New INC Property in Japan Under Construction for House of Worship
Host: We take a closer look into the renovations of a house of worship in Gifu West, Japan. Experience the unfolding of the true faith in Latin America as the Church Of Christ establishes a new home in Panama. 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.
The Church Of Christ continues to meet the spiritual needs of its growing membership by acquiring and renovating properties worldwide with the latest endeavor in Japan– where a newly purchased property is undergoing renovations to become a dedicated place of worship and residents are sharing in the excitement for its upcoming completion. Michael Robinson brings us the details.
Michael Robinson: Japan, a land of stunning landscapes, bustling cities, and serene sights. And within these sights, you will find prefectures, likened to states in the US or regions in the Philippines and Japan has 42 of them.
One of them being Gifu. Standing out with its captivating snowy plains. A place for tourists to go snowboarding and visit well-known ancestral houses filled with history.
And to get to this beautiful destination requires driving on the highway that goes through Gifu City. And this property once used as a game center would now be renovated into a place of worship. A space not commonly found according to its contractor, Hideaki.
Hideaki Baba (Contractor): If this [property] is wide, it’s not that easy to buy here in Japan.
Michael Robinson: But little did Hideaki know that it was the Church Of Christ who purchased not only this property but also had another property in Nagoya– a beautiful house of worship seen by Hideaki for the first time.
Hideaki Baba (Contractor): When I first saw the [house of worship of the Church Of Christ] in Nagoya, it was like… so beautiful.
Michael Robinson: The ongoing work of the Church Of Christ– purchasing, building and renovating properties into suitable and beautiful places of worship. And this work in now ongoing here in Gifu, Japan.
Hideaki Baba (Contractor): In the first meeting, they showed me the blueprint. A complete 180 degree difference in the project we are doing here now.
Michael Robinson: Members alike are filled with excitement throughout Gifu of what’s to come.
Arisa Kato (INC Member, Congregation of Gifu West): Compared to our place of worship now, this newly renovated place of worship is spacious. It will be beautiful. There will be more room for people to gather. I’m even more excited now that it’s near completion.
Kazushige Kato (INC Member, Congregation of Gifu West): I thought, “Wow, what an amazing house of worship.” I’m so excited that Gifu West will have its own place of worship.
Michael Robinson: And for members like Takafumi, this place of worship will be an answered prayer to the recent years of members traveling long distances to attend the worship services.
Takafumi Yasuda (Head Deacon, Congregation of Gifu City): I live in Ogaki-Shi and it takes one hour and fifteen minutes to travel to the house of worship in Nagoya. In those days, there were very few expressways, so it was very difficult to travel. We are so excited as the construction of this house of worship nears completion that God has blessed us with here in Gifu.
Michael Robinson: With close oversight by the Church Administration of this ongoing project, Brother Glicerio P. Santos IV, General Auditor of the Church Of Christ visited the property in ensuring its timely completion because of the vital role it will have for Church Of Christ members here in Gifu, valuing the worship service.
Arisa Kato (INC Member, Congregation of Gifu West): Worship service is our duty. So it is very important for us to continue our worship. When there are problems and trials, it’s the teachings of our Lord God. Through prayers, I experience good results. With a trusting heart, I am able to persevere.
Takafumi Yasuda (Head Deacon, Congregation of Gifu City): It has been 21 years since I joined the Iglesia Ni Cristo. There was a time I had no interest in religion because usually Japanese are Buddhists. But when I was introduced to the Church Of Christ, I was taught God’s words. It changed the life of my family and became the most important thing in my life, more than my work. My membership is the most valued thing in my life now. I can see a lot of changes. Many congregations are increasing in membership. This is where it starts. I can feel the power of God very close to us.
Michael Robinson: And outside the ecclesiastical district of Nagoya, you’ll find under construction another house of worship in the ecclesiastical district of Tokyo, Japan– the local of Ichikawa. With over 70 congregations and numerous houses of worship throughout Japan, Gifu will now be the next chapter of growth for the Church Of Christ.
Hideaki Baba (Contractor): Being an engineer, it’s amazing to be part of building such a beautiful place like this.
Michael Robinson: As this place of worship nears completion, it’s planned to be dedicated this July. And it will stand as the largest house of worship of the Church Of Christ in Japan– a beacon of hope for all in Gifu. To keep up to date with the ongoing renovations and purchasing of places of worship of the Church Of Christ throughout the world, visit incmedia.org/incnewsworld. Michael Robinson, Iglesia Ni Cristo news Network.
