INC responds to Australia’s bushfire crisis with relief goods; true faith reaches farther into Belize; first worship gathering in Langley, Canada.
From food to language, the history of the plantation workers in Hawaii continues to shape what people know about life on the island. Learn how Hawaii’s plantation economy made way for individuals to find a place to worship God in small farming communities like Wahiawa and why there was a need to renovate a new worship building to accommodate the growing number of worshippers in the area.Show/Hide Transcript
Voiceover: What comes to mind when you think about Hawaii? Beaches, surfers, and probably hula.
Nan Zapanta: So we’re here at the old Waialua sugar mill, it’s pretty cool to see that being done for this smokestack. That’s pretty, pretty cool to see.
Voiceover: While this isn’t the Hawaii you pictured, this place, these fields and the history behind them have probably influenced pretty much everything you think you know about Hawaii.
Nan: Right behind me is the Waianae range. You can see these are the pineapple plantations here.
Voiceover: But how did the history of this island create a home for so many? Well, that’s what we’re about to find out.
I’m Nan Zapanta. As an industrial designer I spent years admiring the great designs of products, vehicles, and architecture from all over the world. But I found architecture to be the most captivating. I love learning about each building, discovering the characteristics that make it unique and understanding the purpose behind it’s design. Most of all I love hearing about the stories behind each structure and seeing God’s plan in putting it all together. Join us as we discover the Blueprint of the buildings and structures inside the Iglesia Ni Cristo.
Voiceover: Driving north on the island of Oahu, away from the busy crowded streets of Honolulu, you begin to notice a change. Buildings begin to spread out. The clusters of homes and businesses become smaller and less frequent, replaced slowly by trees and wider stretches of fields, plantations with rows and rows of pineapples.
Kelsey Inouye: It’s interesting because Wahiawa itself is a very, very mellow town very laid back. But it’s also busy because you have all the people heading to the North Shore that pass through, so Kamehameha Highway right here is always a super busy road.
Voiceover: I met up with Kelsey Inouye, a lifelong resident of Wahiawa at the Dong Yang Inn, a local go-to spot for the past 40 years serving up classic Korean plate lunch.
Nan: Your family, what brought them here to Hawaii?
Kelsey: My family first settled here in the Waialua side, so the North Shore but farther down and over there, there’s a lot of farm plantation.
Nan: So you’re what generation?
Kelsey: In Japanese we have different generations, it’s called Issei, that’s the first generation, Nisei, Sansei, Yonsei. So I would be Yonsei.
Nan: So the fourth generation, so you got your family’s—like deeply rooted
Kelsey: My family? Yeah.
Voiceover: But while this family is deeply rooted in Hawaii, like many of those that live here, I was surprised to find out that he didn’t consider himself Hawaiian.
Kelsey: There’s people who are of Hawaiian descent and there’s the people who live here. So we can say to the people of Hawaiian descent to be Hawaiian.
Nan: Ok. So when someone asks you, what are you?
Kelsey: I’m from Hawaii, born and raised.
Nan: But you never say I’m Hawaiian.
Kelsey: No, that’s a big no no.
Voiceover: While being Hawaiian is defined as those being of Hawaiian descent, being from Hawaii was less definitive but yet equally identifiable. You see, by the early 20th century, thousands of laborers from China, Portugal, Japan, the Philippines, Korea and Puerto Rico had moved to the islands, mixing together cultures to create many things considered to be uniquely Hawaiian, like the food.
Kelsey: Food is something that’s universal. So even when people come together they would bring their lunches, in the plantation. They would each bring their lunches from their own, from their own families. And then they’ll be able to share it with each other.
Nan: I’m excited.
Voiceover: As we waited for our order, Kelsey educated me on the culture, the food and even taught me a little bit about Hawaiian Pidgin. I began to get a better understanding of how this sleepy town in the center of Oahu could become home to so many different people.
Kelsey: Thank you.
Nan: Thank you so much. This is, this is food.
Kelsey: Welcome to Wahiawa. Alright so meat jun is thinly sliced beef. And they cover it with batter and they fry— they deep fry it. We have the special sauce also.
Nan: Oh, this is a special sauce.
Kelsey: Special sauce.
Nan: Ok. Just there—is it like secret ingredients?
Kelsey: Secret, yeah. If they told us they have to kill us.
Nan: I don’t want that to happen. So I will not ask you what it is.
Kelsey: So you just dip the meat jun inside
Nan: And just give it a try.
Voiceover: After saying a quick prayer, Kelsey and I dug in.
Nan: Time for meat jun.
Kelsey: Meat jun. You don’t even have to say anything. I feel it off of your, your expression.
Nan: This is ridiculously good.
Kelsey: Want to try?
