Household Evangelical Missions In Bay Area Enlighten Guests
Naomi Dela Cruz: In the continuation of this week’s episode of INC News World:
Host Continued: learn how residents in California are opening their homes to their neighbors as part of a worldwide ongoing project in sharing the true faith. Discover how the ongoing humanitarian efforts of the Church Of Christ are impacting residents and city officials in San Diego County.
Jorge Mendez (Residents, Chula Vista, California): They go out of their way to make you feel welcome.
Gaby Mendez (Residents, Chula Vista, California): That’s a big one. I don’t think I’ve ever been to a Church that made me feel more welcomed than today.
Naomi Dela Cruz: Stay tuned.
Naomi Dela Cruz: Welcome back to INC News World. The work of propagation is an ongoing endeavor of members inside the Church Of Christ, with many sharing the true faith with everyone around them, no matter what circumstance or time. Let’s go to Northwest California and meet a woman determined to share her faith despite the difficult situation she was in. Michelle Peredo has that report.
Michelle Peredo: In northern California, the city of San Francisco, is known as the global center of economic activity and the arts. But living in this neighborhood past the high buildings and famous concert venues downtown, the not-so-pretty part of the city. Just a few streets west is the neighborhood coined as the “Tenderloin.” Some say that the name alludes to this neighborhood as the “soft underbelly” of the city, maintaining a reputation of gritty streets filled with homelessness. And in this area lives Mary Jane, my fellow sister in Christ, in the Local Congregation of San Francisco. Where I’m also visiting her today at her home.
Mary Jane Zambrano (Resident, San Francisco, California): Come in Sister Michelle! Pardon me, this is my house. Come. Look, it’s small but cute.
Michelle Peredo: Working at a children’s care center by day, San Francisco resident Mary Jane, comes home to continue her work as a mother of three in her 300-square-foot apartment downtown.
Mary Jane Zambrano (Resident, San Francisco, California): Say hello to sister Michelle. Hi kids! Those are my kids.
Mary Jane Zambrano (Deaconess, San Francisco, California): When walking along Tenderloin, you need to always be careful. It’s very dangerous. There are murders, people get chased down, and there are many that sell drugs.
Michelle Peredo: Despite living so close to these circumstances it hasn’t stopped Mary Jane, a deaconess, opening up her humble home to neighbors to share an important message.
Mary Jane Zambrano (Deaconess, San Francisco, California): This is where we conduct the Bible study. This is where Brother Francis stands.
Michelle Peredo: Today, she prepares her home once again for an important activity to be done here. As part of a week-long campaign of Evangelical Missions at the household level, households across San Francisco gathered, bringing friends and neighbors to listen to the words of God. Like many in the district, Mary Jane is enthusiastic and united with other members in sharing their faith. I also went along with her as she went around her apartment building inviting neighbors to attend a study of the words of God.
Mary Jane Zambrano (Deaconess, San Francisco, California): Glenda, good evening. Can I invite you to a Bible study at my house? We knock on their doors, each one. It’s hard but we don’t give up. I said they are the ones in need of hearing the truth–they need that. There are so many countrymen who aren’t yet members. That’s why I said, I wish I could really have my own house, even if it’s small. I will welcome them no matter who they are, as long as they’re willing to learn the true words of God.
Michelle Peredo: For Mary Jane, it’s of great importance to her that all her family members are in the true faith, which is why her daughter Clarrisa, who just arrived from the Philippines, has now begun her study of the true doctrines.
Clarissa Zambrano (Doctrinal Instructee, San Francisco, California): In the past churches I’ve been to, it repeats itself. [But] here, I was like “Oh! interesting.” Here, you actually learn something. It does connect. It’s awesome.
Michelle Peredo: Glenda, Mary Jane’s neighbor also in attendance, was enlighted by what she heard.
Glenda (Guest): I was able to understand. What he was saying was clear. Everything was based on the Bible—the truth about God.
Michelle Peredo: And she is learning among the true doctrines, what expectations God has for mankind.
Glenda (Guest): The importance of trusting and coming back to Him.
Michelle Peredo: A few blocks down at the home of Andrew and Evangeline, in the same neighborhood, another study of God’s words was also conducted in a similar space.
Brother Francis Valencia (Ministerial Worker): No matter what, we’re ready to share our faith. So the brethren they don’t have any type of reservation—they have none—in who they are inviting to listen to God’s words. Some of our brethren who are active and so convicted in sharing their faith. They were Bible students before. They were guests before. And when you ask them, “Hey, why did you want to join the Church Of Christ?” And [their] basic answer was, they know this is where salvation is. And so I think that conviction that they had when they were Bible students before carried on to now when they are members. They want that same conviction to grow within the guest that they have brought. So that what they felt before, they also want that to be felt by the guests they have now.
Michelle Peredo: Members, even those connecting via video streaming all across the Ecclesiastical District of Northwest California, united. The study of the words of God was conducted in multiple languages; in English, in Filipino, and in Spanish.
