From Philippines to Colombia: MCGI Joins UNTV Life’s 11th Anniversary Celebration

The Members Church of God International (MCGI) took part in UNTV Life’s 11th year anniversary, embarking on multiple public service initiatives from across the Philippines to different parts of the world.

Members in Bataan, Iloilo, and Bulacan, to state a few, participated in cleanup drives in barangays, which also served as an anti-dengue activity by clearing out possible mosquito-breeding areas.

Video: More than 500 fruit-bearing tree seedlings planted in Nueva Ecija

In Nueva Ecija, members took part in planting 500 seedlings of fruit-bearing trees on a mountain in Brgy. Sto. Niño. The effort is part of MCGI and UNTV’s tree-planting advocacy to help fight climate change.

“I hope that there will be more agencies or groups like this that show concern for the environment,” said Brgy. Chairperson Romeo Mangaliman of Mulawin, Orani, Bataan about UNTV and MCGI’s efforts.

Video: 1,000 mangrove seedlings planted in Masbate

Meanwhile, about 1,000 mangrove seedlings were planted in Masbate City in Southern Philippines, where its residents rely mostly on fishing as their income source.

Mangroves serve as an abode and birthplace of fish. However, a series of floods and super-typhoons like Ruby and Yolanda have destroyed the mangrove ecosystem in the area, greatly affecting their livelihood.

From Community to Elderly Care, Locally and Globally

Over 200 residents of elderly care facilities in Bogota, Medellin, and Bucaramanga in Colombia received a warm visit, free meals and gifts from MCGI and UNTV volunteers.

Video: MCGI and UNTV Visit Over 200 Elderlies in Colombia

Carlos Julio Aguilar Alvarez, 74, is a two-year resident of Fundacion de Albeiro Vargas y Angel Custodio. He told the UNTV news team in Colombia that he seldom sees his loved ones, and thanked the channel for giving what elderlies like him need.

“On their 11th anniversary, they chose to help the elderly. This deed is something valuable,” said Albeiro Vargas, the foundation’s founder.

Video: Elders in Brazil Receive Entertainment, Gifts, Meals from UNTV and MCGI

“We thank God, and we are honored to help and to take part in this kind of endeavor that UNTV has started in the Philippines, and now, we have it here in Brazil too,” expressed Bro. Jander Ferreira Toledo, an MCGI member in Brazil.

Helping the Homeless and the Hungry

In the USA, MCGI and the broadcast network also helped at Habitat for Humanity in Maryland. The volunteers lent their hands in lifting and shelving the organization’s merchandize and construction materials, which the same uses to help build affordable and environment-friendly homes for the marginalized.

Video: Lending Helping Hands for Habitat for Humanity

“They’ve come together and done an amazing job as a team, and helped Habitat for Humanity, ReStore, make some more money to help more families,” said its manager, Heather Cummings.

“Happy 11th anniversary to UNTV!” she greeted.

Meanwhile in Texas, MCGI parents and children spent their family day to help out at the Houston Food Bank by boxing food items for shipment to hunger-relief charities.

Video: Volunteering at Houston Food Bank

The collective effort of the MCGI and UNTV volunteers resulted to a total of 900 boxes.

Volunteer manager Jim Day said of the effort, “I’d like to thank Bro. Eli and Bro. Daniel for mobilizing volunteers here to us today at the Houston Food Bank.”

Known as the Philippines Public service Channel, UNTV Life offers a variety of services including a free clinic and pharmacy (Clinic ni Kuya); and free land, sea, and air rides (Libreng Sakay).

A member of the Church of God International hands out free meals at an elderly care facility in Singapore. MCGI visited SilverAce Ntuc Eldercare as part of UNTV's 11th anniversary celebration. (Photo courtesy of Photoville International)
A member of the Church of God International hands out free meals at an elderly care facility in Singapore. MCGI visited SilverAce Ntuc Eldercare as part of UNTV’s 11th anniversary celebration. (Photo courtesy of Photoville International)

UNTV, now UNTV Life, started in 2004 under the helm of veteran broadcast journalist Daniel Razon. Razon is Assistant to the Overall Servant of MCGI, Bro. Eli Soriano.