Nan: Sure, want to try some of this? Try this.
Kelsey: Thank you. And you know, I feel like this is how it happened in the plantation. See each other’s food and—
Nan: And I feel like yeah, they would try it out. And they were like, oh you know, I like that. Let me add that to whatever I’m making. And then saimin happened, right?
Kelsey: And musubis.
Voiceover: One of the largest groups of laborers were skilled laborers. They left their families in the Philippines with the hopes of providing for them. Years later, they brought their families to Hawaii. In 1969, Edgar and his family moved to Waialua to be reunited with his dad.
Nan: So how was it growing up in the sugar plantation?
Edgar Alegado: It was happy, real comfortable, you know, at least my dad was working at a sugar company and my mom had work in kukui nuts.
Nan: Do you have any fond memories living on the plantation anything that sticks out in particular?
Edgar: Riding our bikes with the neighbors, racing on the streets with our bikes.
Nan: Good ol’ times.
Edgar: Went to the store almost every hour.
Nan: Sounds like the life. So then at the time, there was worship services here on the island?
Edgar: Only in Honolulu.
Voiceover: When the Church Of Christ held its first worship service in Hawaii in 1968, most, if not all, in attendance were immigrants to the country, including a number who came to work on Hawaii’s, then, thriving sugar and plantation industry. And while they were scattered throughout the island, twice a week, the members of the Church would make the trip to gather in living rooms in Kalihi, an immigrant neighborhood in Honolulu, where a number of members lived. Soon however, they outgrew the living rooms they were using, and in 1969, the worship services were moved to the Kalihi YMCA. And by 1971, a house of worship was purchased on Valley View Drive in Kalihi Valley, where the congregation has stayed until today. Solomon Guillermo, affectionately known as Grandpa Solomon to those who grew up in Honolulu, was there when renovations began to turn it into the first Iglesia Ni Cristo house of worship on the island.
Nan: How large is this property? Do you know how many acres or—
Solomon Guillermo: No, not even an acre. Not even an acre, about two thirds of an acre I believe.
Voiceover: He took me around the building, showing me some of the work they did including the patio where you can see one of the best views of the area.
Solomon: They’re called ‘batares,’ I don’t know how you [say] that in English.
Nan: For the viewers that might not know ‘batares’ is, can you explain?
Solomon: Well, ‘batares’ means that every member, as much as possible give help [with] whatever the project are. And even the sisters, although they’re not carpenters also provided snacks [and] food.
Voiceover: Considering the amount of detail he shared, it was hard to imagine him being 89 years old, or that the work he described happened almost 50 years ago.
Nan: And this is the main sanctuary. So this sanctuary, is it similar to how it looked originally? Or was there major changes?
Solomon: No, no, no, no. There [were] lots of changes. The original building was only up to here.
Nan: Oh, it stopped right here.
Solomon: It stopped [right] here. And this wall [starts] from there and that’s why we have these side pews.
Nan: So the wall used to be over here.
Solomon: This wall, used to be here like this. Same with the other side.
Nan: That’s a lot. That’s a major change.
Solomon: Yeah, [there were] a lot of changes.
Voiceover: While the building underwent a number of changes when it was first purchased, it has inherently stayed the same since then updated from time to time, extensions added like many of the homes in the surrounding areas, but it still pretty much stayed just as Edgar remembered it as a child in the 1970s.
Edgar: I just remembered attending the CWS there in that other house that’s in the parking lot, which is—
Nan: Right, that separate building.
Voiceover: As a young child, he remembers traveling to Honolulu to attend the worship service twice a week until an extension was established in Waialua.
Nan: What did that mean to your family and to the other members that were living in this area? Were they happy that finally a new extension—
Edgar: Yes, actually, they were happy. We just needed help in the worship service itself from Honolulu so they had to travel on weekdays.
Voiceover: The handful of members first gathered in a garage of one of Edgar’s relatives, then move to the Waialua sugar plantation union hall, and eventually the YMCA in a nearby town of Wahiawa, another town impacted by the growing plantation economy. In 1981, the congregation dedicated its first house of worship.
Edgar: The brethren in Wahiawa were so happy to have something, a house of worship, to worship in so everyone was happy with that.
Voiceover: In 2007, historic rainfall brought about by Kona storms, a type of seasonal Cyclone hit the island of Oahu wreaking havoc, especially on old buildings, like the first house of worship in Wahiawa.
Edgar: So at one point, in the nursery, the roof fell in. So the roof fell in. And so we had to temporarily use Waipahu chapel while we try to renovate Wahiawa. But even Wahiawa, our old chapel was not able to accommodate the brethren. So that’s why we were looking for a better, nicer, more suitable—
Voiceover: We had a bit of time that morning in Wahiawa and some of the crew from Hawaii mentioned that the old worship building was just a few minutes away. So we decided to go and see if we could check it out.
