MCGI Sends Relief to Pandemic-Stricken Latin America

The Members Church of God International (MCGI) has conducted a series of relief operations in pandemic-stricken countries in Latin America where cases of Covid-19 continue to surge. Although the Church is also reeling from the brunt of the pandemic, it continues to dole out basic necessities to communities which have been hit hard by the health crisis, especially on households that have lost their source of income.

Help reaches Central America

MCGI volunteers in Central America have brought food and supplies to families in La Majada, Honduras where Covid-19 is getting worse, following the collapse of the health care system. The volunteers, all Church members, delivered relief assistance using their own vehicles, observing all the safety protocols while distributing the goods.

The MCGI locale in Tegucigalpa, Honduras was kept open so that the members and the non-members who passed by can get free food. Although road travel was restricted, brethren were still able to conduct food relief operations for those who cannot come to the locale.

“Suministros de socorro” (relief goods) neatly packed and arranged, ready for distribution.

In Mexico City, MCGI volunteers handed groceries to families in Ixtapaluca and Villa Victoria. Brethren who joined the cause in San Jose, Costa Rica observed the proper wearing of PPE. The brethren in Managua, Nicaragua also offered help in the relief operations in their area.

Efforts replicated in Western and Northern Latin America

The Western and Northern parts of Latin America also suffered from the impact of the pandemic. Both La Paz and El Alto Bolivia are under quarantine and strict curfew hours. Persons and vehicles are not allowed on the streets beyond 6 pm. Food relief operations were not hampered, however. MCGI workers and brethren teamed up to reach remote areas and donated groceries both to members and non-members of the Church.

Similar efforts have been done in the districts of Barranquilla and Santa Marta Colombia, Barcelona, Bogota, Cali, Giron, Medellin Colombia, and Riobamba Ecuador.

A few of the many recipients of groceries and food items in Latin America. Most who were given supplies are the elderly and those who have lost their jobs due to the pandemic.

In Brazil where the highest number of Covid-19 infections in South America is recorded, many people have decided to stay at home due to fears of getting infected. Nevertheless, MCGI conducted similar efforts of relief distribution. Coordinating centers in Benfica, Campo Grande, and Jacarepagua were opened to accommodate both members and non-members in need of food. In Florianopolis, MCGI worked with SOMAR Floripa in ensuring that food assistance will be given to the neediest in the city.

About 300 bags of ‘basico necessidade’ (basic necessities) were donated to SOMAR Floripa, a government office in Florianopolis that carries out voluntary works.

Outreach programs are a part of MCGI’s public service activities. Across the world, MCGI chapters organize on a regular basis various charitable and relief efforts, which include medical and dental missions, blood donation, disaster relief missions, orphanage visitations, soup kitchens for the homeless, to name a few. All these are free of charge.

MCGI Launches 24/7 Multilingual Community Prayer

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The Members Church of God International (MCGI) has launched its 24/7 multilingual community prayer broadcast with hourly schedules to encourage more people around the globe to pray to God in their own tongue.

Bro. Daniel Razon, Assistant Overall Servant of MCGI, made the announcement over a live Instagram broadcast to have the 24/7 Community Prayer Broadcast  in different languages for brethren in different countries to connect in prayers from their respective homes. The MCGI community prayer now has four available live prayer translations, English, Tagalog, Portuguese and Spanish within top of the hour. More languages will be available soon.

Why pray?

During one Thanksgiving event, MCGI Overall Servant Bro. Eli Soriano emphasized that Christians must live a prayerful life and must “improve in prayer.” Praying is a basic doctrine in MCGI. It is an act by which we humble ourselves before our Creator and a way of showing Him our gratitude and appreciation for His loving kindness. It is also through prayers that we are able to express our requests to God. This was mentioned by St. Paul in his letter to the Philippians, which stated: “Be careful for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God.” (Philippians 4:6, KJV)

Aside from the hourly prayer, the new multilingual service plays non-stop songs of praise and worship to God, also rendered in several languages.

Prayer, a must

When the cases of Covid-19 spiked around the world, Bro. Eli and Bro. Daniel saw it fit to deal with the crisis not just by implementing health and safety protocols for all members of the Church, but also by continuously seeking God’s help and mercy through prayers.

The Global Prayer for Humanity which is in its second month now, was launched to meet the purpose. This is on top of the regular community prayer broadcast that is streaming round-the-clock. The Global Prayer for Humanity service begins at 9:30 p.m., Philippine Time.

This endeavor invites non-members regardless of race, ethnicity, and religion to share a few minutes of their time to participate and offer prayers to God to invoke His divine intervention in the present global health crisis brought about by Covid-19.

Previously, the community prayer broadcast was streamed on selected hours using only English and Filipino languages. But with the new Multilingual Community Prayer accessible via the MCGI website,  brethren across the globe can join in the prayer in their own language right at the comfort of their homes.

MCGI’s La Verdad Christian College Goes Online this School Year 2020-2021

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The La Verdad Christian College (LVCC), a private school owned and funded by the Members Church of God International (MCGI), will be welcoming its students for school year 2020-2021 this August without opening its gates. Instead, the school will be launching its very own learning management system (LMS) that will host all classes and other vital services for students online.

The months of March to May saw the closure of schools because of the Covid-19 pandemic. Many were caught off-guard and have grappled with conducting online classes for the remaining school calendar days since social distancing had to be strictly observed. According to the Philippines’ Commission on Higher Education (CHED), only 20% of state universities and colleges (SUCs) are equipped with their own learning management system which could allow them to conduct online classes. The remaining percentage still relies on face-to-face class interaction.

With the introduction of the learning management system to La Verdad’s current setup, the students as well as the teaching and non-teaching personnel will be kept safe from possible local transmission of the deadly viral disease.

