INC Baptizes in Overwhelming Numbers in January
Richie Ferrera: This week on INC News World:
Host continued: Many are baptized into the Church Of Christ around the world— from Asia to Europe, Africa, Australia, and North America. We meet some of these individuals and what this step means as they begin new lives in the true faith. Your INC News World starts now.
Richie Ferrera: Welcome to this special episode of INC News World, I’m Richie Ferrera coming to you from the INC Media studios in Anaheim, California. Sharing one’s faith or the work of propagation is one of the primary duties that we, members of the Church Of Christ, fulfill in response to a commandment by the Almighty God. Inspired by the true faith they’ve found, they are motivated to share this blessing with friends, loved ones, neighbors, and everyone they meet. And as each year passes, through the guidance of the Church Administration, this work of propagation only intensifies. As a result, the Church Of Christ continues to grow, with people from all walks of life being brought into the true faith. Today, we feature the results of such efforts throughout the month of January. As we begin, we leap to and from several continents. Michael Robinson has that report.
Michael Robinson: These images represent the overwhelming response of people that have found hope, love, and purpose in their lives. From different countries and different ethnicities that learned something so life-changing, it transformed their lives for the better.
Malehloa Jeanette Tladi (Newly Baptized Member – South Africa): Back then I only know that there is God but I didn’t understand. God showed me the way and taught how to attain salvation.
Michael Robinson: And in the month of January alone, congregations throughout different parts of the world witnessed tremendous growth of people accepting the true faith.
Andrea Posterli (Newly Baptized Member, Sicily, Italy): I feel or at least I hope to be a person who is reborn. Because clearly with baptism, we are reborn. It’s a new life. I feel the fervor of this motivation which I truly delight.
Michael Robinson: This all happening inside the Church Of Christ.
Brother Glicerio P. Santos IV (General Auditor, Iglesia Ni Cristo): The work of propagation is a commandment of our Lord God. We have no agenda other than to bring salvation to our fellowmen. We can see that one after another and day by day, grand baptisms are being conducted around the world.
Michael Robinson: Like in the Northern Region of the Philippines, Luzon, thousands of newly baptized members were added to the Church Of Christ in Ecclesiastical Districts such as Maynila, Benguet, Metro Manila East, Caloocan, Quezon City, Cavite South, Laguna, Makati, and Batangas.
In the Visayas region, the work of propagation continued to be intensified even in the islands not yet reached by the Church Of Christ, the tremendous result led to thousands more people to the true faith; for Ecclesiastical Districts like Leyte West, Iloilo North, and Bohol.
And to the southern parts of the Philippines, the region of Mindanao saw also the tremendous increase in people learning and accepting the true faith in the Church Of Christ in Ecclesiastical Districts like General Santos and Bukidnon. And this same mission continues to reach outside the Philippines, like in Africa.
For the Ecclesiastical District of Northern Africa, areas in Eastern Uganda and Kampala held baptisms as a result of the overwhelming response of people accepting the true faith. This work also bearing fruit in the Ecclesiastical District of Southeastern Africa in Salima, Malawi. And for the Ecclesiastical District of Southern Africa, the Kingdoms of Eswatini and Lesotho added to the ongoing growth of the Church Of Christ through Africa. Residents are grateful for the blessing in their life.
Marie De Wee (Newly Baptized – South Africa): The reason I joined the Church Of Christ is because they taught me a lot about the Bible. And they taught me that there is only one God. So that is why I joined the Church Of Christ.
Mahalina Evelina Molete (Newly Baptized Member – South Africa): I have learned about the Bible and now I have the right to call to our Almighty God.
Malehloa Jeanette Tladi (Newly Baptized Member – South Africa): I followed this and believed and now I’m baptized and I’m going to be saved.
Michael Robinson: And north of Africa, this intensified work of propagation continued in Europe. In the Ecclesiastical District of Northern Europe, places like Copenhagen, Denmark, and Trondheim, Norway would hold baptisms in welcoming new members into the Church Of Christ. And not too far in Italy, newly baptized members would share their thankfulness in the Ecclesiastical District of Italy South, being part of the growing family in the true faith.
