Pastoral Visit of the Executive Minister: Bacolod City, Negros Occidental, Philippines
November 29, 2019
By Ayana Peñaranda, Angel Lucareza, and Chikki Villanueva
MEMBERS OF THE IGLESIA NI CRISTO (Church Of Christ), including those from Bacolod City—known as the “City of Smiles”—are no strangers to facing adversities in life. What they firmly hold on to as their basis in making the right decisions in life are God’s words written in the Bible.
This was what Brother Eduardo V. Manalo, the Executive Minister of the Church, emphasized during the worship service he officiated at the Local Congregation of Bacolod City, Ecclesiastical District of Bacolod City, Negros Occidental on November 29, 2019. On this sacred occasion, 30 ministerial workers received the laying on of hands from the Executive Minister to become full-fledged ministers in the Church.
In his Bible-based preaching, Brother Eduardo Manalo taught the Church members what they should always bear in mind whenever they make decisions. “We are always taught by the Church Administration to be wise, so that we will be able to make the right decisions,” recalled Brother Virgo Ceasar Alipio, a head deacon. “What we should always consider when deciding is what pleases God and what is according to His will.”
The Executive Minister reminded the Church members not to forsake the worship services, because it is during those occasions when the words of God are taught to them for them to be guided in making the correct decisions in life. That is why they should not allow anything or anyone to hinder them from attending the worship services and from performing their Church obligations.
“Although we experience trials in life, we strive to endure them all, for us to be able to perform our duties during worship services. This is very important because it is where God teaches us the right thing to do to overcome whatever we are going through,” Brother Melchor Lagos, a choir member, said.
Because the Lord God is All-knowing and Almighty, it is only right for His true servants to trust in Him in every situation. Recalling the ordeal she went through almost five years ago, Sister Jerilyn Lucareza, a deaconess, shared: “It was in 2015 when we had problems concerning our livelihood. Our warehouse burned down and the vehicle we used figured in an accident. But we never lost hope. Despite what happened, we did not forsake our duties; instead, we continued to be active in performing our obligations. We held devotional prayers everyday in the house of worship.”
Having the same conviction, Brother Virgo entrusts everything to God and prioritizes his Church duties above everything. He said, “To perform my duties is my utmost priority in life. … God knows whatever problems or situations we are in, and He can give the solution to them.”
To trust in God’s guidance is also what parents in the Church Of Christ teach their children to help them avoid making wrong decisions in life. Brother Melchor shared what he always tells his children. He said: “My wife and I always tell our children not to forget their devotional prayers. We, as parents, strive to be good examples in showing them that we involve God in every aspect of our life. Firmly believing in what God can do for us is important. He will provide everything that we need and will enlighten us to make the right decisions in life, for us not to be led astray by the wickedness of this world.”
Having God’s guidance and love in the life of Church members is very important, especially during times of troubles, which they also cannot avoid experiencing. To remain under His care, Church Of Christ members fervently promise to devote themselves to their services to Him. Sister Jerilyn vowed, “I, together with my whole household, promise to serve God as long as we have life and strength. With this, we will be able to not only make the right decisions in life, but, above all, remain in our divine election and be firm in our hope of receiving salvation.”