Through the leadership of the MCGI Overall Servants, the religious organization has been supporting the network’s various good works throughout the years.

(Written by Rigor Arellano)

Newly Baptized Testimonials: March 13, 2015

Read short testimonials of faith from some of MCGI’s youngest brethren baptized on March 13, 2015 at the ADD Convention Center in Apalit, Pampanga.

Bro. Cesar Suva, 50, Former Freelancer, Manila

On Joining the Church of God

For me this is the true Church. This is where I found the true teachings of Christ, not the tradition of men, not the knowledge of men, and Bro. Eli Soriano is an instrument to share it with those who wish to know God.

It was through his Bible Expositions on TV [that I got to listen], since last year only, about July. Since I was a freelancer, I also listened to other religions, but didn’t get baptized. I just listened to them, to their teachings, and what they preach stroke me as something that digresses from the Bible.

On Being Baptized

Of course, I feel great joy not only in my heart but in my whole being. This, after all, is the doctrine of Christ that one should get baptized. And it happened to me, so thanks be to God that He willed for me to be baptized.

On Bro. Eli Soriano and Bro. Daniel Razon

Bro. Eli, first of all, thanks be to God that He used you as an instrument in persevering for many to be saved. You have been a part of me, of my life.

~o~

Bro. Benjamin Martin Jr., 33, Former Catholic, Manila

On Joining the Church of God

I joined because I was able to watch Bro. Eli on TV wherein I found the answer that I was looking for, and that we need the Lord Jesus Christ. That’s where I knew Christ.

I heard about Him in church, but you wouldn’t really know Him like that. When I heard Bro. Eli, that’s when I knew that God is the Savior of our lives.

On Being Baptized

I’m so happy. In my heart is a treasure unlike any other here on earth. It’s like this: When you gamble, you’re happy. But here, it’s unparalleled.

On Bro. Eli Soriano and Bro. Daniel Razon

I’m thankful that he was an instrument in my life for me to receive the true religion that I can share to my family and relatives.

~o~

Sis. Vivian Wico, 48, Former Born Again, Manila

On Joining the Church of God

It’s here that I saw the group that believes in God.

Honestly, my husband and I have been listening since 2001. But for some reason, we didn’t… perhaps, because we were devoted to being Born Again members. I was enticed to being a Born Again even before we got married.

But then, when we got to listen, we gradually discontinued worshipping there. We continued listening and watching [Bro. Eli], and perhaps the calling of the Lord had arrived, but my husband got baptized first.

Last year, I got operated in the ovary. So, the Lord gave me a new life. I promised to Him that I will dedicate my life, my second life to Him. That’s why I am here now.

On Being Baptized

Well, relieved  relieved of everything, of the worries, of the emotional cargo. I felt cleansed.

I feel much comfortable now in doing things, unlike before when I always felt fear. Ever since I got operated, I always felt fear in doing things; I felt stressed. But now, I feel relieved in that whatever I will do in the future, I know God is there.

On Bro. Eli Soriano and Bro. Daniel Razon

I’m very thankful. I’m always thankful that they are there to guide people like us who have lost our ways and are now returning unto God with their help.

I should say, [the preaching] is really truthful. It’s really based on the Bible. I didn’t see anything that was invented. I didn’t hear anything that seemed to be only their opinion as preachers.

I saw that it was true. Since I believe in the Bible, so of course I will believe what they say. But perhaps if it were only based on their opinion, I wouldn’t be here.

~o~

Sis. Gianne Ericka Espino, 20, Former Catholic, Pampanga Province

On Joining the Church of God

Bro. Eli and Bro. Daniel’s teachings are good. I was able to listen to them for about four months until I decided to become a member here, because I believe that the doctrines are true. It was my first time to [hear Bro. Eli] then. But in those four months, I attended without fail; I had no absent.