Aiselgi Adelaide Malapit (Newly Baptized Member – Naples, Italy): I am happy this day has come and I feel reborn. I promise to worship our Lord God.
Michael Robinson: And adding to that family included the Ecclesiastical District of Tokyo, Japan. Even though traveling far distances in the winter snow, baptisms for new members were held from Tokyo, Nagoya, Ichikawa, and Saitama. Adding even more to the growth of the Church in the month of January.
Kazuyoshi Kihata (Newly Baptized member – Ichikawa, Japan): Christianity is often difficult to understand, but this Church is easy to understand and I was able to learn that it is totally different from other religions like Catholicism, and that it is properly based on the Bible.
Michael Robinson: One month into 2023 and already overwhelming numbers of people joining the Church Of Christ. And to imagine the results of this work as we see it now, one can only look forward to the unprecedented growth the Church Of Christ has yet to see. One thing though is for sure, being God’s work, it will never be hindered but continue to abound.
Malehloa Jeanette Tladi: And I’m very grateful for joining the Church Of Christ. And I’m very, very grateful that I have been baptized in the Church Of Christ. So thank you very much.
Michael Robinson: To watch more on the growth of the Church Of Christ throughout the world and to learn about its teachings, visit us at incmedia.org. Michael Robinson, Iglesia Ni Cristo News Network.
Richie Ferrera: Truly spectacular. and we’ve only just begun. As candidates for baptism approach the day of the holy baptism, each individual has their own unique story—what their lives were like before learning the truth and even how they learned about the true faith. For this next part of our episode, we meet a man dissatisfied with what he knew about religion, until one day a simple interaction led him to a life-changing discovery. Sophia Trigonis with more.
Sophia Trigonis: Moving to the San Francisco Bay Area to study for his Masters, Norwin originally from India, spends his time as a rideshare worker driving around people from all walks of life.
Norwin Saloman (Union City, California): I have met people from all over the world. I meet a lot of different people, interesting people.
Sophia Trigonis: Today, I followed him along on a drive to attend a very special occasion in his life. He also told me about how through this job, the direction of his life was changed. Who would have thought that a day in your job, driving as an Uber driver, and then all of a sudden, your life changed, right?
Norwin Saloman (Union City, California): So I met this passenger called Pearlie. She’s a very down-to-earth person. I dropped her at a Church and I saw a lot of people going inside the Church. So I asked her, “Do you go to [worship service] every time?” She’s like, “Yeah, I go to [worship service] two times in a week.” And she was like. “Why don’t you come to our Church?”
Sophia Trigonis: As a member of the Church Of Christ, Pearlie offered Norwin to learn more about her faith.
Norwin Saloman (Union City, California): She had some magazines; a Pasugo. And after I finished my ride I started reading. It said that life is very short. Tomorrow is not promised. So have you thought about eternity? it really touched my heart.
Sophia Trigonis: This interaction led Norwin to begin his journey in search of the true faith—learning about the true doctrines through Bible studies and attending worship services inside the Church Of Christ.
Norwin Saloman (Union City, California): I was always against idol worshiping because the idols, they are made by human beings. I really felt a strong presence of God in this Church.
Sophia Trigonis: By following this path, it has helped him view life differently.
Norwin Saloman (Union City, California): I was going through a lot of storms in my life. I was going through a lot of pain. I was going through a lot of troubles in my life. The inspiration comes from the Bible. It doesn’t come from a minister, it doesn’t come from a pastor, it comes only from the Bible.
Sophia Trigonis: And today, after fully understanding and accepting the true faith, Norwin among many others in the Ecclesiastical District of Northwest California were able to reach this day of receiving the holy baptism. An event that touched those who witnessed this sacred occasion, including myself.
Norwin Saloman (Newly Baptized Member, Union City, California): Today’s the most memorable day of my life. There is a lot of joy and happiness in my heart right now. I’m a full-fledged member of the Church Of Christ today.
Sophia Trigonis: Surrounded by their friends and loved ones from around the district, this truly was a special day in the lives of the newly baptized. For Andrew, a former Atheist, his view on religion changed after being introduced to the Church Of Christ through a household Evangelical Mission. And today, it is a true miracle that he was able to receive the holy baptism.