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Aerial view of La Verdad Christian College in Apalit, Pampanga. (Photo courtesy of UNTV News and Rescue Drone.)

La Verdad Christian College’s Learning Management System

Based on the mandate of the Department of Education (DepEd) and the Commission on Higher Education (CHED) to ensure that education continues amid the pandemic, La Verdad Christian College has procured its own learning management system developed by GEP Solutions. This LMS is tailored to the school’s requirements to make it easy and navigable for both teachers and students.

Here are some key features of LVCC’s learning management system:

General features

  • Personalized Dashboard. Displays current, past, and future courses, along with tasks due.
  • Collaborative tools and activities. Includes tools for working and learning together in forums; has wikis, glossaries, database activities, and many others.
  • All-in-one calendar. Helps keep track of academic calendar, course deadlines, group meetings, and other personal events.
  • Convenient file management. Drag-and-drop files from cloud storage services including MS OneDrive, Dropbox, and Google Drive.
  • Notifications. Users receive automatic alerts on new assignments and deadlines, forum posts, and private messages.
  • Track progress. Tracks progress and completion with options for individual monitoring.

Course development and management features:

  • Direct learning paths. For designing and managing courses to meet various requirements for instructor-led, self-paced, blended, or entirely online classes.
  • Marking workflow. For assigning markers to assignments, managing grade moderation, and releasing marks to individual learners.
  • Peer and Self-Assessment. Built-in activities encouraging learners to view, grade, and assess their own and other course members’ work as a group.
  • Integrated Badges. Fully compatible with Mozilla Open Badges, motivating learners and rewarding participation and achievement with customized badges.
  • Outcomes and rubrics. Selecting from advanced grading methods to tailoring the gradebook to a course and examination criteria.
  • Competency-based marking. Setting up competencies with personal learning plans across courses and activities.
  • Security and privacy. Teaching and sharing in a private space only teachers and their classes can access.

About La Verdad Christian College

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La Verdad Christian College: Wisdom Based on the Truth is Priceless

The La Verdad Christian College is the first private school in the Philippines to offer free education to students who pass the entrance exam and maintain good grades. Students do not pay tuition fees and are provided with free books, uniforms, school supplies, and lunches. The school aims to help willing and able youths to experience quality education free of charge.

LVCC is an acclaimed school in Pampanga for its quality education and strict policies. It has won numerous awards and citations in regional and national competitions.

In the Philippines, the main campus is situated in Apalit, Pampanga and its branch is located in Caloocan City, Metro Manila. Outside the country, it has branches in Ghana and in Liberia.

Globally Connected: MCGI 2nd Quarter Thanksgiving Held Online

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The enhanced community quarantine and stay-at-home policies being implemented in many places did not hinder the Members Church of God International (MCGI) from uniting in spirit and giving thanks to God for His mercy and loving kindness.

While the whole world is troubled by so many problems brought about by the Covid-19 pandemic, with God’s help, MCGI was able to hold its second quarter Special Thanksgiving of God’s People celebration last July 3 to 5 via internet and satellite communications.

The first quarter International Thanksgiving was also held digitally as part of the Church’s efforts in helping minimize the rate of infection of the deadly Covid-19 — but still keeping with commandment of the Lord written in Hebrews 10:25:

Not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as the manner of some is; but exhorting one another: and so much the more, as ye see the day approaching.

    —The Apostle Paul, Hebrews 10:25, KJV

Topical Takeaways

On the first day of the celebration, MCGI Overall Servant Bro. Eli Soriano talked about God’s faith in humanity and the peace of Christ in his opening discussion.

The said very inspiring discussion served as an appetizer to the spiritual food that the congregation will be fed with throughout the three-day celebration.

Sis. Ellyse San Andres from New Jersey, USA, explains her gratitude to God for the lessons she learned during the Thanksgiving celebration:

“I feel very grateful for all the lessons I have learned. I can take those with me for the rest of my life. Despite being young [in the church], they all made my faith firmer and I am willing to let God and Jesus guide me.”

Sis. Bernadette Moreno, also from New Jersey, shared her takeaway from one of the biblical discussions:

“Leaving your parents when you marry is not an obligation and not a law. Because what if your parents are very old they have no one else to look after them? Leaving them in that condition is a sign of disrespect and ungratefulness.”

Distant Socializing

Though the event was not the same as when the members were physically gathered in MCGI’s convention and coordinating centers, the excitement among the event’s participants was apparent in both their faces and in the preparations they made in their respective homes.

Some members of the Church choir and Teatro Kristiano even decorated their walls to serve as backdrops for the presentation of their song and dance numbers.

A sister performs and gets connected with other choir members connected via the Zoom app as they present the opening number for Day 3 of the Special International Thanksgiving.

Sis. Bianca Quijano from Toronto, Canada shares how she is thankful for being able to attend gatherings despite being on lockdown.

“I am able to connect with the brethren through various chat groups that are tied to our committees and duties. Regular meetings, events (e.g. baptism, Bible Studies) and
tutorials (e.g. songwriting workshops, Zoom workout sessions) also mean that I am able to not only connect with the brethren but also continue to learn new skills and wisdom from God, delivered through our preachers. In many ways, we are even more connected now than before because of the new online initiatives that we can take part in.”

More than 6,000 additional reasons to give thanks to God

The baptism of thousands of souls, who were able to attend the first-ever online Live Mass Indoctrination while the community quarantine is still in effect, is one of the many reasons why MCGI gives thanks to God.

The first live online Mass Indoctrination, which also had attendees from different countries, yielded more than 6,000 newly-baptized brethren. Nearly all of them were baptized during the Mass Baptism held on June 27, 2020 while the other attendees were baptized the following week in the Philippines and abroad.

A sister prepares herself right before she is immersed in water for her baptism in the Church of God International.