November 17 marked my friend’s spiritual birthday and he invited me to the Church. That’s when it started, until I liked attending. He works in Manila. But even if he wasn’t around, I would attend by myself. I didn’t even know Ang Dating Daan [The Old Path] before.

On Being Baptized

I feel so elated inside. It’s like, “Wow!” I’ve been cleansed, my heart has been cleansed. I’m really very happy.

On Bro. Eli Soriano and Bro. Daniel Razon

I’m overly thankful for the teachings that they teach us. May they always be guided by God.

~o~

Bro. Solomon Burgess PhD, 63, Former Baptist, Rizal Province

On Joining the Church of God

The reason I joined the Church of God is because of its message, and what it stands for, its principles. That’s why I joined the Church of God.

I grew up in the [Baptist] church. I taught Sunday school in the church. So being here, its teaching coincides with what I learned in my childhood, what I was teaching. So the message coming from Bro. Eli is what I learned and what I was teaching. So that was one of the main reasons why I joined. When I heard the message, the message was the same.

I saw him a few times on TV, and then one of the members of the Church who invited me by the name of Bro. Felilx spoke to me about watching about this particular program on TV.

So I tuned into this channel; I think it was in ’93. And I said, “Oh, wow! I’ve seen him before.” And so I watched it. The teaching, the scriptures, and the interpretation are coming from the Bible, not man’s interpretation.

Some time lapsed, he mentioned it to me again so I started to follow it, and now I’m tuning into it. So I decided, “Oh, okay.” I think this one is probably, well not probably, the correct teachings that I have been exposed to since childhood.

On Being Baptized

Oh, it was something special; it was different. I was baptized three times before. This one is really different.

I heard that majority of the people who have been baptized, their feet remain at the bottom of the pool. And likewise, my feet remained at the bottom of the people; [they] were dipped in the water.

So, when [I was] told to put my hands over my nose [and got immersed], I went back and just levelled horizontally in the water. According to [the brother], that was never done before.

But the significance of that [for me] was, while in the water… Of course, I was looking upward, vertically. Sometimes when you close your eyes you see darkness, [but] when I closed my eyes and I was looking up through the water, I could see these bright colors: Light pink, light red, but it was pinkish. It was like a rainbow, but all of them together.

Then, just before I have been brought up, everything was clear; it was white. So I said, “Okay, this is different.” This was really different. But [even when] I was just walking to get out of the pool, it was like I was walking on air. “Wow! What’s happening?”

And until now, I’m having that feeling; it’s just like I’m floating [laughs]. So that was the feeling of that.

On Bro. Eli Soriano and Bro. Daniel Razon

Keep doing what they are doing. Keep feeding the people the bread of the Scriptures, and hopefully… They’re already making a big difference. Just continue to do what they’re doing, continue to bring the people from the worldly world into the world of salvation.

That’s about it. That’s the reason why I’m here in the first place. So he’s making a difference. Just keep on going; just keep on driving. So hopefully, maybe I can join him, because part of my mission was helping people in the first place since I’ve been here in 1992.

But even before 1992 I have been helping people. We had a bread line where people who didn’t have food to eat [could go to]. So when I got here that was what I was doing [for] those who hadn’t had food to eat; those who couldn’t even buy dextrose at the government hospital, we provide medicine.

I am delighted to be part of this organization, of this mission, this ministry. Hopefully, I can also be part of that team that’s making a difference.

Keep it up. We just have to keep going. The more souls, the more people we can bring into the Church, the better this world will be.

To God be the glory

From the Philippines to Brazil: MCGI’s Last Quarter of 2014’s Big Events and Recognitions

From The Old Path’s 34th anniversary to citations in the Philippines and Brazil, the Members Church of God International (MCGI) left the last quarter of 2014 with much to remember by.

34 Years of Religious Service

Marking the 34th year of its flagship program Ang Dating Daan (The Old Path), MCGI held a month-long celebration of good works. MCGI congregants in different parts of the globe lead public service endeavors like cleanup drives and medical missions. This is apart from the Church’s day-to-day humanitarian activities.

