Thousands will once again flock to the ADD Convention Center in Apalit, Pampanga, to celebrate the Members Church of God International’s (MCGI) first quarter International Thanksgiving to God from April 5 to 7 this year.
Coinciding with the three-day festivities is the welcoming of the Christian New Year on April 5 and the commemoration of Bro. Eli Soriano’s 55 years of service to God on April 7.
While the ADD Convention Center in Apalit, Pampanga serves as the main venue for the majority of congregants, Brazil will be hosting the first quarter international event for the fifth time.
Delegates from all over the world have started flying to Brazil to experience the Special Thanksgiving event in Latin America, meet congregants from various countries and nationalities, and offer the sacrifice of thanksgiving together.
The yearly pilgrimage to Brazil is a chance for the Church’s members to meet Bro. Eli Soriano who is currently preaching throughout the South American continent. The preacher will be celebrating his 55th Sabbath anniversary on the third day of the International Thanksgiving.
The event will be streamed in all MCGI locales, and real-time translations will be available for members across the globe.
The Special Thanksgiving of God’s People is a time for the congregation to gather and thank God for His mercy and loving-kindness to His people. This celebration fulfills the biblical prophecy written in Zechariah 8:20-21 (KJV), saying:
“Thus saith the LORD of hosts; It shall yet come to pass, that there shall come people, and the inhabitants of many cities: And the inhabitants of one city shall go to another, saying, Let us go speedily to pray before the LORD, and to seek the LORD of hosts: I will go also.”
The program during Special International Thanksgiving includes the discussion of biblical topics delivered to the congregation by Overall Servant Bro. Eli Soriano and Assistant Overall Servant Bro. Daniel Razon.
In some instances, Bro. Eli opens a forum for brethren who would like to ask questions about the topics discussed during the Special Thanksgiving.
The congregation also await for the coming of the Biblical (Christian) New Year (Year 5779) that coincides with the first day of the International Thanksgiving celebration on April 5.
This celebration is based on the Hebrew Calendar that the early Christians used.
During the event, a topic about the Christian New Year is discussed. Instead of fireworks, songs of praise and prayers will close the outgoing year and the incoming year for MCGI.
MCGI started celebrating the Christian New Year in 2004.
On April 7, Bro. Eli Soriano will celebrate his 55th Sabbath Anniversary, simultaneous with the third day of the International Thanksgiving.
As his practice, Bro. Eli and his household in Brazil will be offering songs of praise and thanksgiving. His reasons include the growing work of the propagation in Brazil that continues to reap souls, reaching to other Latin American countries.
Since he started preaching the Gospel in Brazil several years ago, Bro. Eli had already established programs in many TV stations and held countless Bible Expositions. He also brought to Latin America the charity works he started in the Philippines, offering services like visiting homes for the elderly, free feeding programs for the poor, and blood donation drives.
These charity efforts were supported by the brethren in Brazil who usually served as volunteers. Social welfare workers and non-government organizations in Latin America who have witnessed the missions have lauded the charitable missions.