Just before concluding the three-day event with a prayer, Bro. Eli expressed a sentiment shared by the congregants on social media — that if only the Special International Thanksgiving would not end.

“Let us cherish these moments in our lives… these precious moments when the truths of God are unraveled before our eyes.”

MCGI Prepares for its Second Quarter Special Thanksgiving to God

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The Members Church of God International (MCGI) is set to celebrate its second quarter Special Thanksgiving of God’s People on July 3 to 5, 2020, through the aid of satellite and video conferencing platforms. It is a special event where members offer songs of praise to give thanks to God for His loving-kindness. Due to the Covid-19 pandemic and the prolonged lockdown in many countries, the brethren will observe the event in their respective homes. Despite not being able to gather physically, the brethren are excited for the celebration.

Grateful for Everything

To prepare for the three-day event, Joanna Fuertes of San Juan City, Philippines had already filed for a work leave. She is grateful to God for His continuous guidance and safekeeping. “Despite this crisis, we still have peace in our hearts. With God’s help, we are able to continue in His teachings,” Joanna says. Cnaida Lucena from Taytay, Philippines is grateful to God’s mercy and grace because she is able to remain steadfast in faith even while confined at home with her family. Though she has other responsibilities in life, she puts God first. “Our top priority in life should be Him, more than anything else,” she emphasizes.

As the lockdown continues, brethren in MCGI will continue to attend online gatherings from home to maintain social distancing.

Lourd Teano from San Francisco, California devotes her time singing songs of praise to God. She is thankful that the Church was able to produce a Music Channel on YouTube that streams songs of praise and hope. “I am thankful to God for His protection, and for keeping our household safe amidst the pandemic,” she adds.

Second Quarter Milestones

In spite of the many dreadful news about Covid-19, MCGI continues to give thanks to God for His continuous blessings and for giving the brethren good opportunities to continue in His service. During the first few weeks of the second quarter, Bro. Eli and Bro. Daniel hosted daily Bible Studies and Bible Expositions which were streamed via different social media platforms. Viewership spiked on YouTube and Facebook, and inquiries from non-members and religious freelancers flooded chat rooms.

Brazilian participants in the Bible Study attentively listen as Bro. Eli delivers a topic in a session held on May 20. The lockdown in many countries has prompted MCGI to shift to massive online gatherings and events, which are on an “attend-from-home” basis.

After the series of Bible Studies and Bible Expositions, Bro. Eli opened the online Mass Indoctrination. The event was broadcast over MCGI’s official social media and streaming channels, and was made available in several languages. In addition, MCGI started the “Global Prayer for Humanity,” a worldwide prayer initiative that is broadcast every weekdays at 9:30 p.m. PHT. The objective of this worldwide endeavor is to call upon people to pray together and ask for healing as the world battles against Covid-19. Anyone, regardless of nationality or religious belief, is invited to join.

“Despite the stinking smell of garbage, I must do my job.” — Michael Gonzales, front-line garbage collector

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When Luzon was put in lockdown on March 16, most businesses and establishments in the National Capital Region ceased normal operations: offices, restaurants, factories, schools, malls were closed down to mitigate the spread of Covid-19.

While movement of people had been restricted since then, the delivery of essential services like health care, markets and grocery stores, delivery, garbage collection, continued. People who belong in these groups have been tagged as front-liners — the modern-day heroes who unselfishly perform their work despite the risk posed by Covid-19.

One of these front-liners is Michael Gonzales, a garbage collector and sanitation worker of five years, who has been rounding up trash from homes in Cabanatuan, Nueva Ecija, Philippines.

“I still go to work every day. Despite the stinking smell of garbage that I have to endure, I must do my job. It’s my source of livelihood.”

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Cabanatuan City is the most populous area in Nueva Ecija and the fifth in Central Luzon. If Michael and his fellows in the sanitary services will stop in the performance of their duties, the sidestreets of the city will overflow with garbage, the city will reek, and consequently, the health of the residents will be put at greater risk.

Thank God, they haven’t stopped.

Every day, Michael gets up very early for his 5 AM shift, as his routine is, unmindful of the life-threatening virus infecting hundreds of Filipinos by the hour.

“Even if there’s a virus spreading, I must be brave and depend on the mercy of the Lord.”

He said that a couple of times since the lockdown, he and his fellow collectors have received relief goods from the people in their neighborhood — a small gesture of gratitude for their continuing their service amidst the pandemic.

The community quarantine is still in effect in many areas of Luzon. Everything still remains uncertain and public health and safety are still at risk. 

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But just the same, Michael will still collect garbage and clean up the streets of Cabanatuan even after the quarantine. Despite the risk, as a Christian, he finds comfort in the words of the Almighty written in the Bible.

“Let’s stay inside our homes. Let’s sacrifice so that Covid-19 will no longer spread.”

Newly Baptized Testimonials: January 29, 2016

Read short testimonials of faith from some of MCGI’s youngest brethren baptized on January 29, 2016 at the Ang Dating Daan Convention Center in Apalit, Pampanga.

Sis. Zeny Gumapak, 34, Former Born Again, Batangas Province

On Being Baptized

It’s because of the teachings that I’ve heard from Bro. Eli, which I didn’t hear from the religions that I’ve been in. It’s only from him that I heard the truth. That’s the reason why I was convinced to join here.

I became a member of a Born Again group, but I haven’t attended there for like seven years already.

I first listened to Bro. Eli in Late July of 2015 up until January on radio and television. I guess that’s what they call the calling of God.

At first I didn’t have any interest in listening to Bro. Eli. It’s because some say he speaks bad words, or that there are many prohibitions here, or that he teaches too long. However, I understand now why they speak such things. And I told myself, “What they say is wrong. It’s not true.”

On Being Baptized

I felt so happy it’s a different kind of joy. It’s like all the emotional baggage that I used to carry was gone.

