The house of worship of the Local Congregation of San Nicolas in Bacoor, Cavite

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Living to glorify God

COMMEMORATION OF MILESTONE ANNIVERSARIES
SAN NICOLAS, CAVITE, PHILIPPINES
JULY 8, 2022

IN EVERYTHING they do, members of the Iglesia Ni Cristo (Church Of Christ) strive to uphold the teachings of God in the Bible that they receive. Even when they are faced with difficulties, His truths and promises inspire them to continue with all devotion in their services to Him and in living a life that truly glorifies Him.

They understand that obeying God’s teachings is truly essential in their preparation for Christ’s nearing return that they may overcome the hardships they encounter in life. Fortunately for them, the Lord placed an Administration in the Church by which the members receive spiritual strengthening through His truth.

One such occasion was a special worship service officiated by the Executive Minister, Brother Eduardo V. Manalo, during his pastoral visit to the brethren in the Local Congregation of San Nicolas, Ecclesiastical District of Cavite on July 8, 2022. The sacred gathering was streamed live to various local congregations around the world that commemorated their respective milestone anniversaries.

Before the Bible-based homily, Brother Rolly G. Gamboa, the Cavite District’s supervising minister, led the opening prayer. After the preaching, Brother Romer D. Galang led the prayer. The Executive Minister said the benediction.

With renewed hope to carry on and continue their journey to salvation, some brethren shared how they strive to live to glorify the Creator—the Father in heaven.


Walking on the right path
Pikit, Cotabato 
Written by Ella Rose Reformado

The humble beginnings of the Local Congregation of Pikit, Ecclesiastical District of Maguindanao can be traced back to 1947. Despite the geographical challenges due to its remoteness, the Lord God has blessed it with continuous growth in membership. Thirteen days before its 75th anniversary, the brethren in Pikit received another great blessing as their congregation had the opportunity to take part in the worship service officiated by the Executive Minister, Brother Eduardo Manalo.

“I’m very privileged to be one of God’s chosen ones. I feel His great mercy every day of my life since the day I was baptized and became part of His people in these last days,” said Brother Rene Ferrer, a head deacon, as he recollected what was taught in the worship service. He can attest to how God changed his life for the better when he decided to walk in the path that God wanted him to take.

Brother Rene Ferrer (far right) and his family

As someone who did not know the true God before, Brother Rene admitted he used to indulge in vices. “I was a happy-go-lucky person. I tended to commit wrongdoings impulsively,” he said. However, his outlook in life changed for the better when his friend introduced him to the Church. He recalled, “When I entered the house of worship, I was amazed by the solemnity of the gathering. What caught my attention was the seating arrangement and no one was talking while the minister preached the words of God.” Brother Rene’s first encounter with the Church Of Christ piqued his curiosity about its teachings.

Despite his family’s disapproval, he decided to join the Church and after attending Bible studies on doctrines and worship services many times, he was fully enlightened by God’s truth. By God’s grace, Brother Rene received his baptism in 1993. He said, “God cleansed my sins and gave me another chance. Now, I will use this chance to share my faith with others, especially with my loved ones who are not yet members of the Church. I hope that they, too, may become part of God’s people and receive His bountiful blessings.”


Embracing the truth
Caloocan, Metro Manila
Written by Rosanna Ramos

“My parents taught me to hold on to my Church duties and to never get tired of serving and worshiping the Lord God,” said Brother Manny de Luna. From his childhood until now that he has his own family, the advice of Brother Manny’s parents has served as a guide in his life. “My parents, despite their old age, continue fulfilling their duties. That is what I’m striving to imitate from them.”

Such kind of faith is what God expects from the Church members to be deemed worthy of being saved. This was what Brother Eduardo Manalo also emphasized during the worship service. Through videoconferencing, the brethren from the Local Congregation of Caloocan, Ecclesiastical District of CAMANAVA, which reached its 101st anniversary, were blessed to witness the sacred event.