Andrew Haas (Newly Baptized Member): Like new, like relieved, or amazed—so many words. I never thought I would be baptized into a church, especially being like a non-believer. It’s a good feeling.
Sophia Trigonis: For brothers, Joe and Jiro, they are blessed that this moment was shared together.
Joe Felix and Jiro Felix (Newly Baptized Members): Pretty happy about it. I got baptized with my brother at the same time. It’s important to share my faith so the Church Of Christ can expand. It’s a good thing. I’m trying to get on the right path. I learned to be more faithful. I learned to be more caring and loving with my family.
Sophia Trigonis: Jiro’s girlfriend also in attendance, who registered as a Bible student after the baptism, in hopes of one day reaching the day of her own baptism.
Esmeralda Vasquez (Doctrinal Instructee): In the future, I hope to get…well in the future as a member of the Church, I hope to get baptized and maybe like bring my mom into the Church.
Sophia Trigonis: And the true faith that has reached Esmeralda, Jiro, Joe, and even their father and sister, all started with a simple invitation from Ruel and Jennifer, members of the Church Of Christ.
Ruel & Jennifer Anonuevo (INC Members, Hercules, California): After spending a lot of time with them, they became close to us. Now their father is a Bible student as well. Sooner or later, their whole family will be baptized in the Church.
Sophia Trigonis: Simultaneously, and also under the Ecclesiastical District of Northwest California, another baptism was held in Shoshoni, Wyoming where attendees connected via video streaming. Among those added to the true faith was Jonathan, whose parents were some of the witnesses of this sacred occasion.
Jonathan Fender (Newly Baptized Member, Shoshoni, Wyoming): This is definitely memorable, and how well we take care of each other here in the Church Of Christ. That’s the most memorable thing. I would like to thank the Church Administration, especially Brother Eduardo V. Manalo. The Church helps me in my life in more ways than one. It’s been nothing but a blessing to me. It opened up a whole new world for me. [The] main thing is salvation.
Eva Diaz Escudero (Newly Baptized Member, Shoshoni, Wyoming): I feel at peace with God, very happy. It’s a good change for me and my family. [I hope] I have a total change in my life, in my family. Try to be a better person. Also, invite other colleagues to join this Church.
Brother Eduardo Javier (Supervising Minister, Ecclesiastical District of Northwest California): The baptism that we have just conducted here in the Local Congregation of San Jose, is another manifestation of God’s love and concern to the members of the Church in this part of the world. Here is the result, there were those who received the first baptism in the year 2023. This is just the start because right now there are so many who are undergoing Bible studies. As preparation for the ‘Project 109’, there will be more who will be receiving the holy baptism. We are so happy for the brethren, despite the ongoing situation of the world, you can see the brethren, what matters most to them is obeying the commandments of God, which is to share our faith with our fellowmen.
Norwin Saloman (Newly Baptized Member, Union City, California): There are many brokenhearted people in this world. They don’t know what they’re looking for. Either they go and try to destroy their life, or people like me, come closer to God. He brought me closer to Him, in His time and my life is back on track. I feel very inspired. I feel very motivated.
Sophia Trigonis: Through simple invitations more continue to learn about the true faith, with the help of friends and loved ones inside the Church Of Christ, bringing them closer to the Almighty God. To learn more about the true doctrines found in the Church Of Christ, log on to incmedia.org, click on the red questions tab, and submit your inquiry. Where you’ll then be directed to a Minister of the Gospel. Sophia Trigonis for the Iglesia Ni Cristo News Network, San Jose, California.
Richie Ferrera: Just like Norwin, it is the resolve of many that being baptized as a member of the Church Of Christ is only the beginning. And that it is up to us that the true faith reaches as many people around the world.
Host continued: In the continuation of this week’s episode of INC News World:
Through sleet and snow, we go to Canada to witness those gathered for a special day in spite of the weather. To the east coast, to Micronesia and the Caribbean, we take a look at the various baptisms that were held in all these locations. Don’t go away.