On Bro. Eli Soriano and Bro. Daniel Razon

May they continue their preaching of the good news of God. I hope that their lives will be longer, and continue in persevering, in patience as they will reap the benefits that our Father and God will give them.

~o~

Sis. Alma Grace Diamante, 23, Former Catholic, Laguna Province

On Joining the Church of God

It was my boyfriend who introduced this to me. Though he was hindered by his family, he was still able to get baptized last week.

On the first day of the indoctrination, he invited me together with Bro. Lucky. Then I heard things about the Bible and I said to myself, “I’m liking this. What they say is true.” And so I decided to become a member here.”

I heard about Bro. Eli from him before. The things that Bro. Eli says, he tells me. Then, when I was able to hear them straight from Bro. Eli I found them to be true.

Everything in the doctrines is true because I experienced it as well. Especially in times, of hardships, I seek help from God, and He answers.

On Being Baptized

I cannot explain the feeling. Actually, even as the baptizer was asking me questions, my tears just fell, and it felt different.

I felt happy and at the same time inexplicably so. I don’t know; I really cannot explain it. It just feels so light.

On Bro. Eli Soriano and Bro. Daniel Razon

For Bro. Eli and Bro. Daniel, I hope that you will have more strength and continue in preaching the word of God. I hope that you will be able to help many more soul in instructing them towards the right path, as you have me.

~o~

Sis. Jovita Rollan, 67, Former Iglesia ni Cristo, Bulacan Province

On Joining the Church of God

I can’t remember the first time that I heard The Old Path on radio, but after that I decided to get indoctrinated, and continued from then on.

On Being Baptized

I felt light. Actually, I was crying as I was being immersed in the water.

On Bro. Eli Soriano and Bro. Daniel Razon

Bro. Eli, thank you because I have now found The Old Path and have known the Church of God.

~o~

Sis. Evangelina Evangelista, 72, Former Jesus Is Lord Member, Bulacan Province

On Joining the Church of God

It’s because of my eldest son, Bro. Randy Evangelista. He was the first gift to me and my husband.

My husband joined the “Suhay” [Church of God Pillar and Brace of Truth], while I joined the JIL. I was previously a Catholic, then in the Born Again with Eddie Villanueva. Then, I excluded myself from it, and just prayed to the Lord at home.

Presently, I am being healed by the Lord because I have a metal brace in my body. I underwent orthopedic surgery.

– – –

My son just shared things with me. Then he said, “Ma, just listen.” But even before that we already listened.

But then, what I didn’t like about him was that he shouted. I asked, “Is this really a pastor? Why is he so bold?” That’s just what I thought.

Gradually however, he was able to encourage me. It’s like I developed a “crush” on him.

I started listening in 1998; I was still active in the JIL back then. [Laughs] My mister really liked Bro. Eli. I told him, “He curses.” But now, as when I was getting indoctrinated, I see him now as a meek lamb.

– – –

My son got baptized last year, and me this year. And perhaps, God willing, my other children as well. As for my husband, I don’t know yet.

When I was in the JIL, I was very active. Everything said there, I followed. I was able to bring my godchild there to be baptized, as well as me and my children.

My husband was aboard a ship then. I have five children, and what I want is wherever I am, my family will be also. I shared with them the Word of God.

– – –

I got offended one time when we attended a worship service in JIL in September.

Erap had just won the presidency back then. Now, before there was a service, like a Bible Study, etc, Pastor Sylvia said: “Parents, brethren, I have something to explain to you. I hope you won’t be offended.

“Our president now is Joseph ‘Erap’ Estrada. The scientific name of Erap is like this and like that.” I felt that I got deafened. I didn’t like what she was saying.

Even my husband got irritated, and lost interest. Another thing that my children disliked was that when they attended, they just got hungry. Also, the people there were just chatting nonsense. I didn’t anymore convinced them otherwise because they were already teenagers then. Now they have their own families.

On Being Baptized

I felt the Holy Spirit. I really felt it.

On Bro. Eli Soriano and Bro. Daniel Razon

May the Lord will for him to have a longer life that he may be able to save many more souls who are drowning [in false religions].

~o~

Sis. Roseshell Solis, 15, Former Catholic, Manila

On Joining the Church of God

It’s only here where I heard the doctrines that are extraordinary. It’s only here where my mind got enlightened. And it’s true.

My grandmother was the one who encouraged me to join. I’m from the province and my entire family is Catholic. I’m the only member of the Church of God.

I just accompanied my grandma going to the locale, until I became a member of the Church of God.

On Being Baptized

I felt different. I felt light inside. It’s like I have a new life.

On Bro. Eli Soriano and Bro. Daniel Razon

May they take care and continue to teach here in the Church of God.

To God be the glory

Newly Baptized Testimonials: January 22, 2016

Read short testimonials of faith from some of MCGI’s youngest brethren baptized on January 22, 2016 at the Ang Dating Daan Convention Center in Apalit, Pampanga.

Sis. Angelica Villanueva, Former Catholic, 27, Bulacan Province

On Joining the Church of God

I heard Bro. Eli’s words and I got encouraged by them. The words come from God; They are words of righteousness.

I started listening in January. Nobody invited me I just did that on my own. My brother-in-law is actually already a member here. So I asked him where the local was.

On Being Baptized

I felt that my spirit was relieved.

On Bro. Eli Soriano and Bro. Daniel Razon

I am thankful to them because they were able to help many so you are seeking answers to their questions.

~o~

Sis. Maria Rosal Alejandro, 18, Former Catholic, Pampanga Province

On Joining the Church of God

To be able to return unto the Lord and serve him.

The first gathering that I attended was a Thanksgiving to God service. I was also able to attend the Thanksgiving of the Body or the Thanksgiving of the Whole Congregation for three days.