“In the worship service, the teaching about the importance of remaining in our divine election was what I pondered on the most,” said Brother Manny. “So, I’m firm in my conviction to perform the duties entrusted to me and remain steadfast no matter what happens to be sure of attaining salvation.” Currently, he is a deacon and the Buklod president of their congregation.

Together with Brother Manny, the brethren have been more determined to overcome anything that may hinder them from actively serving God, for once again they felt God’s love through His words constantly taught by the Church Administration.

Embracing the true teachings ingrained in his heart, Brother Manny is inspired to share them with others. He never ceases to invite his friends and workmates to know more about the Church Of Christ whenever there are evangelical missions and other Church activities. “I give them copies of Pasugo magazine and pamphlets. Through various social media platforms, I send them links of the Church’s official websites, programs, and shows.”

With his enthusiasm and God’s help, his active participation in the work of propagation continues yielding good results, as some of his friends and acquaintances have joined the true Church. “It’s fulfilling to be part of the intensified works of the Church and to be a helper to the Church Administration in whatever possible means. I promise to continue doing so because, through this, God will be pleased,” he stated.


Mangungunyapit sa natutuhang aral
San Nicolas, Bacoor, Cavite
Isinulat ni Kris Deneille Gawaran

“Napakasaya ko at excited. Noong mismong pagsamba, hindi ko maipaliwanag ang aking naramdaman. Napakabiyaya.” Ang pahayag na ito ni Kapatid na Mary Ann Rañola, isang mang-aawit sa Lokal ng San Nicolas, Distrito Eklesiastiko ng Cavite, ang siyang damdamin ng marami kung hindi man lahat ng mga kapatid sa kanilang lokal na nakadalo sa pagsambang pinangasiwaan ng Tagapamahalang Pangkalahatan noong Hulyo 8, 2022.            

Limang taon mula nang maitayo at maitalaga sa Panginoong Diyos ang kanilang gusaling sambahan na nakapaglululan ng 1,000 mananamba, muling nakabiyaya ang mga kapatid sa lokal na ito nang sila ay dalawin ng Tagapamahalang Pangkalahatan. Kaya, hindi inalintana ng mga kapatid ang matinding sikat ng araw upang maayos na makapila papasok sa gusaling sambahan habang sinusunod ang health protocols.

Sa pamamagitan ng Biblia, itinuro ng Kapatid na Eduardo Manalo ang kahalagahan ng pangungunyapit sa mga aral ng Diyos na natutuhan ng mga kaanib mula sa pagtuturo ng Pamamahala. Ang mga katotohanang nakasulat sa Biblia ang pinanghahawakan ni Kapatid na Mary Ann kaya nakapamamalagi siya sa pagsunod sa mga utos ng Diyos. Ito rin ang dahilan kaya matibay ang kaniyang paninindigan na umanib sa Iglesia Ni Cristo kahit pa may mga pag-uusig.

Kapatid na Mary Ann Rañola

“Nang malaman ng aking mga magulang na ako’y nagsusuri sa mga aral sa loob ng Iglesia, pinagbantaan nila ako na itatakwil at palalayasin. Hindi ako natinag sa pag-uusig. Sa halip, nagpatuloy lang ako sa pagdalo sa mga pagsamba,” pag-aalaala niya. Sa awa at tulong ng Diyos, nabautismuhan si Kapatid na Mary Ann noong 1989.

Mula noon, isa-isang natawag sa Iglesia ang kaniyang pamilya—mula sa kaniyang ama na matinding nang-uusig sa kaniya noon, hanggang sa kaniyang ina at mga kapatid. Sa kasalukuyan, lahat sila ay masisiglang kaanib at maytungkulin na sa loob ng Iglesia.

Itinuro rin ng Kapatid na Eduardo Manalo na upang makapamalagi sa kahalalan, ang mga kaanib sa Iglesia ay dapat mag-ingat laban sa sinumang ginagamit na kasangkapan ng diablo upang magturo ng kasinungalingan o anumang labag sa Biblia. Isa ito sa mga tumatak sa isipan ng mga nagsisamba. 

