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Honoring Essential Workers in Key West, FL

Volunteers head to Key West, Florida to show appreciation to essential workers; in Washington, D.C., positivity is spread through various forms of media.

BROTHER MICHAEL GUERRERO: This week on INC News World: in the Florida Keys, giving thanks to vital members of the community; tasked with telling life-changing stories, a group in Washington, D.C. spreads positivity through media content. Your INC News World starts now. 

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BROTHER MICHAEL GUERRERO: Welcome to INC News World, I’m Brother Michael Guerrero, coming to you from the INC Media Studios in the San Francisco Bay area, and we hope everyone is continuing to stay safe wherever you are today. Key West, located in the southernmost point of Florida, is known for its coral reefs, popular tourist destinations and vulnerability to hurricanes. And it’s also here where we see a group of volunteers giving back to vital members of the community.

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WPLG NEWS: The Keys officially shutting down to visitors last night at 6pm. 

BROTHER MICHAEL GUERRERO: In the year 2020, like many parts of the world affected by the pandemic, Key West made a decision to shut its doors down to tourists. And as of this year 2021 Key West steps into normalcy.  

WPLG NEWS: As more people get vaccinated one part of south Florida is feeling  the benefits. The tourism industry in the Keys is booming. 

BROTHER MICHAEL GUERRERO: And at the forefront of the pandemic were essential workers doing what they could to keep their community afloat. Recognizing their dedication to service, INC Giving volunteers from the Ecclesiastical District of the Caribbean dedicated their time to reach out to  frontliners in Key West, Florida, despite the distance, to show their appreciation for their integral role in battling the ongoing pandemic. Volunteers like Kiara:

KIARA RABARA (INC GIVING VOLUNTEER – MIAMI, FLORIDA): Coming from Miami to Key West, it’s a four hour drive. I was one of the ones who coordinated with each of the different venues today and it was definitely an amazing experience being able to help in this project and in this activity. 

BROTHER ESTEBAN INOCENCIO (DISTRICT SUPERVISING MINISTER – CARIBBEAN): As we all know, we’re still living in this time of pandemic, and even in these smaller communities that’s not really reached by different kinds of organizations, but we were able to go to the Key West and being able to assist them in any way that we can through our INC Giving activities inside the Church Of Christ. 

BROTHER MICHAEL GUERRERO: With gift baskets in hand, filled with fruits, healthy snacks and God’s Message magazines, INC Giving volunteers went to three different venues to show their gratitude to their fellowmen. 

KIARA RABARA (INC GIVING VOLUNTEER – MIAMI, FLORIDA): We visited the Key West Police Department, the Airport Fire Station 7, and as well as the Lower Keys Medical Center there in Key West. So these different organizations were chosen because they are what would be considered now as our front liners today. Through the pandemic, and through the difficult things going on in this life, especially here in South Florida, we definitely get a lot of hurricanes, and we definitely face a lot of natural disasters. We wanted to be able to kind of give back to the community there, get back to the front liners who constantly do what they can for the community, no matter what the situation may be.

BROTHER ESTEBAN INOCENCIO (DISTRICT SUPERVISING MINISTER – CARIBBEAN):  Simply, to be able to help in any way that we can, to be able to help our fellow man, and more importantly to be able to share our faith. Because in that activity we were also giving out the God’s Message magazine so not only was it an appreciation to the front liners, the fire fighters, the different hospitals and even law enforcement, but we also gave them the God’s Message magazine, which introduced the Church to them as well.

KIARA RABARA (INC GIVING VOLUNTEER – MIAMI, FLORIDA): They were all filled with so much gratitude. They were all thankful, they were all full of smiles and they were so happy and they were all really shocked. 

POLICE OFFICER: We appreciate you guys coming here telling us thanks. We’re going to give you guys a tour of the police department. 

KIARA RABARA (INC GIVING VOLUNTEER – MIAMI, FLORIDA):  They really appreciated us stopping by especially now in difficult times, they appreciate that we remember them, that we continue to want to thank the community. And they even shared how this just constantly reminds them of why they love doing what they do so much.

BROTHER MICHAEL GUERRERO: Members of the Church Of Christ in the District of the Caribbean continue to reach out through various activities such as these to build a strong foundation within their community. To learn more about the humanitarian efforts of the Church Of Christ, visit us at incgiving.org

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BROTHER MICHAEL GUERRERO: Media, in all its various forms, influences just about every aspect of our lives. As such, it has the power to influence our thoughts positively and negatively. And in Washington, D.C. we meet a group who is focused on spreading positivity through their media content. Ayra Rosella Ayhon has more on this story.

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NYDEL IBARRA (RESIDENT – ANNE ARUNDEL, MARYLAND): Multimedia now is very, very important. I didn’t realize that until the pandemic hit.