Members in New York launched a clean-up drive in the city’s Belvedere Park. Liberians welcomed patients of MCGI’s free clinic there, while Ghanan members attended to the refugees in its charity home.

In the Philippines similar services took place like the medical missions in Cavite and Bicol provinces, which benefitted about 5,000 indigents.

MCGI topped of its celebration of good works with a Worldwide Bible Exposition on October 30, 2014 that once again challenged The Big Dome’s 16,000-plus seating limits.

Right before the stage, disabled persons seat in front of the huge crowd at the Smart-Araneta Coliseum for the Worldwide Bible Exposition of MCGI on October 30, 2014 in celebration of The Old Path's 34th anniversary. (Photo courtesy of PVI)
Right before the stage, disabled persons seat in front of the huge crowd at the Smart-Araneta Coliseum for the Worldwide Bible Exposition of MCGI on October 30, 2014 in celebration of The Old Path’s 34th anniversary. (Photo courtesy of PVI)

A Song of Praise (ASOP) interpreters like Frenchy Dy, Gerald Santos and Beverly Caimen to name a few, welcomed the massive crowd with a slew of winning songs from the Philippines’ first-ever Gospel songwriting tilt on television.

Bro. Daniel Razon then delivered a keynote speech on the worldwide reach of The Old Path in its 34 years of programming before giving the floor to Bro. Eli Soriano. Soon afterwards, Itanong Mo Kay Soriano, Biblia Ang Sasagot (The Bible Will Answer. Ask Bro. Eli), the trademark question-and-answer segment of the program, took off. Guests at the coliseum and from more than 1,360 remote points across the globe asked their questions of faith live to the MCGI Overall Servants.

Philippine Pride

In the same month, MCGI, together with media partner UNTV, received a citation from the Philippine Embassy in Brazil for their extensive aid to their fellow Filipinos and Brasileiros.

“MCGI or The Old Path is of great help to the embassy because of your widespread outreach to this place, which is seldom reached by our people,” expressed Philippine Ambassador to Brazil Eva G. Betita to an MCGI representative.

The attaché added that with the aid of UNTV, the country’s consular services in the region reaches as many people as possible. The year saw many succesful Filipino registrants for the upcoming national elections, one of the joint efforts of the embassy and UNTV.

The MCGI brethren in Brazil on the other hand have been recognized for their public services to their fellow Brasileiros. Like their Filipino counterparts, Brazilian members are active in donating blood and in caring for the elderly.

“When you sang and dance for them and they clapped, it is different for them… to them it is very satisfying,” told Jeruza Mogarte, Corner of Old administrator of an elderly home in Porto Alegre when MCGI and UNTV visited the residents in their place.

Dugong Bayani Award

For donating over 10,750 blood bags in 2014 alone, MCGI received the Jose Rizal Award from the Department of Health for the third consecutive year.

Philippine Blood Disease and Transfusion Center OIC and Executive Director Dr. Ma. Victoria Abesamis told that MCGI’s efforts are “unceasing”. MCGI conducts blood drives quarterly every year as part of its commitment to saving lives.

In the same breath, church members support UNTV’s pioneering and breakthrough advocacy of Rescue First, Report Later, which puts public safety first before breaking news.

The first ever news-and-rescue team in the Philippines was conceptualized and formed by BMPI Chairman and CEO Kuya Daniel in 2010. Incidentally, Kuya Daniel is the Vice-Presiding Minister to MCGI. BMPI, which stands for Breakthrough and Milestones Productions International (BMPI), is content provider of The Public Service Channel UNTV.

The logo of Ang Dating Daan's 34th anniversary with MCGI Leaders Bro. Daniel Razon (left) and Bro. Elise Soriano (right) being shown on the large LED screen. (Photo courtesy of PVI)
The logo of Ang Dating Daan’s 34th anniversary with MCGI Leaders Bro. Daniel Razon (left) and Bro. Elise Soriano (right) being shown on the large LED screen. (Photo courtesy of PVI)

Marking his 31st birthday in the spirit on November 28, 2014, Bro. Daniel held a charity dinner concert three days earlier to help further MCGI and UNTV’s various public services.