I just saw Bro. Eli before on television, but I haven’t heard his teachings before. But then I got indoctrinated, and the doctrines felt good to the heart.

I learned how to pray properly and how to live accordingly with non-brethren and with brethren.

On Being Baptized

It feels light inside. When I got baptized, I felt that all my sins that I have committed before were gone.

On Bro. Eli Soriano and Bro. Daniel Razon

I see them preach, and for me they are very well and gifted in doing so. Thanks be to God that I am here today as a sister in faith. Thanks be to God.

~o~

Bro. Luis Abella, 55, Former Catholic, Manila

On Joining the Church of God

I have long observed different religions on television, but it is only with Bro. Eli that I have found the truth in the Bible, and not just made-up fables or stories.

I’ve been listening for nine years now actually. Whenever I come home, before going to bed I watch it. There is no other good program to watch but this. Of course, you want to watch programs with value, but with others I just end up quickly switching the channels.

On Being Baptized

Oh, the feeling is really different as compared to when I was in another religion. You will really feel a great deal of change in you here.

You can think of many benefits of it. Firstly, you felt relieved. Then, your understanding broadened and that’s the best thing.

Actually there’s no feeling that you will feel in yourself but happiness because you did it on your own volition; it feels light.

It’s not like you were just forced by circumstances or that you were pushed to do this by a friend who brought you here for example.

On Bro. Eli Soriano and Bro. Daniel Razon

I hope that their lives will be longer that many more souls will be saved. Thanks be to God.

~o~

Bro. Larry Delas Piñas, 44, Former Catholic, Manila

On Joining the Church of God

I’ve long been searching for the truth or someone sent by God who will explain the contents of the Bible. Perhaps I will never see the same kind of preaching that Bro. Eli preaches, actually even way back then.

I kind of listening to Bro. Eli on television in 2011. I even watched then the INC. Actually I even joined a religious group that is against Bro. Eli in the Year 2000.

When this fake preacher’s prophecy before didn’t come true, I said that it’s not the true church. I started then searching for the true one.

On Being Baptized

Perhaps what I really just want to happen is to belong, and to not be lost anymore. I may not understand everything completely now but I am hopeful that as time goes by, I will.

On Bro. Eli Soriano and Bro. Daniel Razon

I hope that his [Bro. Eli] life will be longer because he is already way past the prime of his life. We all know that people get weaker as we age but despite that I hope that God will give him more courage and a longer life that he may be able to reach many more people.

Also, I hope that he will often take a break at times because we all need rest. That’s all.

~o~

Bro. Luis Ambrocio, 49, Former Catholic, Manila

On Joining the Church of God

I have really been investigating religions for a long time now. I listen to the words of God that they preach and see which one is right, what their basis is.

So one day, I went to my brother in law and invited him for us to be indoctrinated. I told him that all my doubts, all the things I know to be wrong in our religions, I have learned because of all the verses in the Bible [that I heard from Bro. Eli].

On Being Baptized

Oh it feels so relieving inside. Actually even when I was just walking towards the baptistery, I was already asking the Lord for forgiveness and was thanking Him. Then after I got immersed, I felt a different feeling.

On Bro. Eli Soriano and Bro. Daniel Razon

For Bro. Eli, I think that she should stay there and may the Lord keep him there because things here in the Philippines will not bode well for him; he’ll be safer there.

May he be able to fulfill the duty that the Lord has given him there.

~o~

Bro. Joel Damayo, 47, Former Catholic, Manila

On Joining the Church of God

I joined because this is the only religion wherein everything in the Bible is being read. Many religions nowadays just read one verse repeatedly, and that would be their basis already.

I said to myself the Bible is very thick and yet I only read a small part of it. It’s like in Catholicism wherein just about three or four verses are being read and then the priest will then make jokes.

And the Born Again, they just base their entire belief system on one verse. The others just have money-making agenda. Their houses of worship are very well adorned, like their highly priced chandeliers, especially this pastor in Davao who even built his own paradise. [Laughs]

– – –

In 2010, my daughter died of leukemia. In 2003, I lost my job; in 2000 … there were just so many problems; our small business also shot in flames.

However, I’m thankful that despite not having a stable job that you can call, but my eldest is going to graduate in college. I feel happy whenever Bro. Eli says, “I will not forsake thee.” I figured, perhaps what Bro. Eli is saying is true because not once did we falter.

My child underwent chemotherapy, 12,000 pesos per session, and yet we were able to buy medicines. Our relatives helped, my siblings, and from other people as well.

– – –

So I said, Thanks be to God because He doesn’t forsake us despite me having faced hardships. In other words, through and through, it’s still Him that we can count on.

There are times that we are able to eat delicious food, and are able to buy the things we need. We also have good clothing. Our electricity doesn’t get cut, and we even have internet at home.

That’s why I believe that no matter how much money comes your way, if you don’t know how to spend it properly, you’ll have nothing in the end. Our livelihood is just small, but we get through it all with the help also of my siblings.

– – –

I can’t remember when I was still in college then when I saw in a newspaper that there was a case filed against him by the Iglesia ni Cristo. I saw that when I was in Sta. Cruz; I think it was Abante.

I said, “Who is that Bro. Eliseo Soriano, and why are the Iglesia ni Cristo so angry with him that they want him jailed?” They said all sorts of things against him, like there’s money laundering or treasure hunting or whatever.

That’s the reason why I developed an interest in getting to know about him, and what he was doing with his life. I learned that he’s a leader here.

– – –

I also started to watch “The Old Path” and the show of the INC. But even in our place, I already knew about the Iglesia ni Cristo. I hope I’m wrong, but they have a reputation of being murderers.

