INC Reaches Kelowna, British Columbia
Richie Ferrera: In the continuation of this week’s episode of INC News World:
Host continued: Watch the growth of the Church Of Christ through a special event in British Columbia. Witness more residents in Orange County, California, accept the true faith.
Your INC News World starts now.
Richie: Welcome back to INC News World. In the Southern part of British Columbia, in Okanagan Valley, is the quiet city of Kelowna. But today, not so quiet, as many traveling from as far as 6 hours away gathered for a special event. Kiara Sahagun has that report.
Kiara Sahagun (INC News Correspondent, Kelowna, British Columbia): Located on the eastern shore of Okanagan Lake, Kelowna is surrounded by provincial parks, pine forests, and mountains. And it has also been the new home of the Mendozas. While Elmer and his wife decided to move their family from Calgary to Kelowna to prepare for a slower-paced life into retirement, it has been a transition for everyone, including their children.
Mia Mendoza (INC Member, Kelowna, British Columbia): Moving to Kelowna from Calgary was a huge transition for me because I’ve grown up my whole life in Calgary. Everything I’ve been used to, all my schooling, all my friends were there.
Kiara (INC News Correspondent, Kelowna, British Columbia): Even as members of the Church Of Christ, it has also been an adjustment performing as officers.
Elmer Mendoza (Group Overseer, Kelowna, British Columbia): It feels different. And at first, all my children, all of us, are very busy, busy life performing the duties before to a really different way of performing duties now here.
Kiara (INC News Correspondent, Kelowna, British Columbia): Despite the change, they continued to dedicate themselves in service to God, along with other families. Even though living an hour away from the closest Group Worship Service in Vernon to perform their duties to the Almighty God in worship services.
Elmer Mendoza (Group Overseer, Kelowna, British Columbia): We’ve been here since last year. We used to travel for almost one hour just to attend a worship service.
Kiara (INC News Correspondent, Kelowna, British Columbia): But recognizing the continuous growth of the Church here in Kelowna, the Church Administration approved their request to establish a Group Worship Service of their own.
Today, members from the Greater Vancouver area and across the ecclesiastical district of British Columbia gathered to take part in the inaugural worship service of Kelowna led by Supervising Minister Brother Moriel Cadacio.
Mia (INC Member, Kelowna, British Columbia): It’s such an honor to have my family be part of this event and being part of the group worship service itself and being officers and just being one of the pioneering members.
Elmer (Group Overseer, Kelowna, British Columbia): We’re very thankful now that we have our own group worship service.
Kiara (INC News Correspondent, Kelowna, British Columbia): Among others was Arlene, thankful to take part in being present today.
Arlene Abayan (Secretary, Kelowna, British Columbia): It is indeed a very, very special day for us here in Kelowna because we’ve started quite a few. But now we are a stand-alone group worship service. We are very blessed to be part of this event. It will help us invite more people that we can share our faith with. And hopefully, we will grow to become a larger group for a local.
Kiara (INC News Correspondent, Kelowna, British Columbia): Others from around the district over 400 kilometers, going through snowy mountain passes against high winds and blowing snow. But we’re nonetheless joyful for having a part in this special worship service like Jeremy, who performed as a Deacon.
Jeremy Manalo (Deacon, Langley): We drove here from Langley for about 5 to 6 hours. It was kind of scary when we were up in the mountains, but through God’s help, we’re happy that we made it here in one piece. It is very worth it, it is performing my duty. It is showing my love not just for the brethren, but also for our almighty God and to my duty.
Brother Moriel Cadacio (District Supervising Minister of British Columbia): Truly, this establishment of group worship service of Kelowna is really a great blessing to our district, and we firmly believe this is the work of the mighty hand of our Lord God. As members of the Church Of Christ, every time we are in the worship service, we are being strengthened by our Lord God through prayers, through His words, and most of all, through the Holy Spirit. We firmly believe that this is the start of the active participation of the brethren here in Kelowna, so that there will be more people in order to understand and hear God’s Word, God’s message about salvation.
Kiara (INC News Correspondent, Kelowna, British Columbia): For Mia and her family, this great blessing serves as further inspiration for her and her family.