Wilgren Ringor family bought the property after the congregation moved to its new location. And as he walked us around, he shared the work he did to restore and transform it. You can feel the sense of pride he had in being able to keep a bit of the history the building represented to the congregation. The same building that brought Jun Reyes to Wahiawa.
Jun Reyes: We came to Wahiawa in 1998, November.
Voiceover: A member of the construction battalion for the US Navy, Jun spent his career working on construction projects that involve building barracks, roads and piers for the Navy, a background that would come in handy during his last naval assignment.
Nan: Right, that was the first house of worship.
Jun: That was the first house of worship and was it was really miserable in this place. I said I’m staying here.
Nan: That’s when you decided this is going to be where you’re going to stay. Wahiawa was going to be home.
Jun: Or at least build it to look like a chapel.
Voiceover: From 1998 to 2013, the former worship building would be repaired and renovated repeatedly during which the congregation would look for a new house of worship.
Nan: So then, once this was purchased, and there were there already plans to have it renovated. Were you involved?
Jun: Yes. Even from the beginning, the place is really nice. The land is big, we have enough parking, with that we also address the issues, the problems we have with the original location.
Nan: Would it be okay if you gave us a tour just to show us some of the renovation and—
Jun: Ok, alright, ok.
Nan: This is beautiful brother, this is definitely not an old house of worship, it’s a full renovation.
Jun: Even the wall, they used to be all CMU if you’re familiar with a masonry block, you can see the joints for all the walls around.
Nan: So it was really bare bones. With the roof I do see it does come together. Was it flat before?
Jun: Yes, yes, it used to be flat. They call it the fink truss in engineering.
Voiceover: Similar to some of the past houses of worship we visited. This worship building has an arched ceiling that was added during the renovation. In order to achieve this, the original flat ceiling was carefully removed. Next, trusses were placed every two feet along the entire length of the ceiling within the sanctuary, allowing for a solid structure for the significantly higher ceiling. As an engineer, Jun was able to contribute to the project through his understanding of the stability, strength and rigidity of built structures.
Jun: Even though the drawing calls for removing this, we can’t move it all at one time because the roof will collapse.
Nan: As I’m looking around, I know everything is new. But one part that does remind me kind of like the of the older houses of worship or even older residences, is the windows. Are the windows original or do you know if these were preserved?
Jun: The windows are original.
Voiceover: The style complimented the island location of the building. But were subtle enough to still blend in with the overall design of the building
Nan: It allows the—just the air to flow within. If it’s raining, the rain can still just go down and away from the building. Is there anything else that was a major change during the renovation, aside from from the ceiling?
Jun: The major or costly in any buildings are the utility. HVAC had to be installed.
Voiceover: The entire electrical supply was upgraded to accommodate the needs of the worship building, including all the lights and the connectivity of the building.
Jun: It runs all the way from the audio room, up to the attic and down to one of the walls.
Voiceover: Jun walked me through the various details of the house of worship. And though the building was smaller than many of the houses of worship, it was not short on detail. Details you could especially see in the facade, which was his favorite part of the worship building renovation.
Nan: What was your involvement for this because was this originally here on the building like this whole facade?
Jun: No brother. It used to be we call it the hip roof. So imagine from about 20 feet, it dropped down, slope down. There was nothing to hold the facade so it was built from scratch.
Voiceover: Because of its location on the island and past experiences with heavy rain and wind at the former worship building, extra care was taken in building the facade, including a two foot deep concrete foundation to hold it up. Cecilio Banda, the general contractor spoke more about the amount of work put into the most recognizable part of the building.
Nan: How was it working on the front facade because from my understanding that wasn’t there before. Right?
Cecilio Banda: Yeah, it was— it had an overhang. And so we had to cut the overhang and then constructed the huge footing there in front to carry that load.
Cecilio: Because he was part steel. So it had to be craned up, you know, to put it in place.
Nan: Oh, so it was tilted up?
Cecilio: Yes, tilted up and it had to be aligned with the doors that we cut in front. And so at first it wasn’t aligned. So we had to kind of like move it a little.
Nan: Little bit— mini adjustments.
Cecilio: But eventually we got it in there.
Voiceover: The facade presented another challenge in construction. If you look at the houses of worship of the Iglesia Ni Cristo, the steeples can normally be found in the front of the building. For Wahiawa the steeple was located in the middle of the roof.
Nan: Is there a reason behind like, why it was placed where it was?
Cecilio: It was designed to be aligned with the seal here.
Nan: Oh, so you could see it—
Cecilio: That was in the contract.
