INC Responds to Australia Bushfire Crisis
INC responds to Australia’s bushfire crisis with relief goods; true faith reaches farther into Belize; first worship gathering in Langley, Canada.
HOST: This week on INC News World: the Church Of Christ in Australia responds to the bushfire crisis; a chance encounter leads to the true words of God spreading in Belize; and the Church Of Christ continues to grow in Canada. Your INC News World starts now.
HOST: Welcome to INC News World. I’m Brother Michael Guerrero coming to you from the INC Media studios in the San Francisco Bay area. Let’s go to Australia where wildfires continue to spread.
Devastation of fires in Australia: about 2,000 homes destroyed, about 25.5 million acres burned, more than 1 billion animals killed by fire.
HOST: So far, an estimated 2,000 homes have been destroyed, about 25.5 million acres of land have been burnt. And more than 1 billion animals have been killed in this ongoing wildfire. New South Wales is the state most affected by these bushfires. Let’s see how members of the Church Of Christ in the region took action to help their fellow men. Charlyn Arcenal has the story.
CHARLYN ARCENAL: As the bushfire crisis in Australia rages, firefighters and even volunteers continue to risk their lives to battle the flames. Behind the scenes are people like Linda from Hawkesbury’s Helping Hands who, after the fires are contained, are the first on the scene to provide food to those in need including emergency personnel.
LINDA STRICKLAND (CEO & FOUNDER – HAWKESBURY’S HELPING HANDS): Many of the SES and RFS workers have had no income for 8 weeks so that means they can’t put food on the table. We’re actually getting together about 4 pallets to make sure that our volunteers can feed their families.
CHARLYN ARCENAL: But it’s hard keeping up with the bushfires.
LINDA STRICKLAND (CEO & FOUNDER – HAWKESBURY’S HELPING HANDS): Our organization has been running pretty much around the clock. As more and more people become homeless, and especially with the bushfires and everything, our organization is overstretched.
CHARLYN ARCENAL: So when Linda heard about the Church Of Christ’s Aid to Humanity event and the hundreds of food parcels being donated, she
LINDA STRICKLAND (CEO & FOUNDER – HAWKESBURY’S HELPING HANDS): Like I had a quick peek in the hampers and they’re put together so well. There’s so many things in there that they need and it really takes a lot of pressure off. We have thousands of people relying on us a week to eat so something like this takes the financial pressure off us and also the pressure on the volunteers because they’re already pre-packed. Perfect! We’d just like to say thank you. Greatly appreciated and thank you for your kindness.
CHARLYN ARCENAL: The Church Of Christ also invited Blacktown city mayor to receive food donations for fire victims
MAYOR TONY BLEASDALE (BLACKTOWN CITY, NEW SOUTH WALES, AUSTRALIA): Thank you, everybody, I’m absolutely delighted to be here today. So, the Church Of Christ again, as I know and you know will be playing a significant role in supporting those who will be caught up in this bushfire catastrophe. So we’re very, very, proud as a council, Blacktown City Council, to be associated with the Church Of Christ. We really are.
CHARLYN ARCENAL: This Aid To Humanity event did not focus solely on helping victims of natural calamities. The Church Of Christ also invited organizations like the Mt. Druitt P.C.Y.C or Police Citizens Youth Clubs.
LANCE CHALONER (CLUB MANAGER – P.C.Y.C. – MT. DRUITT, AUSTRALIA): Our mission statement is to keep the youth safe, off the street and out of crime.
CHARLYN ARCENAL: And aside from receiving donations, Lance and other guests were also invited to listen to the words of God.
BROTHER FELIX SANTOS (DISTRICT SUPERVISING MINISTER): What we could give to you and what we could share to you is our faith. We invited them to give them our help and also to tell them about the good news that we received in the Church.
LANCE CHALONER (CLUB MANAGER – P.C.Y.C. – MT. DRUITT, AUSTRALIA): Look, I think what you do is create a massive warmth and also you’re spilling values, good values out there to the community. Because you’re preaching alone is about goodness, it’s about correct pathways for life, it’s about believing in God, for one, which is a simple value that we’d like to bring back more into our youth.
MAYOR TONY BLEASDALE (BLACKTOWN CITY, NEW SOUTH WALES, AUSTRALIA): My message to the Church Of Christ is we are so proud of you. You are playing a significant role. Continue to do God’s work. Continue to do Jesus’s work. People love everything you do.
CHARLYN ARCENAL: This Aid To Humanity event was also held in the state of Queensland and the Church Of Christ plans to provide more aid to Australian residents especially victims of fire in the near future. Learn more about the humanitarian projects of the Church Of Christ at iglesianicristo.net or incmedia.org. Charlyn Arcenal. Iglesia Ni Cristo News Network; Sydney, Australia.