Brother Eduardo Javier (Supervising Minister, Ecclesiastical District of Northwest California): First of all we’re so thankful to God that He placed a very dynamic Administration inside the Church being led by our Executive Minister, Brother Eduardo Manalo. They launched the ‘Project 109’ to propagate. Wherein we’re preparing before the celebration of the Church’s 109 anniversary. Our district responded positively back in October of 2022 we had already launched in our district the project 109. Wherein we aim every household in the district will have a Bible student so that they can prepare for the holy baptism; come July 27th of 2023. We’re already full blast with our Project 109. Wherein the household will be the one to spearhead the weeklong Evangelical Mission. And the result is so positive. There are so many who were able to enlist themselves as a new Bible student. We’re so happy also because of these intensified works of propagation, in our district this coming February 12 we will be having our first worship service in Spanish. So that those who became Bible students will be able to attend the worship service in their own language. All the brethren in our district are so eager. They continue to invite their friends and their loved ones in order to have their own Bible students.
Michelle Peredo: This intensive work was spread all over the United States. And even worldwide introducing those to the words of God. And as a message to all that Mary Jane invites she urges that hope can be found. And it all begins by taking the chance to listen to the words of God.
Mary Jane Zambrano (Deaconess, San Francisco, California): What I feel, I want to share so others will experience it too when they are part of the Church Of Christ. There, they can feel the embrace of God’s Holy Spirit no matter how heavy life’s problems are.
Michelle Peredo: Inspired by the blessings members like Mary Jane receive after becoming members of the Church Of Christ, they are inspired to share their faith in hopes that one day their friends and neighbors can experience God’s blessings in their own lives. This week-long effort is just one of many campaigns in connection to Project 109. And it is all in part of the lead-up to the anniversary of the Church in July of this year. To learn more about the true doctrines found inside the Church Of Christ, we invite you to visit incmedia.org/about-us. Send us an email to get connected to a Minister of the Gospel.
Naomi Dela Cruz: While the Church Of Christ continues to provide aid through the Care For Humanity project during increasing times of economic hardship, it also fosters deep love and concern for communities. Like for one couple who saw this same concern through a recent event not only providing aid to needing families but welcoming them to learn more about the Church Of Christ.
Jorge And Gaby Mendez (Residents, Chula Vista, California): I don’t think I’ve ever been to a church that made me feel more welcome than today.
Naomi Dela Cruz: Through the invitation of a coworker, Gaby and Jorge Mendez, a couple in Chula Vista, have no regrets attending the Care For Humanity event in the Church Of Christ. This humanitarian effort was held throughout the Ecclesiastical District of San Diego County. Through the Care For Humanity attendees at all of the locations were given care packages filled with grocery items and winter clothes.
Brother Jared Paskewic (Minister of the Gospel): It’s very good that the Administration allows us to have activities like this. And we saw the love of the brotherhood being fulfilled inside the Church and they all the more were edified.
Naomi Dela Cruz: Even City officials, like John McCann, Mayor of Chula Vista, and Ron Morrison, Mayor of National City, were present to witness the Church Of Christ’s humanitarian efforts.
Mayor John Mccann (Chula Vista, California): It makes me feel really good that we have a Church like yours that is there to not only take care of its membership but to be able to take care of other people who are in need and provide items that they can use. I really loved the people here and the membership. And I’m here to support the Church. Your mission with Christ and your mission helping other people through Care For Humanity.
Mayor Ron Morrison (National City, California): This is really what the Church is all about. It’s not about just sitting inside of a building. Worship really goes when you put it into practice.
Naomi Dela Cruz: And not only did the Church Of Christ provide care packages for guests, but the members of the Church Of Christ believe that the best help we could ever give to our fellow man is to bring them to the truth.
Brother Garry Barrientos (Minister of the Gospel): We have this activity as a way to reach out to the community in order to share with them the true words of our Almighty God, but also to express our appreciation for them by giving them care packages that we hope that in some way will help them and their family, especially in this time of need.
Naomi Dela Cruz: And it was through the Words of God that Jorge and Gaby received something even more; that they weren’t able to in their previous religion.
Jorge And Gaby Mendez (Residents, Chula Vista, California): The difference between this Church and the church that we usually go to is that the answers were all in the Bible because we do have questions and it’s kind of like—I feel like the answers are just a redirection, not really an answer. So to hear that it’s in the Bible, that was kind of new to me.
Jorge And Gaby Mendez (Residents, Chula Vista, California): Something that stood out to me was when he said, “in Heaven, nothing will matter.” That sentence alone stood out to me a lot, and I feel that’s what I’m taking home.
Naomi Dela Cruz: It’s through events like these that Church Of Christ members are able to give help and share their faith to their neighbors, friends, and loved ones. To learn more about the events inside the Church Of Christ visit incmedia.org/inc-news-world.
Naomi Dela Cruz: Well, that does it for us on INC News World. Tune in every Saturday for new episodes of INC News World on incmedia.org. I’m Naomi De La Cruz. Thank you for joining us. Stay safe, and we’ll see you next time. God bless!