Voiceover: Standing in front of the seal, the fiberglass steeple directly aligns with it, creating almost a second facade, when coupled with the second entry way to the building coming from the parking lot.
Nan: Being here in Hawaii, where you’re an island far from the mainland. What are the challenges of getting materials, bringing it here?
Cecilio: The steeples that came from—
Nan: From Texas.
Cecilio: From Texas that has to be driven to Matson in Long Beach, and then shipped to Hawaii.
Nan: Those factors, you have to plan ahead of time.
Cecilio: And given the time constraint at the time, all I did was rely on God. I lost 12 pounds in the process but that was good.
Nan: Can you recall that day of the dedication?
Jun: It was a great, really blessed. I cannot express how—to be with Brother Eduardo V. Manalo on that day, and be in the podium with him and have the dedication of the chapel is really fulfilling.
Nan: When you think back to the day that you saw the original house of worship and you were thinking of how the condition of it. Did you ever imagine that this is what the end result would be?
Jun: No, I can never imagine that. I was just really happy when we were approved to renovate the old chapel. We never realized that we’ll be blessed when even a bigger, better house.
Nan: And it’s a great blessing. And it’s beautiful.
Voiceover: It’s been over 70 years since the last ship of plantation laborers arrived on the shores of Hawaii. And yet today, we still see the influence on everything we’ve come to know, as uniquely Hawaii, even in the small town of Wahiawa. Evidence can be found just driving down the main road where dozens of worship buildings line the street together reflecting the diversity of the island. A diversity that helped Kelsey, a great grandson of a Japanese immigrant find the opportunity he had been looking for, truth.
Kelsey: I live where I’ve lived my entire life. And the church was just a quick, one and a half, two minutes away from where I live. And I didn’t, I didn’t really notice. It’s not somewhere I would pass by all the time.
Voiceover: In 2012, Kelsey accepted an invitation to listen to the teachings inside the Church Of Christ.
Kelsey: I met a bunch of the brethren when I was in college. And it was through music that I met them, we’d all have this we’d have this group of people who would hang out in the college that would just play music.
Voiceover: And while he was an active member in another church, something about the Church Of Christ drew him in to listen more.
Voiceover: During this time, the congregation was in the middle of moving into the new building, giving Kelsey a unique opportunity to help out with the final details of the renovations, including assembling the pews that we see today.
Kelsey: When they’re bringing the pews in, they brought them in pieces. So we helped to assemble them.
Nan: Some real hands on help not not anything—that’s a pretty significant thing. Because I mean, these pews are beautiful. So you actually literally had a hand in putting them together. So what motivated you to help in that way?
Kelsey: When I was brought into the Church, I was able to hang out with all of the other officers, there were choir members and Kadiwa officers so I feel like that really affected me in my faith, kind of like a jump start in my faith already.
Voiceover: Still a Bible student at the time, he witnessed the Executive Minister officiate the dedication of the Wahiawa worship building simultaneously with members around the world, through the live video stream.
Nan: Was that kind of a realization for you as far as just how, how far reaching the Church is globally?
Kelsey: I just, it took my breath away, it was something else.
Voiceover: Whenever we get to visit a worship building for the show, I always make a point to look at the previous places of worship of the congregation, the halls they might have worshiped in, the images of the building before it was renovated to really get an appreciation of the work that was put in.
Nan: How was it there at the older house of worship, it was a little bit smaller?
Kelsey: It was more cramped, but you know what? The teachings of God are the teachings of God.
Voiceover: And while history can quickly tell us the when, and the how, sometimes the why is something that doesn’t become clear until much later on.
Nan: And when you look back and you see, from even growing up here in Wahiawa everything that you’ve gone through, do you see what God’s plan was? Can you pinpoint these are the moments?
Kelsey: From when I got baptized, I feel like things happened in my life leading up to that, that set me up to be where I am now. And I truly believe that that was God’s plan.
Nan: It’s really been great coming to this part of the island, learning its history and its impact on food, language and even the people that came here. But most of all, I love seeing how even in the smallest corner of the world, you can find buildings like this one, in Wahiawa. Thanks for joining us on this episode of Blueprint, where in the end, everything is part of God’s plan.
Reaching out to communities around the world is the My Countrymen, My Brethren Project of the Church Of Christ.
A former Jehovah’s Witness shares why she walked away for good
“We would have Bible studies, and I even preached from door to door. I was very well versed in the Bible. I knew the Bible back and forth. All the books in the Bible.”
Andrea grew up in a family of devout Jehovah’s Witnesses.
“My grandmother was a pioneer. She converted a lot of people to that religion.”
