Three days before the three-day International Thanksgiving celebration, congregants of the Members Church of God International from provinces and cities in the Philippines and from many different countries start pouring in at the ADD Convention Center in Apalit, Pampanga.
Congregants from the Mindanao and the Visayas regions in the Philippines have started on a pilgrimage, by ferry and by plane. Balikbayans (returnees) have lined up terminals for air-fare tickets to experience what MCGI considers as ‘the most wonderful time of the year’.
Abroad, similar preparations are also ongoing to gather the foreign hosts who will occupy big monitoring centers in the six continents – North and South America, Europe, Asia, Middle East, and Africa.
Elsewhere in the Pacific, Papua New Guinea is continuing to provide more wide spaces for occupants, especially the newly-baptized following the recent live indoctrination in early February.
At the ADD Convention Center, where the biggest bulk of attendees is expected to land, reconstruction, redesigning, and widening projects are up daily. Social welfare amenities, such as the transient house and the hospital, are also ready for the grand event. According to supporting Overall Servant Bro. Daniel Razon, these efforts are aimed at ensuring the safety and comfort of the congregants.
In addition, on March 15 at sunset, the Church will welcome the biblical reckoning of the new year. The day and the hour falls on the first day of the first month in the Hebrew calendar, which is Nisan (or Abib) 1.
This celebration is unique as the Congregation, led by Overall Servant Bro. Eli Soriano, closes and opens the outgoing and the incoming years with prayers and praises of worship, not fireworks and feasting.
(Written by: Cecile Vizcaya)