Bro. Daniel sang standards together with Bro. Eli Soriano via live video streaming in a concert aptly called “Double” at the Manila Hotel.

Bro. Soriano and Bro. Razon spearhead the funding of many humanitarian endeavors that the organization has launched in the country and abroad. Doing good to all regardless of race or religion is part of MCGI doctrine (Gal. 6:10).

In the words of the Amb. Eva Betita, “To Bro. Eli and Bro. Daniel, we are delighted of what you are doing. May God Almighty bless you that you may be able to continue your good works.”

(Written by Rigor Arellano)

From the Philippines to Brazil: MCGI’s Last Quarter of 2014’s Big Events and Recognitions

From The Old Path’s 34th anniversary to citations in the Philippines and Brazil, the Members Church of God International (MCGI) left the last quarter of 2014 with much to remember by.

34 Years of Religious Service

Marking the 34th year of its flagship program Ang Dating Daan (The Old Path), MCGI held a month-long celebration of good works. MCGI congregants in different parts of the globe lead public service endeavors like cleanup drives and medical missions. This is apart from the Church’s day-to-day humanitarian activities.

Members in New York launched a clean-up drive in the city’s Belvedere Park. Liberians welcomed patients of MCGI’s free clinic there, while Ghanan members attended to the refugees in its charity home.

In the Philippines similar services took place like the medical missions in Cavite and Bicol provinces, which benefitted about 5,000 indigents.

Physically disabled persons or in MCGI terms, Very Important Disabled Persons (VIDP), take the front row seats at the Smart-Araneta Coliseum for the Worldwide BIble Exposition on October 30, 2014. (Photo courtesy of PVI)
Physically disabled persons or in MCGI terms, Very Important Disabled Persons (VIDP), take the front row seats at the Smart-Araneta Coliseum for the Worldwide BIble Exposition on October 30, 2014. (Photo courtesy of PVI)

MCGI topped of its celebration of good works with a Worldwide Bible Exposition on October 30, 2014 that once again challenged The Big Dome’s 20,000-plus seating limits.

A Song of Praise (ASOP) interpreters like Frenchy Dy, Gerald Santos and Beverly Caimen to name a few, welcomed the massive crowd with a slew of winning songs from the Philippines’ first-ever Gospel songwriting tilt on television.

Bro. Daniel Razon then delivered a keynote speech on the worldwide reach of The Old Path in its 34 years of programming before giving the floor to Bro. Eli Soriano. Soon afterwards, Itanong Mo Kay Soriano, Biblia Ang Sasagot (The Bible Will Answer. Ask Bro. Eli), the trademark question-and-answer segment of the program, took off. Guests at the coliseum and from more than 1,360 remote points across the globe asked their questions of faith live to the MCGI Overall Servants.

Philippine Pride

In the same month, MCGI together with media partner UNTV, received a citation from the Philippine Embassy in Brazil for their extensive aid to their fellow Filipinos and Brazilenos.

“MCGI or The Old Path is of great help to the embassy because of your widespread outreach to this place, which is seldom reached by our people,” expressed Philippine Ambassador to Brazil Eva G. Betita to an MCGI representative.

The attaché added that with the aid of UNTV, the country’s consular services in the region reaches as many people as possible. The year saw many succesful Filipino registrants for the upcoming national elections, one of the joint efforts of the embassy and UNTV.

A Song of Praise or ASOP Interpreters (from right) Gerald Santos, Jek Manuel, Catherine Loria, Beverly Caimen and Shanne Velasco sing songs of praise entertaining the crowd at the Big Dome. (Photo courtesy of PVI)
A Song of Praise or ASOP Interpreters (from right) Gerald Santos, Jek Manuel, Catherine Loria, Beverly Caimen and Shanne Velasco sing songs of praise entertaining the crowd at the Big Dome. (Photo courtesy of PVI)

The MCGI brethren in Brazil on the other hand have been recognized for their public services to their fellow Brasileiros. Like their Filipino counterparts, Brazilian members are active in donating blood and in caring for the elderly.