Like all enthusiastic followers, they owned a copy of the “Let God Be True,” which was written, printed, and distributed by the Watchtower Bible & Tract Society. Andrea embraced its teachings and followed all of JW’s beliefs to a T.
She didn’t celebrate Christmas, Thanksgiving, or any other holidays, and she avoided birthday celebrations. She didn’t party, she didn’t drink, and she stayed out of politics.
Instead, Andrea spent her time attending meetings at Kingdom Hall, sharing her faith, and being with her family. She was especially close to her sister Cynthia.
When Cynthia became friends with George, who was a member of the Church Of Christ, Andrea had her guard up because she refused to let someone from another religion influence their faith. She tried to push his friendship away, which meant pushing Cynthia away too. But she realized she couldn’t help her sister if she remained at a distance. So when Cynthia invited her to meet George and his family at a gathering, she felt obliged to go.
She met George, his family, and a few others from the Church Of Christ, including Brother Eddie San Gabriel, a Minister of the Gospel. The gathering was a Bible study.
Andrea started to panic and pulled Cynthia aside.
“What are you doing? Have you lost your mind? This is another religion. Why are you doing this?” Andrea was upset.
“I just want you to listen to the doctrines. Andee. I believe this with my whole heart. I just want you to listen,” Cynthia begged.
“Because I love my sister so much, I felt like I had to give her the opportunity to just listen. We grew up together. We’re a year and a half apart. We shared everything our whole lives, and I felt like I had to give her that opportunity to the point where, if this was the wrong path, at least I would have a chance to change her mind. “
Andrea sat down. She listened and protected her faith and the teachings of the Jehovah’s Witnesses until her beliefs could no longer defend her.
Struggling with the questions Jehovah’s Witnesses cannot answer
Brother Eddie San Gabriel challenged Andrea’s beliefs, and in the process she learned two powerful things that peeled her away from remaining a Jehovah’s Witness.
1. Jehovah’s Witnesses are taught to welcome doctrinal changes.
“The minister who was teaching my Bible lessons (in the Church Of Christ) mentioned the “Let God Be True” book in my studies, and he asked me if I knew that the doctrines of the Jehovah’s Witnesses had changed over the years. In the book, they [JW] taught that Jesus Christ is a Mighty God. And at one time their teaching was that Jesus was like God or was a God.”
But why should doctrines change? Feeling deceived by the teachings of the Jehovah’s Witnesses, she confronted her grandmother.
“It’s old and we don’t use it anymore. The ‘Let God Be True’ book was written by imperfect men, and imperfect men make mistakes, and it was a mistake”
Right away, Andrea recognized that there was nothing Biblical about her grandmother’s answer. The truth is, Jehovah’s witnesses are taught to welcome doctrinal changes as adjustments or “new light,” and they have a long list of beliefs and doctrines that have changed since the church was established.
And so after learning from the Bible that God commissions or sends people to communicate the truth, Andrea came to the conclusion that those who wrote the “Let God be True” book could not have been commissioned by God.
“If the Jehovah’s Witnesses were the true religion, sanctioned by God, there would be no room for error and no mistakes!”
Her grandmother had no response.
As she started to lose trust in the unsteady teachings of JW, Andrea turned to the Church Of Christ for doctrinal stability because, in the Church Of Christ, everything that they follow is written in the Bible.
Nothing is added, subtracted, or changed to conform to society’s standards because, in the Church Of Christ, the Bible is the basis of their faith
2. The establishment of Jehovah’s Witnesses is not in the Bible.
When Andrea learned that the re-emergence of the Church Of Christ is clearly found in the Bible, she looked into the origins of JW and found that there was no Biblical proof to support JW’s establishment.
The Jehovah’s Witnesses originated as a branch of the Bible Student movement, which was founded by Charles Taz Russell, a Christian Restorationist minister. They adopted the name Jehovah’s Witnesses in 1931.
“The fact that the [Church Of Christ minister] can go to the Bible and prove when, where, and how the Church was established in these last days is the reason I am a member of the Church Of Christ! No other religion can do that. Included with this the commissioning of the Last Messenger! These doctrines made perfect sense to me!”
The more the doctrines made sense, the more she wanted to keep learning.
“He [the minister] handed me the Bible, and he told me, ‘From now on, when we look up a scripture, I want you to look it up, and I want you to read it.’ And that was the biggest help for me in reaffirming me that what he was telling me was the truth. I had to see it, I had to look it up, and I had to read myself. “
And the more she embraced the truth, the more her family tried to stop her.
“I remember I was getting ready to leave [for worship service in the Church Of Christ], it was early in the morning and it was on a Saturday. And he [my dad] told me that, ‘If you go to that Church, don’t come back. You have no place in this house.’ He told me to pack my things and go.”