HOST: The beautiful country of Belize, often thought of as the Caribbean country of Central America. Its diversity is extensive amongst its small population located on the eastern shores of Central America,
Home to 6 different ethnicities and backgrounds, and over 8 languages spoken amongst a population of no more than 400,000. HachettBookGroup.com
HOST: Let’s meet Melanie, a native-born resident who moved to the United States, and found herself going back to Belize after a simple but kind gesture that would change her life. Leslie Esguerra has the details.
MELANIE MOSES (RESIDENT – ST. PAUL, MINNESOTA): It all started off with a wave.
LESLIE ESGUERRA: A simple gesture that came across Melanie Moses, a resident in St. Paul, Minnesota. A simple wave at her local supermarket from another local turned out to be an opportunity for Melanie.
MELANIE MOSES (RESIDENT – ST. PAUL, MINNESOTA): Sister Lesing actually was picking up another sister. [She] saw me, I waved, and she came back and actually invited me to the service.
LESLIE ESGUERRA: Invited to a Bible study at a local church in her area, all while a practicing Catholic. It wasn’t a new thing for Melanie. But this time, she would hear something new.
MELANIE MOSES (RESIDENT – ST. PAUL, MINNESOTA): Attending the first lesson captured my attention. Just learning that not all churches [are] of God; that actually striked my interest. Coming from a Catholic background, I could tell the difference.
LESLIE ESGUERRA: A difference she learned in the Iglesia Ni Cristo, Church Of Christ. Melanie was committed to learning more and even sharing her new found faith.
BROTHER JOJI CRISOSTOMO (ASSISTANT DISTRICT SUPERVISING MINISTER): Halfway through the Bible studies, that’s when she really expressed how much she wanted her family to know about what she’s learning.
MELANIE MOSES (RESIDENT – ST. PAUL, MINNESOTA): I wanted to reach out to my family after I completed my 28 lessons. I really would like for them to learn more.
St. Paul, Minnesota to Belize, City Belize
LESLIE ESGUERRA: With her family currently living 3,000 miles away from her in Belize, Melanie’s desire to share her faith found a way through writing a personal letter to the Executive Minister of the Church Of Christ, Brother Eduardo V. Manalo, asking to send a minister to her hometown to preach the truth she heard.
BROTHER JOJI CRISOSTOMO (ASSISTANT DISTRICT SUPERVISING MINISTER): She wants to share what she has learned about the teachings of the Church. So she wants to share it with her family, friends, and countrymen. And the Executive Minister, Brother Eduardo V. Manalo approved her request. That’s why we are here today.
LESLIE ESGUERRA: Answering the response through giving out God’s Message Magazine, the official magazine of the Church Of Christ.
RADIO HOST: 8 o’clock in the morning time. Yes, that’s right Belize, this is your 8am time check in the morning time, making sure…
LESLIE ESGUERRA: And even going on the radio in Belize City later led to a two-day Evangelical Mission held for neighbors and the family of Melanie; all now having the opportunity to hear the truth Melanie heard.
BROTHER JOEL ARRELLAGA JR (MINISTERIAL WORKER): That’s the reason why it’s a great opportunity for the Church Of Christ; because there’s so many people that already believe in Christ.
79% affiliated with Christianity worldatlas.com
LESLIE ESGUERRA: So many that 79 percent of the population believes or is affiliated with Christianity. Amongst them are the family members of Melanie, long time friends and neighbors. One of the first to accept was her brother, Hubert.
HUBERT MOSES (DOCTRINAL INSTRUCTEE – BELIZE CITY, BELIZE): I’ve been looking for a church, and what I’ve heard was amazing. I’m really hearing the true words, doctrines written in the Bible. Now, I want to go further in the Bible and learn more about the true words of God.
LESLIE ESGUERRA: Even her life-long friend, Delvoria, a practicing 7th [Day] Adventist member.
DELVORIA DENISON (RESIDENT – BELIZE CITY, BELIZE): I don’t usually do Bible studies but the Bible courses are there and it is free. I want to do it. So, to learn more.
LESLIE ESGUERRA: With over 150 guests between the two days of Bible studies, different walks of life heard the one true message. As numerous people signed up as Doctrinal Instructees, it was no secret to the growth of the Church Of Christ in Belize.
BROTHER JOJI CRISOSTOMO (ASSISTANT DISTRICT SUPERVISING MINISTER): With the help of the Almighty God and his blessing through the Church Administration, we were approved to come here. The Church is reaching even in the far flung places. The growth and the spread of the Church is just astonishing.
LESLIE ESGUERRA: And Melanie’s message of gratefulness in sharing the truth with her family.
MELANIE MOSES (RESIDENT – ST. PAUL, MINNESOTA): I’d like to say a big thank you to Brother Eduardo V. Manalo. I couldn’t be any more grateful and happy to be where I am at today in life and looking forward.