Like in our barangay, they try to side with those running for public office, those who are sure to win. But what does politics have to do with religion? Is it not Christ who said what is Caesar’s is Caesars, and what is the Father is the Father’s?

You cannot incorporate those two. But with them — it is — because it’s all about money; they will not vote for you if you will not give them money.

That’s why I told myself, “These people who speak against this person: I would’ve believed them if they were righteous, but they are wrongdoers. So I’m just going to investigate Bro. Eli instead.”

– – –

He’s very good when it comes to the Bible. Even when I was just in elementary, I already read the Bible. Out of all the books that I have read, that is what really amazed me.

Imagine, you’ll discover there how the civilization of man began. The personages that you would just hear on TV, you can read it there, like Noah and his ark, like Adam and Eve.

That’s history, the history of the world! It’s like a manual. So when I heard him, I said it’s good to listen to him, and I often did. Sometimes, there would be debates, and that’s where I see the more how good Bro. Eli is.

He can rebut. He won’t be silent in the sense that he doesn’t know what to say. He doesn’t run out of answers. “This man is so good with the Bible,” I said.

Whenever someone asks him, he just gives the Bible’s verses as answers. And it’s right to the point.

On Being Baptized

I remembered all of the things that have happened in my life, like when I lost my job, my business, when I lost a daughter [to leukemia]. I remembered all of those things.

I hope that after baptism, the heavy problems that I faced would be changed. But I felt somewhat relieved actually, with His help.

On Bro. Eli Soriano and Bro. Daniel Razon

I hope that he won’t yet come back home to the Philippines. I also hope that the next president will not be afraid of the Iglesia ni Cristo, so that Bro. Eli can come home.

May God will for the next president to be bold and can resist the whims of the Iglesia ni Cristo that Bro. Eli may come home and personally see the new generation of members of the Church of God here.

But it’s okay that he’s there also, because we are able to hear him. Of course, the downside is he’s sad because he misses his relatives here, his nieces and nephews, his grandchildren, his friends. Of course he misses them, and it’s because of this Iglesia ni Cristo.

They’re very angry at him so he’s really in a difficult situation, and it’s better that he remains there for the time being. Let’s just wait for a president who is fair, who will not side with them that Bro. Eli may return home.

To God be the glory

Newly Baptized Testimonials: January 15, 2016

Read short testimonials of faith from some of MCGI’s youngest brethren baptized on January 15, 2016 at the Ang Dating Daan Convention Center in Apalit, Pampanga.

Bro. Marlon Quintero, 39, Former Freelancer, Bataan Province

On Joining the Church of God

Bro. Eli explains well. When he explains, you will really understand why, how and what is prohibited. That is what I liked about him.

On Being Baptized

I felt happy when I was baptized earlier. I was really very happy.

I was working in Makati in 1998, then an elderly person approached me. He told me to listen, and he would always invited me to attend church services. Then when I transferred to Bataan in 2004 or 2007, I listened to him. And now the person who has been my guide in joining this Church is my wife.

I have been actually indoctrinated in 2008 for about three times, but I wasn’t able to continue with baptism because my children were still small then. They ran and ran around the house, but now that they’re in college I decided to listen again.

When I was studying in high school from 1989 to 1991 I’ve already been seeing Bro. Eli on TV. Actually, my relatives are Born Again members, and whenever I tuned in to Bro. Eli, they would tell me not to listen to him; they even called it a cult.

But I said he’s really good with the Bible, and I was really amazed. Only, I was still a teenager then, and I also didn’t have any interest in religion. I only developed that when I already had four children.

On Bro. Eli Soriano and Bro. Daniel Razon

I hope that they will be able to encourage many more people like me who are thirsty for the word of God. I am really amazed and inspired by Bro. Eli because he helps even non-brethren. That is the point where I got really amazed by him. The Church of God International is really exceptional.

~o~

Sis. She Laoagan, 29, Former Protestant, Pampanga Province

On Joining the Church of God

Actually, out of all the religions that I have listened to and been to, this is the one that I believe in because this is based in the Bible.

We [my mother and I] have actually been watching Bro. Eli on TV and that’s where we first saw him. I was still in college maybe about 2002 then when I started listening, but it wasn’t continuous. We just watched him like so and so. Also, the locale was a bit far from where we lived back then.

In 2012, we moved here to Pampanga as we were from La Union. That’s the time when my mother listened continually to Bro. Eli. Then, we planned to attend the indoctrination sessions, but it didn’t materialize.

Then I went abroad. My mother however kept on listening, but didn’t get baptized. In 2012 she passed away. So I said to myself, the first thing I’m going to do when I returned here in the Philippines is to get baptized.

When I came here in July, I sought a locale that was near our place, and got indoctrinated and baptized.

On Being Baptized

I felt renewed. Actually even as I was just entering the baptistery, and even just during the singing of hymns, I couldn’t stop from crying already. I could just feel that there was something different about it, and especially when I got baptized already.

On Bro. Eli Soriano and Bro. Daniel Razon

Bro. Eli and Bro. Daniel many, many thanks to them because they have been the instruments for me to be able to return unto God.

~o~

Bro. Kerby Espinosa, 24, Former Catholic, Bicol Province

On Joining the Church of God

Firstly, the reason why I wanted to join the Church is because I see many learnings in this Church.
It’s unlike in other religions wherein, despite the teachings are written in the Bible, they don’t teach all of them. Above all, I have seen many doctrines here that have truly enlightened me.

I started listening through UNTV Radio. Before I joined, I listened on radio as they also air Bible Expositions there. I heard the questions of the events’ guests and also those who wish to join the Church. I just started listening in August 2015.

On Being Baptized

I felt something changed in my being after I got baptized. My mind has been enlightened, and I feel that I want to obey all the commandments of God.

I actually got hit by a motorcycle before baptism. But instead of being angry at the driver and filing a complaint, I just advised him to take care the next time.