It was important for Andrea to have a relationship with God, and to worship Him the right way. She learned she couldn’t get that from being a Jehovah’s Witness.
“And then from that day, I never looked back. I never once doubted the decision that I made on that day to leave my family and to become a member of the Church Of Christ.”
Finally leaving the Jehovah’s Witnesses
After completing her Bible studies, Andrea was baptized into the Church Of Christ in 1981. She has never found a discrepancy between what is written in the Bible and the teachings taught in the Church Of Christ.
“To this day I search, I study, and I read. I have never been able to find anything more true than what is taught by the Church Of Christ. “
Andrea is thankful for the new life God has blessed her with.
“You know I couldn’t see my life any other way. I have two beautiful children that I adore, that God blessed me with, and are very active in the Church. I have a loving husband that I adore. I have my duty. I’m a Choir Member.
And even though it was a challenging journey, she doesn’t regret it.
“When you’re a convert, you know what it’s like to be in the world. You know what it’s like to have no hope. To have no faith. You know what it’s like to not have the spiritual substance that you can grab on to. And you have no promise. And when you’re a member of the Church Of Christ, the peace that you have in knowing that the promise that God has made to you will be fulfilled is everything. We have hope, and we have a promise that no one else on this Earth has. They may think they do, but we have seen, we have seen the proof that our God is real. That our faith is true. “
Church Of Christ impacts communities in need through the Felix Y. Manalo Foundation; People learn the truth through the INC; making a difference in 2019.
El proyecto de Ayuda a la Humanidad se extiende por América Latina, ayudando a personas y familias que sufren pobreza y falta de recursos. [The Aid to Humanity projects spread throughout Latin America, helping people and families suffering from poverty and lack of resources.] “Show/Hide
Hola y bienvenidos a Iglesia De Cristo Mundo.
La pobreza implica mucho más que carecer de ingresos y recursos productivos para asegurar una subsistencia sostenible. Esto también incluye el hambre y malnutrición, acceso limitado a la educación y otros servicios básicos. Y de acuerdo a la Comisión Económica para América Latina y el Caribe de la O.N.U., América Latina tiene más de 62 millones de personas viviendo bajo estas condiciones.
Carina Belén: Las personas en este país están desempleadas, no tienen trabajo, y hay una pobreza demasiada fuerte.
Charles Louinel: Bueno, una de las razones por la economía es también la falta de educación, como también la falta de empleo, y el sueldo es muy mínimo en las diversas compañías. Las condiciones de la vida diaria de las personas en mi país han sido muy difícil. Ya, la economía en este país no es muy favorable.
En países como Guatemala, el Banco Mundial dice que 59.3 por ciento de la población vive debajo del umbral de pobreza. Incluso entre (gráficos en pantalla) los pueblos indígenas en Guatemala, el 79 por ciento vive en la pobreza y son los más afectados. Incluso cuando se implementan políticas gubernamentales como el salario mínimo y la asistencia gubernamental, la carga sigue siendo pesada.
Claribel Sánchez: La mayoría de las personas, trabajamos pero el dinero no es suficiente, vivimos solamente para el sustento diario. Entonces una ayuda así, para ellos es muy importante porque les ayuda a recortar gastos porque aquí en nuestro país, ninguna persona va a venir a regalarles algún dinero o unos víveres, solamente se ha dado aquí en la Iglesia De Cristo.
El proyecto de Ayuda Humanitaria, el brazo voluntario de la Iglesia De Cristo a través de la Fundación Félix Y. Manalo, realizó eventos en diferentes países de América Latina para ayudar a las personas en comunidades marginadas, que sufren calamidades y viven en vecindarios pobres como los de República Dominicana y Guatemala.
Carina: Nosotros miembros de la Iglesia De Cristo, somos humanitarios porque ayudamos a las personas. Le damos ayuda, le damos comida, le damos ropa.
Charles: Se sienten muy feliz porque muchas veces, hay muchas familias que están en la situación que no es muy favorable, y por eso cuando ellos reciben esta ayuda se sienten muy contento porque eso es una ayuda que es muy favorable en ese tiempo que ellos lo necesitaban.
Proveyendo meriendas calientes, paquetes de víveres llenos de alimentos como bolsas de arroz y diferentes productos enlatados, incluso ropa para la gente que la necesitan. Ya sea durante el día o la noche, miembros de la Iglesia de Cristo en América Latina se aseguran de proporcionar ayuda y alivio a aquellos que lo necesitan.
Con el liderazgo del Ministro Ejecutivo, la Iglesia De Cristo tiene por objetivo ayudar al prójimo y hacer el bien siempre que sea posible.
Claribel: En la Iglesia De Cristo de Guatemala, repartimos víveres… bolsas de víveres, refacciones, ropa, zapatos, es una gran ayuda que la Iglesia ha brindado.
