Consistently thanking
the Creator


Before every year comes to a close, members of the Iglesia Ni Cristo (Church Of Christ) never fail to render abundant thanksgiving to the One Whom the Bible teaches as the Creator—the Father in heaven. Whatever situations they were in for that year, no matter what the circumstances were, the faithful remain thankful to God, for He is consistent in fulfilling His promises to His nation.

On December 16, 2022, Brother Eduardo V. Manalo, the Church’s Executive Minister, officiated at the Year-end Thanksgiving worship service in the house of worship of the Local Congregation of Muntinlupa, Ecclesiastical District of Metro Manila South. The holy gathering was streamed live to various remote sites, including congregations within the district, and the Central Temple in Quezon City, Philippines.

In that same occasion, the new house of worship of the Local Congregation of Great North in Lusaka, Zambia in the Ecclesiastical District of Southeastern Africa was dedicated to God through livestreaming. With this recent addition, the total number of houses of worship dedicated to God since September 2009, when Brother Eduardo Manalo became the Executive Minister, until December 2022 is 3,691, of which 452 were during the pandemic.

Before the homily, Brother Jerick S. dela Cruz, the district supervising minister of Metro Manila South, led the opening prayer. Afterwards, Brother Bienvenido C. Santiago read the history of the Great North Congregation and a description of its house of worship. This was followed by Brother Rene J. Panoncillo leading the designated ministers as they said the prayer for the dedication of the house of worship. After the Bible-based preaching by the Executive Minister, Brother Romer D. Galang led the congregation in a solemn prayer to God, after which Brother Santiago said the benediction.

The new house of worship of the Local Congregation of Great North, Lusaka
in the Eccleciastical District of Southeastern Africa

Muntinlupa City, Metro Manila
By Xyleene Ysabel Felizardo

Wanting to help her parents in providing the daily needs of their family, Sister Alyssa Kent Pareña, as the eldest, decided to venture away from home after earning a degree in Nursing. From Bataan, she went to Muntinlupa City, Philippines to work at a private hospital there, hundreds of kilometers away from her loved ones.

Then, just when the year 2022 started and when it was about to end, her life was in danger at least twice. “It was January 7 when I tested positive from Covid-19, as the omicron variant cases began to spike in the country. And on November 30, I got into a road accident that almost claimed my life. As I was on my way home that evening, a bus hit the motorcycle I was riding,” she tearfully recalled.

But during those life-threatening situations, she never felt alone because she firmly believed that God was looking after her. It was God Whom Sister Alyssa relied on. “What I did was earnestly pray. I’m grateful to Him because during those circumstances, He protected and comforted me. I consider it as a test of my faith,” she said. “More than anything, I’m thankful to the Lord because I’m still counted among His children and have the hope of receiving salvation.”

Sister Alyssa is now registered in the Local Congregation of Muntinlupa, Ecclesiastical District of Metro Manila South. Being preoccupied with fulfilling her Church duties as a choir member and an officer in the Christian Medical Dental Paramedical Society (CMDPS) greatly helps in easing the loneliness she feels from being away from her family.

Brethren in the Muntinlupa Congregation listen to God's words taught by the Executive Minister

“Whenever I am inside the house of worship performing as a choir member during worship services or having my devotional prayer, I feel at peace. I’m confident that while God is taking care of me, He is also guiding and protecting my family. Knowing that my father is performing his duty as a deacon and my mother as a deaconess gives me comfort because God never forsakes us. No matter what we go through, He has been consistent in fulfilling His promises to us.”

All the goodness of God to her and her family is what Sister Alyssa was thankful for in her personal prayer during the Thanksgiving worship service led by the Executive Minister on December 16, 2022. “God’s kindness to His nation is immeasurable. Even we, individual members of the Church, also feel His abiding love in our daily lives. On the day of our Thanksgiving worship service, we returned to the house of worship to express our utmost gratitude to Him that is worthy of His name,” Sister Alyssa enthused.

The words of God taught by the Executive Minister during his homily served as an inspiration to Sister Alyssa as she faces another year full of uncertainties. She promised, “No matter how busy I am at work, I will never neglect my divine obligations to God. I will also continue exerting my efforts in helping in all the works of the Church, especially now that our Lord Jesus Christ’s Second Advent is fast approaching.”

Great North, Lusaka, Zambia 
By Abigail Santiago

Located in the south-central part of Zambia, its capital city, Lusaka, is situated on a limestone plateau more than 4,000 feet above sea level. Eleven years ago, the Iglesia Ni Cristo (Church Of Christ) gained foothold on this African landlocked country through the establishment of the Lusaka Group Worship Service (now a local congregation). With the help of God, Church membership continues to grow in number, thus the Great North Local Congregation, almost seven kilometers away from its mother congregation, was formed on September 3, 2022.

Three months after, another blessing from God was bestowed upon the brethren there as their new house of worship was dedicated to God on December 16 in a worship service officiated by the Executive Minister, Brother Eduardo Manalo, through livestreaming.

Pondering on the lesson taught by the beloved leader about being grateful to the Lord God, Brother Frank Goodson Poya, a head deacon, felt humbled for being called to the true worship of God in the Church Of Christ. “I was convinced to join the Church because of its doctrines,” he recalled.

Some of the Church members from Great North, Lusaka

As he continued attending the worship services, Brother Goodson realized, “There is a very big margin of difference as to how the Church Of Christ members value the worship service and the chapel compared to other religions. In other religions, you will be surprised that they use their chapels for things that are not related to worshiping God. While in the Church Of Christ, the chapels are dedicated to worship services and Church-related activities.”

Now that he is a member of the Church and is among the pioneering brethren in Zambia, Brother Goodson is blessed to see the unstoppable growth of the Church in their place. His fellow head deacon, Brother Saulo Moyo, expressed, “I am so happy, proud, and thankful because we were blessed with a newly-constructed house of worship. This will be a landmark not only for brethren but also for many Zambians. I’m honored to be a part of this legacy that I could share with my children and other people.”

Sister Maniel Angeline Soriano
Templo Central, Central

“In order for us to reach the heavenly abode, our Executive Minister always exhorts us to have firm faith and devote ourselves to worshiping the Lord God. I will continue being prayerful, entrusting whatever my plans are to Him. Since Judgment Day is very fast approaching, I will strive to live in holiness and instill in my heart that I’m a member of the true Church Of Christ at all times.”

Sister Leonida Valera
Alabang, Metro Manila South

“During the Thanksgiving worship service, I expressed my heartfelt gratitude to God for His countless blessings throughout the year. I promise that whatever challenges I go through in the upcoming year, I will still serve and praise Him, so I can complete the race He set before me.”

Sister Violeta Javier
Pamplona, Metro Manila South

“Whatever problems and difficulties life throws at me, I will face them full of faith and hope because I know that God is always by my side guiding me. I’ll remain unbothered in my services to Him and just continue performing my duty in the Church because it is during the worship services when I receive the strength that comes from Him.”

Brother Manuel Antolin
Tunasan, Metro Manila South

“Despite the many trials, my inspiration to continue on in my journey is the promised Holy City. The year 2022 was not an easy one, but I thank God for all the goodness He bestows every day to me and to my family. Most of all, He still allows me to remain in my divine calling, actively performing my Church duty. Through the preaching of the Executive Minister, Brother Eduardo Manalo, I have become more inspired to remain in God’s nation no matter what happens because it is only here where I can attain salvation.”