Tens of thousand members of the Members Church of God International (MCGI) spent three days to offer their unceasing gratitude to the Lord for His loving-kindness and for a fruitful first three months during the International Thanksgiving to God for the first quarter this year.
Also known as the Thanksgiving of the Body (Pasalamat ng Katawan), the quarterly thanksgiving service was held on March 28 to 30 this year at the ADD Convention Center in Apalit, Pampanga, which is the Church’s main headquarters in the Philippines and where bulk of Church members gathered.
Other major coordinating centers were also opened during the thanksgiving service nationwide, especially to accommodate the elderly and poor members. Major coordinating centers in North and South American countries, Europe, Africa, Asia and Australia were also opened to cater to visitors and members during the three-day affair.
A live streaming and satellite feed were provided to let members simultaneously participate in the whole proceedings, offer thanksgiving, and hear the topics delivered by Bro. Eli Soriano and Bro. Daniel Razon, the Presiding Minister and Vice-Presiding Minister to MCGI, respectively.
The first quarter of the year marked many fruitful activities for the Church. The Church rendered public service to over 20,000 indigents during its annual Nationwide Simultaneous Medical Mission last February 24. Moreover, MCGI’s first quarterly Blood Donation Drive collected 1,600 blood bags on March 17.
Bro. Daniel dedicated days to personally visit brethren and see their conditions during the course of the quarter. He visited the coordinating centers and locales in the provinces of Nueva Ecija, Bulacan and Pampanga in north Luzon and Laguna and Batangas in South Luzon, respectively.
The Church also celebrated the Christian New Year at sunset of March 11, which was already Nissan 1st, 5773 in the Hebrew Calendar.
Other than the many obvious reasons for thanksgiving, this quarter’s thanksgiving highlighted the baptism of more than 4,000 new members from January to March, including non-Filipino members in South America and Africa, as well as former pastors coming from different religious denominations.
Video greetings of thanksgiving by brethren from all over the world were played during the three-day festivities and merrymaking. Different Church regions and ministries Church-wide offered song and dance numbers of praise to God. The whole congregation and the household of Bro. Eli also presented their song of thanks to the Almighty.
During International Thanksgivings, topics are expected to be teeming with intriguing biblical wisdom and revelations. This quarter was no exemption whereby Bro. Eli and Bro. Daniel discussed topics that included the importance of a day in the Lord; the answer to when satan first became a murderer of man, and; the faith of God.
On March 31, a family concert titled “Remember When” was held featuring Bro. Eli and Bro. Daniel. The World Famous The Platters vocal group of the early rock and roll era was the special guest who graced the stage of the ADD Convention Center to perform their well-loved songs like “The Great Pretender,” “My Prayer,” and “Magic Touch,” among many others. Filipino balladeer Rey Valera also rendered some of his best hits.
Funds raised from the concert will be used to further the construction of a new and bigger convention center in Manila dedicated to the Thousand Year Reign of our Lord Jesus Christ.
(Written by Yanna Faye Ferrera)
(Photography by Rovic Balunsay)