Estas donaciones provienen de los propios miembros de la Iglesia de Cristo, compartiendo lo que tienen con sus vecinos no solamente
porque los cuidan sino también por su fe y las enseñanzas que aprendieron en la Iglesia De Cristo.
Claribel: La verdad es que me siento muy feliz, primeramente agradecida con nuestro Señor Dios de ser parte del… porque soy miembro de la Iglesia De Cristo y contribuir en una obra que si, es un mandato de nuestro Señor Dios.
Y los destinatarios aún desean más que un alivio material.
Julio Sánchez: Algunos paisanos empezaron a preguntar sobre los horarios de los servicios de adoración y algunos paisanos estaban interesados en estudiar las lecciones para inscribirse y algunos empezaron a inscribirse porque ellos estaban interesados en conocer más sobre la Iglesia De Cristo y algunos se estaban preguntando qué cómo la Iglesia de Cristo está haciendo una gran obra y que otra iglesia nunca ha hecho eso y sobre la Iglesia De Cristo es una gran bendición
Carina: Se sintieron muy bien, están muy agradecidos y van a la Iglesia De Cristo a adorar a Cristo y nos dan mucho las gracias.
Charles: Bueno, como miembro de la Iglesia De Cristo, me siento muy feliz cuando estamos ayudando a los demás, porque es una instrucción de la Biblia que debemos ayudar a los compatriotas… porque en la Biblia, dice que Dios quiere todos los hombres serán salvo y venir al conocimiento de la verdad.
Angelica: Esta Ayuda Humanitaria en particular se llevó a cabo en más de 20 países de América Latina y la Fundación Félix Y. Manalo continúa avanzando para llevar ayuda incluso a más lugares donde las personas están necesitadas.
Visite nuestra página de Facebook, “La Comunidad De La Iglesia De Cristo” para ver más eventos de Ayuda Humanitaria y otras actividades de la Iglesia de Cristo. Si está buscando una congregación cerca de usted y desea obtener más información, visite iglesianicristo.net
Gracias por acompañarnos en Iglesia De Cristo Mundo. Dios le bendiga.
ENGLISH TRANSLATION TRANSCRIPT
Hello and welcome to Iglesia De Cristo Mundo.
Poverty entails more than the lack of income and productive resources to ensure sustainable livelihoods. It includes hunger and malnutrition, limited access to education and other basic services. And according to the U.N. Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean, Latin America has more than 62 million people are living under these conditions.
So in the fight against poverty, a project known as Aid to Humanity was held throughout numerous countries in Latin America, like for Carina in the Dominican Republic. Let’s take a look.
Carina Belén: People in this country are unemployed, they don’t have jobs, poverty is too intense.
Charles Louinel: Well, one of the reasons for the economy is also the lack of education, and also lack of employment, and the salary is very minimal for various companies.The daily living conditions of the people in my country have been very hard. Already, the economy in this country is very unfavorable.
In countries like Guatemala, the World Bank states that (on-screen graphics) 59.3 percent of the population lives below the poverty line. Even amongst indigenous people in Guatemala, 79 percent live in poverty and are the most affected. Even when government policies such as minimum wage and government assistance are put in place, the burden is still heavy.
Claribel Sanchéz: The majority of people, we work but the money is not enough. We live only for daily sustenance. So such help is very important for them because it helps them to cut expenses because here in our country, no one will come to give them any money or food, it has only been given here in the Church Of Christ.
The Aid to Humanity project, the volunteering arm of the Church Of Christ through the Felix Y. Manalo Foundation, held events in different countries in Latin America to give aid to those in underserved communities suffering from calamities and living in impoverished neighborhoods like those in the Dominican Republic and Guatemala.
Carina: We members of the Church Of Christ, are humanitarian because we help people. We give them help, we give them food, we give them clothes.
Charles: They feel very happy because many times, there are many families that are in an unfavorable situation, and so when they receive this help, they feel very happy because it was very positive help that they needed in these times.
Providing hot meals, care packages filled with food for bringing home like bags of rice and different canned goods, even clothing for those who need it. Whether during the day or at night, Church Of Christ members in Latin America make sure to provide aid and relief to those in need. With the leadership of the Executive Minister, the Church Of Christ aims to follow the biblical teaching to help one’s fellow men and do good whenever possible.
Claribel: In the Church Of Christ in Guatemala, we distributed food …goodie bags, spare parts, clothes, shoes, it is a great help that the Church has provided.
These donations all come from members of the Church Of Christ themselves, sharing what they have with their neighbor not only because they care for them but also because of their faith and the teachings they learned in the Church Of Christ.