LESLIE ESGUERRA: With the Church Of Christ already established in Dangriga, about a two hour drive south of Belize City, Melanie’s family will be the start of the growth of the true faith to be shared with others throughout Belize as was done by Melanie.
If you live in the Central American region and want to find a congregation near you, visit Iglesianicristo.net/directory. Leslie Esguerra; Iglesia Ni Cristo News Network.
HOST: 50 kilometers outside the major metropolitan city of Vancouver, British Columbia,
Langley City and Vancouver, British Columbia
HOST (CONTINUED): is the city of Langley, near the border of Washington State. Throughout 2019 we brought you news of the countless inaugural worship services of new local congregations sprouting across Canada. And the growth of the Church Of Christ in Canada continues in Langley. Geoff De Leon has the details.
GEOFF DE LEON: It was during this video streaming worship service officiated by the Executive Minister, Brother Eduardo V. Manalo, that the Local Congregation of Langley, British Columbia, was established.
PAUL ALEGADO (DEACON – LANGLEY): We are extremely thankful. More than words can say frankly and we’re really just looking forward now to the future. I think that with God’s help the local of Langley can really [be] successful in all the endeavors and tasks given by the Church Administration.
GEOFF DE LEON: And the endeavor that Paul was personally tasked with was becoming an area leader in this new local congregation, responsible for the families within a small geographic area of a local congregation.
PAUL ALEGADO (DEACON – LANGLEY): It’s nice to see that the District of British Columbia is continuing to expand. Of course these are all through the promises of our Lord God. And for us personally, it’s nice to be part of a starting local because now we can experience the growth from a small young local to God willing a much larger one.
BROTHER MORIEL CADCIO (DISTRICT SUPERVISING MINISTER): It will now be easy for the members of the Church Of Christ here in the Local Congregation of Langley to fulfill their duties, that is to worship God. Because before they need to travel a long time, kilometers away just to attend the worship service. But now, it will be closer to their homes or to this place.
LEE JOHN SOLDA (DEACON – LANGLEY): We are now the pioneers of this local and our children will become the future of this local and I only hope and pray that God will bless them as they continue to grow up with us in this local, together with the other members of the CWS, Children’s Worship Service in our local.
GEOFF DE LEON: The blessing of having a local congregation right in the community of Langley is one that these brethren are already cherishing.
MYRTLE ALEGADO (INC MEMBER – LANGLEY): Langley as a city is a very unique city. I think as a small local it’s always nice to grow together and to build that foundation of strong brotherhood.
SHERRY ILOG (INC MEMBER – LANGLEY): So blessed for the Church to grow and expand it’s a great blessing to be a part of that.
PAUL ALEGADO (DEACON – LANGLEY): It’s nice that our daughter has the opportunity to grow with the local. I think it’s a unique situation for our daughter to be in a small local like this.
MYRTLE ALEGADO (INC MEMBER – LANGLEY): We want her to understand she’s here for her faith and to grow her faith and to continue to serve God in whatever circumstance. All those things will come with blessings, I believe, from our Almighty God for staying steadfast, for helping with the growth of the congregation, and all of the plans and the activities of the congregation.
GEOFF DE LEON: The growth of the Church Of Christ in British Columbia is a testament of God’s love for His people. The brethren in the local congregation in Langle look forward to growing in number and in faith. To find other congregations around the world and to attend a worship service inside the Church Of Christ visit iglesianicristo.net/directory. Geoff De Leon; Iglesia Ni Cristo News Network; Langley, British Columbia, Canada.
HOST: Thank you to everyone who submitted photos of their pet family members. We always love to see all of our furry, feathered, and scaled friends!
HOST: Our pet corner this week is featuring Ty a 12-year-old long hair chihuahua who lives in South San Francisco with the Pallera family. Ty loves toys but only plays with new ones for five minutes. He loves shredded chicken and chicken jerky and likes to smile for photos.
HOST: If you have a pet family member you want us to feature, send us a message at firstname.lastname@example.org with the subject Pet Corner.
HOST: Now it’s time for the segment Solid Through the Ages.
HOST: Today we’d like to greet Rebecca and Cipriano Jr. Laguisma a happy anniversary. They celebrate their 49th anniversary this year. They have 4 children and 5 grandchildren who they all love spending their time with. If you see them in the local congregation of Burlingame, California don’t forget to greet them!
And if you know of anyone celebrating a milestone birthday or anniversary, let us know at email@example.com with the subject “Solid Through the Ages.”
HOST: Well, that does it for us on INC News World. Tune in every Friday for new episodes of INC News World on incmedia.org. I’m Brother Michael Guerrero, on behalf of the entire INC News World team, thank you for joining us. Have a great weekend and God bless!