Richie: Just like our brothers and sisters in Japan, we look forward to the day when that house of worship will be dedicated to the Almighty God.
Now, due to the relentless efforts of members of the Iglesia Ni Cristo to spread the gospel across Latin America, the number of people finding the truth continues to grow. As a result, local congregations continue to be established. and in panama city, a new local congregation held its inaugural worship service marking the beginning of a profound journey of faith. Sean Davila has the details.
Sean Davila: The Republic of Panama, with Panama City as its capital, is a country located in the southernmost part of Central America. Panama’s culture is a blend of diverse ethnic groups, including the indigenous Guna people who live in villages in the Guna Yala provinces, and some moved to the city such as those living at Kuna Nega in Cerro Patacon.
This village has been reached by the pure gospel through a series of evangelical missions and Care For Humanity events conducted in this area. As a result, many residents have come close to the truth, like Rubiela and Rosalina.
Rubiela Urrutia (Doctrinal Instructee, Kuna Nega, Panama): I thank God and all of you because this is the first time we are experiencing these activities. It’s not only for adults but also for children and others who are not familiar with God. They have now come to Him and continue to approach Him. Thank God for this activity.
Rosalinda Garcia (Doctrinal Instructee, Kuna Nega, Panama): You have helped me a lot since you arrived here. I want to learn more about God, listen attentively, and understand His teachings. I am very glad to have attended the events here. I want to learn and understand more.
Sean: Their ardent desire to deepen their understanding of the truth compelled them along with their family members and neighbors to attend a significant gathering inside the Church Of Christ.
The inaugural worship service that marked the establishment of the local congregation of Ciudad de Panama. Members and guests were witnesses to this historic event, and was made even more special as they experienced a worship service led by the Executive Minister of the Church Of Christ, Brother Eduardo V. Manalo, through video streaming worship.
Rubiela Urrutia (Doctrinal Instructee, Kuna Nega, Panama): I listened attentively, and it impacted me that he preached excellently. That is why I feel very happy with Brother Eduardo V. Manalo. Also, the worship service started with hymns and immediately tears came to my eyes because I was touched by the Father in heaven.
Sean: Among those in attendance were Reyna and Angelica, who traveled for several hours to be a part of this holy occasion.
Angelica Navarro (Doctrinal Instructee, Grecia Villa, Panama): Together with my family, we traveled here to be here today and I am grateful for that. I have felt excited and I am happy because I have heard a lot of the words of God and the Bible.
Reyna Navarro (INC Member, Chorrera, Panama): [I am] Happy! Seeing the growth of the Church [Of Christ] makes us strong already. And we know that we have to continue inviting [people] so that the Church would continue to grow even stronger here in Panama.
Sean: It started as a Group Worship Service in 2015, but the number of members in Ciudad de Panama quickly grew. Jojo Obra, a pioneer member, shares with gladness how the Church Of CHrist in Ciudad de Panama has progressed with God’s help.
Jojo Obra (Deacon, Pioneering Member, Ciudad de Panama, Panama): The establishment of the Group Worship Service (GWS) here in Panama has been immensely beneficial. It has allowed us to extend invitations not only to our fellow Filipinos but also the local people of Panama. That is why we are filled with happiness and gratitude because we now have a full-fledged local congregation here in Panama.
Brother Jonathan Jamias (Supervising Minister, Ecclesiastical District of Latin America): We truly acknowledge that the establishment of the local congregation of Ciudad de Panama, here in Latin America, as a full-fledged local congregation, is truly a blessing from God. The brethren were truly inspired. Actually in the special worship service, the brethren were able to invite many guests to attend the worship service, and even those people who were invited, they were inspired in attending the worship service.
Brother Quirino Dizon Jr. (Resident Minister, Ciudad de Panama, Panama): Our hearts are filled with faith, and we are more determined to share the words of the Lord God, with the help of the many officers and brethren here in Ciudad de Panama.
Sean: And as the Church Of Christ in Latin America expands its reach, the powerful message of salvation and compassion resonates, transforming lives and communities. Sean Davila reporting for the Iglesia Ni Cristo News Network, Panama City, Panama.
Richie: Well, that does it for us on INC News World. Tune in every Saturday for new episodes of INC News World on incmedia.org, our youtube channel, and on streaming platforms. I’m Richie Ferrera. Thank you for joining us, stay safe, and we’ll see you next time. God bless!