Claribel: The truth is that I feel very happy, first grateful to our Lord God for being part of … because I am a member of the Church Of Christ and to be able to contribute in a work that is, is a command of our Lord God.
And recipients still wanting more than material relief.
Julio: Some countrymen began to ask about the worship service schedule. And some countrymen were interested in studying the lessons to enroll, and some began to register because they were interested in knowing more about the Church Of Christ and some were wondering how the Church of Christ is doing a great work and that another church has never done that and that the Church Of Christ is a great blessing
Carina: They felt great, they are very grateful and go to the Church of Christ to worship Christ and they are very thankful to us.
Charles: Well, as members of the Church Of Christ, I feel very happy when we are helping others, because it’s an instruction from the Bible that we should help our countrymen… because the Bible says that God wants that all people will be saved and come to the knowledge of the truth.
Angelica: This particular Aid To Humanity was held in over 20 countries of Latin America and the Felix Y. Manalo Foundation continues to move forward in bringing aid even to more places where people are in need.
Visit our Facebook page, “La Comunidad De La Iglesia De Cristo” to see more Aid to Humanity events and other activities of the Church Of Christ. If you’re looking for a congregation near you and want to find out more, visit iglesianicristo.net
Thank you for joining us on Iglesia De Cristo Mundo.
Newly purchased chapel in Louisville holds first service; Musical competitions in the U.K.; a charismatic Maltipoo and a 35th Wedding Anniversary.
¿Qué tan seguros estamos cuando se trata de adorar a Dios correctamente? ¿Y es nuestro servicio de adoración a Dios aceptable por Él? Aprenda más hoy.
By the look of that smile, you would never know that Mirna Mendez had a lonely past.
“I was born in Guatemala. My mom had left us with my grandma. I met my mom when I was six years old. She came for us and we moved to Los Angeles in 1982.”
Prayer for a broken family
She was in a new country, and felt lonelier than ever. Mirna didn’t get along with her mom, and her dad wasn’t always present.
“My dad used to drink a lot. He [used] to make promises that he would take us to eat pizza and we used to wait for him. He never came home until probably 5 or 3 am. He didn’t even know where he parked the car or where he put the keys. So, he was drinking a lot and I was really afraid of him.”
“And we always prayed for God to protect [ my dad]; for Him to change his life.”
Can Catholic priests forgive my sins?
Like a “good Catholic girl,” she confessed her sins to the priest. But she always wondered how telling a priest her sins could help. She questioned her priest and was surprised by his reaction. “He told me go away and pray 7 Hail Marys.” Without any solid answers, Mirna and her sister, Elba, decided to leave the Catholic Church.
It’s not uncommon to see people leave. A study reveals that young adults start leaving the Catholic church at a young age because of weak attachment to the Church and of disbelief in religion.
Mirna and Elba continued to pray for an answer to her question. “We started praying for two weeks. We prayed and prayed and prayed.” And then two weeks later, they were invited to attend a worship service in the Church Of Christ through a friend, Pakito.
Only God can forgive sins
Mirna, Elba and her dad, Guillermo, accepted Pakito’s invitation to listen to the teachings taught in the Church Of Christ.
“It clearly answered all my questions. I learned you should only pray to God; pray for Him to forgive you. That’s who you should confess your sins to. That lesson made me continue Bible studies. All the questions I had, [were] clearly answered that day. [Whereas] I felt that we were following man’s rules in the Catholic Church, instead of God’s commandments.” They were intrigued and continued to listen to the Bible studies. What they learned shaped them.
Healing a broken home
The words of God taught inside the Church Of Christ inspired Guillermo and healed his relationship with his family. “If you would see him now, he’s a totally different man. He stopped drinking. We started hanging out with him and we’ve grown closer.”
Mirna was deeply inspired.“Seeing my dad, how he was before, and then after you know. He started listening to Bible studies and [was] baptized, how his life changed a lot. I said to myself, “Maybe my life would change too.”
Mirna decided she wanted to take steps toward becoming the best version of herself and joined the Church Of Christ in 1996. “And since then, I’m happy. I’m happy I made that choice.”
It was the most life altering decision she’d ever made, and she has no regrets. “And now that I’m in Church Of Christ, I’m complete. I mean, I feel complete because I know that God is with me. I really, truly know that God is with me. He answered all my prayers. I’m in a happy marriage and my family’s relationship has grown stronger. My mom has listened to a few Bible studies and I feel God’s love is getting to her. She has apologized for everything that she has done to me, and she’s nicer and sweeter to me. “
Since then, Mirna has never looked back. “I started with little faith and now, it’s getting stronger. I’m learning more every day to be faithful to God by showing Him how important He is to me and living with His words deep in my heart.”