“When you sang and dance for them and they clapped, it is different for them… to them it is very satisfying,” told Jeruza Mogarte, Corner of Old administrator of an elderly home in Porto Alegre when MCGI and UNTV visited the residents in their place. [Links to Youtube video about it]

Dugong Bayani Award

For donating over 10,750 blood bags in 2014 alone, MCGI received the Jose Rizal Award from the Department of Health for the third consecutive year.

Philippine Blood Disease and Transfusion Center OIC and Executive Director Dr. Ma. Victoria Abesamis told that MCGI’s efforts are “unceasing”. MCGI conducts blood drives quarterly every year as part of its commitment to saving lives.

In the same breath, church members support UNTV’s pioneering and breakthrough advocacy of Rescue First, Report Later, which puts public safety first before breaking news. [Links to DSR site article about it]

The first ever news-and-rescue team in the Philippines was conceptualized and formed by BMPI Chairman and CEO Kuya Daniel in 2010. BMPI, which stands for Breakthrough and Milestones Productions International (BMPI), is content provider of The Public Service Channel UNTV.

Wide LED screens show  The Old Path's 34th Anniversary logo bearing the photos of MCGI's Overall Servants Bro. Eli Soriano (right) and Bro. Daniel Razon (left). (Photo courtesy of PVI)
Wide LED screens show The Old Path’s 34th Anniversary logo bearing the photos of MCGI’s Overall Servants Bro. Eli Soriano (right) and Bro. Daniel Razon (left). (Photo courtesy of PVI)

Marking his 31st birthday in the spirit on November 28, 2014, Bro. Daniel held a dinner concert for charity three days earlier to help further MCGI and UNTV’s various public services.

Bro. Daniel sang standards together with Bro. Eli Soriano via live video streaming in a concert aptly called “Double” at the Manila Hotel.

MCGI Overall Servants spearhead the funding of many humanitarian endeavors that the organization has launched in the country and abroad. Doing good to all regardless of race or religion is part of MCGI doctrine (Gal. 6:10).

In the words of the Amb. Eva Betita, “To Bro. Eli and Bro. Daniel, we are delighted of what you are doing. May God Almighty bless you that you may be able to continue your good works.”

(Written by Rigor Arellano)

Finding Poverty and Hardships Not Hindrance, Members in Locale of Magata Give Thanks

At the ADD Convention Center in Apalit, Pampanga, the Locale of Magata offered their song of praise on stage amidst hundred of members in their thanksgiving number for God on March 9, 2013.
Amidst hundreds of members in a thanksgiving number for God, the Locale of Magata offered their song on the stage of the ADD Convention Center in Apalit, Pampanga on March 9, 2013.

With about 90 members, the Locale of Magata converged with the tens of thousand congregants at the ADD Convention Center in Apalit, Pampanga one regular Thanksgiving service. These members were prepared spiritually to offer their sacrifice of thanksgiving. With kids in tow, they marched on stage to sing their song of praise. These members can still vividly recall their Thanksgiving on March 9, 2013.

“For God’s innumerable kindness, we agreed to offer our thanksgiving as a locale,” remarked Bro. Nestor Vasquez who is one of the pioneer members of the Locale of Magata. “With His grace we were able to, little by little, contribute and raise funds for our fare going to Apalit.”

Ain’t No Valley Low Enough

A far-flung highland of Rizal province in the Philippines, the town of Magata is an area where transportation and electricity are not available. It is as if in this modern-day world, Magata failed to catch up.

Some pointed to the area’s mountainous topography as one to blame why modernity didn’t yet reach Magata. As a result, locals subsist mostly in charcoal trade, raising goats and planting vegetables.