Elmer (Group Overseer, Kelowna, British Columbia): If you see all the sacrifices and all these hardships that they’re going through, you feel that we can overcome all this because God is [there.] It’s always been my promise and my family’s. We will always be for we will always perform our duty to the best of our ability with God’s help and to be of help to the Church Administration.
Mia (INC Member, Kelowna, British Columbia): In my life now, moving here was one of the greatest tests of my life, but it helped me get closer to my family. There’s just so many so, so many amazing things that happened to me after moving here. It really is all because of God and because of my choice to put Him first in my life, and I have absolutely no doubts, no regrets. That is just God’s work.
Kiara (INC News Correspondent, Kelowna, British Columbia): Through this special event, members in Riverside took this opportunity to look towards the future with hope as the Church continues to grow in this part of the world.
To keep up to date with the most recent celebrations and activities inside the Church Of Christ, log on to incmedia.org/incnewsworld or subscribe to our Youtube channel. Kiara Sahagun. Iglesia Ni Cristo News Network, Kelowna, British Columbia.
Richie: Today, in the U.S., more and more people are identifying as non-religious.
“Thousands of churches are closing each year in the country…” theguardian.com
On the contrary, let’s go to Orange County, California, and learn about a Church that continues to open its doors to people seeking to be closer to God.
Richie: Luz Pulliam, a resident at the F&F Adult Day Health Care Center in Carson, California, was struggling with grief.
Luz Pulliam (Carson, California): (in Tagalog) Especially when I lost my husband, my thoughts were a mess.
Richie: However, Mari Fe, one of the staff there, took notice and shared with her a reading material that she hoped would inspire her.
Jacob Baquir and Mari Fereginalas (INC Members, Carson, California): (in Tagalog) At first, I gave her a God’s Message magazine. I’d also go with her to Bible s7869tudy.
Richie: After Mari Fe invited her to Bible Studies in the Church Of Christ, Luz’s life would change forever.
Luz (Carson, California): (in Tagalog) When I started going with Sister Mari Fe, it changed.
Richie: Though she already had her own beliefs, it wasn’t until Luz heard the true, Bible-based teachings in the Church Of Christ that she was truly moved.
Luz (Carson, California): (in tagalog) I am originally Catholic. But when I would come here with Sister Mari Fe, I felt something different. Everything that they say (they explain) in the Bible, inside the Church, speaks to my heart because it’s all true.
Richie: Today was a special day for Luz and many others. After fully believing in the bible-based doctrines, many received the holy baptism inside the Church Of Christ. Many others also received the holy baptism just a month prior. Among them was Tiffany, who showed up today to support her new brothers and sisters in the faith, enthusiastic for all who shared her experience joining the Church Of Christ.
Tiffany Avery (INC Member, Garden Grove, California): Before, I just felt like there was something missing … I just wanted to feel closer to God. I think now that I have Him, I feel a little closer, and I feel that He’s always there.
Richie: Today, the baptism took place here in the San Gabriel Valley house of worship and was led by District Supervising Minister Brother Jonathan Jamias.
Brother Jonathan Jamias (District Supervising Minister in the Ecclesiastical District of Orange County, California): The Church Administration further intensifies the work of propagation in the Church Of Christ through the Project 109. It is the desire of our Almighty God and the Church Administration that many, many more people will be saved on that day [Judgment Day]. The brethren here in Orange County, California, are united with the Church Administration in this holy endeavor, in sharing our faith to our fellow men and to all our loved ones.
Richie: And while still new to the Church, Tiffany, Luz, and many others express why they are so inspired to share their faith.
Tiffany (INC Member, Garden Grove, California): A lot of people have their struggles in life, and I think this is a good way for them to get the help. Be closer.
Luz (Carson, California): My friends, I’ll be inviting them all. I’ll convince them to come to the Church, because I’ll share with them what I felt.
Richie: Today was a very special day. And while there are still many searching for the truth, members of the Church Of Christ here in Orange County, California, are eager to share their faith.
Richie: Well, that does it for us on INC News World. Tune in every Saturday for new episodes of INC News Worlds on incmedia.org. I’m Richie Ferrera. Thank you for joining us. Stay safe, and we’ll see you next time. God Bless!