RICHIE FERRERA: This week on INC News World, the dedication of the house of worship in Carlingford, just outside of Sydney, Australia; and in El Cajon, California, the dedication of their renovated house of worship. Your INC News World starts now.
RICHIE FERRERA: Welcome to INC News World, I’m Richie Ferrera, coming to you from the INC Media Studios in Anaheim, California, and we hope everyone is continuing to stay safe wherever you are today. Carlingford, Australia, just 22 kilometers from Sydney, is home to some of Australia’s national heritage sites. But it is also here where a special historical event is taking place. Marc Afenir has more on this story.
WILFREDO MENDOZA (RESIDENT – CARLINGFORD, AUSTRALIA): When I arrived, there were only 30 of us.
MARC AFENIR: Almost 40 years ago, Wilfredo and Abrasol moved from the Philippines to Sydney, Australia in search of a better future.
ABRASOL CORONA (RESIDENT – CARLINGFORD, AUSTRALIA): Because of the influx of the migrants here, you know, everyone is looking for a greener pasture. And then after a year, there were about 80 of us.
MARC AFENIR: Wilfredo and Abrasol are among the first Church Of Christ members in this part of the world and have witnessed how the Church has grown.
WILFREDO MENDOZA (INC MEMBER – CARLINGFORD, AUSTRALIA): That’s when we bought the chapel here at Carlingford. And from there, came the Western Sydney locale and the other locales that came.
MARC AFENIR: Located in Carlingford, the first local congregation of the Church Of Christ in Australia was established in the1970s, then known as the Local Congregation of Sydney. Now called the Local Congregation of Carlingford, the chapel renovation carries an added blessing.
BROTHER FELIX SANTOS (DISTRICT SUPERVISING MINISTER – AUSTRALIA EAST): It is a blessed way in commemoration of the forthcoming 45th anniversary of the establishment of the District of Australia East, and one of the important things that God fulfilled is the dedication of the house of worship of Carlingford.
MARC AFENIR: Helping with renovations are volunteers from not only the Local Congregation of Carlingford, but also other congregations throughout the District of Australia East.
RICHELLE VALLE (INC MEMBER – CARLINGFORD, AUSTRALIA): In the last few days, we’re all engaging everyone to help so we can finish all of it, and to be ready for the dedication.
KRIG CARLO LAXAMANA (INC MEMBER – CARLINGFORD, AUSTRALIA): For me, this is very important because this opportunity is very rare.
MARISSA ORAP (INC MEMBER – CARLINGFORD, AUSTRALIA): To be back in Carlingford, and to have a [house of worship] too as well, to have it beautified and well for the glory of our Lord God.
MARC AFENIR: With the renovations completed, the members in this local congregation joined in a video streaming worship service led by the Executive Minister of the Church Of Christ, wherein the house of worship was dedicated to the Almighty God.
BROTHER FELIX SANTOS (DISTRICT SUPERVISING MINISTER – AUSTRALIA EAST): The foremost reason why the Church Of Christ builds many magnificent houses of worship is to worship our Almighty God. It is being used to cater to the needs of the brethren.
CHENAUR VALLE (INC MEMBER – CARLINGFORD, AUSTRALIA): It’s special for me, because this is my home locale. I’ve only been here. And it’s something that only comes once in a lifetime.
ALAINA MANAOIS (INC MEMBER – CARLINGFORD, AUSTRALIA): I was very excited, especially because this is my first chapel dedication. And I feel very blessed.
BROTHER RICHARD ESPERANZA (MINISTER OF THE GOSPEL – AUSTRALIA): It always just brings us joy and happiness, and strength in our inner selves, strengthen our faith whenever we see our spiritual leader leading and guiding us in our worship services. And that’s why we’re thankful. We’re so grateful to have this kind of technology today, to be able to have this opportunity to be led in our worship services by our beloved Executive Minister.
ABRASOL CORONA (INC MEMBER – CARLINGFORD, AUSTRALIA): I’m so happy. Because we are just volunteers here and we were able to finish it on time and be able to dedicate our chapel.
WILFREDO MENDOZA (INC MEMBER – CARLINGFORD, AUSTRALIA): When we come inside the house of worship now and we can see the fruits of our labor and how inspired we were in doing it because we know that after the house of worship is dedicated, we know that it is pleasing to God and that is what we aimed at the very start to do.
MARC AFENIR: Inspired by this special milestone event, the Local Congregation of Carlingford is eager to share their newly renovated and re-dedicated house of worship to the community. To hear more inspiring stories from around the world, visit incmedia.org/ExecutiveNews. Marc Afenir, Iglesia Ni Cristo News Network; Sydney, Australia.
RICHIE FERRERA: In the same live streaming worship service at which the Carlingford house of worship in Australia was dedicated, another house of worship here in California was also dedicated to God. Let’s go to El Cajon, California where Elma Joy Trinidad has the details.
ELMA JOY TRINIDAD: At this busy intersection in El Cajon, California stands a freshly painted, newly renovated, house of worship of the Church Of Christ.
ZION REYES (INC MEMBER – EL CAJON, CALIFORNIA): It was like 2016, back in the day, we would be having these devotional prayers every Monday for the renovation of the chapel and also the dedication of course.
ELMA JOY TRINIDAD: This local congregation has prepared this building for its ultimate purpose: as a house of God, of the true Church Of Christ.
ZION REYES (INC MEMBER – EL CAJON, CALIFORNIA): Everybody was cleaning everything, everyone was helping out the construction workers. You know, it really came together, and it was a really great thing that happened.
ELMA JOY TRINIDAD: All in preparation for a special worship service, the dedication of this house of worship to God, a service which was led by Executive Minister of the Church Of Christ, Brother Eduardo V. Manalo, via video streaming, just as he has done many times throughout the pandemic.
LEANDRO VALDEZ (INC MEMBER – EL CAJON, CALIFORNIA): We’ve been waiting for this for a couple years now and ever since the pandemic happened we’ve been kind of on our toes. I’m really happy to be here, especially since this has definitely been a long time coming.
ELMA JOY TRINIDAD: The wait for this day was met with biblical reminders from the Executive Minister.
LEANDRO VALDEZ (INC MEMBER – EL CAJON, CALIFORNIA): It was really hard especially during these times now where things are, like the Executive Minister said, it’s in its terminal stages. It’s really hard to manage on your own but even then we’re still, we’re still here, we’re still living in this world so we have to endure. We have to hold on to our faith.
ELMA JOY TRINIDAD: The members of the Church Of Christ in this congregation reflect on their new, most proper place to render services to God. It is a day and a place they will cherish forever.
LEANDRO VALDEZ (INC MEMBER – EL CAJON, CALIFORNIA): This such a unique worship service and specially in such a unique time really sets this apart and is definitely going to be something that I’m going to hold onto for the rest of my life.
ELMA JOY TRINIDAD: The Local Congregation of El Cajon is looking forward to inviting more of their neighbors in the area to visit and worship in this newly dedicated house of worship. To see more about the renovation and dedication of houses of worship in the Church Of Christ around the world check out Blueprint at incmedia.org. Elma Joy Trinidad; Iglesia Ni Cristo News Network; El Cajon, California.
RICHIE FERRERA: In the continuation of this week’s episode of INC News World: an online collaboration with INC Media brings the truth to more people who seek God; in British Columbia, a musical competition featuring songs of faith, love and hope. Stay tuned.
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