“If we want to make it to our thanksgiving on time, we must leave Magata at around 7 a.m. to 8 a.m. to get to Tanay between 10:30 a.m. and 11 a.m.,” explained Sis Juanita Resureccion, another pioneer member of the locale.

“We have to be on our way to Tanay as early as possible so we don’t miss the public transport,” added Sis. Juanita. The ‘public transport’ she was referring to is a big customized jeep built for the terrain that can even carry people on its top. It only makes one trip per day. “If we’re unlucky and our vehicle got into trouble during the trip, it would take us up to 2 p.m. just to reach Tanay.”

It is from Tanay where they ride regular means of public transport that can take them to Pampanga. City folk can only imagine the inconvenience and discomfort Magata-dwellers bear just to travel to Tanay, let alone another province like Pampanga.

Receiving Love, Giving Thanks

One of the primary reasons why the locale members of Magata offered thanks was because of the installation of a water pump to boost their water supply. “We are also offering thanksgiving because of our preachers, who never forget to care and show their concern for us,” Bro. Nestor further added.

Bro. Daniel Razon learned of Magata’s water problem during one of the Vice-Presiding Minister’s Visita Iglesia activities earlier this year. Bro. Daniel learned of this problem that affected locale members’ daily subsistence. In his willingness to always take advantage of opportunities to do good, Bro. Daniel visited the location of the brethren in Magata and had a water pump with a hose installed.

The Locale of Magata stands on the mountains of Rizal Province in the Philippines. Residents here subsist mostly in charcoal trade, raising goats and planting vegetables.
The Locale of Magata stands on the mountains of Rizal Province in the Philippines. Residents here subsist mostly in charcoal trade, raising goats and planting vegetables.

“The location where we get water is really far. Most of the time we rely from our non-member neighbors who have water hoses. Unfortunately it seems our water supply is cut off during our Saturday Church service or when brethren come visit the locale,” revealed Sis. Juanita.

“With God’s mercy, our prayers were heard and Bro. Daniel assisted us in getting the hose installed.” This kind gesture caused them to feel very blessed again as a locale. As a group who “seldom gets attention from the government,” said Sis. Juanita, they felt relieved with Bro. Daniel’s urgent response to their woes.

Small Wish Granted: (Truckload of) Bread

But it wasn’t the first time they had been recipients of the compassionate acts of Bro. Eli Soriano and Bro. Daniel Razon. In the Munting Pangarap (Small Wish) project of the MCGI Leaders, one member’s wish was granted in 2001.

“There’s the wife,” said Sis. Juanita, pointing to Sis. Maribel who was laughing on her chair. Asked what Bro. Datoy’s wish was, Sis. Maribel said her husband unblinkingly replied: “Bread. Just bread will do, Bro. Eli.” The modest request touched the hearts of Church members who witnessed the video recording of the gift-giving event played in a Thanksgiving service that year.

When other members from the locale asked him why he only requested for bread, Bro. Batoy casually replied, “Because we very seldom get a taste of bread in the mountains.”

More Than Bread

When the wish was granted, the Dela Cruz family and all of the Magata brethren were surprised not to see baskets of bread, but a whole truckload. Sis. Maribel, recounted that her children didn’t ask for rice during meals that time, but bread instead.

The bigger surprise however came together with the mountain of bread that were delivered to them — by the MCGI Leaders themselves. “It felt surreal,” expressed teary-eyed Bro. Nestor, as he recalled his reaction upon seeing Bro. Eli and Bro. Daniel in person.

Youths lining up at the entrance to greet brethren and guests at the Locale of Magata in Rizal Province.
Youths lining up at the entrance to greet brethren and guests at the Locale of Magata in Rizal Province.

“It was a time when you just know that no one can compare our Church to other religions,” stressed Bro. Nestor. “Leaders of other churches wouldn’t even make the effort of reaching out to members like us, especially not to a remote place where we live in. I then realized that our Church satisfies what the Holy Scriptures prescribe to leaders, to visit and see members face to face. And Bro. Eli and Bro. Daniel really do.”

