Bro. Eliseo Soriano Leads MCGI Senior Citizens in Thanksgiving Offering to God

Pampanga, Philippines – The beloved elderly population of the Members Church of God International (MCGI) sang and swayed in the ADD Convention Center’s main stage in Apalit, Pampanga for a special thanksgiving offering to God.

Leading the thanksgiving presenters was Presiding Minister Bro. Eliseo Soriano, who invited the Church’s senior citizen members – aged 60 years old and up – to offer a heartfelt thanksgiving to God for His safekeeping and kindness through decades of service.

Bro. Eli made the invitation during the International Thanksgiving to God (ITG) held last December 21-23, 2013.

Bro. Eliseo Soriano is all smiles talking to senior citizens in a  Thanksgiving service of the Members Church of God International on December 29, 2013.
MCGI Presising Minister Bro. Eliseo Soriano is all smiles as he talks to the senior citizen thanksgiving presenters during the senior citizens’ special thanksgiving presentation held on December 28, 2013. (Photo by Prince Maverick Marquez, Photoville International)

During the senior citizens’ thanksgiving celebration, Bro. Eli Soriano stated that as the youth and middle-aged members of the Church offer songs of praises to God, the elderly members should all the more be consistent in their thanksgiving offerings.

“For us to reach the age that we are considered to be senior citizens, aging 60 and above, it means that we have seen so much of God’s safekeeping,” said Bro. Eli, adding “more so when we became members of the Church, we were able to see more of His goodness in our lives.”

Hence, according to Bro. Soriano, it is but rightful for this group of members to give thanks to God. “It is only righteous for us senior citizen brethren to thank God,” remarked the international evangelist.

Decades of God’s Love

Bro. Eli, who is situated in South America, marveled with the rest of the brethren all over the world at the number of senior citizens who offered thanks to God.

“Look at God’s love for the senior citizen members; there is a large population of senior citizens in the Church. It means, these people are being kept safe by God everyday, and they are still strong – they can still stand,” stated Bro. Eli.

Aside from the senior citizen members who filled the stage in Pampanga, senior citizens in various coordinating centers in the Philippines and all over the world also sang their gratitude to the God of Israel.

One of the senior citizens who offered thanks is Sis Asing, a member from Magalang, Pampanga, told her remarkable story.

According to Katulong ng Pangangasiwa (KNP) Bro. Ricardo Erese, after hearing Bro. Eli preached, Sis Asing wanted to be baptized immediately. However, Bro. Eli told her that she was not yet ready.

Senior citizens of the Members of the Church of God International offer thanks in Apalit, Pampering and all over the world for God’s loving kindness through the many years of service.
The elderly members of the Church of God International (MCGI) in Apalit, Pampanga and all over the world rejoice through lively songs of praises for God’s loving kindness through the many years of service. (Photo by Prince Maverick Marquez, Photoville International)

Bro. Candong told Sis Asing’s story to the whole congregation. “Sis Asing said, ‘Bro. Eli knew what was inside me, that I was not ready [to receive baptism],’ stated Bro. Ricardo. “Though they did not converse, Bro. Eli asked me to indoctrinate her once more. And so she was indoctrinated a second time, and it was then that she was baptized.”

Today, Sis Asing has been faithfully serving in the Church for 33 years. “After the re-indoctrination, she was successfully baptized, and that was from1980 until now,” remarked Bro. Soriano.

After Sis Asing’s baptism, her siblings were soon baptized in the Church, and have been serving for decades as well.

Until Life Everlasting

Bro. Eli expressed his gratitude to God for having kept the elderly members of the Church safe throughout the years.

The preacher stressed the importance of seizing the good opportunity to give thanks to God while we are still given the opportunity to do so. “We do not know if in the coming years, there will be some among us who will be gone, or if we will be lesser in numbers, but that is the appointed time for all of us, which is written on Hebrews 9:27.”

And though life on earth perishes, Bro. Eli gave a message of hope for the thanksgiving presenters to look forward to life everlasting with God in heaven.

“Our hope, in our advanced years, is that we pass away with hope in life everlasting: that in the coming of our Lord Jesus, we will once again awake in eternal life,” remarked the international evangelist.