I wanted to get to the locale as soon as possible because I didn’t want to be late for my baptism and not get baptized.

On Bro. Eli Soriano and Bro. Daniel Razon

First of all, I am thankful to the Church as I saw that there are truly many good teachings and things that members here can learn.

~o~

Bro. Albert Oviedo, 40, Former Catholic,

On Joining the Church of God

I became a member of the Church of God because of my wife who is a member as well. She’s about 12 years in the Church already.

In the long time that we’ve been together, she never forced me to join. I just always accompanied her until the teachings entered my heart. [Cries]

I’ve been listening for a decade already actually. However, from 2014 to 2015, I’ve continually been attending all the Church services: Thanksgivings, worship services, prayer meetings. Sometimes though I wasn’t able to attend because there were conflicts at work.

On Being Baptized

I just really felt that I was being called.

On Bro. Eli Soriano and Bro. Daniel Razon

For Bro. Eli and Bro. Daniel, I thank them because of their desire to preach the true Gospel. Many, many thanks unto God.

To God be the glory

Newly Baptized Testimonials: January 8, 2016

Read short testimonials of faith from some of MCGI’s youngest brethren baptized on January 8, 2016 at the Ang Dating Daan Convention Center.

Bro. Richard Haton, Former Born Again, Manila

On Joining the Church of God

I saw my friend once watching Bro. Eli. Then, we had a deal with each other that we would attend each other’s ministry.

I was Born Again and she was in The Old Path [the Church of God International]. Now, she attended our gatherings twice, and so did I in hers.

Once our deal was over, I then realized that there were changes in me when I attended here in the Church of God.

I’ve actually long been in the Born Again, almost a year, but I never learned there the right way to kneel, to pray.

– – –

So I continued watching the program [Ang Dating Daan] on TV, and on Youtube, I watched Bro. Eli’s debates. Thus, the questions in my mind were answered.

I guess that’s how the Lord God called me for me to attend the indoctrination.

When I got indoctrinated, it took me an extra seven (7) days, a total of three weeks to finish it. I kept on trying because nightly I would dream already of me swimming in a pool, or that I would be taking a shower and the dipper was small so I looked for a big bowl to pour water with over my head.

That’s when I thought that perhaps I really need to be baptized already, and obey the laws of the Lord God.

On Being Baptized

I felt happy, and the heaviness in my heart and mind have been lifted.

On Bro. Eli Soriano and Bro. Daniel Razon

Firstly, I thank the Father God that with the help of the Lord Jesus, He is using Bro. Eli and Bro. Daniel in preaching His words.

I am also wholeheartedly giving thanks because whenever I look at Bro. Eli’s face, I feel as if it’s not him anymore who is speaking, but the Holy Spirit of the Lord God who is in him.

It is rare for people to be instructed by the Spirit in all knowledge of the Bible’s verses. So Bro. Eli holds a lot of mysteries from the Lord God for him to be able to be enlightened of such truths.

So I really hope that those who haven’t yet accepted the teachings of Bro. Eli may continue to listen and investigate for the salvation of their souls, and of their families’ as well.

~o~

Sis.  Klarine Xyris Ibañez, 26, Former Catholic, Cavite Province

On Joining the Church of God

I was lead to the right religion with the help of my parents.

It was my father, Bro. Edgardo Ybañez who became a member first, and then my mother and my brother Cliff.

I am happy and thankful that finally I have found the true religion, and is with the Lord daily, and our Creator, the Father God.

On Being Baptized

Today, January 8, 2016 I was baptized at 11:09 am, with the help and mercy of the Lord, by Bro. Lito Quizon.

I felt so happy, and even when I was just listening to the doctrines of Bro. Eli. I really felt enlightened. My closed eyes have been opened unto the truth.

I thought that my former ways were right, but I have known them now to be false beliefs.

Now I feel that my heart is so pure, and that anytime I call unto the Lord, He will listen to me because I have a clean heart now.

On Bro. Eli Soriano and Bro. Daniel Razon

Hello Bro. Eli. When I first listened to your teachings through my papa, I had reservations still.

But with God’s help and mercy, in my daily listening to the doctrines, I believed already.

Bro. Eli, I hope that you and Bro. Daniel will be given more strength that you may be able to continue your good works. You are the true men sent by the Lord, and you have helped many brethren [and non-members as well]. Thank you.

~o~

Bro. Alexis B. Sajul, 24, Former Catholic, Cavite Province

On Joining the Church of God

It was through my brother [that I got to know about the Church of God International].

Before, I didn’t believe in Bro. Eli. I was sometimes able to watch him, but I didn’t believe because I thought that what he said was just nothing.

Now, when I was able to go to the locale, I heard things that only Bro. Eli was saying, things that I never heard from Catholicism.

So that’s when I started and continued ever since without any doubts anymore.

On Being Baptized

What I felt after baptism is that my body was so light, and it’s like you’re not thinking of any problems at all.

On Bro. Eli Soriano and Bro. Daniel Razon

Bro. Eli and Bro. Daniel, thanks, because if it weren’t for you, I would be able to be close unto the Lord, because you became examples for people to learn what is right, what we must emulate, what we must do for the Lord.

~o~

Sis. Welcyn Lagunte, 16, Former Catholic, Manila

On Joining the Church of God

I was first a Catholic, then became a being Born Again, then a Mormon, then an Iglesia ni Cristo member.

When I was in the Iglesia ni Cristo [Church of Christ], they said we shouldn’t watch The Old Path of Bro. Eli, because we would be misled.

But I got curious because, “How would we be misled?” So I got thrilled to watch it.

Then one time we had a worship service and a friend of mine invited me to a church gathering here and she brought me here. My friend just got baptized last week.

