais Kong Awitan Ka” (I Want to Sing To You) composed by Sis. Marjorie Navarro and interpreted by Sis. Maricel Ciricaco.

Last to be presented from the division is “Sa Puso Ko” (In My Heart) by Bro.Jude Abarca from Singapore, and performed by Bro. Gino Mendoza.

Middle East Finalists

“Ang Aral Mo Ama” (Your Teachings Oh Lord), composed by Sis. Joana Fortaleza and Sis. Roschelle Tantay and “In You My Lord,” composed by Bro. Bernardo Flores, are entries from Dubai-UAE Division.

Sis. Erlyn Dondriano interpreted “Ang Aral Mo Ama” while Bro. Rigor Arellano sung “In You, My Lord”.

Europe, Africa, and Israel, North and South American Finalists

Completing all 13 finalists are entries from Europe/Israel/Africa, South and North America, respectively.

Randy Mangiliman’s composition, “Mapagmahal na Dios” (Loving God” represented Europe/Israel/Africa in the songwriting tilt and was interpreted by Sis Dalyn Concepcion.

Bro. Mark Libradilla sings "Hanggang sa Walang Hanggan” written by Sis. Loida Dumandan from South America-Brazil Division during the ASOP Year-End Finals on April 6, 2014 at the ADD Convention Center in Apalit, Pampanga, North of Manila. (Photo courtesy of Caloy Nicolas, PVI)
Bro. Mark Libradilla sings “Hanggang sa Walang Hanggan” written by Sis. Loida Dumandan from South America-Brazil Division during the ASOP Year-End Finals on April 6, 2014 at the ADD Convention Center in Apalit, Pampanga, North of Manila. (Photo courtesy of Caloy Nicolas, PVI)

Brazil’s entries include “Hanggang sa Walang Hanggan” (Until Forever), written by Sis. Loida Dumandan and performed by Bro. Mark Libradilla; as well as “Dakila Kang Manlalalang” (You Are The Great Creator), written by Sis. Fe Sunga, sung by Sis. Jelisa Trangia, made up two of South America’s winning pieces.

East Coast, North America was represented by Bro. Aaron Romero’s entry, “Merciful God”, which Sis. Myka Cloma performed during the finals night.

ASOP Music Festival entered mainstream television to discover local and international praise song writers. ASOP TV, featuring a weekly and monthly elimination rounds, airs every Sunday on UNTV 37.

(Written by Apple Arco)


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