“May you all remain steadfast until the end, trusting God and His kindness, power, and His great deeds in our lives,” wished Bro. Eli. “I wish you everything that is good from above.” 

(Written by Pauline Arellano)

Newly Baptized Testimonials: November 8, 2013

Read short testimonials of faith from some of MCGI’s youngest brethren baptized on November 8, 2013 at the ADD Convention Center.

Bro. Ed Palaylay, 35, Former Catholic, Rizal Province

On Being Baptized
Now that I’m baptized, I can say that I feel light like all my burdens in life are gone. I’m hoping that this feeling will continue. I feel a huge relief in life.

I’ve been listening [to Bro. Eliseo Soriano] on television. I’ve watched Ang Dating Daan [The Old Path] Bible Exposition since 2003. I was busy with work so it was only now that I decided to be a member of the Church of God International.

On MCGI Leaders
For Bro. Eli and Bro. Daniel, may their lives be longer so that you’ll be able to lead many more lost souls, like we were before.

I’m also thankful for the program, in their fervent desire for the lost to be saved. You use all means of communication to reach you and for them to hear the doctrines of God in the true Church of God.

~o~

Bro. Rufino Aguinaldo, 26, Former Born Again, Rizal Province

On Being Baptized
I feel different. I feel relieved, like I had a load taken off my chest. I hope that I’ll continue being like this in the Church of God.

I got to first listen [to Bro. Eliseo Soriano] on television. It was in the wee hours of the morning when I got to listen to a Bible Exposition, about three months ago.

Before I was a Born Again member, I was Catholic first. The Born Again attack Bro. Eli, saying that his doctrines are misleading in faith. But the group I was in got dissolved, and so I looked for someone else to listen to about God. And it was only through Bro. Eli that I got enlightened, with the many questions that people ask him.

It’s different here. Bro. Eli’s teaching is different. With the Born Again, my mind just gets confused, not cleared.

On MCGI Leaders
I thank Bro. Eli that the questions in my mind have been answered. I hope that he continues preaching for he will lead many souls.

~o~

Sis. Emely Magbanua, 35, Former Baptist, Rizal Province

On Being Baptized
I feel good and light inside knowing that I have welcomed the Lord Jesus Christ in my life. I hope that until the end, I will still be able to serve Him.

My cousin is already a member of [the Church of God] and he invited me to a Prayer Meeting last year; it was my first time. I was a Baptist before, and I’ve been to many religions before. When I was single, I was a Pentecost member. But the doctrines here are far from what I’ve learned in the past. Now, it’s the best.

On MCGI Leaders
I hope that we’ll learn many spiritual things form him. I want to know more, to grow in faith and not be a baby or infant always, but to mature in Him and in service to Him.

I want to know a lot about the Lord, how to be strong. All the people in the world know that we’ll face many things in life that we seemingly cannot bear; but since God is there, He will teach you of things that will be for your good.

~o~

Bro. William Par, 64, Former Catholic, Quezon Province

On Being Baptized
I feel happy and at the same time worried. You’re facing a challenge already and so it’s accompanied with worry. But you’re happy because you’ve learned so much. That’s how I feel.

I’m retired when I came here from abroad. My family is still abroad and I was alone in our house when I turned on the TV and saw the Ang Dating Daan [The Old Path] program. I got interested because there have been many things tackled there [in the program] that my previous sect did not tell me.

Actually in our family, I’m the only convert. I even have a nephew who is a Catholic seminarian, and I often debated with him. I would defend Bro. Eli, even though I wasn’t baptized yet.

What I would hear [from Bro. Eli], I would tell my nephew that this and this are in the Bible, but I don’t know exactly where they are in it.

My children, my family are wondering because before, I was active in the Catholic sect. I was a member of the Knights of Columbus. I joined many activities like the Rosary of the Month. So it’s really a big change.

My friends also wonder because they also saw me being active there. But now, when I talk to them, I say “I’m not active there anymore. I’m here in the Church of God.”