I’ve already been to so many different kinds of religions, but then I wondered, “Shouldn’t I have been changed after being baptized?”

However here, it’s different, because even as I was just being indoctrinated I already felt a different kind of feeling; I felt excitement and that feeling of knowing that this is indeed the true religion.

On Being Baptized

I can’t explain it; it’s inexplicable. My heart is overflowing with joy.

On Bro. Eli Soriano and Bro. Daniel Razon

Thank you because if it weren’t for you, we wouldn’t know the right doctrines, and we wouldn’t know about the religions that say that they are the true ones but are only deceiving us.

~o~

Sis. Judy Touchette Terrado, 51, Former Catholic, Rizal Province

On Joining the Church of God

My husband has been a member since 2006. But as for me I have been listening to Bro. Eli since childhood on radio.

Only, my father was a devout Catholic and their belief was that where they fell in, that’s where they’ll stay.

I attended in the the Iglesia ni Cristo [Church of Christ of Manalo], but I didn’t get baptized. I also attended the gatherings of the Baptist, and that’s when the time when I became eager to teach children, but I didn’t get baptized as well.

My father got mad when he heard of my religious investigation because he told me where you fell in, that’s where you should stay, and not go to any other place.

– – –

Then my husband and I were listening to Bro. Eli, and I got surprised when he got baptized in Dubai. As for me I was listening, and as for my father, he said that what Bro. Eli was saying is true. He was a corsilista so he knows about the Bible.

So I decided to join now, and I believe that God has called me now. Two years ago, I had already been indoctrinated, and I finished it. But on the day when we were supposed to be baptized, something terrible happened. I [learned I had] developed cancer.

When I woke up after the operation, I realized that maybe this is God’s way of telling me [to return unto Him already]. Then I just asked Him, “Just please let my husband go home for good and I will really join the church.”

Perhaps it’s God’s way, because ever since I got operated, I would thank God for every morning that I saw. So I entrust my life to Him, whatever he wants to do with it. And now I really feel the doctrines; I understand them, and I believe that that understanding comes from God.

Last week he invited me to attend the indoctrination but I wasn’t able to go. But this time around I said that I really had to pursue this. The Church Workers gave us special sessions; they went to our warehouse for me to be indoctrinated.

On Being Baptized

Last night, I couldn’t sleep because all I did was just urinate with blood. I was sitting on the toilet bowl all night, and felt weak. But after I got baptized, I felt relieved and even my urination became okay.

All I could say afterwards was that, “God, thank you and I hope that I will be able to continue until the end.” Actually, I no longer take medicines. I also regret having my breast removed, because ever since I was a child, it was always the Lord whom I asked help from. So He is what I’m going to count on from now on.

I got baptized so that we will also be examples to my two children that they may also understand what the will of God is for our family, and also for my mother because my father has passed away already. But actually, he told me that when I get baptized he would also follow. My mother is Anita and she’s turning 82 in March.

I felt so good after baptism.

On Bro. Eli Soriano and Bro. Daniel Razon

I am really amazed by Bro. Eli. With Bro. Daniel, even when he was still on the morning show on Channel 7, I’ve been listening to him already. I was actually surprised that he wasn’t there anymore, but later I found him on UNTV.

Thanks be to the Lord because He uses them. They’re not like other pastors who are greedy, but they really care for the spiritual welfare of people.

I pray to the Lord that Bro. Eli’s health will be better, because when Bro. Eli speaks. I really understand him. With other pastors? No.

Other pastors seem to be very mild-mannered, but him, he rebukes and it’s because he wants for the spiritual well-being of people to be really well.

I was actually surprised the first time I came here because Bro. Eli didn’t ask for any financial contributions. And we were actually the ones, my mother and I, that were asking the Church Workers permission to let us give. It’s unlike in the Baptist or in the INC wherein even when we had just started, they were asking us for financial donations.

May the Lord continue to give them more strength that they may be able to save more souls. Many, many thanks unto God.

~o~

Sis. Nenita Touche, 81, Former Catholic

On Joining the Church of God

I listened continually to Bro. Eli’s teachings as my daughter had CDs of Bro. Eli answering questions from people. I know that what I hear from Bro. Eli is in the Bible.

Only, I read the Bible before but I didn’t understand it. But when I attended the church services here I understood the meaning.

I believe that my mind has been enlightened. It’s unlike in Catholicism wherein you just attend mass, but there’s no explanation as to why things are like this and like so.

My other son is a Born Again Christian and is a pastor there, and they would invite us to attend in their gatherings. Sometimes, they would go to our house to pick us up in their car, but we wouldn’t be able to go as something always came up, like me having a stomach ache or something.

Here, I am able to attend on Sundays, and when my son-in-law came home here, we got indoctrinated. And understood the things that Bro. Eli is speaking. Now I am here in The Old Path [the Church of God International]. This is what I have found in life; that’s all I can say.

On Being Baptized

I used to feel heavy at times, even feverish and my body always felt warm. Then after I got baptized, I really felt light and relieved and happy.

I even cried because I remembered the sins I have done ever since I was young and up to this age. I felt very light, and I’m not always angry anymore.

I hope that I will be able to participate in the works of the ministry. I hope that the Lord will give me strength for me to be able to fulfill my duties. That is my prayer to God, for Him to give me strength that I may be able to help the ministry; that is what I wish. I am thankful that I am here.

On Bro. Eli Soriano and Bro. Daniel Razon

I am thankful for them because of the doctrines that they read in the Bible and give to people. Now, I understand what I used to only read in the Bible and not know the explanation behind it. Bro. Eli gives the definitions I am able to understand them.

I’m happy that my mind has been enlightened that this is the truth and now I’m here. Many, many thanks unto the Lord that’s all I can say.

To God be the glory!

MCGI.ORG CLEAVE TO WHAT IS GOOD