The Church leaders also had a satellite dish installed so the brethren there can connect via satellite to Church services. Due to difficult transport facilities and fluctuating electric supply, all Church services in the locale are conducted on Saturdays.

Apart however from the water pump and satellite dish, Bro. Eli and Bro. Daniel gave them a generator for use in Church gatherings as well as in indoctrination sessions. According to locale officers, all these helped resolve problems like poor attendance of members who mostly encounter problems making trips back and forth to the area.

Life Goes On

“It’s very hard to get a stable source of income, it was tough even for us. That’s why some of us experienced temporary setbacks from attending our Church services in the previous years,” told Bro. Nestor. “But with God’s mercy, our leaders’ guidance and the assistance of our assigned workers, we were able to pack Saturdays with prayer meeting, thanksgiving and worship service. We’re very thankful.”

With all the daily struggles, not to mention the kind of discomfort they must endure, the Locale of Magata members are a hearty lot of people. Easily laughing at jokes, especially when they remember funny memories shared together as brothers and sisters in faith, they shed tears of joy for their overwhelming gratefulness despite their status in life. These people feel blessed and awed for having faithful leaders and a kind God.

“We have several batches of newly baptized brothers and sisters, which is part of the other big reasons for our thanksgiving. Even if our leaders are physically distant from us, we can feel God’s love and provisions. He has never left us alone, through Bro.Eli and Bro.Daniel,” added Bro Nestor.

His final words,  “As part of our request for our thanksgiving, we pray to God that before He takes Bro. Eli from us to rest for the time being, may we all be able to see him again personally, here in the Philippines.”

Like the disposition of the members of the Locale of Magata, most congregants of Members of the Church of God International (MCGI) can list a measly piece of bread for a wish. They do not grumble, complain and curse when they suffer. Life’s struggles and troubles are part of the package to these Christians. They endure hardships yet they are zealous to offer songs of thanks and praises. It’s their way of life in Christ.

(Words by Apple D. Arco)

(Photo by Rovic Balunsay)

MCGI Aids in Donsol Medical Mission, Serves 1,707

The Members Church of God International (MCGI) took part in UNTV’s medical mission for the 1,707 residents of the Whale Shark Capital of the World, Donsol, in the province of Sorsogon on April 25, 2012.

Several officers, both in government and the private sectors expressed their gratitude. Tourism Department Provincial officer Cris Racelis thanked UNTV and its partners for the public service support. “This is a truly great thing for them, by providing us with free doctors, free checkups and free medicines for this matter. We extend our heartfelt gratitude to those who comprise UNTV and also your local and national offices,” Racelis said.

In partnership with the Kamanggagawa Foundation and the 903rd Brigade of the Philippine Army, the project is one of Kuya Daniel Razon’s efforts to bring medical assistance to far-flung areas in the country.

Ang Dating Daan Medical mission in Donsol

Sorsogon, Bicol, dubbed as the “Gateway to Southern Philippines,” is at the southernmost tip of the Luzon Island. The medical mission was conducted at the Brgy. Vinisitahan Elementary School.

“So it’s very possible that these people, who are from the end of the Philippines, can reach out to people at the other end of the country, said School Principal Ebelyn Caramoan, This is a great honor and joy for us.”

Col. Felix Castro of the 903rd Brigade on the other hand noted that “These are the activities that the people feel, where we can show that it is not only the government, but organizations like the Clinic ni Kuya Daniel Razon, Kamanggagawa Foundation and UNTV that help those in need here in Sorsogon.”

Members Church of GOD International  - Medical Mission in Donsol

MCGI supports the daily medical, dental and other public services at UNTV. MCGI’s Overall Servants Bro. Eli Soriano and Kuya Daniel have put up various charitable works that range from feeding to educational programs.

“Through these free medical missions of Kuya Daniel and Bro. Eli, we are very thankful for another opportunity to be helpers in undertakings like this to give care to our fellow people,” said MCGI Representative Danny Navales.

(Written by: Jay Arellano)


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