Iglesia Ni Cristo tayo saanman tayo naroroon, kaya anuman ang gagawin natin, dapat nakikita sa atin na ibinubuhay natin ang ating pagka-Iglesia Ni Cristo,” pahayag ni Kapatid na Mary Ann, habang sinasariwa ang natutuhan sa pagsamba.

Ayon pa sa kaniya, maging sa paggamit ng social media at internet, ay maingat din niyang binabantayan ang kaniyang pananampalataya upang huwag masayang ang pag-asa niya sa pagtatamo ng kaligtasan. Aniya, lagi niyang gagamiting gabay ang mga pagtuturo ng Pamamahala ukol sa responsableng paggamit ng internet. Kabilang sa mga ito ay, “Huwag basta makikisangkot o maniniwala sa mga nababasa rito kahit pa marami ang mga gumagawa nito. Huwag din magpapadala sa ating emosyon na sukdulang makapag-post ng mga bagay na hindi naman nararapat.”


Tanging kaaliwan
Mansaya, Iloilo City, Iloilo
Isinulat ni Eileen Palawan

“Ang tanging kaaliwan ko ay ang aking tungkulin sa loob ng Iglesia na siya ring pinaghuhugutan ko ng lakas para huwag akong maligaw ng landas at huwag akong tumigil sa paglilingkod sa ating Ama,” sabi ni Kapatid na Virgilio Navanes. Siya ay Pangulong SCAN at diakono sa Lokal ng Mansaya, Distrito Eklesiastiko ng Iloilo South.

Bagama’t siya’y isa nang balo, sinisikap niya na tugunan ang pangangailangan ng kaniyang apat na anak at gabayan sila araw-araw. “Sa awa at tulong ng ating Panginoong Diyos, nakararaos pa rin kami sa araw-araw naming pamumuhay at, higit sa lahat, nakapagpapatuloy sa masiglang pagdalo sa pagsamba,” pahayag niya.

Hindi man naging madali sa simula, gayunman, bilang isang tunay na lingkod ng Diyos, hindi kailanman naramdaman ni Kapatid na Virgilio na siya ay nag-iisa dahil ang Diyos ang kaniyang kasama. “Masakit dahil dalawa sa mga mahal ko sa buhay ang nawala. Subalit, madali ko itong natanggap dahil sinasampalatayanan kong hanggang doon na lamang ang kanilang buhay at iyon ay kalooban ng Ama,” pananalig niya. Sa loob ng halos isang taon, sa panahon ng pandemya, magkasunod na namayapa ang kaniyang ikatlong anak at maybahay dahil sa karamdaman.

Sa mga pagsubok na kaniyang pinagdaraanan, ang kinikilala ni Kapatid na Virgilio na malaking tulong ay ang paggabay ng Pamamahala sa pamamagitan ng mga aral ng Diyos. Iyon aniya ang nagsisilbing kalakasan niya. Kaya, laking pasasalamat niya at ng buong lokal nila nang mabiyayaan silang makasaksi sa isinagawang pagtuturo ng Kapatid na Eduardo Manalo, sa pagsapit ng ika-75 anibersaryo ng kanilang lokal.

“Binibigyan tayo ng Pamamahala ng gabay upang mapagtagumpayan natin anuman ang pagsubok na dumating sa ating buhay. Sa kanilang mga pagtuturo, damang-dama ko ang kanilang pagmamahal at pagmamalasakit. Pagsisikapan kong panghawakan ang aking kahalalan hanggang sa matapos ko ang aking takbuhin upang sama-sama kami ng aking pamilya na makasalubong sa pagparito ng Panginoong Jesus at tamuhin ang kaligtasan,” buong pananampalatayang pahayag ni Kapatid na Virgilio.

The official website of Pasugo: God’s Message magazine of the Iglesia Ni Cristo (Church Of Christ), contains religious articles, Church news, and photos