Pastoral Visit of the Executive Minister: Seoul, South Korea
March 17, 2019
Written by Christine Jewel Yabut and Loren Daryl Sarenas
South Korea, known globally for its economic potential and popular attractions, such as the Gyeongbokgung Palace, Namsan Seoul Tower, and Lotte World, has drawn many tourists and foreign workers. Majority of the foreigners in South Korea came here in search of greener pastures through employment or furthering their education.
But as in other places, people’s focus on their needs and worries in life has taken much of their time and energy. Brother Medel Ardiente, a secretary in the Local Congregation of Pyeongtaek, observed: “Many people here in this country are too busy earning for a living. They are career-oriented and spend so much time in their jobs.” Like every other Church member, he is thankful that the Executive Minister of the Iglesia Ni Cristo (Church Of Christ), Brother Eduardo V. Manalo, constantly reminds them of the most vital obligation one must prioritize—to render true worship to the one true God.
On March 17, 2019, Brother Eduardo Manalo officiated at a worship service held at the Grand Hilton Convention Center in Seoul. In his Bible-based preaching, he emphasized that the worship services God accepts are only those that are rendered by the true worshipers. He expressed his sincere hope that everyone gain a deep understanding of this truth and hold fast their membership in the true Church, for this is the only means they can be worthy of serving God.
Brother Baddie Fan Tayag, a group secretary in the Local Congregation of Uijeongbu, recalled the time when he was searching for the true religion. He said, “Before, I critically examined several religions and attended their worship services. But I decided not to be baptized in those religions.” But when Brother Baddie Fan was able to listen to the teachings in the Church Of Christ and understood that the teachings, including the process of entering this Church, are purely biblical, he decided to join it.
Expressing how his view on religion changed, Brother Ju Kino, a Korean national, said, “Before, I believed that membership in any religion is not important. But when I was able to listen to the teachings in the Church Of Christ, I came to understand that it is a must to become a member of this Church for me to receive salvation.” Brother Ju is now a SCAN officer in the Local Congregation of Seoul.
One of the teachings taught in the Church Of Christ is that it is the members’ duty to help in the propagation of God’s words. Brother Kim dela Cruz, in spite of his tight work schedule, strives to share the true faith. He stated: “We accompany our minister when he conducts doctrinal instructions in the evening. The doctrinal instructees are usually available after 8:30 p.m., so we arrive back to the chapel after the Bible study around midnight already because the place for Bible studies is an hour away.” Brother Kim is an organist, KADIWA congregation president, and secretary in the Local Congregation of Daegu. He invited guests to attend the worship service officiated by the Executive Minister.
Church members continue to help in the propagation works of the Church despite the challenges they face. With a positive attitude, Brother Medel said, “I have been rejected many, many times as I invited my co-workers and friends to our evangelical missions. But I always keep in my mind that this is God’s work. I just need to continue inviting guests as much as I can.” He does not let anything hinder him from participating in the work of propagation, and has already been able to bear fruit—that is, win people into the true faith.
And this year marks the 25th year of establishment of the first local congregation in the country—the Seoul Congregation. The Church Of Christ has already spread in various parts of South Korea. Through God’s guidance, His faithful servants in this part of the world continue to strive to be His instruments in spreading His words. Brother Ju expressed, “I will continue to share with my fellowmen God’s message of salvation which can only be found in the Church Of Christ.”
The Executive Minister emphasized in his preaching that the members of the Church Of Christ are the true worshipers of God, and they have the right and privilege to receive His blessings—blessings in this life, and above all, salvation on the Day of Judgment and the eternal life in the heavenly abode. With firm conviction, Brother Baddie Fan expressed, “I am truly blessed because I am a member of the Church Of Christ. I came to know the true religion where I can render worship service acceptable before God, give glory to Him, and receive His blessings.”
This is the reason Church members continue to uphold their divine election despite the difficulties they experience in this life. Brother Ju expressed, “We are indeed so blessed for being members of the Church Of Christ. Although we face different problems in this world, we have God by our side, Who will help us overcome these. Like what the Executive Minister taught, we have the firm hope of dwelling in the Holy City where there will be no more sufferings.”