Pastoral Visit of the Executive Minister: F. Manalo, San Juan City, Philippines
May 10, 2019
By Erman Fandialan, Eldric Fandialan, and Edith Vargas
On the 133rd birth anniversary of Brother Felix Y. Manalo, God’s Messenger in these last days, May 10, 2019, the Executive Minister of the Iglesia Ni Cristo (Church Of Christ), Brother Eduardo V. Manalo, officiated at the worship service of the Local Congregation of F. Manalo, San Juan in Metro Manila, Philippines.
In his Bible-based preaching, Brother Eduardo Manalo emphasized the great importance of God’s commissioning of Brother Felix Manalo—that through him the righteousness of God, the true gospel, has been brought near to people in these last days. Because of the preaching of God’s pristine words that was begun by His Messenger, many people are finding their way to the true Church.
“I and my whole family were devout Catholics before. My parents even held important duties in the [Catholic] church,” narrated Sister Marita Acosta, a newly-baptized member. “When I learned the true teachings of God through the evangelical missions of the Iglesia Ni Cristo, I realized that the worship I rendered before to the so-called saints, as well as the confession of sins to priests, are against the teachings of the Bible,” she added.
Another convert to the Iglesia Ni Cristo, Brother Edrian Paolo Sarino, recounted how his Protestant family reacted upon knowing his decision to join the Church. “They told me to choose between them and the Church Of Christ. Having understood the teachings of the Bible taught in the Church, I followed God’s commandments and pursued my membership,” he said. He is now an officer of the KADIWA organization in the local congregation.
Sister Mary Grace Reyes, also a convert, expressed how grateful and thankful she is for being a fruit of God’s commissioning in these last days: “This is a privilege and something for me to be proud of because I was blessed to be among God’s chosen ones and I have understood the true teachings and the right way of serving Him.” She is now a local congregation secretary.
The Iglesia Ni Cristo now has congregations in 152 countries and territories around the world, indicating that the work of propagation has intensified more than ever.
During the Executive Minister’s pastoral visit, 30 regular ministerial workers were ordained. “Through the instrumentality of the Church Administration, God continues to add ministers in the Church who will help in propagating the gospel for more people to know the true teachings of God and be called to the true Church,” explained Brother Ricardo Eusebio, a head deacon.
Brother Eduardo Manalo taught that the people whom God called into the Church Of Christ through His commissioning of His Messenger must have one spirit, one goal, and one mind. Having understood this, Sister Jennylyn Martin said, “It is very important for us to have one spirit, one goal, and one mind, so that we may be able to obey the commandments of God. Unity in the Church is important and it pleases our Lord God.” She is a Children’s Worship Service teacher and KADIWA district officer.
Brother Ricardo learned that in order to keep the Church’s unity, Church officers must always be in accord with the aim and spirit of the Church Administration. “It is my conviction to always be united with the Executive Minister in taking care of the brethren. This is by sincerely fulfilling the duty entrusted to me by God through the Church Administration,” he said.
Delegates from the International KADIWA Conference also attended the worship service. When members of the Iglesia Ni Cristo turn 18, they become members of KADIWA, and remain to be
so until they get married. In his preaching, Brother Eduardo Manalo called on the Church’s youth
to always remember all the lessons they learn in the Church and share them with others wherever
A KADIWA member, Sister Eiji Laine Planas, remarked, “What makes us distinct as members of the Iglesia Ni Cristo is that we highly regard genuine Christian values. We strive to live a life in accordance with the teachings of our Lord God.”
Members of the Iglesia Ni Cristo also experience hardships in life as tests to their faith. But, as it had been taught by God’s Messenger and is continuously taught by Brother Eduardo Manalo, the help and mercy they need come from God.
Brother Ricardo shared his experiences regarding this. “Our faith was tested when my eldest child was born with a strange condition,” he said. He and his wife saw it as an opportunity for them to all the more cling to God.
“We firmly hold on to God’s mercy and the power of devotional prayers. That test of faith eventually strengthened us, further helped us understand the significance of trusting in God and being loyal to our sworn duties,” he added.
Sister Eiji also shared how her faith and conviction was challenged: “My supervisor offered me a position that would be in conflict with the schedule of my duties in the Church. Our family had a financial problem during that time and that offer could have given us the solution, but then I would not be able to perform my Church duties.”
Firmly believing that she will not be on the losing end if she prioritizes her services to God, she did not accept the position offered to her.
“There came a time when my former company reemployed me and offered me a better job—one where I had a flexible schedule, that I would be able to perform my Church duties and attend Church activities anytime,” said Sister Eiji.
With renewed strength and inspiration from the Executive Minister’s pastoral visit, the brethren from the Local Congregation of F. Manalo, San Juan reaffirmed their wholehearted vow to place their complete trust in God, live according to His commands, and persevere in fulfilling their duties.
“I promise that our whole family will remain loyal and obedient to our Lord God. Whatever happens in our lives, we are ready to fight for our faith. Our love for the Church Administration, more so for our Lord God, will never waver,” said Sister Eiji.
“I will never extinguish the fire of the Holy Spirit that works in me. I will strive to overcome all the obstacles, while remaining steadfast in my faith until I complete my journey and reach the Holy City where all of God’s true servants will meet,” Sister Mary Grace promised.