AYRA AYHON: As the world figured out how to cope during the pandemic, people turned to media, whether it was TV, radio, or social media as a way to escape their realities. However for Nydel, a college student, media became a source of growth.

NYDEL IBARRA (RESIDENT – ANNE ARUNDEL, MARYLAND): I used to not be as great with having conversations, especially with strangers and meeting new people outside.

AYRA AYHON: Nydel found a new way to stay connected to and meet new people.

NYDEL IBARRA (DISTRICT MULTIMEDIA MEMBER – ANNE ARUNDEL, MARYLAND): By taking up INC Radio as a correspondent it has allowed me to connect differently with people now. 

AYRA AYHON: INC Radio, the official radio station of the Iglesia Ni Cristo, Church Of Christ, is just one of many media outlets of the Church. And it’s through this means, Nydel grew in confidence, learning how to hold more meaningful conversations.

NYDEL IBARRA (DISTRICT MULTIMEDIA MEMBER – ANNE ARUNDEL, MARYLAND): I find that as a great blessing because then I’m able to learn how to talk with others, continue a conversation, connect with them spiritually.

AYRA AYHON: After more than a full year of staying at home, today Nydel joins others who have taken up the responsibility to produce multimedia content for the Church in the District of Washington, D.C. during an in-person Multimedia Special Gathering and oath taking of new multimedia members. 

BROTHER MATT KARL TALENS (MINISTER OF THE GOSPEL – WASHINGTON, D.C.): They are the ones who prepared the news items, the articles, they are the ones who share photographs and videos of those events to other brethren who may be in different parts of the world. 

NYDEL IBARRA (DISTRICT MULTIMEDIA MEMBER – ANNE ARUNDEL, MARYLAND): From the lesson that we had today was that though we have lots of things, personal things to do in this life, having this particular duty inside the Church is a special gift.

ALLYSA MOJICA (DISTRICT MULTIMEDIA MEMBER – TEMPLE HILLS, MARYLAND): It feels good to take oath today because you know that it’s really a gift from God.

AYRA AYHON: This gathering also marks the first time some multimedia members have seen or even met each other in person since the start of the pandemic.

ANNE MARIE GONZALES (DISTRICT MULTIMEDIA MEMBER – TEMPLE HILLS, MARYLAND): Being able to have an in person activity really revitalized everybody, because you could feel that we all missed each other and being able to connect in person. 

BROTHER MATT KARL TALENS (MINISTER OF THE GOSPEL – WASHINGTON, D.C.): For a while we were holding activities virtually only. So it really brought joy to those who attended, even to us the ministers leading the District, to see all the brethren come in, attend the worship gathering. And through the words of our Almighty God we were strengthened in our faith once again.

NYDEL IBARRA (DISTRICT MULTIMEDIA MEMBER – ANNE ARUNDEL, MARYLAND): I feel very, very refreshed, especially that I get to see my friends again. I get to meet people who I’ve never met before that I’ve met online.

AYRA AYHON: Sharing inspiring stories from activities held inside the Church Of Christ, these multimedia members also work on improving their visual storytelling skills through videography and photography during an INCPhoto Walk held along the Tidal Basin in Washington, D.C..

ANNE MARIE GONZALES (DISTRICT MULTIMEDIA MEMBER – TEMPLE HILLS, MARYLAND): I think it was nice to be able to see the same sights and everything but with everyone’s different creative perspective you can see how they take their pictures and you can learn from each other. Social media has been so popular these days. And I feel like us sharing our videos and pictures from the Church activities will inspire people and people will be curious about what we do.

BROTHER MATT KARL TALENS (MINISTER OF THE GOSPEL – WASHINGTON, D.C.): And when the people, member or non member of the Church Of Christ, are able to see them, it brings joy to them, it brings inspiration to them. And after all, it is also recorded in the Bible that we are the lights of this world and through media, we are actually able to magnify all the activities that we do inside the Church Of Christ. And that is made possible through the officers in the multimedia department.

NYDEL IBARRA (DISTRICT MULTIMEDIA MEMBER – ANNE ARUNDEL, MARYLAND): It’s very important that we take those special moments through video, through photo, and show it especially through the internet. Since everyone can’t be in one place, sharing that through social media is the best place to spread that awareness and also inspire others.

AYRA AYHON: As the Washington, D.C. area returns to in person events, Church Of Christ Multimedia members here will continue to capture and share more inspiring stories. Want to see more activities inside the Church Of Christ? Visit incmedia.org/incnewsworld. Ayra Rosella Ayhon; Iglesia Ni Cristo News Network; Washington, D.C..

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BROTHER MICHAEL GUERRERO: In the continuation of this week’s episode of INC News World: in Vermont, the Church Of Christ introduces itself to local residents; and across the Midwest young people hear from career professionals, and get important advice on their futures. Stay tuned. 

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Honoring Essential Workers in Key West, FL