On MCGI Leaders
I’m impressed with Bro. Eli. He’s wise. He knows a lot. That’s why, >> about 90%, of why << [do you think this is still necessary here?] I got convinced to join the Church.

~o~

Bro. William Sonokawa, 15, Former Catholic, Zambales Province

On Being Baptized
I’m happy because for the longest time, [I’ve had] many sins, many problems.

When you’re baptized, it’s like you know the way to go. You already know where you’re headed, what you should do. You’re not confused anymore as to where to go or what will happen to you tomorrow.

It’s like, compared to with the friends I had, though we both had the same problem, our ways in dealing with it were different. I realized that when you have God with you, though the problem is heavy, it becomes easy. You’re even happy or glad; you don’t feel it that much. But if you don’t have God, your world will really feel like it’s ending, like you want to end your life.

When I was just listening, I was already happy. But now that I have been baptized, my joy feels tripled.

When I was in high school, I had a debate with my classmate who was a member of the Iglesia ni Cristo [INC]. Now, I got confused with his questions so I searched and searched [on television] until I found Bro. Eli’s program.

I thought that Bro. Eli’s program was of the Iglesia ni Cristo because their program is Ang Tamang Daan, then [Bro. Eli’s is] Ang Dating Daan [The Old Path], so it rhymes, and I thought they were the same. When I learned that they were different, that’s when I understood that The Old Path was better. It was in 2011.

I was really confused then, until I likened tuning in to Bro. Eli. Then, I was surprised by the program as I’ve heard about it before. At first, I thought it was about law, so when I heard it, I got interested because I had questions in my mind. I’ve been watching since then.

On MCGI Leaders
I hope they continue, because they help many. The problems of humanity now, especially in these times when many trials are coming, many tragedies are happening in society, the people need someone to guide them.

Today, many people are lost, that’s why people need a preacher to teach them the path where people should be.

MCGI: Mark Your Hebrew Calendar. It’s Year 5773!

Welcome Year 5773 in the calendar followed by the Lord Jesus Christ!
Following the calendar observed by the Lord Jesus Christ, the Members Church of God International will welcome Year 5773 in the Hebrew Calendar on March 11, 2013.

“I will not greet you happy new year coz this is not the new year we are celebrating in faith!” – Bro. Eli Soriano, Twitter, 31st December, 2012

Come March 11th of this year, the Members Church of God International (MCGI) will welcome the first day of Year 5773 in the Hebrew Calendar, a celebration dubbed as Christian New Year in the congregation.

Unlike in the Roman Calendar when a new day begins after midnight, a day starts in the Hebrew Calendar at sundown (Genesis 1:5, 8, 13, 19, 23, 31). Hence, the Church of God members will start gathering at the ADD Convention Center in Pampanga and at Coordinating Centers across the globe, at around 5 p.m. (Philippine time).

Activities include the singing of songs and prayers to God by members. Bro. Eli and Bro. Daniel Razon are also expected to deliver a biblical topic before the members who will monitor the proceedings via Internet and satellite facilities.

Meanwhile, twelve days following the said date is a similar service, albeit for a different celebration: the Lord’s Supper. This year, MCGI will commemorate the Lord’s Supper on March 23 beginning at 5 p.m. (also Philippine time).

The Lord’s Supper

Not straying from the Bible’s own words, the annual event is called the “Lord’s Supper” and not “Holy Supper” nor “Last Supper.” (1 Corinthians 11:20)

For the commemoration of Christ’s sufferings to cleanse the sins of men, MCGI Leaders Bro. Eli and Bro. Daniel will prepare a special topic for the sermon. The spiritual meal taught to the MCGI brethren is symbolic of the bread the Lord Jesus shared with the Apostles.

Bro. Eli and Bro. Daniel will, however, also provide a common, material meal for the brethren to eat for free.

It is common knowledge that Bro. Eli and Bro. Daniel make sure that all of MCGI’s doctrines, practices, and observances are patterned after those of first-century Christians as admonished by the Lord and his Apostles. The celebration of Christian New Year and the commemoration of Christ’s suffering are just two of several bible-based events observed in MCGI.

(Written by Rigor Arellano)

(Photography by Rovic Balunsay)


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