Just how does a town-to-town preaching effort in the Philippines turn into 24 hours a day, seven days a week broadcasts with a worldwide reach?
Bro. Eli Soriano and Bro. Daniel Razon, the Members Church of God International Overall Servants, took members back to Church history. Congregants learned anew the importance of acknowledging and proclaiming God’s interventions in the ministry and in their daily lives, as
“This is the work of no man, but of God,” Bro. Eli said during the 3-day International Thanksgiving to God (ITG) held from July 3 to 5 this year.
The Overall Servants told the Church members about The Old Path, which despite adversity and persecution from religious peers, would become one of the longest-running religious programs in the Philippines.
Years later, the award-winning show’s success would reach Latin America where it broadcasts in Portuguese and Spanish non-stop. The program’s following soon translated to over 200 MCGI chapters in Brazil alone.
Bro. Eli further stressed that even situations which are seemingly bad can be for the benefit of His children, citing Romans 8:28.
[Read more about MCGI History]
Stories of Deliverance
On the third day (July 5) of the ITG, congregants also expressed other stories of the Lord’s intervention in their lives. One of which was about the testimony of a sister who survived Typhoon Yolanda.
During the storm surge, Sis. Arlene Verona was carried by high, powerful floods into a vacant lot where she saw a papaya tree. She prayed to be swept towards it, and soon enough, she was able to hold onto it until the waters had subsided.
It will be remembered that the devastating storm had record-breaking winds that caused multiple storm surges in Tacloban. The force was also enough to pluck out hundreds of coconut trees from their roots. According to the official gazette of the Philippine government, the onslaught of this tropical cyclone affected 1,473,251 families with a total casualty count of 6,340.
[Read Sis. Arlene Verona’s full story]
Another unfolding of divine intervention happened during the September 11 bombing of the twin towers of the World Trade Centers in New York. Bro. Ramel Cada developed rashes that spread all over his body overnight. He decided not to go to work on September 11, 2001. His assigned route as a USPS mailman was the Twin Towers.
Bro. Mel Magdaraog, a Helper of the Ministry, also shared his eyewitness account back in the 90s.
Two trucks carrying molasses were about to close in and sandwich the backseat of the car where Bro. Eli and his grandchild were in, when the moving vehicles suddenly halted. It was the same time when Bro. Mel heard Bro. Eli exclaim, “Panginoon ko! (My Lord!)”
Of Divine Inspirations and Global Celebrations
During its regular Thanksgivings on Saturdays, MCGI spends the bulk of the day studying a biblical topic. On ITGs, an average of three lessons are taught by Bro. Eli and Bro. Daniel making for what the Church considers as an exclusive spiritual feast.
Among the topics served pointed out the biblical standpoint disproving what many religions view as “the second coming of Christ.”
The MCGI preachers used the very verses upon which the said common belief is based, Hebrews 9:26-28, to prove that it is a clear misconception of St. Paul’s words, “and unto them that look for him shall he appear the second time without sin unto salvation.”
Another topic elaborated about the significance of the Bible’s entirety, and why its preservation was no accident. “The original words of God were wonderfully preserved,” said Bro. Daniel.
During breaks, the MCGI Servants also attended to the spiritual needs of members by conducting consultations. The time was allotted for any questions that members may have about the studied topics.
Members offered songs of praise to God from different regions across the world, in their respective mother tongue — from adults to children; from members to Overall Servants.
MCGI uses satellite and Internet technologies to be able to convene from multiple points worldwide simultaneously.
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(Written by Rigor Arellano)