Pastoral Visit of the Executive Minister: Bagbaguin, Valenzuela City
April 13, 2019
Written by Lois Valdellon and Angelique dela Rosa
Valenzuela, a highly urbanized city in Metro Manila, is considered a major industrial center in the Philippines (businessmirror.com.ph) with its many manufacturing plants of textile, furniture, garments, and plastic products, making the city a haven for job seekers.
The work opportunities that the city offers have attracted many from the provinces to leave their hometowns and settle in this place. One of them is Brother Juan Valenzuela Jr., who is from Catanduanes.
“In our province, farming was our source of living but we didn’t have our own land. What we earned there was not enough for our big family. So, I went here to help my parents,” he said.
Another one is Brother Marlon Panizares who moved here from Quezon Province. “I wanted to study in college but what happened was, due to life’s difficulties, I just helped my parents in providing for our needs. Someone recommended me to work in a textile factory here in Valenzuela so I came here,” he said.
While also striving to seek greener pastures, one remarkable trait of Church Of Christ members is their unhindered devotion to serving God wherever they are and whatever situation they are in. Despite having the need to work and the fact that they also encounter various problems in life, they do not forsake their services to God and they continue to place their trust in Him.
“I was dismissed from my job,” said Brother Neciforo Quiamco. “But I didn’t lose hope. Instead, I prayed really hard,” he continued. Not hindered by the situation, he used it as an opportunity to all the more continue with his services to God in the Church Of Christ. “I decided to start an accessory shop. With this, I can now manage my time better. I can attend all the activities of the Church anytime,” said Brother Neciforo, a deacon whose wife and two daughters are choir members.
Brother Juan faced a similar situation. He said, “There was a time when I was jobless. What made things more difficult was during that time, my wife, who just gave birth, started to have asthma. So, every now and then, I would have to buy her medicine. And then we found out that our daughter had weak lungs. So, when she was still a baby, we had to take her almost every month to the hospital.”
But he and his wife, both choir members, did not show any sign of losing heart. Instead, they all the more hoped in God and continued their services to Him.
The experiences of Brothers Juan, Marlon, and Neciforo are only some of the many stories of faith that show how members of the Church Of Christ give utmost priority to serving God, in obedience to His will written in the Bible.
On April 13, 2019, Brother Eduardo V. Manalo, the Executive Minister of the Church, officiated at a worship service in Valenzuela—at the Local Congregation of Bagbaguin, Ecclesiastical District of Metro Manila North. He reminded the brethren during his Bible-based preaching that, now more than ever, true Christians are expected to strive for spiritual maturity that God seeks from them. He explained that they should do the right thing—obeying God’s commands—and place their full trust in Him no matter how difficult life becomes.
“Just like what our beloved Brother Eduardo Manalo said during his homily, we should let God take charge of our life by obeying His will. It is God’s will that we leave all sins behind, worship Him, and follow all His commandments,” said Brother Marlon, a local congregation secretary and group overseer.
Having learned from the constant reminders of the Church Administration, members of the Church Of Christ will never waver in doing what is right because in doing so, God will never forsake them and they will be able to attain the greatest blessing—His promised salvation.
Brother Nove Noble, a deacon, expressed his strong hope, saying, “Whatever trials may come into my life, I will remain holding on firmly to God’s promises that He will not forsake His righteous servants. This is why I am confident that God will always help me. Above all, I pray I be deemed worthy of His promised salvation. And so, I will remain a member of the Iglesia Ni Cristo until the end.”